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Caesar Style Vegetable Salad

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)

cauliflower florets
broccoli florets
sliced carrots
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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSABBY777 5/5/2013 2:13PM

    Sounds awesome! emoticon

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Aldi vs Walmart

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOUBBIE 5/5/2013 11:53AM

    Nope. ALDI is always cheaper than other stores, except on the others' "loss leader" specials that they're selling for less than cost just to get you in the door. (I've never bought into Walmart's "cheaper than everyone else by 2 cents" advertising and I hate their personnel policies so I never shop there unless they're literally the only store for miles around.)

ALDI's is identical to COSTCO prices on some stuff, but you have the advantage of only having to buy one item instead of a whole case.

A good item at ALDI is their heavy whipping cream, which, according to the label at least, has the least amount of carbs of any of the brands I've looked at locally.

They're also starting to move into organics, at least on a trial basis.

The only thing I never buy there anymore is "fresh" meat because it's loaded with stuff.

Comment edited on: 5/5/2013 11:54:03 AM

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MYLADY4 5/5/2013 11:20AM

    Love going to Aldi's for fruit and veggies. So much better quality and prices then Walmart. Great job on checking and saving.

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BUDGETMAW 5/5/2013 7:36AM

  I think that's only on advertised prices, Nay. And probably only for the same brands. But it's definitely something to look into. Thanks for the reminder. I've never used that policy.

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NAYPOOIE 5/5/2013 2:41AM

    Doesn't walmart guarantee to match prices?

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GERARLAUR 5/4/2013 3:28PM

    excellent work checking

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Final wrap up of last month

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

Emerald 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.


Shopping list and budget and how I did

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Ok, my budget for the month (28 days) was $125, which was the average food stamps benefit received for a single person in 2011, adjusted to 28 days. Of that, I spent $124.64. And that's just how much it turned out to be. I wasn't really trying to get it that close! I have very little left over - some sunflower seeds, condiments, things like that. Here's what I bought:

From Aldi
13 doz eggs @ 1.19/doz
2 lb butter @ 2.29/lb
1 pint heavy whipping cream @ 1.99/pint
1 lb cheddar cheese @ 1.79/8 oz
1 pint sour cream @1.29/pint
8 oz mozzarella @ 1.79/8oz
5 oz parmesan @ 1.99/5 oz
4 cans tuna @ .69/can
4 cans green beans @ .49/can
2 cans tomatoes @ .59/can
1 can pumpkin @ .99/can
1 jar (30 oz) mayo @ 1.99/jar
1 jar cumin @ .99/jar
1 jar onion powder @ .99/jar
1 jar Dijon mustard @ 1.19/jar
2 lbs carrots @1.39/2 lbs
3 lbs onions @1.89/3 lbs

From Walmart
1 pint ricotta @1.94/pint
10 lbs chicken leg quarters @ 5.90/10 lbs
2 big cans mackerel @1.38/can
1 lb ham hocks @1.98/lb
1 package (12 oz) turkey franks @.98/package
2 packs (3 heads each) romaine @2.49/pack
1 head cauliflower @ 2.58/head
1 head celery @ 1.68/head
2 lbs frozen broccoli @ .98/lb
2 bags (26 oz each) frozen spinach @ 1.98/bag
1 bulb garlic (3 oz) @ 3.48/lb
5 lb cabbage @.44 /lb
1 bottle liquid splenda @ 2.98/bottle
1 lb sunflower seeds @ 2.50/lb
1 bottle vinegar @ .96/bottle
1 jar chili powder @ .50/jar
1 jar garlic powder @ .50/jar
1 jar dried parsley @ .50/jar
1 jar Italian seasoning @ .50/jar
1 can (14 oz) spaghetti sauce @ 1.00/can

From Kroger (all on sale)
6 lb ground beef @1.97/lb
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts @1.87/lb
4.5 lb zucchini @ .88/lb
1 bottle ranch dressing @1.00/bottle

And I just estimated these prices, since I haven't been to the right store to check prices -
1 T cayenne - 1.00
1 T paprika - 1.00
8 oz peanut butter - 3.00/lb (fresh ground)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAYPOOIE 5/3/2013 1:59AM

    Maw, you are a treasure.

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KICK-SS 5/1/2013 10:52PM

    Wow! I'm not patient enough to track everything like that... Good for you!!

My Mother used to do that, maybe not quite that close, but pretty detailed. Guess I had to keep detailed records of a lot of other stuff over the years, I just never did with foods and stuff..

I have all due respect tto those who have to live on such a limited food budget and am amazed at those that can make their food stamps last for the whole month, I know it's NOT easy to do. More power to them!!!!

Comment edited on: 5/1/2013 10:53:19 PM

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ZELDA13 5/1/2013 8:56PM

    Great job! I also try to stick to a reasonable budget for groceries. So far the best I've been able to do was about $5.00/day for each of us. I will take pointers from your list.


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DONDAIN 5/1/2013 8:16PM


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Week 4 Menus

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Day 22 -
Breakfast - eggs and butter
Lunch - Pumpkin, Cabbage and Chicken Stoup; devilled eggs
Supper - Zucchini Beef Pie, broccoli, drippings

Day 23 -
Breakfast - eggs and butter
Lunch - salad of chicken, egg, mayo, celery
Supper - meatloaf, broccoli, drippings

Day 24 -
Breakfast - eggs and butter
Lunch - green beans, turkey franks, onion; devilled eggs
Supper - Spinach Lasagna, romaine, dressing

Day 25 -
Breakfast - eggs and butter
Lunch - Pumpkin, Cabaage and Chicken Stoup; devilled egg
Supper - Zucchini Beef Pie, lettuce, dressing, sunflower seeds

Day 26 -
Breakfast - eggs and butter
Lunch - salad of cabbage, onion, egg, mayo
Supper - Taco Zucchini Casserole, lettuce, dressing

Day 27 -
Breakfast - eggs and butter
Lunch - salad of tuna, egg, mayo, celery
Supper - Spinach Lasagna, broccoli, drippings

Day 28 -
Breakfast - eggs and butter
Lunch - Pumpkin, Cabbage and Chicken Stoup; devilled eggs
Supper - Hamburger Soup

Average calories per day = 1693; fat = 128 grams; protein = 99 grams; total carbs = 36 grams; fiber = 11 grams; net carbs = 25 grams

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CREEKLADY1 5/1/2013 3:48PM

  Sounds good...

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