Project: Food Budget Week 16

Food Budget Piggybank

We spent $0 this week on food. Didn’t eat out, didn’t shop, didn’t go to Costco.

And, obviously, we didn’t starve.

We ate much of what I had said I was going to prepare last week: black beans and rice, roasted cabbage (that’s all me), roasted beets (only one family member, my 7yo daughter, does NOT like beets), vegetarian chili and mashed potatoes, and baked oatmeal (finally! It was good. I’m going to play around with it). Additionally, I made a delicious broccoli cheese bake that pleased me because it was tasty and I used up food instead of wasting it. I’m getting *much* better at that.

Although still not perfect. See: kale from two weeks ago. Forgot I had it, and never incorporated it into a meal plan.

Now, also obviously, eating in and packing lunches has put a huge dent in our pantry and freezer supplies. This week I am setting the budget for grocery shopping high. I need staples (from beans to butter) as well as some specialty menu items. I haven’t made the list yet (or the whole menu) because I pick up my CSA box tonight, and I need to see what’s in it.

I’m debating the Costco trip this week, too. I better evaluate what I have for lunches, and go from there.

Grocery: $400
CSA: $134 — this is higher than usual because we were offered local, grass fed beef. Even though I am a vegetarian, my husband is not. It’s a 20 pound lot that I am splitting three ways (with two other households). I’ll be curious to see what Dan thinks about the taste of it!
Costco: $50
Eating out: $50

Baked Oatmeal
Adapted from this recipe on

4 cups milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups chopped, peeled apples
1 cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan heat milk, brown sugar, butter, salt, and cinnamon. Add remaining ingredients; mix gently. Spoon into a greased 2-quart casserole. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.

This made *too much*, and that’s saying something for my oatmeal-loving family. I’ll make it again, only half the amount.

Partial menu:

Vegetarian Haluski (Cabbage and Noodles)
Lentil Stew
Beet Soup with Creme Fraiche


Let’s see how everyone else did!

* Emily Levenson
* Dairy-Free Cooking
* Test Kitchen Tuesday
* Acquired Tastes
* Fit Flexitarian
* Warm As Pie
* Katy Rank Lev
* My Inner Healthy
* Little Blue Hen
* xox, b
* What da Health?
* Project Food Budget 2.0
* A Nice Heart and a White Suit
* Fresh…A New Chapter
* Chandeleah
* Two Eggs Over Easy
* That’s Just Me
* Eat Whole Be Vital
* Four Happy Violets
* Naturally {Un}refined
* Pgh Dad
* yogabeautylife
* Charmingly Modern
* NaMAMAste

14 thoughts on “Project: Food Budget Week 16

  1. Do you like Indian food? I have a recipe for Dal (lentils) that’s vegetarian and very tasty. I can send it to you if you want!

    • Send it! I LOVE Indian food. one of the things I miss most since moving to the ‘burbs is a good Indian restaurant. This reminds me: curry and cumin have to go on my list for this week. I’m all out!

    • I guess I think cabbage and noodles is made with pork? Remember, i’m not Polish. 🙂 I usually add vegetarian “sauage” links to the cabbage and noodles, and we eat it that way. I should say *I* eat it that way; my kids eat buttered noodles and the links separately. No one in my house likes cabbage except me. I get a head every two weeks from my CSA. Someday, my kids will come around! It’s too late for Dan. More for ME!

      • I’ve never had it made with pork, just served with a pork product of some kind. Semantics, yes, but I still think of it as a vegetarian dish if you eat it by itself!

        When I was a kid I had no idea there was cabbage in it. My mom told me it was noodles and onions. I was sort of dumb.

  2. Wow, that is excellent!!! Bravo bravo!!!

    On a side note, I usually always bake my grains. I find it’s easier than stove top, since I don’t have to baby sit it. I just throw it in a 2qt cast iron dutch oven.

    I always “steam” my grains after cooking too, taking it off heat, and covering for a few minutes.

    Good luck next week!

    • We have a rice steamer (Dan bought it “for the house” last Christmas) so we usually use that for rice. I don’t think — aside from this week’s experiment with baked oatmeal — I’ve baked grains to cook them. That’s interesting. Does it take longer?

      • I think it’s about the same time. I bet you could cook grains nicely in your rice cooker. I’d love to get one of those someday.

        I cook beans that way too, along with a lot of soups and sauces. Haha I’m different. Do t k ow if I’m right or wrong or just lazy. Lol

  3. Way to go lady! I’d say you had a winning week.

    And the baked oatmeal sounds tasty. Big pats on the back for finally making it!!

  4. Gotta love those weeks when you just use up what you already have – way to go!!

    I had baked oatmeal on my plan for last week but never got around to it. I’ll have to try it this upcoming week, your recipe sounds great! I’ll probably cut it in half because I’d just be making it for 2 people.“

    • I need to cut the recipe in half, and that’s with five people!

      I’ve used up so much, though, that now I need huge shopping trip. I struggled to feed the family last night. Thank goodness for leftovers and frozen pizza!

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