August is a month of plenty for me. My garden is growing rapidly, fruit is available everywhere, and my freezers are getting fuller and fuller each week. I’ve decided to see if I can be more purposeful in utilizing the food I have on hand, rather than buying more. So, I’ve decided to do a $100/month grocery challenge. It should be quite easy to do, with the abundance of food on hand, and because I was gone for 1/3 of the month. We took quite a bit of food with us, not knowing if there would be things I could eat, and we used some of it, but there were foods I could have much of the time, so I brought a bunch of mine home with me. For several days, I enjoyed authentic Mexican food, cooked by the ladies of the church where we were helping! Yum!!!
My brother-in-law asked them all about the ingredients, etc., as he is fluent in Spanish, and I ate the foods that I could. Much of it was corn-based, which is not a problem for me. I did not get sick at all from those daily lunch meals. Amazing. Eating fast food on the way home—a different story. It never seems to agree with me, even when I try to be careful.
After returning from my trip to Mexico, I went to the store and spent $47 on things like milk, etc. So, that leaves me with $53 for the rest of the month. I may not even need to spend it all–I’ll see. I know I’m good for the rest of this week, for sure.
I will use the remaining grocery budget to buy apples and pears to process. I’m completely out of applesauce, and have been for quite a while, so I want to can quite a few jars. I don’t need very many pears, but want to do a few, and would like to make some fruit cocktail from peaches, pears, grapes and maraschino cherries. Sometimes, I put pineapple in it as well, and usually buy a large can and add it in. I hope to get some Elberta peaches from my sister to can, when they ripen.
Here’s what I’m planning to serve this week:
Sunday: Sandwiches: We used up sandwich meat from our trip for our noon meal. We wanted to finish the meat and cheese up rapidly so it wouldn’t spoil. It was well-iced the entire time, but still….
Monday: Spaghetti. I pulled ground pork from the freezer and browned it with onions and celery. I used 1/2 of it for spaghetti sauce. There is a lot of sauce left over. I served it with sautéed purple beans I picked from the garden. They turn green when I cook them. I added garlic to them at the last minute–yum! I also put out cut up cucumbers from the garden. There is enough sauce to freeze some for next week, plus eat leftovers for lunch.
Tuesday: Chili. Patsy is starving for chili, and asked me to make some. I put pinto beans on to soak yesterday, and will use the rest of the pork I browned to make chili in the crock pot. I see that there is lettuce in the garden, and I hope to cut some and have salad as well. I could not get to everything yesterday and there is much to do in the garden! However, we are gaining on the laundry:) I will make a big batch and freeze some for next week. I soaked a LOT of beans, so will cook up some plain as well to use later in the week, or next week.
Wednesday: Chicken. I plan to roast a whole chicken. The weather is much cooler this week. If Rob gets a bee in his bonnet, he may barbecue it, though, but I’m in the mood for roasted chicken, and then I can boil the carcass and get some broth. I’ll do green beans again, as they are prolific in the garden, salad, and potatoes. I think there are new potatoes ready out there, too, and I may start digging some up. If not, I can buy a bag. Potatoes are not a budget-buster:)
Thursday: Chicken-rice soup. I bought celery and carrots and have onions from the garden. I can use the broth from Wednesday, and add rice from the pantry. We like it simple. I may make zucchini muffins if I get time, as there are SO many of those in the garden.
Friday: Taco Salad. I will pick lettuce and tomatoes from the garden, and use some hamburger from the freezer.
Sunday: Family Sunday Dinner–BBQ at our house this week. I have both chicken drumsticks and steaks in the freezer, plus green beans, salad, potatoes–all from the garden. If I think of anything else we could want, people usually bring things, and I can ask them to grab something.
Breakfasts: I got some English muffins at the store, have a few yogurts, plus the usual cereal, oatmeal, toast, etc. people like to eat around here. I have quite a few eggs in the fridge, and eat them frequently. Sometimes I make breakfast burritos for the kids, and do have a few tortillas left that really need to be used.
Lunches: Leftovers or sandwiches. I bought a package of lunchmeat as part of the shopping I did and also have tuna in the pantry. Peanut butter is Patsy’s favorite, so she can have that with our home-made jam. Sometimes, I add a salad to the mix.
Snacks and drinks: There is a lot of fruit right now. I’ve been picking a few peaches from the tree in the back yard, plus I can get some more from my sister. My strawberries gave me about a cup yesterday, and the raspberries look like they are going to produce soon. Once I make applesauce I will save some out to eat fresh, and that will go over well. We had popcorn last night, and can have it again. There are quite a few snacks left over from our trip, as well, which will be especially handy if we go on picnics.
I bought some milk on Sunday when I shopped, can make lemonade from the bottle of lemon juice, and have several drinks left over from the trip. I’ve been drinking a lot of water lately, and there’s always plenty of that! I have a few sodas, too, plus 3 2-litre bottles.