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Archive for December, 2012

So I totally didn’t post a menu last week.  We did eat, though.  Mostly leftovers.  Just in case you were wondering.  Getting back on track this week…

Monday

  • tuna quiche (bake banana muffins while oven is on)
  • leftover chili and banana muffins
  • dinner at a friend’s? either tonight or Thurs

Tuesday

  • leftover tuna quiche
  • leftover roast, butternut squash, and peas
  • dinner at Mom & Dad’s

Wednesday

  • apple crisp or pumpkin custard with strained kefir; broth
  • meatloaf, baked potatoes, and broccoli
  • brown bag – pb & j sandwiches; apples

Thursday

  • leftover apple crisp or pumpkin custard with kefir; broth
  • “spaghetti” and meatballs; green beans or broccoli
  • sushi?? taco stuff?

Friday

  • pancakes with the last of the raspberry puree
  • leftover sushi?
  • leftover meatloaf

Saturday & Sunday

  • ? leftovers (just me)

We survived Christmas and are heading into the new year with a bang!  Financials are looking up with the mortgage being paid off very soon and I’m still able to find affordable produce, although we’ve got to buy a ton of it at a time.  Sales in the Etsy shop are holding steady even with minimal input this month so I’m hopeful that will help ease our burden a little over the next year as well.

What I’m reading now: Eat for Heat (Matt Stone).  Yes, you read that correctly: I’m reading!  I have a goal to finish a book each month in 2013.  Sounds so ridiculous for a former devourer of literature but I have been so busy that I rarely have time to sit down and read anything other than homeschool stuff.  Which is fun, don’t get me wrong…it’s just the kids’ reading, not mine.  So anyway I’m reading Eat for Heat now and so far it’s pretty much what I’ve seen on Matt’s blog but it is nice to have it all in one spot.  And it’s an easy read so I can blow through it and feel good about myself.  Or something.

Things I made this week that I am proud of: apple cider, root beer, and pickled garlic!  I am embarrassed to say how long the garlic has waited for me to ferment it.  Let’s just say I bought it…two Azure orders ago.  I think.  We also got the Christmas decorations down and boxed this week!  My son helped me transfer everything to the attic today so all we have left is to take down the outdoor lights.  Only one broken ornament and no serious injuries – I think we should celebrate! :)

All right, enough stalling: budget stuff.  The cost of the food on this week’s menu plus snacks should be well under $50.  With two dinners at friends/family and the kids being away for the weekend, we’ll be consuming much less than usual.  Out-of-pocket expenses will be minimal – probably $8 for eggs and we might pick up a mango for sushi.  We’ve got enough milk to get us through this week as well.  The Azure Standard order I placed last week was on the higher side but I am pleased that we got so many apples and the broccoli was still such a great price!  I also bought, um, 50lbs potatoes.  Gulp.  Not GAPS-legal but we are expanding our horizons now and we do eat potatoes once every week or two.  I’ll be sharing about 20lbs of those with family and friends, we’ll probably eat 10-15lbs ourselves, and the remainder will be used for seed potatoes in the garden.

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Monday

  • beurre aux jaunes and sausage
  • stuffed baked potatoes
  • pizza and salad – chocolate torte and ice cream for birthday dessert! (bake banana muffins while oven is on)

Tuesday

  • leftover eggs and sausage
  • leftover beef stew and banana muffins
  • leftover something from freezer (just me)

Wednesday

  • pumpkin custard; broth
  • leftover beef stew and banana muffins
  • brown bag – pb & j sandwiches; apples

Thursday

  • pumpkin custard with kefir; broth
  • burgers, guacamole, cauliflower, salad
  • lemon chicken, potatoes, broccoli

Friday

Saturday & Sunday

  • ? leftovers (just me)

It’s birthday time again!  My daughter had some special birthday requests so we will be having a semi-GAPS day on Monday.  I made her this torte today topped with this ganache.  If I had time, I might have tried a GAPS-legal version.  As it was, I was doing well to melt the store-bought chocolate and use regular sugar.  :)  I haven’t decided what I’ll do about pizza crust yet; I do have some gluten-free Udi’s crusts in the freezer that are awfully tempting but if I have time I’d like to make a traditional crust.  I used to do a really good job on those…

We went to our food co-op for salad stuff and cream today, and I felt the pinch in my pocketbook for sure!  I wish I had planned my trip better, as a jog to Sam’s might have saved me quite a bit of money on salad greens.  I had to tell my daughter “no” to several of the yummy veggies she wanted in her salad, simply because I had already spent so much on just the lettuce, spinach, and cucumber!  Lesson learned!

I’ve got beef heart down for Friday’s dinner but I’m not really feelin’ it…I’d like to do something more Christmas-y as the kids are leaving and won’t be back until Christmas Day.  But I’ve got an extra rehearsal and a recording session this week so it may be pushing it to try something special on Friday.

We still have plenty of broccoli, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and cauliflower left from our Azure Standard order a few weeks ago.  The arugula in the garden was pretty frost-bitten after the last cold snap but if we have some nice days we may get some new growth to harvest.  We still have garden tomatoes in the garage, along with apples and squash from Azure.  We’ve got plenty of meat in the freezer, almond and coconut flours, good fats, and honey…so really we should be able to go more than a week before I’ll need to think about another trip to the store.

I think our food costs will be around $70 this week.  Birthday food definitely pushed us higher than usual.  I spent $40 at the store today and if I can get milk on Monday I’ll spend another $15, but unless there is a smashing sale on Aldi’s produce to price-match at Walmart, I shouldn’t have any further out-of-pocket expenses this week.  Next week we’ll probably have some Christmas food costs above our usual stuff but perhaps we’ll be at Mom & Dad’s for some of that.  Hmm.

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I downloaded Evernote and used it this morning to sketch out my menu between services.  Then when I got home, I realized I could sync my note to my computer and just copy it here instead of trying to find the paper I had written it on and re-typing everything.  Win!!  Formatting is different, but since the whole idea is to save myself 20 minutes I’m not going to fix it.  Sorry.

Monday
* Apple crisp, kefir
* Tuna quiche, fruit salad
* Leftover soup/muffins
Tuesday
* Leftover apple crisp
* “Spaghetti”, broccoli
* Beef roast, carrots, potatoes
Wednesday
* Leftover quiche, fruit salad
* Stirfry?
* Brown bag – sandwiches, apples
Thursday
* Pumpkin custard
* Arugula & white bean salad (with pre-cooked turkey from freezer, seaweed?)
* Burgers, guacamole, cauliflower
Friday
* Blueberry cobbler (use apple crisp topping)
* Butternut hash w/ground beef, garden turnips
* Roasted drums, parsnip/potato fries, arugula salad, sauerkraut
Saturday
* Leftover pumpkin custard
* Leftover arugula salad
* Beef stew
Sunday
* Leftover blueberry cobbler
* Leftover beef stew
* Lemon chicken or sticky chicken

Sunday prep:
Soak beans
Thaw cheese
Mix cobbler/crisp toppings
Make fruit salad
Slice apples
Prep quiche

Monday prep:
Bake apple crisp
Bake quiche

Bake spaghetti squash

Wednesday prep:
Thaw pumpkin

Thursday prep:
Bake pumpkin custard
Bake blueberry cobbler
Soak nuts for granola?

I spent $9 at Walmart last week – for a dozen avocados and 18lbs of bananas – and may spend that much again if Aldi’s has a good sale to price-match.  I sure would like to get more pomegranates but I think that might be it for the year.  Other than eggs, I don’t plan to spend any more this week.  Out-of-pockets should be extremely low if there are any at all.

The cost of these meals and snacks for the week looks like it will come in at around $65, which is $10 under budget.  I’m thankful for the garden squash, arugula, turnips, and tomatoes that we are able to use this week!  Those items would have put us above budget if I had to purchase them.

I’m working more in the evenings now and finding it more difficult to get prepwork done.  I thought that I’d write out the biggies this week and see if I can keep up with my list.  It is much easier to fall off the wagon when you haven’t gotten frozen food out early enough!

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Monday

  • beurre aux jaunes (devilled egg substitute since I’m out of mayo); pears; broth
  • leftover stir-fry
  • steak; parsnips and potato fries; green peas

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • apple crisp with kefir; broth
  • chicken soup; carrot muffins (bake pumpkin while oven is on)
  • brown bag – pb & j sandwiches; apples

Thursday

  • pumpkin custard with kefir; broth
  • leftover steak and butternut squash
  • chicken livers with dipping sauce; broccoli; baked apples? pears?

Friday

  • leftover pumpkin custard
  • leftover potato soup & muffins
  • burgers; cauliflower; ?

Saturday & Sunday

  • ? leftovers (just me)

I got the wonderful, sudden news last week that I wasn’t needed for one of my accompanying jobs and might not be needed again this week.  That, in combination with 4 students who informed me they are quitting last month, makes for a very tight December.  I am not sure where that $500 will come from but I have a feeling a good chunk will come out of our grocery budget.  We are skipping milk purchases for a couple of weeks and we will be living out of the pantry for a good while to come.  Thankfully, we have plenty of broccoli, cauliflower, apples, carrots, parsnips, squash, potatoes, and pears.  We still have arugula in the garden and some tomatoes ripening in the garage.  Other than eggs, I think we can go several weeks without needing to purchase any extras.  I had toyed with the idea of buying more almond flour since I received a 15% off coupon for this week, but I just won’t have the funds to cover it.  We’ll be fine without it so if we can make do, we will make do.

All that to say: the next few weeks’ menus may be very repetitive.    Then again, I may just kick this challenge in the teeth and get very creative.  We’ll see.  :)

I’ve been sewing an awful lot so meal prep is moving down on the priority list.  I’ve also been going to bed very late and I am starting to feel much more tired.  I even napped in the car during my daughter’s ballet class today!  I was working on my menu and just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.  This is not like me…and definitely a sign I need to be taking better care of myself.  So.  Rather than figure numbers for this week’s budget, I’m going to bed. :)

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