Monday, February 07, 2011

Frugal Grocery February- Week 2

Well it's the end of Week 1 . How did you go? An honourable mention to Ann Marie who has spent exactly zero so far on her groceries for February. Can you believe that? That's what I call commitment to the cause and kick arse will power.

I'm feeling pretty darn virtuous this week having only spent $28.95 on groceries. That's less than 20% of my usual budget. I saved $121.05 !

I pretty much stuck to the menu plan I set with the exception of one dinner and one brunch.  I didn't make cinnamon pancakes so that'll happen this weekend. At some point this week I'm going to run out of bread and when that happens it'll be home made for a while just so I can continue to save some bucks.   

What strategies did I employ this week to keep the grocery bill down? Well, I ran past the meat counter at Foodland last week muttering "I must not buy meat ...I must not buy meat " like a crazy cat lady. I've found I can substitute or omit ingredients  if I need to and my head won't explode. And I can drink milk one minute past the expiry date and I won't get botulism. Normally I'm freakishly anal about stuff like that.

However even with all of this frugalness going on at Casa Pyjamas I'm sure that the  stuff in my freezer continues to breed  at a rate of knots. Does this look any less full to you?



You'll be pleased to know I threw out the Hot Cross buns from last Easter two weeks ago. I just couldn't bring myself to eat the last packet. Year old Hot X buns surely have to be nasty. It's probably cost me more to keep them frozen for the last year than I paid for them in the first place.  

Here's this weeks menu plan. I'm going to have to possibly pony up for some milk before next Monday and buy some fruit/potatoes so we don't get scurvy but otherwise it's looking like a cheap grocery week again this week.  


I found a recipe for crispy skinned chicken a while back and since I love this stuff and not many Chinese places make it these days I'm going to make my own.  I use chicken pieces and this dish while a little time consuming is so worth the effort. Team this with some saffron rice I already have in the freezer and that's dinner taken care of. The meatballs are also a re-heat meal that has been sitting there for a couple of months. The prawns I picked up on sale a couple of weeks ago and stuffed in the freezer for when I want to feel decadent. You'll notice they are a Friday tea so I don't breathe my garlic breath on anyone except Mr. P come Saturday.

I bought bananas over the weekend at $1.99 a kilo. In about 2 weeks they're going to be hideously priced due to the cyclone last week. Last time the banana plantations were all but wiped out we were paying as much for them as $15.00 a kilo. Needless to say I didn't eat a banana for about 8 months. Mr. P asked the checkout chick if he was allowed to peel them before she weighed them up. Apparently you aren't.  I'm enjoying these while I can.

I can't wait to see how everyone did. Has anyone got any fabulous recipes made from dirt and air they'd care to share?



P.S. Oh and Ms Sarcastic Quilter I'm working bloody carrotaki into my menu plan for next week just to show you I can. This isn't like that broccoli cheese potato thing I murdered last year is it?

22 comments:

Helsie said...

Oh you clever woman! By the look of that freezer you'll be right for a YEAR or two unless.... your power goes out for four days like we had recently.
Keep it up you are a great example to us all. What are you going to do with all the money you save ? ....buy fabric?
Cheers
Helen

Lorraine said...

Hey...you saw my freezer yesterday.....well what passes for a freezer here.....I won't be able to live out of that for as long as you will be able to live out of yours! I use milk for ages after it's use by date.....if it smells ok and doesn't curdle in my tea it's ok....LOL

Logopaedchen/Kirsten said...

Way to go Shay..I´m proud of you for sticking to your plans...and honestly..do you really think your freezer will be much emptier by the end of the month?

Seams Inspired said...

Excellent job, Shay! Wow...that's a bundle you saved this week.

I spent exactly $0 on 'zero' items. There were no sales on shampoos, toothpaste, TP, etc. this past week. Alas, it was all for junk and snack foods. Hopefully, this next week will be better. Patience is a virtue, right? ;o)

What do you have the most of in your freezer? Chicken? Beef? I'll send some recipes your way. :o) Happy Monday night!

Marg said...

Well done, nope that freezer looks just as full as last week. I'm pretty sure you won't need to buy meat for at least 6 months.
I'm really impressed, that's a great saving.
I'm glad we don't eat bananas here.
Garlic prawns, yummmm.

Angie said...

My favorite cheap meal (we had this 2 days ago) is turkey legs. They are about a dollar a pound (not sure how that converts to Aussie lingo). I buy 4 of them, put them in the crock pot with some salt and pepper then add about an inch of water, turn it on and walk away. About 8 hours later, I make a pot of rice and gravy with the drippings, cook a couple of cans of something green and viola, a meal for 7 people that costs about $5.

Amy said...

I have a chest type freezer and I buy things when they have good sales. I am bad about taking bananas and putting them in freezer if not eaten before turning to brown.(plop them in freezer peel and all) or ya could put in baggie.. I use these later for banana bread.I am also bad at buying 10lb. or more potatoes when cheap in U.S.and when I mash potatoes I make 2-3 extra servings for freezing. sure does help when I work evenings or someone wants taters in their lunch.little things like that have helped me stretch my food.I also buy ground beef when on sale,and make homemade meatballs, let them cool and bag them in bags of 25 or so.it ends up being cheaper then store bought.good luck with your frugal shopping. Amy

Kirsten's Cooking said...

great job!!!

we can usually buy bananas for around 50 cents per pound here - pretty weird when we don't even grow them here!!!

I did see a lot of the plantations were under water - was the crop totally decimated?

you are saving a ton of money - I'm so proud of you!!!!!

Amanda said...

My freezer is pretty much full of bread as everyone except me can't eat bread over a day old. Banana's this side of town are already $6.99kg mind you they are picky about the banana's too in this neck of the woods. They got up to $17 last time. I bought another bunch on the weekend and told them to enjoy because it would probably be the last for a while.

Maree: said...

Congrats your doing Really Well... we never had use by dates once and we survived....
cheers for another Frugal Week!

Cynthia L. said...

You are doing a great job. I have only spent about $50.00 so far. I will be spending a little more this week, but I shouldn't have to go to the store again for another couple of weeks. I might be able to stretch it to the end of the month! I will be working up my list and clipping my coupons tonight!

Hey - to bad I can't send you some bananas. We only pay about $.50 per pound. Do you think the mailman would notice?

I will be posting my menu, etc. a little later. I am off to make Thanksgiving Dinner in a Dish. We didn't eat it last week. I will take photos and let everyone see what it is!

Donnie said...

You are doing great. Hope your grocery store doesn't go under...lol..

Kate said...

Sounds like you are making progress. It does appear that trying to empty your freezer is very similar to using your stash. It takes a lot longer then you think it should before you see a difference.

Due to the snow storms here last week, banana's were no where to be found, nor bread, nor eggs.

Thea said...

you've been very good! If I had some food in my house I might be able to join in. Our pantry is full -- not sure of what, but the freezer was empty until yesterday when I bought chicken breast at $1.99/pound. So we'll be eating chicken for a while. We are trying to buy only items on sale ..

thanks for the inspiration.

Brenda said...

I'm still flabergasted that you can work fulltime, quilt, cook dinner and plan clever dinners even!! I'm not worthy...

Lisa said...

Good job, I have a simple and delicious bread recipe I'll try and post in the next couple days.

I love the new quilt you're starting for little P! Those are cute fabrics, can't wait to see more!

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Now you have a crown? What the heck is with all the crowns? I've been gone too long. Okay, here's the deal, I'll go back and catch up and maybe I'll figure out the crown thing. Nice to be here again:-)

JKP said...

I spent $105. That was $87 for gluten flour and other necessities to make a vegetarian "meat" option that we will all eat, but mostly for my daughter, who likes us to spend lots of money on vegetarian foods. By making my own, I save a lot of money because $87 makes a lot. The rest of it was my husband buying stuff for the teens to snack on. Yeah, not real budget savvy, but I'm hoping we won't have to do it too much. I need to stock up on some frozen veggies. Other than that, I think we will be good on groceries for a couple of weeks (I hope).

lw said...

If one of those items in the freezer is a chicken, I like to make a huge stock pot full of chicken soup (using Julia Child's Chicken Simmered in White Wine" recipe.) I don't add noodles or rice. I just make the broth with the chicken, then add the veg and the wine and the seasonings, remove the bones after a couple of hours and freeze it in two person servings. Then I add gnocchi or noodles or rice when I serve it. I got 24 servings out of the last fat hen.

Jenny said...

I do this periodically, like a game, to see how long I can go without heading off to the store. It's surprising sometimes seeing what is lurking in my freezer and pantry.

I'm going to check out that chicken recipe. Sounds intriquing.

Mistea said...

That sure is some saving - way to go.

With no fabric and little food shopping February should be an excellent budget month for you.

P. said...

Your organization (a menu chart!) and commitment are admirable. However, your freezer is still too full. Get eatin', girlie! :)