Friday, 7 February 2014

$100 Grocery Challenge Update #1

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Week One of this challenge has gone great!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE how much money I am saving and how easy it is!  All I can say is that if you're prepared, committed, and accepting of not eating meat or gourmet meals every day - there is a TON of money to be saved.  Above are the groceries I bought, and below is the grocery docket.  I spent $71.20 at Pak n Save, which means I have $28.80 left for the month.  I am going to the supermarket twice only this month, and if I run out of anything in between I simply have to make do.  I bought staple items and two types of meat at the first shop, to supplement what I already have in my freezer and pantry.

As mentioned above, being prepared is the #1 rule to saving money on groceries.  Not only does it mean there is no need to think about buying lunch or ordering takeaways for dinner, but it also gives you an incredible sense of satisfaction!  So on the first day of the challenge, I made: 

Bread. Half white, half wholemeal flour.

Muffins.  I had two oranges in the fridge to use up, so I found a cheap, basic orange muffin recipe, and I added two other items I wanted to use up - half a cup of coconut, and a square of fudge.  These were DELICIOUS!

Cornbread.  An American fave, and fast becoming one of my faves.  I added bacon to the recipe to up the protein.  I have plenty of bacon to use up from portioning the packet of bacon I purchased last month.

Pesto.  I made basil pesto for the first time and it was delicious!  I even made it frugally - basil from a pot I keep on the deck, canola oil, finely grated tasty cheese and salt.  No pinenuts, no olive oil, no parmesan!  Just YUM.

Potatoes.  I boiled up a pot of potatoes and mixed through the pesto, to take on a picnic the next day.

Yellow rice.  I made a large pot of basmati rice to use later in the week, and added turmeric for colour and flavour.

Porridge.  I made all my breakfasts for the week and popped them in the fridge in portioned containers.  Oats are the cheapest breakfast food imaginable, and so diverse.  I added sunflower seeds from a bag I had in the pantry, plum jam, and a cube of cream to approximately a cup of porridge in each container.  My daughter refuses to eat breakfast, or I would have prepared something for her too.  However there is always enough food for her, if she were to change her mind.

Lunches.  I prepared peanut butter sandwiches for my daughter made from bought bread (she doesn't really like the bread I make - fussy teenagers!) and froze them in snaplock bags in the freezer.  I then cut up five large carrots, and boiled 10 eggs - five for my daughter and five for me.  My eggs went into a container in the fridge and hers went into snaplock bags with carrot sticks.

So all she needs to do each morning is take a sandwich from the freezer (it will be thawed by lunchtime, and tastes perfectly fresh!) and a bag of carrot sticks/boiled egg.  There will also be enough sandwiches for next week.

So, onto the meals we ate for the week!

On Saturday I felt like kicking off the challenge with something fancy, so I chopped up a tomato and an avocado that my colleague had given me, and scrambled three eggs with water.  This delicious breakfast cost me $0.75c!  For the rest of the day I snacked on food that I made, including bread, cornbread and muffins (mmmmmm...).  My daughter was away today.

On Sunday I had a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast before running out the door to go for a walk/picnic.  I didn't take photos of our lunch, but it was pesto potatoes, homemade bread and homemade guacamole (from my colleagues tomatoes and avocados).  Dinner was cornbread, guacamole and fried rice with tomato, spinach, and a little leftover cubed potato.


Breakfast: Porridge.

Lunch: Leftovers for me - lunch is always the same for my daughter, as photographed earlier.

Dinner: Leftovers Soup.  I keep a container in the freezer where I add any sorts of leftovers - rice, cooked vegetables, etc.  When it gets full, I make soup with it.  In this soup there was a lot of pumpkin, rice, and leftover chicken and rice soup.  I added to this a little Thai chicken green curry that my colleague gave me, a tablespoon of red curry paste, and a can of coconut cream.  It was delicious, and even my fussy teenager ate it!  I served it with plenty of homemade croutons.


Breakfast: Porridge.

Lunch: Sushi, free lunch on work trip.

Dinner:  As yesterday.


Breakfast: Porridge.

Lunch: Sandwiches etc all round.

Dinner: Vegetable fried rice (with oil and chicken salt for flavour).


Breakfast: Porridge.

Lunch: Leftovers.

Dinner: Chicken and vegetable fried rice (with a small packet of chicken schnitzel from the freezer).


Breakfast: Porridge.

Lunch: Sandwiches etc.

Dinner: Bacon and egg fried rice.

All beverages consumed were water.

Anytime we were hungry between meals we snacked on homemade bread (with peanut butter or jam), muffins, cornbread or carrots.  I would have done more baking if needed.  

So that's the end of a great frugal weeks' eating!  Not only did we barely make a dent in the amount of food available to us, but we also ate a good balance of protein (meat, eggs), carbs (rice, homemade bread, potatoes) fats (canola oil, avocado) and vegetables.  And I love that all of our meals were made from scratch.  As I had some long days at work, I defaulted to rice a lot.  Next week I intend to get a little more adventurous in the kitchen - here's a sneak peek for you!

Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

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