Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Last Week's Shopping List

Oh boy! So, the first thing I need to do is apologize for the severe lateness of this post. Between New Year's entertaining and winding down the festivities with a nasty cold, time and energy have been lacking, to say the least.

Next, I have a confession to make: cooking for company makes me do things I shouldn't do. Namely, I splurge on guests, and I just can't help myself. I can cook "on the cheap" for my immediate family with no problem at all, but when other people enter my home, even if those people are my mother and my brother, all the rules go out the window. Then, the adding machine comes out and I realize that I need to get back to reality, back to coupon clipping to get our budget back on track. So, although our Hanukkah entertaining blew through a fairly substantial surplus and put us only marginally in the red, last week's entertaining dug a much deeper trench that we will need to climb out of over the several weeks (hopefully not months) ahead. I suppose we all splurge in one way or another during the holidays. I saved on presents by making my own, but I paid for the luxury of pricey ingredients.

As you'll see, sacrifices of all sorts were made ... not just monetary ones. I also chose to forgo the rules of seasonality. Occasional exceptions like these are not the end of the world, I think.

Last week's menu went like this:

Lunch: Use up various leftovers.

- Leftover brisket with sweet potato latkes and leftover brussel sprouts.
- Spaghetti with marinara & zucchini
- Salmon Noodle Casserole with Broccoli

New Year's Entertaining Lunch:
- Muchies: Brie w/crackers and grapes
- Grilled bison sausages, hot dogs and veggie dogs with peppers & onions
- Sweet Potato Latkes
- Green salad
- Lemon bars

Post New Year's Entertaining Lunch:
- Munchies: Edamame and Pistachios
- Roasted Red Pepper, Asparagus & Brie Quesadillas
- Guacamole with tortilla chips
- Healthy Truffles

This is the shopping list (* indicates non-organic):

sweet potatoes
red peppers
green pepper
grape tomatoes
granny smith apples ($1.79/lb)
veggie dogs ($1 coupon)
Mahi mahi fillet* (5.99/lb)
Barbara's cereal* (3.29 + $1 coupon)
yogurt (67 cents)
kosher salt*
whole wheat egg noodles*
Tropicana OJ* (2/$5)
seltzer* (3/$1)
powdered sugar ($0.75 coupon)
whole wheat tortillas
tortillas chips
dehydrated corn
dehydrated peas
safflower oil*
roasted red peppers
bison sausage* (hot & sweet Italian) - bison is a grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free meat, even when not organic
whole grain hot dog buns

I was able to buy everything on this list, except for the dehydrated peas, yet again. I bought a grapefruit that was priced right and a few extra boxes of cereal that were on sale. For whatever reason, stores don't always advertise all of their sales. Yet another good reason to know your pantry well, so you can stock up when the opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately for my wallet, this week was not a great one for spending extra on pantry items. Oh well.

The grand total for the week was $195.90. Yikes! That puts us in the red by about $80. How will I ever repent for this? Well, it's going to take lots of praying and belt tightening. I expect things will get worse before they get better. A trip to Costco this week (in an upcoming post), plus the ground beef order, plus a soon approaching order with Frontier will surely make cost-cutting a challenge for the immediate future. Still, these are the times that I need to remind myself that buying in quantity now saves money later.

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