Grocery Challenge – Week 3, Days 1 & 2

This entry is part of a series, AllYou 2010 Grocery Challenge»

We’re starting to use up some stuff in the pantry now but by choice, not by force. Last night, we went to Walmart to buy some household products, like paper towels and scrubbie sponges, neither of which are counted towards our grocery challenge budget (thankfully). We picked up some sour cream though, since they have the best price.

We spent: $1.90
Remaining Budget: $48.10

Today is Shopping Day, so we headed out fairly late to Winco and Rancho. Unfortunately, today was not the day Rancho got all its good produce in — some of the sales advertised in this week’s circular weren’t out on the shelves, like cherries and spinach. But we did manage to get three wonderfully ripe cantaloupes for $2 and a big watermelon for less than $2. I also got some plantains, so I’m going to make that roasted plantain dessert again once they ripen to mostly black. (There will be a blog post, I just need to double-check my measurements before I finish writing it.)

We spent: $8.66
Remaining Budget: $39.44

We also stopped at the little taco truck on 35th South and (roughly) 72nd West for lunch. My husband was hoping for some chicharrón tacos (fried pork rinds) but we were too late, so we got some spicy shredded beef (birria), chicken (pollo), head (cabeza) and pork (carnitas) tacos. Damn but they’re good. They beat the stuffing out of Del Taco or any other Mexican fast food chain.

We spent: $4.00
Remaining Budget: $35.44

Finally, Winco. We weren’t able to get a lot of produce at Rancho today so we had to get it at Winco. Plus, we needed some extra bulk goods – more unbleached flour, gluten flour (for Gluten Bread from the Beard on Bread book later this week) and small items like dried parsley and dried tomatoes. We did, however, opt to spend 45c on a small handful of Crown dark chocolate truffles as a treat. Really rather good, I’m definitely buying them again for my chocolate cravings.

We spent: $33.56
Remaining Budget: $1.88

Yikes! Almost all the way gone again and I’d hoped to buy a box of tea for my husband’s newfound iced tea habit. We still have a ton in the cupboard though, so I’ll plan on that purchase next week.

Monday
Breakfast: Manna (Eng. farina or cream of wheat) with preserves, breakfast sausage patty, homemade applesauce
Lunch: Fried rice
Dinner: Pollack pancakes1 with Tartar Sauce, Curried Bulgur, cabbage-carrot-cucumber salad
Dessert: Pear and peach tart2 (based on the Free-Form Peach Galette) with milk

Tuesday
Breakfast:turkey bacon, hot cereal with strawberries, fried egg3 and coffee
Lunch: Tacos at the taco truck! 4 tacos, $4. Delish.
Dinner: Chef salad with garlic-rosemary bread (again, from Beard on Bread)

Notes:
1. We had this horrible frozen pollack in the freezer. It’s so wet, you can’t easily fry it. Just awful. But I didn’t want to waste it by throwing it away so instead I combined it with everything from the Easy Salmon Cakes in the food processor and whizzed it until it was a thick batter. I had to add more flour and cornstarch just to get it to thicken up a bit more, then fried it up. Tasted pretty good!
2. Another thing I needed to use up — leftover frozen pears from last year and two peaches from last week.
3. The last of the eggs! We skipped eggs at breakfast on Monday so we’d have the last two today. I’m so glad we went shopping today!

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