Saturday, January 7, 2012

Week 2

of the Great Grocery Challenge of 2012.

This week for dinner we had:
  • baked potatoes
  • pork roll-ups ( a quick dinner that is sort of like a taco but not Tex-Mex)
  • cheesy potato/carrot/ham soup and apple crisp
  • roast chicken with sweet and spicy sweet potatoes and steamed green beans
  • Parmesan risotto with chicken and green beans
  • chicken Caesar salad and sliced oranges
  • light chicken Alfredo over linguine and salad

I spent $44.11 at the grocery store this week, mostly on juice and Gatorade, and a few things for our New Year's Eve party. I notice that we've eaten a lot of chicken this week - I roasted a whole chicken one afternoon and stripped all the meat off of it after dinner that night. It lasted quite a while. There were lots of green beans and oranges in my Bountiful Basket last month that we are still working through! Bountiful Baskets is next Saturday - I still have onions, green beans, and oranges left from last time. By the end of next week I'm sure they will be gone.

I have determined that I am going to have a budget of $100 per month to restock my freezer, pantry and shelves. That way I won't find myself completely out of everything at some point. I will use this $100 to take advantage of good weekly grocery sales. I am still baking bread every few days and my family is still eating it up. I'm sure it's not cost-effective to bake bread, but since I already own the ingredients I figure it's already paid for and we might as well eat it, right?

I've noticed this week that trying to keep a tight grip on the grocery budget has had the added benefit of making me use up food that I have in the house instead of going to the store and spending money for something different. Also, I haven't been making a ton of food for dinner each night - basically only what I think we'll eat that night with maybe one serving for leftovers. These two things add up to a lot less food waste in the last two weeks than normal. Yes!

To make pork roll-ups I use my bottled boneless pork loin chunks that I processed in my pressure canner over the summer. I drain them well and heat in a dry skillet, adding salt and pepper (because I canned it without any seasoning). I mix some thinly sliced green onions with some grape tomatoes that I cut in half, and add a dressing made of red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. Put a few pork chunks in a warmed flour tortilla and top with the tomato mixture. Roll it up like a soft taco. Super good!


  1. I love those pork tacos.

    And why is baking your own bread not cost effective?

  2. one chicken covered 4 meals? that's pretty amazing!

  3. Donna, the chicken fed everybody two meals - it was a BIG chicken. I used canned chicken in the other two. : )