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First week of grocery budget tracking

April 16th, 2011 at 04:19 pm

We needed to get Clorox wipes, a new water-filter sink mount, a printer cartridge and cat food, so total spending was a bit more than I hoped for. But I think on food we did a good job; we based meals on things we already had, and a lot of things were on sale. And we used coupons for many of our nonfood items and a couple food items.

We spent about $130 and used up most of our April grocery money (because we were already behind). Now we have $360 to stretch over the next three weekends of grocery shopping, and then we'd be caught up. I think we can do it if we keep paying attention and only buying what we need.

I counted up what we spent for each meal on the menu, so I'll list that first:

Fresh pasta & pesto w/ mushrooms
8oz. mushrooms $1.89
(already had pasta fixin's and pesto)

Mexican casserole
Green bell pepper $1.29
(already had rice, beans, olive oil, onion, corn, canned tomatoes, salsa, garlic, cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, soymilk, oil)

Pasta & spinach-tomato sauce
Frozen spinach $1.07
(already had pasta, tomato sauce, herbs & spices)

Thai red curry
Carrots $0.99
(already had tofu, peas, peanuts, rice, curry paste, coconut milk)

Grilled cheese sandwiches & oven-roasted cauliflower
Whole wheat bread $1.97
Cheddar $3.98
Cauliflower $2.49
(already had vegan cheddar for me)
Total: $8.44 (but we'll be able to use the cheese and bread for other stuff, too)

Crispy golden tofu, blackened sprouts, potatoes
Brussels sprouts $3.59
Red potatoes $2.75
(already had tofu, breading ingredients, oil)
Total: $6.34

Other food spending for things we'll use this week (breakfasts, snacks, beverages):
3x grapefruit $4.68
10x bananas $2.21
4x plum tomatoes $3.01
8x apples $3.64
1.5 lbs. red grapes $2.05
Garlic $0.39
2x soymilk $5.00
64 oz. milk $2.29
4 eggs $1.28

Pantry staples we needed but won't necessarily use this week:
.66 lbs. flour $1.18
1.42 lbs. arborio rice $3.82
2 lbs. sugar $3.58
Grated parmesan $2.23
Celery seed $0.31
Egg replacer $5.99
2x Newman's own spaghetti sauce (C) $3.00

Total food spending: $64.68

Nonfood/cat food spending:
Printer cartridge + tax $15.62
Bottle brush $2.19
2-pk Clorox wipes (C) $6.99
2-pk deoderant (C) $3.19
Toms toothpaste (C) $3.19
Brita water filter mount (C) $24.49
Cat food (C) $3.79
Gum + tax $1.18
Tax on nonfood + cat food - bags discount $3.38
Paper towels (C) $1.59

Total nonfood/cat food spending: $65.61

EDIT: Here is the Mexican casserole recipe!
Vegan Mexican Casserole
Makes 8 servings (I would say 6 but I have a big appetite LOL)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced in half moons
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
4 cups cooked black beans
1 cup mild salsa
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup soymilk
1/3 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 450. Heat olive oil in a skillet with a lid over medium heat. Saute onion for 7 minutes, covered, stirring halfway through. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine green pepper, corn, rice, tomatoes, beans, salsa and garlic. Stir together well. Coat a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray and spread bean mixture evenly over bottom of baking dish. To make the cornbread topping, stir together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Mix together oil and milk and gradually stir into dry mixture. Spread cornbread mixture evenly over bean mixture in baking dish and top with caramelized onions. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until knife inserted in center of cornbread comes out clean.

4 Responses to “First week of grocery budget tracking”

  1. debtfreeme Says:

    Way to go!

  2. Looking Forward Says:

    The mexican casserole sounds good. Could you post a recipe?

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Huh, my comment didn't save for some reason! Anyway, I posted the recipe above, and wanted to add these notes:

    - It was pretty flavorful but a bit mild for us, so next time I'd add cumin, chili powder, paprika and maybe a spicier salsa (or some cayenne).

    - I accidentally added the onions to the rice-and-beans mixture instead of saving them for the top, and it was great that way, but I wonder if it would be even better following the recipe.

    - The cornmeal mixture was really thick. I added a couple tablespoons more soymilk, but it was still too thick to really spread, so I just carefully added it in dollops and was able to cover the entire casserole.

  4. Looking Forward Says:

    Thanks! I'd like to try that. Smile

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