Week Five

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Okay, I know I’m a little bit behind here but I think I’m going to be able to catch up soon. It’s sort of like when you’re trying to pack up and move and everything keeps getting worse and worse and worse before it finally starts getting better. I’m not yet at the getting better phase, I’m still in the worse and worse and worse phase. But I think that might be nearing its end.

But you’re not here to listen to me whine and make excuses for myself, are you? You’re here because my grocery shopping habits are so fascinating that you can’t stay away.

Before we start, let it be noted that I did finally put together the Summary Page for this project. It’s not as extensive as the summary page for the last project; this one is just a summary of expenses, so those of you following at home can see cumulative totals by month. I’ll update that with each weekly post.

So here’s the Week Five report, 2/1 through 2/7, which will be followed momentarily by the Week Six report, 2/8 through 2/14. And then I will be caught up with the weekly reports as we are currently still in Week Seven, so I can’t be late with that yet.

[And in case anyone is wondering, I do have a remarkable memory, but I also keep a time log for work and I’m making notes about what I ate, and I have all my receipts, so I’m not actually doing this completely from memory two weeks after it happened.]

So… when we last saw our heroine, she was at Showfest in Charlotte, in the snow.

That was Monday 2/1 and I ate on the road on Monday, with per diem money to spend, so nothing to report in terms of the project.

On Saturday before I left, I bought some snacks (as outlined in the Road Food post), and also made some bread using squash (the calabaza from Week One) that during Week Two I’d put in the oven to cook but then got hungry before it was ready and ate something else instead. So I stuck the cooked squash in the fridge to eat the next day but then didn’t get to it in a timely fashion and decided to freeze so I could use it in bread/muffins later. But then I didn’t have any dried milk to make muffins with.

So many problems!

Once I got milk on 1/29 I was able to make bread using the Universal Muffin recipe from the Tightwad Gazette.

Phew.

I used white flour, whole wheat flour, oats, and a little bit of cornmeal for the grain; one egg; 1/4 cup of melted butter; a cup of milk; some sugar and some molasses for sweetener; about a cup of cooked squash; and about a quarter cup of toasted sunflower seeds. It came out pretty good, though I think I might have been better off with less squash, the texture is not particularly muffin-like, it’s a little gloopy.

I took that with me to Charlotte and had a one or two pieces and then the rest went into the freezer, whence it can be toasted and eaten for breakfast or dessert or an afternoon snack.

For breakfast on Tuesday 2/2, I had oatmeal and juice that had been in the freezer (rescued from a Scrap Exchange event) and some almonds. Then I tried to get my weekly re-start off on the right foot by returning things from the weekend to The Scrap Exchange and walking to Compare for some produce.

Week Five, Part I

Week Five, Part I

I need to highlight two things on the above receipt.

The first is that I didn’t buy two navel oranges at $0.25 each, I bought two tangeloes at $0.69 each. This was an error in my favor.

The second is that I didn’t buy two white potatoes at $0.79/lb, I bought one white potato at $0.79/lb and one sweet potato/yam, which was either $0.59/lb or $0.39/lb. (I remember it was cheap, but I don’t remember exactly what it was and since it wasn’t on the receipt, there’s no way for me to know.) This was an error in the store’s favor.

I think I decided that I still came out ahead, but not positive about that, since I wasn’t sure how much the yam weighed or the price.

And I can totally see how you could ring up tangeloes as oranges but I’m at a loss as to how you could look at that giant yam and think it was the same thing as the baking potato. Clearly not a potato eater ringing those up.

When I got home from Compare, I had an afternoon snack of a boiled egg and an apple and some carrot sticks.

For dinner on Tuesday, I had brown rice and a baked potato topped with vegetarian chili from the freezer for dinner and grapefruit sections for dessert.

On Wednesday, I had some of the squash bread and oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, along with some juice.

Later on Wednesday, I attempted to settle in for the evening in an internet-free, undisclosed location and get a whole bunch of work done but got hungry about three hours into it and had to cut things short.

Week Five, Part II

Week Five, Part II

I stopped at Whole Foods on the way home and picked up some pasta (Fusilli Pasta) and and some cheddar cheese (N.Y. Sharp White Ch) and a large can of salmon (Wild Alaskan Pink).

Then I made a casserole with pasta and salmon plus spinach and mushrooms and pine nuts from the freezer, covered in a white sauce, using the recently purchased dried milk and the just-purchased cheese. The pine nuts seemed like a good idea but they weren’t. Those will not be making the cut the next time. And I made way too much, so this will not be the last you see of this meal.

On Thursday, I bribed someone to help me with one of my projects by offering to buy lunch, so I had a croque monsieur at Rue Cler for lunch and then I had breakfast for dinner — bagel with peanut butter and a banana and juice.

On Friday, I had scrambled eggs and tomato with cheese in a tortilla for breakfast and some carrot sticks and an apple for a snack and round two of the salmon pasta casserole for dinner. I also had some chocolate from the pantry for dessert.

On Saturday, I made biscuits for breakfast and served with scrambled eggs and fried apples (peel an apple and slice it into a pan of hot bacon grease and cook until the apple is soft but not mushy — that probably doesn’t sound good if you’ve never had it but trust me it is).

Saturday evening I had beef stew at a friend’s, and came home with leftovers.

Cheater.

Sunday I had granola (Bryant brought me some more of her good granola, and I also had some left from the Road Food purchase) and an orange for breakfast, and pb&j on a tortilla for a snack, and brown rice with vegetarian chili for dinner. For dessert I had half of the very large pear I had gotten at Compare on Tuesday.

Throughout the week, I enjoyed snacking on the almonds and dried figs I had bought with my per diem money, and also I had a couple servings of DIY instant cocoa made with cocoa powder and sugar and dried milk mixed with boiling water.

And that is it for Week Five.

Week Six coming right up.

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