Monday, May 06, 2013
This week's specials included pork at 98 cents a pound at Marsh. Also, at Kroger, beefsteak tomatoes (about 8 oz each) for 88 cents a pound, whole chickens for 99 cents a pound, Dannon yogurt for $2 a quart, and a variety of cheeses (cheddar, colby jack, mozzarella, and maybe others) for $2.99. So you'll see a lot of pork, cheese, yogurt, and tomatoes this "month," and a lot of chicken because it's still $5.90 for 10 pounds of leg quarters at Walmart.
Aldi has whole frozen chickens for 89 cents a pound. That's more per pound than the leg quarters at Walmart, but I think there's more meat on a whole chicken. If I can get 7 meals from a 4.5 lb chicken, it will cost about the same per meal, and that's more important than the price per pound. I have a whole chicken in the freezer, and I'm going to try it soon and see whether I can actually get 7 meals out of it, of about the same amount of meat as from 7 leg quarters. I'm figuring the 7 meals would be 1) back, wings and skin; 2) drumstick and thigh; 3) other drumstick and thigh; and 4, 5, 6 and 7) about 4 cups of meat from the breast. We'll see. Personally, I prefer the dark meat anyway, but not everyone does, and a roast chicken is sort of elegant. Of course, it's only elegant for that first meal. After that it's just leftovers like the leg meat is. But if it costs the same as the legs, it might be a good option for a family or for when you're having company.
Last "month" breakfast was always eggs cooked in butter, and that can get old. So I'm going to be more creative with breakfasts this month. I'm also going to be more creative when it comes to adding calories to get them up to 1600-1700 per day. Last month I mostly just added mayo or butter. This month I'm going to be adding other things. Which, unfortunately, means it will cost more, so that might be a problem. In real life, of course, I would be using up the leftovers from last month (mayo, mustard, spices, etc., plus a few veggies) which would free up some money this month, but the way I'm doing this challenge is starting over each month to see whether I can buy a month's groceries for a low carb menu regardless of when I start. We'll see.
My budget is $125 for 28 days, which is the average monthly benefit received in Indiana in 2011, adjusted for the shorter month.
Sunday, May 05, 2013
Not that this is especially cheap, but it is good and it's easy. We had a potluck lunch after church today, and I took a huge bowl of this stuff and it all got eaten.
Caesar Style Vegetable Salad
(based on a recipe from Sunset Magazine)
thinly sliced mushrooms
diced red and/or green pepper
sliced zucchini (I skipped this today)
halved cherry tomatoes (not in the recipe, but good)
Caesar salad dressing
parmesan cheese (shaved is best, shredded is good, grated is ok)
Mix up the veggies, in whatever quantities you want. This can be done ahead of time. Right before serving, add the parmesan and mix well. Then add the dressing and mix well.
As to how much of anything to use, I just use whatever I have on hand. I'd guess that today I used about a pound of broccoli florets, maybe three or four cups of cauliflower, four medium carrots, one green pepper, eight ounces or so of mushrooms, a couple of cups of tomatoes, a six ounce box of shaved parmesan, and most of a bottle of dressing.
Saturday, May 04, 2013
I was really surprised this week when I went out looking for prices for last month's menus. I've known that there were some things that were cheaper at Aldi than at Walmart, but I didn't realize how many, or how much cheaper. Of the 29 items that were on my list that both places had, Walmart was cheaper for 3 of them. The total cost of one each of the 29 items from each store (adjusting in a couple of cases so the quantities were the same), was $62.89 at Walmart and $53.43 at Aldi. That's a difference of $9.46. Walmart was almost 18% higher! And that's not for a cherry picked basket of food. These are the foods that were on my list before I ever looked at any prices. Of course, the brands were different in most cases, but I can't say that I've noticed any difference in quality, except that there's a lot more tuna in the Aldi cans than there is in the Walmart brand cans.
I don't know if Aldi is consistently that much cheaper, or if I just happened to hit on the right items last month. I don't think anything was on sale at either store, so the results should be similar at least for these items. It's definitely something I'll be watching in the future!
Thursday, May 02, 2013
For the month, I averaged 1660 calories per day, 127 grams of fat, 95 grams of protein, 33 total grams of carbs, 11 grams of fiber, and 22 net carbs per day. Which are all right around where I'd like them to be, though the calories could be a bit higher. I averaged just over a pound of meat per day and a pound of veggies per day.
Here are links to all of the recipes this month:
Pumpkin, Cabbage and Chicken Stew -
Best meatloaf -
Zucchini Beef Pie -
Spinach Lasagna -
Cabbage and Mackerel Salad -
Chicken Spinach Casserole (aka Spinach Chicken Bake) -
Taco Zucchini Casserole -
Pumpkin, Cabbage and Chicken Stoup -
Hamburger Soup -
Best Meatloaf -
Peanut Butter Vegetable Chicken Soup
So that's it for last "month," which used the prices that things were actually available on Wednesday of this week, since that's when I did my shopping. Next "month" will be moslty pork and chicken, since Marsh has a good sale on pork this week. 98 cents a pound for a pack that contains chops, ribs and a roast. It's a big chunk of meat that they cut up that way. They cut it themselves at the store, and I have been known to ask them to cut it differently for me, which they did. I'm not sure what would happen if I asked them to roughly bone it and then grind the meat for me. It might be worth trying sometime.
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