week 6: the budget update

We were out of town for a wedding during the weekend, so meals were largely out of our control. There was a lot of waste from eating out (both garbage & dollars), but I’m not listing it here. Why? (1) It’s depressing. (2) It was unavoidable. (3) Leave me alone!

We made ourselves eat all the leftovers. I think our bodies are just now recovering from that much meat consumption. But it meant that this week, we could put lots of stores into the freezer, focus on simple dishes & use most of our energy to just get through the week. We’re both still rather frantic & heading out of town again tomorrow–immediately after picking up our two CSA shares.

This is a big autumn harvesting week for us, between the CSAs (one that focuses on awesome colder-weather crops, from persimmon pulp & cider to arugula & turnips) & our first harvest of radishes & spinach. We also tore out the tomato plants, harvesting what we could & preparing to put lots of easy green tomato sauce into the freezer.

I was initially nervous about the double-CSAing for a few weeks, but I think it’ll end up really well. We have loads of beans & squash in the freezer, several grains in the cupboard & much more motivation for eating our vegetables. I think our grocery bill will drop drastically–and with it the amount of packaging we bring home.

We’re starting to see changes–both in our less smelly, less full trash & in our less cluttered, better fed bodies. We want fresh food more; we get sad eating packaged foods–not just because so many people put the packaging in the trash, but because we actual feel more tired than when we eat a more plant-based diet.

So, here’s this week. For better or worse. Next week? Cheese-making, no grocery shopping, a birthday (which is actually today), a poetry reading (which is actually tomorrow) & a trip out to an orchard.

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

Breakfast: refrigerator oatmeal or yogurt & granola

Sun. dinner: fries at Farm between our return to Bloomington and a fundraiser
Mon. lunch: wedding leftovers
Mon. dinner:
wedding leftovers
Tues. lunch: pizza
Tues. dinner: wedding leftovers/cup of soup at Laughing Planet during a meeting
Wed. lunch: lentil soup* & biscuits
Wed. dinner: hot bar at Bloomingfoods (brought extra home the containers I’d used for lunch, so nothing went into the trash)
Thurs. lunch: 
fried tempeh*, fried green tomatoes & biscuits
Thurs. dinner: massive salads with meslun, home-grown spinach & radishes, misc. veggies
Friday lunch:
sautéed squash, eggplant & green beans with quinoa
Friday dinner: dinner at Uptown Café for my big 2-5

mint cookies, chips & homemade salsa, almonds


CSA (average $25/week)
green tomatoes
sweet peppers
meslun greens
bok choi
green beans
hot peppers

Organic Groceries ($38)
2 avocados
2 cans beans
1 large can stewed tomatoes (for salsa)
honeycrisp apples
soy milk
tortilla chips
large tub of yogurt
grapefruit juice

Impulse Purchases ($22)
6-pack & mint cookies (A fail, but I don’t even feel bad about it) + honeycrisp apples, caramel & beer for a hangout session with friends

From Garden
green tomatoes
jalapeño peppers


  • <.5 gallon of milk that expired while we were out of town, down the disposal
  • a yogurt that sat in my backpack for 5 hours then smelled terrible when I wanted to eat it
  • aluminum can from tomatoes
  • packaging from a block of tempeh
  • a refrigerator oatmeal
  • cardboard box, plastic wrapper & plastic tray from cookies–partially trashed & partially recycled (#lifefail)
  • two six-packs (cardboard & glass), recycled
  • an entire brick of organic cream cheese, so moldy I gagged–trashed (I don’t even know how this happened.)
  • lots of compost

About meganbetz

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