Friday, July 24, 2009

Pantry Challenge: The First Two Weeks

I have to admit that I've been finding this pantry challenge rather enjoyable. Every couple of days I find an ingredient that's been languishing in our cupboard or freezer for an inordinate amount of time and I start perusing the internet and/or my cookbooks for a recipe that makes use of it. So far most of those recipes have included zucchini, since our garden has been producing tons of it but I've also managed to make use of almond meal and coconut and TVP and flax meal (pictures and ideas to come). In case you're interested here's the breakdown of the first two weeks:

Week 1: Spent $17.84
2 cans chipotles in adobo
lighter fluid
2.5 lbs yellow squash
1 bunch of bananas
fresh mint
fresh sage
soft tofu
2 jalapenos
2 limes
1 red onion
5 roma tomatoes
1 bunch of cilantro
1 lb. rolled oats

Week 2: Spent $20.54
1/2 lb leek
Mother's Milk tea
collard greens
mustard greens
8 red potatoes
1 lb. tempeh
1 red onion
2 yellow onions
2 jalapenos
1/2 lb. fennel
1.3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes

My original goal was to use the 20 bucks a week to buy produce and, for the most part, I think I've done a pretty good job sticking to that goal. The Mother's Milk tea ($5.50) was an unexpected expense that I splurged on when I thought I needed it; without it, I would've been substantially under the $20 goal for the second week. I'm also gaining some perspective from keeping close track of my grocery spending. For instance, I made one trip to the store for salsa making ingredients, which came to a total of $1.76--for a decent sized batch of salsa.

Perhaps, though, the most shocking realization of all is that it's possible to go to Costco and not spend 200 bucks. Though the Costco trip was part of the 3rd week budget, we actually made it out of there with 4 pounds of tofu, 8 bananas, 10 ciabatta rolls, and 3 dozen tortillas for $15. It almost makes a Costco trip seem not worth it--but in a good way.

Sorry for the number heavy post, but I wanted to get it up before I lost the receipts. I'll be posting food and recipes as soon as I find the cord for my camera...

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