Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Week 2 of the 50 Buck Challenge


Started the week with 2 heads of lettuce, 4 cucumbers, 1 pound green beans (from the garden), 2 tomatoes, 2 avocados, 2 lb. carrots, 1 red pepper, 1 bell pepper, 3 limes, 1 lemon, 1/2 lb. frozen grapes, 4 bananas, 1 qt (ish) chocolate milk, 3 qt (ish) 2% milk, 3/4 c. very thick kefir, 1/2 lb. (ish) cooked chicken, plus various condiments, and pantry staples. About 6 cups of coffee left and no decent coffee sales so I guess I get to buy another 6 ounce bag of crappy coffee from Dollar Tree. (So glad we are going to the lake place this weekend. I have good coffee in the freezer there!
(Turns out this coffee is so bad I didn't drink enough to have to go buy more gross coffee)

(This is not the current Aldi ad. It is just a photo of one I snagged from their file photos)

Piggly Wiggly  
Ground beef  @ 2.99 lb* 1/2 lb 1.50
spaghetti sauce, canned .99
brownie mix .99
oatmeal cookie mix.99

Hamburger buns  1.39
Chocolate milk 1.79
lemonade mix 1.49 (for the lake place)
pasta bogo 2 for 1.59

green beans .98 lb. *                      

Portabella mushroom caps 1.98        
Sugar * 1.69                                              
Flour 1.79
Cheese slices 1.79 , c
Confectioners sugar 2 lb. 1.29
Brown sugar 2 lb. 1.29
Graham cracker pie crust .99
8 oz cream cheese 1.29
lemon juice 1.99.
Monteray jack cheese 1.69
black beans* .99
canned biscuits .48x2 .96

Farm Stand near lake place
Tomatoes (medium box) 4.00
corn 2.50

Purchased BBQ Ribs
2 lbs ribs plus baked beans 10.00

Spring Creek Grocery (overpriced lakeside store. Yes I caved!)
Vanilla ice cream 4.00
tortilla chips 1.99

Total for the week was 50.18 so I was technically 18 cents over                          

The Meals:
TheHub eats the same things every weekday morning: a glass of chocolate milk, cereal and a banana
I cook breakfast only on weekends.  The following are my weekday breakfasts
Wednesday, coffee and toast.
Thursday coffee and toast
Friday: Busy cooking for the weekend so just coffee
Saturday: Mushroom and onion omelette, cheap Aldi canned biscuits, coffee
Sunday: TheHub had 2 eggs over easy and Aldi cheap canned biscuits.  I had the biscuits and sliced tomatoes, coffee (I still had good coffee at the lake place!)
Monday: Slightly stale cereal, coffee
Tuesday: Glass of milk (I don't like milk but it is going to ruin so I am drinking it) toast, bad Dollar Tree coffee

TheHub eats out at lunch each weekday (see earlier post ) I eat lunch at home, so these are my lunches for the weekdays. I tend to eat whatever is leftover and rarely plan anything in advance.
Wednesday: Sliced avocado, slice of cheese, plum (leftover from a week and a half ago, yeah it was overly soft)
Thursday: I volunteered at IP and they were having a birthday party for one of the participants. They force fed (yeah, right) me a slice of pizza, Mountain Dew, and a cupcake.  Happy Birthday, Michael and thanks for sharing!
Friday: Leftover, leftovers (the buffalo chicken stuff rolled in a lettuce leaf)
Saturday: Black bean hummus with pita, kefir dip with cucumbers and carrots, cheese slices 
Sunday: TheHub had a cheese sandwich with tomato and onion and the leftover kefir dip and veggies. I had a salad with tomatoes and cucumbers plus the hummus that was left.
Monday: TheHub had leftovers, ribs, corn on the cob and baked beans.  I had a salad and baked beans
Tuesday: Leftover, leftover, leftovers The last of the buffalo chicken stuff and a slice of cheese

We normally eat out at least once a week, so this is very different for us. I don't mind cooking but I am not sure I like this every day cooking thing. Iced tea is brewed daily and I make our dressing for all salads using olive oil, red wine vinegar and Cavanders Greek seasoning. Corn bread is whipped up from scratch using kefir (I hate to call it homemade since it makes itself) instead of buttermilk.  I also use thickened kefir (let it hang out on the counter an extra few hours ) as a substitute for sour cream. I am not a big soft drink drinker so not buying those is pretty easy for me, but I do make Kombucha weekly so I have that available if I need something bubbly to drink. I don't know how to easily ship a scoby from the kombucha, but if anyone wants a kefir starter I can dry the grains and ship them when the weather is cool.  Let me know if you are interested in a start. If you want a scoby starter from the kombucha and you are going to be traveling through Birmingham let me know. I have a new one just about every week.

I will also admit that we have a glass of wine just about every night, but that is in a totally separate budget.  Any mixers (like limes) come from the regular food budget.  I am really hoping Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale will be on sale this week because I am craving a Moscow Mule.

Wednesday: pasta salad of pasta, carrots, tomatoes, bell pepper, onions, and leftover broccoli bits. Oil and vinegar dressing
Thursday: Buffalo chicken sandwiches on buns (using leftover cooked chicken padded with red sweet pepper and lots of onions ) leftover broccoli, and sautéed mushrooms
Friday: corn on the cob, green beans, sliced tomatoes onion cucumbers. cornbread,  and peanut butter pie
Saturday: Baked ziti, ( Using canned spaghetti sauce that I seasoned, onions, broccoli stalks, cooked and shredded, diced zucchini, mushrooms, a little under 1/2 pound ground beef and 8 ounces of monteray jack cheese) tossed salad, garlic toast made from leftover hamburger buns.  Brownies and ice cream for dessert
Sunday: BBQ ribs, baked beans, corn on the cob, cucumbers, sliced tomatoes. Oatmeal cookie mix made into bars topped with ice cream. And yes I see 3 desserts the same weekend. It was Labor Day and we were at the lake.  Enjoying the holiday, now back to real life!
Monday: Grilled portabella's on buns with cheese, tomatoes, onions and lettuce
Tuesday: Leftovers frozen chicken tetrazzini (from last week) with salad

Snack foods: TheHub had a breakfast meeting 2 days so he didn't eat those bananas.  They got a little soft so I made a very simple banana muffin recipe.  Hummus, pita, dips and veggies were snacks, as well as some air popped popcorn (I have 2 jars of it in the pantry). I also ate frozen grapes from last week and a couple of very, very ripe plum from a couple of weeks ago. And don't forget the brownies and the oatmeal bars.

I am very thankful that TheHub grew up like I did having vegetable dinners many summer nights. There is never any issue having vegetarian meals as long as they taste good.  I know a lot of my friends would not be so lucky, so thank you Nana (MIL) for creating a man who understands a good meal can be meatless. Also thank you Nana for teaching me the correct way to cook peas and fry okra!

This week I am out of all fruit, except for 1 lime and a lemon. I am out of butter, cornmeal and eggs. I will need to get more milk, cheese, and vegetables.  No idea what I will do for proteins this week. Tomorrow's food ads will dictate my shopping and meal plans.  TheHub did request another pasta salad night and that is a no brainer and easy yes!

Going forward I have enough okra right now for another meal but I'm not sure if I will get any more from the plants, they seem to not be flowering much. I have enough green beans on the vines for at least on more meal but they are not flowering much either. I have 3/4 head of lettuce left, 2 eggs, 1 lime, 1 lemon, some carrots, and that is about it. I do have about a quart of milk that is about to ruin and I will have to come up with something to do with it.  The current food ads will be out by the time I post this.  I am hoping for at least 1 stellar meat sale and hopefully a great buy on coffee.  This Dollar Tree crap is really bad.  The upside? 2 cups is my absolute maximum and most days I am just drinking 1 (muttered the 4-5 cups a day woman).

* Things I had on hand either in the pantry or in the freezer.  The price I assigned it is the price I found in the stores or food ads for the week


  1. Use the milk for buttermilk substitute. You could freeze it until you need buttermilk. Put lemon juice or vinegar in the milk to make it buttermilk.
    Will your husband use it for chocolate milk or over cereal?

    Vegetable dinners in the summer are delicious!

    1. He only likes premade chocolate milk and it has to be 2%. He does not put the chocolate milk over cereal, he drinks it every morning while he eats his cereal.

      I think I am going to whip up some pudding for tonight since I am going to Aldi in a few minutes and will buy another gallon of milk. Usually I keep kefir going which requires fresh milk daily but we were going to the lake for Labor Day so I have it resting in the fridge. I will use a cup to restart it then use the rest for pudding

  2. You are doing great. I honestly, don't think that I could be this organized or cook as much as you. Den went fishing and made a bunch of leftovers. He said that he put them on top of my liquor. LOL. He either thinks that I am going to starve or he feels guilty that he is getting a vacation and I am not.

    1. I can understand his guilt! He is having fun while you are at home. Funny about his leftover placement!

      I am doing fine, kind of. This takes way more planning than I usually give to meal plans. I am more of a spur of the moment throw something on the grill guy and this takes advanced thought. I am not good at thinking ahead of time.

  3. On Friday, I assume there is a comma missing or did you make cornbread peanut butter pie. I know you like to be creative, so I wasn't sure. :)

    1. I did a double take when I read that. I was going to ask the same thing. "cornbread peanut butter pie." It is either delicious or gross, no in between on that one. Okay, add a little chocolate.

  4. comma,,,, Though who knows? I might give it a whirl sometime

  5. Super impressive.
    As a vegetarian I share the house (and my life) with someone who believes that a meal HAS to have meat. Sigh.
    Like my brothers he believes that vegies are the garnish you put on the plate to make the meat look (even) better. Double sigh.

    1. We eat vegetable meals at least twice a week just because. When I was a kid we ate vegetables dinners every summer night except Fridays when we grilled burgers or a steak. I was pretty old before I realized every family did not go to the farmer's market and buy stuff by the bushel every week.

    2. I don't know how you do it! I could be vegetarian (or at least much more so than I am now) but people here want meat and two meals is just a pain.
      Kudos to you

    3. I don't want to be a total vegetarian (I was for about 3 years though) but I am mostly meat indifferent and use it primarily to flavor other foods. However, there are times when I just want a big hunk of something.

  6. When I saw you shopped at Aldi, I got excited that there might be a store near me, but alas, the closest one is in Tuscaloosa. Darn!

  7. Maybe one will come to Mobile soon. I have a love hate relationship with Aldi. I love their prices but they don't ever seem to have enough in stock and are always out of something I went specifically to buy.