Friday, June 3, 2011

A Little Experiment

Years ago I did a budgeting experiment where I would write down everything spent and then at the end of the month add it all up and see where all the money went. Try it sometime, it's an eye opener and also might make you totally depressed to realize that you spent $600.00 on food for the month and still didn't have anything to eat.

I don't want to go that whole route again because like I said it's kind of depressing, but I do want to know if it is cheaper to buy your food once a week or go to the store more often and buy just the dinner ingredients or whatever is needed for one or two days. For most people, a daily trip to the store is just a little too much after working all day or taking care of kids all day or whatever it is that other people do all day. For me, a daily bike ride to the store would be a good thing because it would get my rather large bottom out of the house for a little exercise which I'm supposed to be doing every day anyway but sometimes am just too lazy. So, for the month of June, since the month kind of just started, I'm going to keep track of what I'm spending on food and see what the total is. And also see if less food is wasted each week, like the mushy zucchini that I tossed yesterday or the bananas that have turned all brown. We Americans do like to buy in abundance and then end up throwing a lot of food away because it sits there all week and doesn't get eaten.

So, here goes.

We did spend a bunch of money last weekend on food (some of which has already been thrown away) so we do already have a lot of food on hand, but it's things like the huge box of little packages of in the shell peanuts that Keith got at Smart and Final to put in his lunches (cost about $10.00) and the box of El Pollo Loco frozen chicken and rice bowls that Keith got at Smart and Final for his lunches (cost about $10.00 but totally worth it because then I don't have to make him a sandwich) and ditto the box of El Pollo Loco frozen chicken burritos which he said were pretty darn good for a frozen burrito (another $10.00 there) and the big bag of mixed nuts that I got at Smart and Final (about $8.00) because my snack options are so limited and nuts are low in carbs. We spent about $70.00 there after spending about $70.00 at Foods Co stocking up on my low carb dairy product (can't call it yogurt cause it's not really yogurt) and chicken and some fruit and vegetables and other stuff like that.

So, on Tuesday I stopped at Vons to go to the bank after going to the post office. I wasn't going to buy anything but Keith wanted ginger ale (about $6.00 for the big box of cans) and they had Atkins bars on sale, the sale price being the normal price for everywhere else because Vons' normal price is like $9.00 a box which is why I don't buy Atkins bars at Vons but did on Monday because they had 2 flavors that I hadn't seen before and like I said were on sale at $6.00 a box which is the normal everyday price everywhere else. My total was $19.11 at Vons.

Wednesday was bike riding to Winco and all the ingredients for the cheesy enchilada soup. I also got some low carb Wasa crackers and some Laughing Cow cheese to put on my Wasa crackers, that was about $6.00 right there and the big huge block of jack cheese because all Winco sells is big huge blocks of cheese was another $6.00 or so. And some more Atkins bars at about $5.50 a box. My total at Winco was $35.83 which is some pretty expensive enchilada soup but it made enough for 2 dinners and I also got a few other things like the crackers and cheese and some cheesy turkey hot dogs for my lunch because I'm sick of turkey burgers. And we are having enchilada soup leftovers for dinner tonight.

Last night we had oven barbecued chicken breasts and I wanted to sautee up some zucchini and carrots for our veg and also was craving lima beans (weird craving, that) so up to Save Mart for the zucchini since I had thrown away the mushy zucchini that was in the fridge. I got a bag of frozen limas for $1.50 and the zucchini and a yellow squash for 83c, but also got a box of cookies and some more Laughing Cow cheese (different flavor than the cheese from Winco) and a People magazine because I wanted to read about the Casey Anthony murder trial and I haven't bought a People magazine in about 3 years. And won't again for another 3 years because that was a waste of $3.99.

Total spent at Save Mart: $13.33.

I don't have to go to the store today since we will be having leftover soup for dinner, so total spent for this week's dinners and lunches and ginger ale drinking by Keith and all was $68.27. Minus the stupid People magazine and actual edibles and drinkables was $64.28.

Oh, and the barbecued chicken breasts are really easy and good. Last night I used some weird gourmet bought on impulse barbecue sauce on them but really prefer the original recipe homemade sauce. And here's how you make them:

Take however many boneless chicken breasts you want and cut off all the nasty bits of any fat or whatever is on them and put them in a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Turn the oven on to 400.

Mix up the barbecue sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1 small onion, finely chopped ( I don't use the onion anymore because I like the sauce better without it but some of you might like onion in your barbecue sauce)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsbp prepared yellow mustard (you know, the stuff you put on your hot dogs)

This makes a lot of sauce so if you are just doing 2 or 3 breasts, cut the sauce recipe in half.

Pour the sauce over the chicken (that's already in the baking dish), cover it up with some aluminum foil, bake about 30 minutes, uncover, and bake 10 or so more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.


And here is how I make the sauteed zucchini and carrots and this is totally MY OWN RECIPE!!
Just peel up some carrots and a zucchini and maybe a yellow squash (summer squash? Italian squash? whatever it's called) and slice them up. You could also add bell pepper if you want. Put some oil in a frying pan and throw all your veg in there, sprinkle with those dried minced onions and a bunch of seasoned pepper and then sautee away.

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