Monday, May 04, 2015

Food Stamp Challenge, Part 2: Dougloid Goes Shopping And Gears Up For Some Fine Dining

After a little thinking about this project I decided that you can't live on a budget without doing some basic meal planning. That, in turn, will dictate what you buy and how much of it.

The project starts with tonight's supper.

The idea of planning meals is anathema to most of us who have the money, but when you've got a budget to work with, planning is in order if you want to get the best nutritional and tasteful bang for your buck

I was thinking, I'm going to make some fideo because I've always wanted to try it, and this seemed like a good opportunity. Another thing to keep in mind is that some of these things are likely to be on hand and some things you buy will last a lot longer than a week. So I was thinking, fideo tonight,  stir fry lo mein tomorrow and Wednesday, spaghetti Thursday, huevos rancheros or Texas style beans on Friday, Saturday channah masala with rice, and Sunday chicken thighs.

I started with the assumption that a person with no assets and no income would be entitled to $194.00 a month, which when divided by 4.3 comes out to $46.19 per week. So I dug out the above pictured $46.19 and headed off to the local super.

Of course, there are a few things that I already had on hand so I tried to account for them by adding their prices in like onions, bacon, coffee, milk, fruit and cold cereal which I had on hand.

So what happened? I overspent. That's what happened. The total tabulation is below.

$1.51 2 cans Star Kist light tuna in water
$1.99  Guerrero flour tortillas
$1.98  2 cans Hy-Vee bean with bacon condensed soup
$2.00  loaf of Old Home butter top white bread.
$1.80 2-2 liter bottles of store brand ginger ale
$0.83 1 can chickpeas
$1.88 2 pounds white rice
$2.69 store brand mayonnaise
$1.69 1 pound dried pinto beans
$2.99 8 oz olive oil
$1.99 2 pounds thin spaghetti
$1.43 store brand marinara sauce
$2.69 La Victoria green chile salsa
$0.69 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
$1.29 28 oz can of peeled tomatoes
$2.50 1 pack Sargento shredded Mexican cheese
$5.98 large pack of fresh chicken thighs (a bargain at $1.49 per pound)
$0.72 six fresh jalapenos
$1.38 two bunches of green onions
$1.79 bag of garden salad
$1.59 one dozen eggs, large

all of which adds up to $41.41.

In addition I have on hand
$3.50 1 pound of store brand bacon
$5.99 36 ounce package of frosted shredded wheat
$1.50 1 pound box of grits
$1.99  bag of onions
$0.50 2 heads of garlic
$0.79 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
$2.00 four apples
$1.59 container of cider vinegar
$1.39 stick of butter
$2.25 four ounces of coffee beans
$1.69 1/2 gallon 2% milk.

and the usual odds and ends usually found in a reasonably well stocked kitchen-salt, sugar, pepper, spices, no stick spray,.


So as you can see I overspent by about fifteen dollars. However, there are things we already have, and things that will last far beyond one week, so I am pretty close to being on target. I can't see demolishing a fairly substantial jar of mayo, 2 pounds of rice, a pound of dry beans and all those chicken thighs in one week.

It's an uncommonly large collection of good eating in store and I think the biggest problem will be consuming it all. Plus time in the kitchen is always well spent.

Stay tuned.


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