week 1: the budget update

In coming weeks, I’ll dig more into how we’re improving the footprint of our diet & putting less into the trash. That’ll happen on Wednesdays; Fridays will just be an embarrassing budget review. This week in particular has served as a rude wake-up call. We’re making this the baseline, which is embarrassing. We ate out twice? While complaining about our impact & budget? Greeeat. #judged

There were a few tough points this week. (1) The Husband (Joe) & I were both gone from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. multiple days this week. Enter last-minute order-a-pizza decisions. We did trip chain & pick the food up ourselves while doing other errands. (2) The sale section. Tough. Joe & I shop at our local co-op & try to buy local first & organic for everything else. But even at the co-op, the sales section has some pitfalls. This week, it was pasta–an imported specialty variety we couldn’t otherwise afford, which add huge food miles to our diets even if they’re organic. Oh, and there are always Annie’s Homegrown goodies. I mean, seriously. Who needs taco-flavored mac & cheese? It’s in the back of the cabinet, where I’m sure it will stay for a while.

I’ll be setting targets for each week, phasing ourselves out of the waste that enters our diet, starting with the overly processed & packaged foods that find their way into our grocery basket. Here’s how we did this week. Since I post these updates on Fridays, I’ll be using a Friday-Thursday calendar.


Breakfast: homemade zucchini bread* or almond milk & fruit (frozen from early in the farmers’ market season) smoothies or bagels with cream cheese/peppers/jalapeños

Fri. lunch: cabbage soup* from freezer
Fri. dinner:
nachos with black beans, cheese & homemade pico de gallo*
Sat. lunch: fruit & pulled pork sandwich from farmers’ market
Sat. dinner: pasta with mushrooms, Romano, basil & dried tomatoes
Sun. lunch: red Thai curry*
Sun. dinner:
grilled eggplant & herbed quinoa* & pickles*
M & W lunch: potato & Swiss chard soup with homemade bread
Tues lunch: leftover pizza
Mon. dinner: Veggie Revival from Aver’s Pizza #epicfailuno
Tues. dinner:
Veggie #epicfaildos
Wed. dinner:fried eggplant, homemade pickles*, potato salad* & steamed green beans
Thurs. lunch: roasted, stuffed acorn squash
Thurs. dinner:
sandwiches & a pitcher at Upland, to celebrate a friend’s arrival (not in budget)

salted almonds*, tortilla chips* & homemade pico de gallo, Kashi crackers*


* denotes ingredients purchased/made in prior weeks

CSA (average $25/week)
3 eggplants
Swiss chard
acorn squash
green beans

Organic Groceries ($38)
Rainforest Alliance bananas
local peaches
almond milk
bell pepper
cream cheese
pasta & Annie’s taco-flavored Mac ‘n Cheese, for future weeks
Romano cheese

Frantically Ordered Takeout/Impulse Purchases ($37–ouch)
Aver’s pizza, Jimmy John’s, 2 bottled drinks & 2 bags of chips from gas stations

From Garden
jalapeño peppers


  • hummus & cheese containers, saved for reuse in future
  • almond milk container, squashed & put in trash
  • wrappers from sticks of butter & cream cheese, put in trash
  • cardboard box from butter, recycled
  • list food thrown away
  • aluminum foil from farmers’ market sandwich
  • pizza box, put in trash (Are these recyclable?)
  • 2 chip bags, put in trash
  • 2 plastic drink bottles, recycled

About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
This entry was posted in Personal Project and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to week 1: the budget update

  1. Pingback: week 2: using up what’s here | francofile

  2. Pingback: week 2: using up what’s here | project V515

  3. Calley Mersmann says:

    Can I just come and eat with you? Sounds delicious!

    I think pizza boxes are recyclable as long as they don’t have grease/food residue. I generally end up cutting off the top and recycling that (because it’s clean) and trashing the rest.

    What CSA are you a part of?

    • meganbetz says:

      Sounds brilliant, Calley. Ours always get so greasy that it seems impossible to recycle… Somehow, I never thought of cutting off the top. We’re with Living Roots, part of the budding Ecovillage. I love it! In the winter, we do Musgrave Orchard, which is a bit of a drive but makes for a truly enjoyable Saturday morning jaunt. (Living Roots is also offering a winter extension this year, and they’re always at winter market.)

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