Monday, February 14, 2011

Frugal Grocery February - Week 3

I don't mind confessing I slipped ever so slightly last week. By Friday night, after a 10 hour day at work I'd pretty much had an ever loving gutful of everything and we got takeaway for tea. Even as I was doing it -I was cringing because  I could have made that meal for free from the contents of my own freezer/pantry  and saved myself $27.00, but I was just soooooo tired. And I haven't bought takeaway in forever. And it tasted fabulous.

Another confession: Thursday I made Mr. P go to the shops before he went to boys night and buy me a bag of salt and vinegar chips because I hadn't had a chip in over a week.  I thought about making my own but it was all too hard. I think making your own potato chips is something you do when you're feeling resilient and have about two hours to waste. Or when you don't have a car and the nearest shop is 50 kilometres away. And for when you may have undergone a total lobotomy and think making your own chips is the coolest idea ever. For $1.90 Samboy did it for me. It was worth the money.

Saturday when I finally hit the shops in desperation (we'd almost run out of plain flour and I'd planned to make my own bread this week and had run out of white sugar because Mr. P has a really bad habit of using stuff and not putting it on my shopping list and I had already used caster sugar for something else because I was being frugal and not running to the shops-and I think I just won the award for the longest run on sentence EVER   ) I almost bought a pack of lamb chops but sanity prevailed I put them back. That would be because I'd already checked the outside freezer BST (before shopping trip ) and found three packs lurking in the bottom. I did have to stock up on fruit because we had pretty much nothing and I have at least three of the symptoms of scurvy. The price of fruit and vegies was horrendous so I gave serious thought to growing my own vegetables and then thought about all the time that would take me away from blogging and quilting and discarded the idea. I spent $35.80 on fruit and vegies.

Since we needed dog food and I only buy it every 6-8 weeks I dumped that in the trolley first because 100 pounds of dried dog and  cat food take up a shitload of trolley room and it didn't leave much room for anything else. Smart huh? Next time I might borrow some unruly children because that will motivate me to get in and out in less than 5 minutes. I'm giving you these two tips for free.

I ended up spending 89.55 this week (dog /cat food not included ) I want to show you where $9.00 of that went. See the almost invisible tube of toothpaste at the bottom ? That's mine. I got two tubes. You will notice it is less than half the size of a regular toothpaste tube and yet costs twice as much. That is because Colgate is colluding with my dental hygienist to keep me poverty stricken. I know denistry has come a long way in recent years but is this really necessary? Apparently it is.

In the spirit of using what I've got, I made Monte Carlo Biscuits on the weekend and whacked some Mocha icing in there that I found in the depths of the freezer. We all know I don't have a natural affinity with baking which has yet again been proven by the fact that these are the size of tennis balls.  Mr. P has since started publicly callling them monster biscuits.  It is worth noting however that he has managed to eat several of them on the sly despite his rudeness.  I hope they go straight to his arse.


And I baked bread and a couple of rolls for lunch. This is not the best bread I've ever made but it's edible. My loaves did  not rise as much as I would like them to so we'll call this damper shall we?


I tried to get creative this week with the menu plan to use up all the little packets of chicken, lamb  and beef that were formerly roasts in a previous eating  that I have stashed all over my freezer. Tonight we lashed out and had barbecue steak with peppercorn sauce , tomorrow is chicken fried rice, Wednesday is Rendang , Thursday is Thai Chicken  soup with noodles, and Friday is a suspect spaghetti sauce that I may have made as far back as early 2010. If we survive until Saturday I'll make beef pies and Sunday I'll do a roast of some sort.

So with this weeks spend my grocery total stands at $118.50 which is a saving so far of $181.50 for the month. I'm going to try not to shop at all this week. If we need milk I'll try to find a  cow somewhere which is harder than you may imagine since we live in the city and there aren't many people that keep cows tethered in the backyard....
So how are the rest of you doing?



P.S.  Just off to see if YouTube has a cow milking tutorial.  My parents had beef cows on the farm.

20 comments:

Amanda said...

Goodluck on the Cow rangling.

melissa said...

Hmmm ... you may have better luck finding a goat!

I wouldnt worry about youre slip, i think you are doing a great job !

Logopaedchen/Kirsten said...

Well who needs milk anyways.. black coffee makes nicer skin and water is a healthier drink...see you don´t need a cow..

Marg said...

That's where you need milk powder, lol, just add water and you can whip up your own from the cupboard. Heaps easier than milking a cow.

The bread LOOKS good.

JKP said...

I would seriously consider getting a cow and chickens if we had space and didn't already have four dogs and a cat. There was a time when powdered milk was cheaper (back in the stone age when I was a kid), but now it's twice as much.

I only bought some candy for Valentine's day and some prepackaged burritos for those moments this weekend when I knew I would have to work and time would not allow me to make a meal. My husband actually called me from the store one day and I told him to put everything back and go home. He did. :D

Kate said...

I think the frugal grocery project is a lot harder than the no fabric project. I'm in awe of your progress!

I just close my eyes when I buy toothpaste and men's razors these days. What do that put in that stuff, platinum?

I've never heard of Monte Carlo Biscuits, but they look good. Recipe?

Sara said...

My sister's boyfriend milks cows. Like, properly. Hundreds of cows a day. Of course he has some big machines to help him, but if he can do it, anyone can.

Brenda said...

I hope you're stashing your savings for fabric shopping...

Donnie said...

Hubby always hates it when I clean out the fridge because it means mystery meals and he is not creative. I sure enjoyed reading your grocery adventures and just think how much it's going to cost to fill your freezer back up again....ouch...Happy Valentine's Day.

Ann Marie said...

I WAS doing wonderfully great again this week by Friday night I had only spent $20.86, needed milk, bread, eggs, a 12 pack of Rootbeer, and a bag of Chicken that my daughter wanted, (should have told her to buy her own) Then my husband came home from the hospital and wanted special meals. Not ones that I could whip up from what we already had. Most of it was fresh veggies, and fruits to snack on. So off to the store we went. And $151.27 later we were on our way home! Put all the groceries away, rearaanged the cupboards to make it all fit, and then about 4 hours later as I was walking past the pantry, I heard this huge crash, I jumped out of my skin. I thought at first the cats and dogs knocked a huge shelf off the wall in the other room with figurines on it. But no other noise, so I opened up the pantry, and the main shelf in there BROKE and was leaning on the slide shelf below it. Which has too much in it, so I had to quickly get everything off that shelf before it broke the 3 slide shelves below it. Oh my, now I have a TON of can goods all over the kitchen. The kids come in there, and they are like WOW mom, hungry?? Where did you go?? Then hey realize that all these cans are usually in the pantry. They open the pantry and ask where did the shelf go???? DUH! So now I have to fix the shelf and I might as well fix the slider shelves to hold more weight as well while I am at it. So so far this month I have spent $151.27 on groceries and will probably spend half that much to fix the broken pantry too.

Ann Marie said...

Oops I mean I have spent $172.13 for the month. Which considering I usually spend $250-$300 every weekend, I am dong GREAT!!!!

Ann Marie said...

Oh and looking over that long grocery list, I forgot we bought ink cartridges too for $31.97 before tax.

Thea said...

You're doing great -- wish I could say the same for me.

I'm thinking of eating just rice and/or pasta for the next couple of weeks -- if only I could talk my dad into it. He thinks we should have meals every night, with veggies and meat and all that. What's that about??

Marie said...

sweetie, it's really tough to milk a beef cow .....

LOL

Maree: said...

WOW You have saved so much already this month even with your little Indulgence!
That Freezer will be Empty before you know it the way your going...
Keep it up!!
cheers

Helsie said...

You are really doing well and it makes you think about cooking something different doesn't it? I get stuck cooking the same old things all the time but with such a variety of meat in the freezer you have lots of scope - of course it also creates lots of work when you work all day too.
Hope all this cooking is appreciated.
Cheers
Helen

Elizabeth said...

Mmm. Your bread looks good. And I think you're doing pretty amazing with the being frugal. I'm being frugal too, but I'm not keeping track. In thinking back, I was spending about $300 at the shops and I've dropped to about $150 over the past year. That's because I grocery shop at Wal-Mart and would always pick up all kinds of interesting things besides food. My approach to grocery shopping is to plan a menu and buy the ingredients for the things on the menu. I don't do much stocking up, so I don't have three freezers of meat to fall back on. Still, I think we're doing pretty well. Anyway, I admire you for your pluck, for always getting the job done and for inspiring others. You are my hero.

xo -El

Alisa said...

It's been far too long since I've laughed that hard!

Kirsten's Cooking said...

I think you totally deserved the take-away and the salt and vinegar chips. Even I have never tried to make my own chips - you're right - when they're that cheap you'd be silly to try!

I think your menu for this week sounds fabulous - and, I happen to love your rendang!

I'm proud of you!!

roberta said...

We have misc. meat night at your house. I gather as much meat from the freezer and shred it and have tacos. It sounds like you are having misc. meat week.
Thanks for sharing, you are hilarilous.