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First week at May 22 - 29 prices

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My menus for the first week of the month at May 23 – 29 prices. They are in my food tracker as the month of May 2010.

To add more variety to my salads, I made a Basic Salad Mix. This is whatever combination of veggies is reasonably priced and you feel like cutting up. Make up enough to last for a few days. It’s a lot easier than cutting up 2 tablespoons of pepper and a fourth of a carrot and so on each time you want a salad. Save the lettuce, though, to add right before you eat.

Basic Salad Mix –

1/2 cucumber
1/2 green pepper
2 carrots
100 g cauliflower

6 servings, about 1/2 cup each. Enough to add to one to two cups of lettuce.

Day 1 –
Breakfast – homemade yogurt, sour cream, flax, sunflower seeds, strawberries
Lunch – lettuce of salad, tuna, egg, homemade dressing, sunflower seeds, Basic Salad Mix
Supper – chicken skins, Broccoli Casserole

Day 2 –
Breakfast – eggs cooked in butter
Lunch – salad of cabbage, carrot, mayo, mustard, splenda, eggs, sunflower seeds, onion
Supper –Dump Sticky Chicken, fried cauli-rice

Day 3 –
Breakfast – barley, butter, half and half (less than half the cost of heavy whipping cream), splenda, strawberries
Lunch – salad of Dump Sticky Chicken w/sauce, celery, mayo
Supper – roasted chicken leg, Broccoli Casserole, lettuce with homemade dressing

Day 4 –
Breakfast - homemade yogurt, sour cream, flax, sunflower seeds, strawberries
Lunch – salad of cauliflower, eggs, homemade Italian dressing, sour cream, sunflower seeds, mustard
Supper – Cherokee Pork Chili

Day 5 –
Breakfast – eggs cooked in butter
Lunch – cheese omelet; salad of lettuce, Basic Salad Mix, homemade dressing
Supper – Dump Sticky Chicken, fried cabbage

Day 6 –
Breakfast – eggs cooked in butter
Lunch – salad of lettuce, Basic Salad Mix, chicken, egg, sunflower seeds, homemade dressing
Supper – jumbo franks, green beans, onion, drippings

Day 7 –
Breakfast – homemade yogurt, sour cream, flaxmeal, sunflower seeds, strawberries
Lunch – Cabbage Mackerel Salad
Supper – Cherokee Pork Chili

The food actually eaten this week comes to about $22.52, or about $3.22 per day. For this, I got an average of 1738 calories per day, 123 grams of fat, 100 grams of protein, 56 grams of total carbs, 19 grams of fiber, and 37 net carbs per day.

Here are links to the recipes. Have I told you recently that I haven’t tried all of the recipes? Some of them I have, but not all. (I would probably have tried most of them as I'm putting them in menus here, but I have been on a very restricted diet lately, and so I can't have most of them. The most restrictive thing has been no dairy. I want my cheese!) Several come more or less directly from cookbooks or the internet, though I have mostly done some tweaking so that they are cheaper, lower carb, and/or so I’m not completely plagiarizing them. I’ve never been sure just how much you need to change a recipe to make it your own, which is why I don't make my recipes public. But I do try to give attribution whenever I can. Occasionally, though, I’ll have a recipe that I copied down, usually years and years ago, without saying where I got it from.

Cabbage and Mackerel Salad - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai

Broccoli Casserole - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai

Dump Sticky Chicken - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai

Cherokee Pork Chili - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai

Italian Salad Dressing - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai


Salad to Go

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Salads are so convenient to take for lunch or any time you need to eat away from home and don't want to eat out. But lettuce gets so yucky if you put the dressing on before you leave home! Of course, you can carry the dressing with you, but that means another dish to wash and most of the dressing seems to stay in the container and anyway, other ingredients do the same thing to lettuce.

My solution is to make salads of veggies other than lettuce. Mostly celery and cauliflower, though, as Faith commented yesterday, you can make a great salad out of broccoli, too. Here are a few of my favorites. They carry well and are quick and easy to make, too.

Sliced celery, tuna, hardboiled egg, mayo. Cherry tomatoes cut in half are a nice addition, as are sunflower seeds. You can add some chopped cucumber and/or carrot, or a bit of sweetner if you like.

Ditto using chicken instead of tuna. Try it with sliced or slivered almonds instead of sunflower seeds, and I'd skip the cucumber.

Cauliflower, eggs, mayo, curry powder. Some sunflower seeds would be good in this, too. Or chopped nuts.

Ditto, using ranch dressing instead of the mayo and curry powder. Or any other dressing, I suppose.

Celery, chicken, mayo, lemon juice (optional), hoisin or terriyaki sauce. The hoisin and terriyaki are high in carbs, so use them sparingly. Or you can make your own sort of sauce from mayo, soy sauce, mustard, sweetner, and five spice powder and/or ginger.

Celery, cauliflower, diced pork, mayo, mustard.

Broccoli, onion, mayo, sweetner, and a meat such as cooked and crumbled bacon or sliced hot dogs or polish sausage or something like that. Watch the carbs on the processed meat. Add cheese, too, if you like. And/or sunflower seeds. (Thanks, Faith!)

Cabbage, onion, mayo, mustard, lemon juice (optional), sweetner (optional - use a bit if you use lemon juice), hardboiled egg and/or cheese and/or meat such as ham, bacon, diced hot dog or polish sausage. Again, sunflower seeds are good in this.

Greek Salad (for the summer when the veggies are cheap at the Farmers Market) - cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, a bit of onion (optional), olives (optional - ugh!, but good for you), olive oil, wine vinegar, feta cheese

Any kind of leftover meat, ground or chopped or diced (little pieces anyway, smaller than bite-size), with mayo and probably mustard. Maybe some dill pickle and a bit of sweetner. Possibly a tiny bit of onion. Think Chicken Salad Sandwich, or Tuna Salad Sandwich, or Egg Salad Sandwich. Just leave off the bread. You can put any of these in a celery salad, or just eat the meat salad without the extra veggies. Or take some celery sticks to use as scoops, or cucumber slices (but be sure to take some extra napkins) or maybe some lettuce leaves to use as wraps, though I always find these are really messy.

Or you can make up your own combination. Cauliflower, broccoli, cheese. Chicken, cauliflower, bacon. Whatever. Just use a "hard" veggie like cauliflower, celery or broccoli instead of something that wilts, like lettuce.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIM--POSSIBLE 5/26/2013 4:00PM

    I don't use dressing (have never liked it!), but my girls found a squeeze-type container to put it in for lettuce-based salads. Then they just use a carrot or celery stick to swipe out what is left!

Good ideas for alternatives!

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LIVINMYDREAMS 5/25/2013 2:15PM

    What I love to use especially for tuna or chicken salad is pork rinds as my "cracker" or scoop and it gives me the crunch that I love!

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PICKIE98 5/25/2013 8:23AM

    I have never put my salad dressing in another cup. I use a ziploc sandwich bag!

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LATTELEE 5/25/2013 7:49AM


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HANDYV 5/25/2013 7:38AM

    Wow, some great salad ideas. Gonna have to try a couple. Great combinations.

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May 23 - 29 Prices

Friday, May 24, 2013

Another week without any great bargains in either protein or veggies. Sigh. Lots of chicken and eggs again this month. Here's the best of what's out there this week.

Kroger -
boneless pork loin hald - $1.77/lb
pork spareribs - $1.47/lb
whole pork shoulder - $1.59/lb
assorted cheeses - $1.99/ pack, 6 - 8 oz each
cream cheese - $1.00/8 oz
sour cream - $1.00/8 oz
green beans - 99 cents/lb
tomatoes-on-the-vine - $1.99/lb
whole seedless watermelon - $3.97/lb (about 10-12 lbs each)
salad dressings - $1.50 each, 12 -16 oz each

March -
country style pork ribs (from the loin) - $1.99/lb
pork shoulder steaks - $1.99/lb
pork spareribs - $1.79/lb
western style pork ribs (from the shoulder) - $1.79/lb
assorted cheeses (6-8 oz each) - $2.00
ricotta - $3.50/30 oz
mushrooms - $1.67/8 oz
"ripe" tomatoes - $1.69/lb
watermelon, half or quarter - 59 cents/lb
whole seedless watermelon (10-12 lbs) - $3.99 each
salad dressings (12-16 oz) - $1.88 each

Aldi -
frozen broccoli spears - 85 cents/lb
strawberries - 99 cents per lb
sweet onions - 99 cents/2lbs (cheaper than the yellow onions!)
dill pickle chips - $1.69/32 oz
dill pickle spears - $1.69/24 oz
steak sauce (A-1 knock-off) - 99 cents/10 oz
vlasic dills - $1.98/24 oz

My plan for the "month" is focus on sides. I've been in a real rut with them, though as I recall our veggies when I was growing up tended to be peas, corn, green beans, baked beans, and mixed veggies. And salads were usually coleslaw, carrot and raison salad, or tossed salad. Not a lot of variety, there, either. Maybe it's the fact that I'm putting together 28 days' worth of menus every week that makes it seem like there's not much variety there.

The other thing that I'm going to try to do is to have at least 8 meals (either lunch or supper) each of pork, beef, fish, and chicken. Mostly chicken, since the leg quarters are always fairly cheap. Again, I'm aiming for variety. The beef is going to be the trickiest.

So, that's the plan for the month. I'd better get to it! It's Friday already.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUDGETMAW 5/24/2013 4:52PM

  I make a salad like that, Faith, in my real life. Unfortunately, it's too expensive for this challenge. At least, it would be for a main dish salad, where that's all I have for the meal, which is how I usually have it. Hadn't thought about it as a side dish. Hmmmmm...

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NAYPOOIE 5/24/2013 3:16PM

    According to AB, you can make slaw out of most anything.

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LIVINMYDREAMS 5/24/2013 12:57PM

    Hey Maw, I saw a recipe recently for broccoli salad that had broccoli, bacon, mayo and artificial sweetener and maybe vinegar. You could also add red onion, sunflower seeds etc, I thought of that when reading your blog.

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Homemade salad dressings

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Here are links to a few of my favorite homemade salad dressings. Organic cold expeller pressed extra virgin olive oil is, of course, the healthiest, and also by far the most expensive. Use pure olive oil instead to keep the cost down, but don't use canola, safflower, corn, vegetable, sunflower, or other similar oils. Olive oil solidifies in the fridge, so you might need to bring out the dressing a bit before you plan to serve it to give it a time to liquify. If you put it in an old salad dressing bottle or something narrow like that, it will liquify sooner than if it is in a pint jar.

Andi's Greek Salad Dressing - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai

Italian Salad Dressing - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai

Vinaigrette Mayo Salad Dressing - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai

Ginger, Soy and Sesame Marinade and Dressing - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai

I wish I could find a homemade ranch dressing that I like. I've tried several, but they just don't taste right. I guess they don't have the right chemicals and preservatives.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIET_FRIEND 5/24/2013 12:02PM

    I have never had homemade ranch dressing. It would be nice to have a good recipe for it as it is one of the most popular flavors.

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BUDGETMAW 5/23/2013 5:10PM

  Thanks, Faith.

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AVONWITHJENN 5/23/2013 1:23PM

    Yummy! TFS! emoticon

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LIVINMYDREAMS 5/23/2013 11:48AM

    For a ranch type dressing or dip I mix mayo and sour cream some onion powder, garlic powder and a bit of dried parsley flakes. Not bad but kind of thick. I suppose you could thin it down somehow. But I really like the taste.

Comment edited on: 5/24/2013 12:58:50 PM

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MYBULLDOGS 5/23/2013 10:04AM

    emoticon for the recipies

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Shopping list for May 16 - 22 prices

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

For this 28 day month, I bought the following. Almost everything is used up, except of course for things like vinegar and other condiments, herbs and spices, and lettuce.

2 pound bag of catfish nuggets @ $4.98/bag
2 lbs b/s chicken breast @$1.65/lb**
2 10-lb bags chicken leg quarters @ $5.90 per bag
2 lbs sausage @ $2.00 per lb

2 lbs butter @ $1.50/lb**
3 8-oz blocks of cheddar @ $1.79/block
1 qt heavy whipping cream @ $3.86/qt
1 8-oz block cream cheese @ $1.29/block
8 dozen eggs @$1.00/dozen**
3 8-oz blocks Mozzarella @$1.79/block
1 pint sour cream @ $1.29/pint
1 qt yogurt at $2.48/qt

4 lbs cabbage @ 57 cents per lb (ridiculous price!)
1 2-pound bag carrots @ 1.29/bag
1 head cauliflower @ $2.58/head
1 cucumber @ 68 cents each
4 1-lb bags frozen broccoli @ 85 cents per bag**
1 1-lb bag frozen cauliflower @ $1.38/bag
1 26-oz bag frozen spinach @ $1.98/bag
1 head garlic @ $3.86/lb
2 3-packs romaine lettuce @ $2.49/lb
1 3-lb bag onions @$1.89/bag
2 lbs strawberries @ 99 cents per lb**
1/3 lb sweet potato @ $1.00/lb (guess)
1.5 lb zucchini @ 97 cents per lb**

1 can baking powder @ $1.25/can (guess)
1 can mackerel @ $1.38/can
1 jar s/f maple syrup @ $3.50/jar
1 30-oz jar mayo $ $1.99/jar
1 jar Dijon mustard @ $1.29/jar
1 bottle pure olive oil $2.68/bottle
1 can pizza sauce @ 99 cents per can
2 bottles ranch dressing @ $1.39/bottle
Salt and pepper pack @ $1.29/pack
Smallest bottle soy sauce @ $3.00 per bottle (guess)
1 bottle liquid splenda @ $2.98/bottle
1 can tomato sauce @ 29 cents per can
1 can tomatoes @ 59 cents per can
3 cans tuna @ 69 cents per can
1 bottle vanilla extract @ $1.99/bottle
1 bottle vinegar @ 96 cents per bottle
1 bottle Worcestershire sauce @ $1.99/bottle (guess)

1 lb barley @ $2.00/lb (guess)
Tad bit of bay leaves - $1.00 (guess)
Tad bit of Cajun seasoning - $1.00 (guess)
Tad bit of curry powder - $1.00 (guess)
Tad bit of cayenne - $1.00 (guess)
1 jar of cinnamon @ 50 cents/jar
2 oz coconut flour @ $10.00/lb (guess)
8 oz flax seed @$1.99/lb
2 oz grind-your-own peanut butter @ $3.39/lb
1 lb sunflower seeds @ $2.50/lb

Total cost of food purchased - $123.51.

An average of 21 ounces of meat/cheese/eggs per day and 15 oz of vegetables. These weights are as purchased, so the weight of the chicken leg quarters, for example, includes the weight of the bones, but the boneless skinless chicken breasts do not. Cheese is counted as 1 ounce of meat per ounce of cheese. Yogurt is 1 ounce of meat for each cup of yogurt. Eggs are counted as 1 ounce of meat per egg.


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