week 5: the budget update

This week! I finally feel like we’re making progress. Do I still find wrappers in the truck from snacks Joe bought himself at the gas station? Yes. But, check out the shorter grocery list this week–and lots of it was for food preservation (vinegar & lemons), ingredients that can be stored for extended periods (quinoa), or ingredients used up all at once that leave no waste behind (bok choi).

We splurged on meat, but we made it worth it: one pound spread out through six servings–that’s three hearty lunches for each of us. Chili is awesome, since it averages out to <$2 a bowl when you make it at home. Pair Joe’s chili with garlic knots, and I could eat for days. (I know, I know. These garlic knots. But it’s a fun process–you feel a bit like you work at Auntie Anne’s–and it makes loads. It’s all the bread we need for the week in convenient portions.)

We were also more aware of the fridge this week. The past two weeks, I’ve found random things hiding in the back. This Friday, before picking up our CSA on Saturday, we cleared out all remaining produce in one massive, awesome stir-fry. (Also, we somehow ended up with 3 quart-jars of random rices. I can’t tell the difference, but I’m trying to use some of them up.)

denotes ingredients purchased/made in prior weeks
FM denotes farmers’ market (otherwise, from Bloomingfoods)

Breakfast: pumpkin loaf* French toast or granola & yogurt* (made last week)

Fri. lunch: random leftovers
Fri. dinner:
appetizers & beers out (woops…)
Sat. lunch: pumpkin garlic knots & Joe’s buffalo chili
Sat. dinner:stir-fry with all the leftover vegetables & rice
Sun. lunch: Joe’s buffalo chili & pumpkin garlic knots
Sun. dinner: Joe’s buffalo chili & pumpkin garlic knots
Mon. lunch: pumpkin garlic knots & cabbage-lentil stew from freezer
Mon. dinner: spaghetti squash with feta, basil & sun-dried tomatoes
Tues lunch:
homemade pumpkin ravioli with Swiss chard/parsley pesto
Tues. dinner: eggs & tortilla chips (It was a rough, long day. I forget what Joe ate.)
Wed. lunch:  cabbage & lentil soup
Wed. dinner: I ate at work (Community Kitchen), & Joe grabbed a bite at Upland while we attended Green Drinks.

salted almonds*, almond M&Ms, chips & homemade salsa, oat & jam bars with our peach preserves


CSA (average $25/week)
purple Italian garlic
2 sweet peppers
spaghetti squash
parsley or okra
3 eggplant
rainbow chard
beans or cucumbers
5 hot peppers
summer squash

Organic Groceries ($50)
apples (FM)
pound bison
2 cans chili beans
white vinegar
honey (FM)
tortilla chips
Bragg’s liquid aminos

Impulse Purchases (in grocery budget this week)
grapefruit juice, 2 cans hot sauce, chocolate soy milk, granola, almond M&Ms

From Garden
jalapeño peppers


  • plastic wrapper from tempeh, into trash
  • plastic container from mozzarella, added to store of reusable containers
  • 2 buckets of compostables
  • 4 broccoli plants that I tried to start but didn’t make it
  • 1 quart of soup that we got out to thaw, then left on the counter for a while (now more sauerkraut than soup)–trashed
  • plastic wrappers for M&Ms, tortilla chips & bison
  • 3 aluminum cans, for recycling
  • cardboard & bottles from a 6-pack, for recycling
  • glass containers from cheese & condiments, saved for reuse

About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
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