Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Preparing For Austerity

Today I went out shopping to prepare for my attempt to eat for a month on the amount allocated to an individual for food stamps. I believe this is $176, and I buzzed through a bit under $70 on my first visit to the supermarket. I did buy a fair amount of food though, much more than a single weeks worth in some categories.

My First Shopping Spree

Part of my money was spent on necessities that should last me for the whole month. This would include $10 for salt, pepper, olive oil, and mustard. I will be a little lacking in the spice department, but I did buy a bag of onions for $2.29 and 5 bulbs of garlic for another $.99.

My meat supply should last me for a the better part of two weeks with six good sized chicken legs and thighs for $6.20 and a three pound pork shoulder for $3.75.

Of course I plan on having a fair amount of rice (five pounds for $7.29) and beans (1 pound of black beans for $1.99 and another or red kidney beans for $2.39).

I am not much of a milk drinker, but I did buy a pound of cheese for $5.

To supplement my protein, and because I like them for breakfast, I bought 18 eggs for $2.99. I figured I could make onion, garlic, and spinach omelets for breakfast so I bought four packages of frozen spinach for $5.

Additional vegetables that I bought were an acorn squash for $1.36, 24 ounces of broccoli for $5, five pounds of carrots for $3.69 and a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes for $1.99.

I figured I could use the can of tomatoes for spaghetti sauce so I bought two 13.5 ounce packages of whole wheat pasta for $3.

The mustard I bought was for chicken sandwiches that I plan on making for lunches so I bought a 1 pound loaf of whole wheat bread for $2.

To get a bit of fruit into my system I bought a bag of 7 grapefruit for $1.99.

I also caved in and spend $2.99 on a pound of coffee.

My preparation tonight will consist of soaking some beans so they will be ready to cook tomorrow. In the morning I will probably wrap the chicken legs and thighs individually so I can freeze them and just use one at a time. I will probably cook one though to make a sandwich and then use the rest to go with rice and beans and veggies for dinner.

I will probably slow cook the pork shoulder as well and then use it to make a vegetable stew of some kind that I can freeze. I haven't thought that one through yet, but I will think of something. Maybe after I cook it I will shred it or chop it and freeze it in serving sized portions to mix with rice and beans.

At any rate, to date I have spent a grand total of $69.97. Let's see how far I can stretch what I have bought so far and what I will need to supplement it with.

Now, isn't this much more exciting than me just going from bar to bar and visiting restaurants? Boy, I know it sure is for me.


Katie said...

I like this! Can't wait to hear of your culinary ventures on a limited budget...maybe I'll get some ideas.

And where in HECK did you find 7 grapefruits for $1.99? They're $2.00 a pound up here!

Michaela said...

Great idea - and please do post your recipes (even if self-created) so we can try following along!

Anonymous said...