Thursday, February 25, 2010
Week Seven (2/15 – 2/21) was one of those weeks where I was planning on cooking something fresh but ended up pulling stuff from the freezer early in the week and then decided I should just finish that up along with other leftovers in the fridge instead of making something new and adding to the leftover pileup.
On Monday I had muesli with soy milk (I did open the soy milk I had bought in case of weather) along with some squash bread and fruit for breakfast, and pasta with tomato sauce from the freezer for dinner. Also some cheese and crackers and almonds for a snack while fixing dinner, and my favorite dessert for when I’ve scrounged dinner and it wasn’t quite enough, Nutritious Uncooked Candy with chocolate chips.
On Tuesday, I had cereal and banana and squash bread for breakfast, and then for dinner, I pulled some black beans and chicken from the freezer, along with some salsa, which I ate in a tortilla with cheese, and it was exceptionally good for something that I basically happened upon in the freezer while I was trying to figure out what to eat. I had almost forgotten about the kiwifruit I’d bought on 2/11; I had one of those for dessert and it was great, I love kiwifruit.
(And a moderately related aside… I played soccer in DC on a team with some people from New Zealand and I never got over them referring to each other and fellow New Zealanders as kiwis. There was always a brief moment of disconnect when they said something like, “Do you know him? He’s a Kiwi.” before I remembered they were talking about a person, not the prickly brown-skinned fruit.)
On Wednesday, I had the breakfast of the week, cereal with soy milk, banana, and juice, and for dinner had a work-related thing with free pizza. More cheating.
On Thursday, I was finally out of cereal so had oatmeal and an apple, along with a handful of almonds and a glass of juice for breakfast. And I finally had time to get to the store and was planning on actually fixing something but realized I still had black beans and chicken, plus the end of the African stew which I had not been able to give away, and needed to either eat or dump. I decided to give it one more shot.
So instead of getting stuff to make a meal, I just bought a few staples and things for the freezer and pantry.
I stopped at Bruegger’s and got day-olds, then hit Whole Foods and got some prunes (Bulk Organic Pitte) and figs (Unsulphured Turkis), which is my version of candy, I like to snack on those. I got an avocado and tomato to go with the beans, and some grass-fed New Zealand cheddar (Cheddar New Zealan) that was on special for $4.99/lb. I bought a can of tuna (Albacore Tuna in S), and a $0.99/lb apple (Apples Empire CV) and two kiwifruits (Kiwi Bin Og). And a head of garlic (Garlic Super Colos).
I got a $3 refund for returning the Mapleview Dairy milk bottles (Bottle Refund). This is not cheating as this is not free money; I paid an extra $1.50 each time I bought milk.
(Another moderately related aside: For a while, different stores were giving different refunds for Mapleview bottles. One of my friends would buy it at a place that charged a $1.20 deposit and return it to a place that gave a $1.30 refund. He said he felt like he was in a Seinfeld episode.)
Total cost for the day $11.98.
This was my only shopping day for the week. You can see cumulative totals on the Expense Summary Page. I don’t think I’m going to be anywhere near $100 this month.
For dinner I had round two of the black beans and chicken in a tortilla with cheese, along with some rice and some avocado, plus vegetables from the African stew. I decided it was the broth I didn’t care for; if I just ate the vegetables it was fine.
For dessert, I had a kiwifruit.
And then came Friday, which was by far the worst food day I’ve had on the project.
I had a work lunch meeting and had a crab cake sandwich and fries, which felt tremendously high in sodium to me. (The downside of cutting way back on sodium is that you really notice it when you eat food you didn’t cook yourself, and then if you get something that really is high in sodium, it feels like you’re eating salt. Blech.)
We had a gallery opening at The Scrap Exchange and since I was going to be in the vicinity of Trader Joe’s, I decided to do a re-stock on wine (I bought a bunch for them in September and was down to the last two bottles) and offered to get the rest of the food while I was there.
I spent $85 on 12 bottles of wine, two boxes of crackers, brie, goat cheese, hummus, pita chips, grapes, apple juice, dark chocolate, three tubs of cookies and $3.23 for something that’s listed as “grocery” on the receipt that I have no idea what that was. Do you think they just randomly add things to people’s bills? I bet they could get away with it.
I ended up hanging out at the opening serving as bartender for pretty much the whole evening, and eating cheese and crackers and cookies, and then I brought home the stuff we didn’t use — basically 10 bottles of wine, half a box of crackers, and most of the cookies — so I can keep it at my place and we can use it (or most of it at least) for future openings.
This normally works fine, but given the not-so-good lunch and the late hour I ended up eating a whole bunch of those little cat cookies and chocolate, after eating a bagel with peanut butter and some mango for a late supper. So then I just felt gross.
It was a bad food day all the way around.
(For the record, sometimes I get reimbursed for the food I buy for Scrap Exchange and sometimes I count it as a donation; bringing the leftovers home complicates the issue somewhat. I don’t really want to get reimbursed for food that I end up consuming myself. That really is cheating.)
Saturday I had made tentative plans to meet up with a friend for lunch and we ended up going to Watts Grocery for brunch and I had some fabulous buttermilk pancakes and fresh-squeezed orange juice, which almost made up for the disaster the previous day. But I still felt salted up, so I had a Rice Diet dinner, oatmeal and an apple and the rest of the mango. But then I broke down and ate more cookies and chocolate.
On Sunday, I had a repeat of the no-sodium meal for breakfast, oatmeal and an apple, and was finally starting to feel better.
For dinner, I finished the vegetable stew (hooray!) and had a cheese quesadilla with avocado and salsa, after a late afternoon snack of almonds and cheese and crackers and dried fruit. And a very small number of cookies. And then I sealed up the stupid cookies and put them in the freezer.
And that was it for Week Seven.