Shopping and Cooking for a Week at My House, Part 1
I thought it would be fun to give you a look into a week of shopping and cooking for my family for one week. I have thought about doing this in the past but because of the way I shop and buy food, it made it hard to get a sense of “this is what I spent in one week and this is what we ate”. The reason has to do with the way I shop and the way I cook.
I buy most of my basic food ingredients in bulk, I buy in advance if there is a good deal on something and I make a lot of my own products that others might buy or use some other alternative. An example of that is when I make my own soup stocks. I will make a chicken or beef stock and put it in the freezer and use this to make soups. So it is not something I purchase. I also will often have
meal starters in the freezer made with meats or grains that were purchased in previous months.
Regardless of this, I decided I would give you a look into what goes on with my grocery budget for a week as well as what I produce in my kitchen for a week. I will make a note of the items that I have stocked in my freezer or in my pantry from previous shopping trips.
For starters, we need a menu. I like to make up menus in advance. Sometimes I make the menu for a week, two weeks or maybe a month. Just depends on my mood :)! So here is the weeks menu:
Monday: Tacos made w/homemade wrappers
Tuesday: Cabbage, sausage, onions and pasta
Friday: Lasagna, salad, French bread
Saturday: baked chicken, potatoes, salad
Sunday: Chicken relleno casserole, refried beans, Spanish rice
With that menu I came up with a grocery list. I also added to my list staple items that we were running low on and basics like fruit and a few other things.
Here is what my grocery list looked like:
2 gallons milk
4 lbs apples
4 lbs plums
3 lbs bananas
5 lbs grated cheddar cheese
48oz container of cottage cheese,
3 lbs chicken sausages made without MSG
10 lbs Onions
1 lb sliced Swiss cheese
2 ½ lbs mixed nuts
One gallon of olive oil
12 cans organic tomato paste
One gallon sliced dill pickles
I went to one store this week to do my shopping and that was Costco. I have really enjoyed the fact that Costco has such a great variety of foods, for very reasonable prices. Not everything they sell is a deal, so knowing your prices on commonly bought items is one way to be able to determine if what you plan on buying is a good deal or not. Sometimes I pay more for something for health reasons. I often buy some of their organic products for the health benefits. Sometimes I don’t.. just depends on my overall grocery budget. Here is a picture I took of the groceries when I got home:
The cost was: $109.32
The food I bought on my list has only a small relevance to what I am cooking this week, as I have explained above, some was just a restocking of my supplies.
I took a pound of hamburger from my freezer (we buy a whole cow each year so I don’t need to buy beef from the grocery store), I also cooked up two cups of dried pinto beans. I buy those by the 25 lb. bag from either Costco or Azure Standard. I cooked up the hamburger and added the cooked beans. I also added
homemade taco seasoning that I had in the cupboard.
Then I made these great little wraps for the tacos. They are quicker to make than tortillas and my family loves them. They are similar to a crepe. I had all the ingredients in the house already to make these so there was nothing extra to purchase. Here is the recipe:
2/3 cup cornmeal (I buy whole corn and grind it myself)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I grind the grain)
(both the whole corn and the wheat grain I purchase in bulk from Azure Standard)
½ t baking powder
½ t salt
2 t cane juice crystals
2 cups buttermilk (I had homemade buttermilk in the fridge)
4 eggs (I buy my eggs from Azure Standard, 10 dozen, monthly)
¼ cup butter, melted
In a bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and cane juice
crystals. In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well. You could also put this all in the blender to mix up. Set this aside for 20 minutes to rest.
To cook them, heat a 10 inch frying pan over medium high heat. You can brush the pan with a bit of olive oil if you are worried about sticking, at least for the first few wrappers). When the frying pan is hot pour in about ¼ cup of batter and swirl it around the pan so it is thin and round. Let this cook for a couple of minutes on the first side or until it browns up a bit. Then flip and cook for a bit on the other side. Stack them on a plate, cover with a dish towel and keep warm as you make up the rest of them.
We filled these tacos with the meat/bean mixture, lettuce (from my garden), salsa (homemade fermented salsa I made last week), and a little cheese. I fed 7 people for dinner with this meal. That included some healthy teenage appetites and one hungry hubby appetite!
Everyone ate them up before I remembered to try and get a pic! Sorry about that one! But they are yummy and there were even a few leftovers!
Cabbage, Sausage, Noodle Skillet
I like doing this meal on occasion. It is pretty simple and I needed a simple meal because I was running kids all over the place that day to various testing sites and did not get home until late in the afternoon. I bought the healthy sausage from Costco. I sliced it up. I had about half of a huge cabbage in my fridge from last week that I sliced up. And I cut up one large onion. I fried up the sausage, cabbage and onion until it was soft and browned. While I was doing that I cooked up a pot full of spinach fettuccini noodles. The amounts on this recipe will vary depending on how many you are feeding. When the noodles were done I drained them and added them to the sausage mixture in the frying pan. Stirred them up and made sure they were hot and ready to eat. I served this with a salad. I again fed 7 people with this meal and had some leftovers.
Here is a pic of this main dish…
Part Two will follow soon..