Summer Plan Update

I decided to switch this post from Friday to Saturday. Not for any real reason, but just because I felt like it. Keeps y'all on your toes and all. ;)

It's been a weird week, food-wise, for me. Lots of "leftovers" to get through. I had taken some beef barley soup out of the freezer to eat, and it was WAY more food than I thought was in one bag. So that took a couple days to eat. Plus, I made a great deal of pasta with meat sauce when I had guests over, which resulted in lots of leftovers of that to eat as well (waa. Woe is me). So I think I cooked a little less than I'd intended this week, since some of my eating this week was all about NOT wasting food. Despite cooking less than I'd intended, I discovered that pita nachos are far, far more fabulous than regular nachos (not to mention a good way to use up stale pita). So that's a plus.

I also discovered I've lost my taste for lox. This makes me sad. I've eaten it my entire life, and now I just don't like it anymore. It tastes exactly the same as it always has, so this is definitely me and not the lox. My mom told me that she stopped liking lox when she was 35, which I hadn't known, so maybe our taste buds really do just change in funny ways as we age. However, Francis was kind enough to help me not waste all those eggs I made. They made excellent treats for him. I wish I still liked lox, because I think the eggs were pretty good.

I went to make some chocolate pudding and then I made the saddest discovery of all time - I was out of milk. Crap. I don't actually drink milk (the aftertaste seriously icks me out); I mainly use it for pudding, mashed potatoes and baking. And that's it. So it didn't make sense to go buy more milk, since the containers are larger than I can use before it goes bad. Even the small ones. But man... No pudding? Seriously? This thought was not working for me. Then I realised I had a container (and maybe a second one, but I haven't looked yet) of DRY MILK!!! Dry, whole milk. So I "made" milk, and then made my pudding. Thank god. I really needed some pudding. Sometimes, a girl just needs some chocolate pudding, and that's all there is to it. So, that's a staple that's been languishing in my pantry, that I forgot about, that is now being used. Woo!

I took the last of the tomatoes from the plant, and now it's got the little buds of new tomatoes. Sweet. It'll probably take another month before my next crop of tomatoes, so we'll see how that goes for me. I have a hard time imagining I'll buy fresh tomatoes when I already have some growing, but if I can't keep from needing a pasta salad, then I'll buy one I guess.

I made an inventory of the freezer also. Since my goal is to go through the stock of food that's in the freezer, it didn't make much sense to try to do this without knowing exactly what was in there (although honestly, there is some appeal to the whole treasure hunting method I'd been using previously). So now I have a list on a white board attached to the freezer. As I use something, I'll just cross it off the white board. This new system allows me to plan meals based on what I'd like to use up in there, and based on what I'd like to see rotated out first. By crossing items off instead of erasing them, I'm also able to easily track my progress on using things up.

In terms of spending, here's what happened:

I spend $1.29 on another bag of chips at the gas station. It's like I just can't seem to stop myself, some days. I know that if I simply took the time to eat breakfast before I taking the dog to get a new bag of food and more treats, I wouldn't stop at the gas station for chips. But, there we have it. I am weak.

At the grocery store this week, I bought the following:

Huge bag of BBQ flavoured chips - $1.67 (they were on sale. I'm weak, as mentioned above)
Tub of rolled oats so I can make granola bars since I didn't have enough in the house - $0.99
Quart of almond milk - $1.93 (on sale, shelf stable, and works for my baking needs; whee!)
Salad dressing, 2 bottles - $1.71 (had a coupon which made this a good deal; plus I don't mind using cheap dressing to marinate chicken in)
Bag of precut romaine salad - $0.24 (was on sale and they let me use 2 coupons for one bag of salad)
Pound of carrots - $0.79
Pound of strawberries - $0.97 (these weren't on my list, but looked beautiful and were on sale so impulse happened)

Total at the store: $8.30
Grand total for the week: $9.59

Which means I'm slightly under budget for the week. The chips, romaine and the strawberries are the only things I'll use up this week. Since I won't need all that other stuff again (and hopefully I can resist the chips next week), I should be way under budget next week (which is good, because I want to buy a bottle of that lemon soda beer, which will probably cost me a few dollars). Admittedly, I have a pretty impressive stockpile of food, which definitely is helping me spend small amounts of money. But I still think it's pretty fun finding good ways to challenge myself to use what I have and to improvise to overcome what I don't have in order to make new meals without spending much money. This challenge is coming along really well.


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