Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Eating on $8 a day

Last month our food budget was $6 a day and no one really believed we could do it. But we did! Now this month we are eating on $8 a day and to a lot of people this still seems impossible. Honestly it takes some prep and planning but once you figure it out it is easy. Since I generally shop for four days worth of food at a time, that would give me $32 for a shopping trip. Again, the shopping list is based off of only what I have to buy. I really don't have the patience or time to divide a bag of flour into eighths or a jar of jelly into sixteenths. Also, we have fresh herbs growing on our porch, which is why they aren't on the grocery list. Here is a meal plan that fits this budget:

Dinner:

Veggie mac'n'cheese

Cook two boxes of whole grain mac'n'cheese with a box of frozen spinach and a half a bag frozen broccoli. Mix in a few extra tablespoons of half and half and parmesan cheese with the butter and milk called for on the box, and top with seasoned breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup grated parmesan and bake until lightly browned.

Pizza and salad

Make pizza crust with 2 packets yeast dissolved in 1 1/4 cups warm water. Add in 2 cups white flour, 2 cups wheat flour, 1 TB honey, 3 TB oil and 2 tsp salt. Knead the dough for 10 minutes and put in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes. Roll out into a large jelly pan and top with marinara- one can crushed tomatoes simmered 30 minutes with a bay leaf, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper, and with 1 TB honey mixed in. Add 2 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top and bake 15 minutes at 475 degrees. Chop up a head of iceberg and serve with homemade vinaigrette.

Veggie basil calzones

Same dough recipe from the pizza. It's easy to make double the first day and then let the extra rise in the fridge until you need it. Divide into 6 equal parts and roll into 9 inch circles. Fill with a mixture of half a bag frozen broccoli, half a bag frozen corn, half a zucchini chopped, one cup mozzarella cheese, a small container of ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, garlic and about 1/4 cup fresh basil. Brush with oil and bake 15 minutes at 475 degrees.

Zucchini fettuccine alfredo

Cook a box of whole grain fettuccine according to package and when there are 2 minutes left of cook time, add 1 1/2 zucchini, sliced into half-moons. Make the alfredo sauce by melting 1/4 cup butter, then adding 1 cup half and half, a teaspoon garlic, and 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese. Simmer for 5 minutes then take it off the heat and add a few tablespoons fresh chopped parsley. Toss the pasta and zucchini with the sauce.


Lunch:

All the dinner recipes make twice the amount we would eat, so Chris, Lenny, and I all get leftovers for the next day's lunch. We also have peanut butter and jelly, frozen peas and corn, steamed zucchini, strawberries, and salad. Carolina will eat whatever we eat.


Evidence of Lenny's lunch. 
He would happily eat all the strawberries and nothing else if I let him. 

Breakfast:

Toast with butter and jelly or cereal with bananas. Adults get coffee (yay coffee!) and Lenny gets milk. Carolina will eat a whole banana by herself. This girl just started eating so much out of nowhere!

Grocery List:

Produce-

3 zucchini $1.53
Strawberries $1.50
6 bananas $1.08
Iceberg lettuce $0.99

Refrigerated-

Grated parmesan $2.97
2 bags shredded mozzarella $3.76
2 sticks butter $1.68
Ricotta $1.97
Half and half $1.08
Half gallon milk $1.88

Dry goods-

2 boxes mac'n'cheese $1.24
Fettuccine $1.08
Flour $0.87
Yeast $0.85
Crushed tomatoes $0.69
Bread $1.88
Peanut Butter $2.00
Corn flakes $1.68

Frozen-

Broccoli $1.09
Corn $0.96
Spinach $0.75
Peas $0.96

Total:
$32.49

So there ya go!




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