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Week 3 at May 22 - 29 Prices

Monday, May 27, 2013

Funny, last “week” I had to work to get my costs down. This week they’re lower than usual without any work on my part.

Day 15 –
Breakfast – yogurt, sour cream, flax, sunflower seeds, strawberries, cinnamon
Lunch – lettuce, eggs, ranch dressing, Basic Salad Mix
Supper – BBQ chicken, Fauxtato Salad, Coleslaw

Day 16 –
Breakfast – eggs, butter
Lunch – Cream of Spinach Soup
Supper – Hamburger Barley Soup

Day 17 –
Breakfast – yogurt, sour cream, flax, sunflower seeds, strawberries, cinnamon
Lunch – Cabbage Salad (leftover coleslaw with eggs and cheddar cheese)
Supper – jumbo franks, Fauxtato Salad

Day 18 –
Breakfast – eggs, butter
Lunch – salad of tuna, celery, egg, mayo, sunflower seeds, Basic Salad Mix
Supper – BBQ chicken, green beans

Day 19 –
Breakfast – yogurt, sour cream, flax, sunflower seeds, strawberries, cinnamon
Lunch – cheese omelet, salad of romaine, ranch dressing, Basic Salad Mix
Supper – Pumpkin, Spinach & Hamburger Casserole, salad of lettuce, Italian dressing, Basic Salad Mix

Day 20 –
Breakfast – eggs, butter
Lunch – salad of lettuce, chicken, egg, Italian dressing & mayo, sunflower seeds
Supper – Hamburger Barley Soup

Day 21 –
Breakfast – yogurt, sour cream, flax, sunflower seeds, strawberries, cinnamon
Lunch – salad of lettuce, eggs, ranch dressing, Basic Salad Mix, sunflower seeds
Supper – stir fry of BBQ chicken, extra BBQ sauce, cabbage, onion, carrot and oil

Total cost of food eaten was $22.23, or an average of $3.18 per day.

Average daily calories were 1790, fat was 135 grams, protein was 90 grams, total carbs was 54 grams, fiber was 17 grams, and net carbs averaged 37 per day.

Links to recipes -

Ranch Dressing (Thanks, Faith!) -

  


Week 2 at May 23 - 29 prices

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 8 –
Breakfast – eggs, butter
Lunch – Cabbage & Mackerel Salad
Supper - Pumpkin, Spinach & Hamburger Casserole, lettuce, Basic Salad Mix, Italian dressing

Day 9 –
Breakfast – yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, strawberries, sour cream, cinnamon
Lunch – salad of cauliflower, eggs, homemade ranch dressing, sunflower seeds
Supper – roasted chicken leg, Broccoli Casserole, lettuce, ranch dressing

Day 10 -
Breakfast – eggs, butter
Lunch – salad of lettuce, chicken, egg, homemade Italian dressing, mayo, sunflower seeds
Supper - Pumpkin, Spinach & Hamburger Casserole, lettuce, Basic Salad Mix, Italian dressing

Day 11 –
Breakfast – yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, strawberries, sour cream, cinnamon
Lunch – cream of spinach soup, devilled eggs
Supper – Cherokee Pork Chili

Day 12 –
Breakfast – eggs, butter
Lunch – salad of celery, tuna, egg, mayo, sunflower seeds, Basic Salad Mix
Supper - jumbo franks, green beans, onion, drippings

Day 13 –
Breakfast – yogurt, flax, sunflower seeds, strawberries, sour cream, cinnamon
Lunch – cheese omelet, lettuce, Basic Salad Mix, ranch dressing
Supper – Cherokee Pork Chili

Day 14 –
Breakfast – eggs, butter
Lunch – cream of broccoli soup
Supper – Dump Sticky Chicken, fried cauli-rice

Cost of food eaten for the week was $22.70, or an average of $3.24 per day.

Average calories per day = 1755, fat = 133 grams, protein = 97 grams, total carbs = 44 grams, fiber = 16 grams, net carbs = 28 per day.

Here are links to the recipes -

Italian Dressing - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2376817


Cabbage Mackerel Salad - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recip
e-detail.asp?recipe=2457505


Cherokee Pork Chili - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2376817


Broccoli Casserole - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2493780


Ranch Dressing (Thanks, Faith!) - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2495088


Pumpkin, Spinach & Hamburger Casserole - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2495070

  


The $21 Challenge

Sunday, May 26, 2013

No, this isn't another challenge here on SP. It's a book I got at the library yesterday. I wrote about it a bit in my last post, but I hadn't looked at the recipes yet. I couldn't believe it when I did look at them! I mark the ones that look promising, and ended up marking most of them. A lot of them aren't recipes (though they are mostly written that way) as much as they are templates for using up whatever you happen to have on hand. Take a look at it if you get a chance, for both the budget advice and the recipes.

  
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The Destitute Gourmet

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Here are a couple more links to eating well on the cheap. Not specifically low carb, but most of the basic ideas can be adapted.

The Destitute Gourment - www.destitutegourmet.com/spend-less/
money-saving-tips/


Simple Saving - www.simplesavings.net/

The $21 Challenge - www.simplesavings.net/21dollarchalle
nge/


I checked out the book The $21 Challenge at the library yesterday, and it has some good stuff in it. It's pretty much what I already do for purposes of this blog. I do my menus for the first three weeks, based on what's on sale that week and what's not on sale but reasonably cheap. My menu sheet includes the cost of everything I eat. My excel workbook includes a price list of everything I buy, including things on sale and not on sale, and also a sheet of pared down recipe info with prices. So I know how much a serving of whatever is when I put it on the menu sheet. I try to keep the cost of each day's food below $3.50, and as you've read in the weekly menu posts, they usually average around $3.20 - $3.40. This keeps my costs fairly reasonable. What it doesn't address, though, is what I actually spend. It's the staples that make this Challenge so challenging.

The way I set up this Challenge for myself, I start over each month with absolutely zilch. My purpose was to see whether I could plan a month's menus that cost no more than the average food stamp benefit received in Indiana per person in 2011. That comes out to $125 for 28 days. (It's easier to do 28 days than to fiddle with those extra days each month, so I scaled back the actual benefit accordingly.) This means that each month I have to buy the staples like a bottle of oil, and spices, and a jar of mustard and things like that that would really last for months or, in the case of a bottle of vanilla extract or worchestershire sauce, years. And these things usually run $15 - $25 per month or so, which I'd much rather be spending on more meat and veggies. But the "rules" are the rules, and so it goes. If I were following these menus in real life I would take the money that I didn't spend the second and third, etc. months on the staples and stock up on great bargains and use the rest to add more salads and other veggies. $10 a month would really help in that department.

So back to how I do this and how that relates to the $21 Challenge. I've just "bought" food for the first three weeks, keeping the cost of my meals to around $3.30 or so per day, but not keeping track of what I "spend." Once I've posted them here on the blog, they're done. I can't go back and change them. Before doing the Week 4 menus, I make up my shopping list for the month, recording everything I purchased, how much of it I used, and how much I have leftover to use on the Week 4 menus. So I might have a few servings of something I made for an earlier week, or half a head of celery, or a few chicken legs, or whatever. And I know what herbs and spices and seasonings I have on hand, how much butter and eggs and cheese and mayo, etc. And how much money I have left to spend for the week. This is the part that is similar to the $21 Challenge. Then I make up menus for Week 4, using up what I can of what I have left, and limiting my spending to whatever money I have left. Week 4 gets to be very challenging! It seems like I have quite a bit of food leftover to use, but it doesn't necessarily make a week's worth of meals. That's where I have to get creative. It's challenging, but fun.

Anyway, that's how I do my menus for this Challenge. For Weeks 1, 2 and 3, I make out my menus one week at a time, making sure that the cost of the meals is within my limit. Then I enter them into the Food Tracker here at SP and make sure that they fit within my nutritional limits, adding or moving around as needed, and still keeping my costs where I want them. Then the real work of the challenge is in Week 4, when I really work hard to use up what's on hand.

Just thought I'd tell you how I do it, in case you're interested. Or even if you're not!

  


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
l.asp?recipe=2457505


Broccoli Casserole - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2493780


Dump Sticky Chicken - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2485044


Cherokee Pork Chili - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2376817


Italian Salad Dressing - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2492923


  


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