Saturday, March 8, 2014

Cooking: Eating on a budget

Living on a budget is all well and good. But the grocery store is my downfall. I have had a general budget of $200 in my head for a few years. I saved our receipts for a month and we spend about $250 a week. Not terrible, but not great. I am trying to get that down closer to $175. Tricky because I refuse to buy anything but hormone free meat and non- Asian fish.  I try very hard to buy as much organic produce as possible. Summers are easy as I hit the local farmers market and while they are not certified organic on paper, most local farms are organic in practice.

I am on a mission. Part of it is restock my freezer, feed my family well and cheaply and find a way to save money.
 I have spent an average of $160 a week the past three weeks, so I am doing okay. I have figured out better the one dish that turns into two trick as well as that  my freezer is my friend. I bought meat today and froze most of it. I hope to be better at the make and freeze meal trick by summer when I can make fresh foods and freeze them. 
My girlfriend turned me onto Aldi. I was a total snob about Aldi,  but I am a convert. I spent $60 two weeks ago on things like cheese, snack crackers, tostada shells, blueberries (organic), carrots, frozen ravioli and more. I was a total cynic and now I am preaching!  I can't do all my shopping there, but what I can buy is cheap. I heard the one across the state line has wine. I like wine.

Life is too short to eat bad food. We are foodies to the core and while we are willing to sacrifice somethings, food is not one of them. 

Swann's Cheap Eats Menu
Swim banquet: I am taking  dessert
Balsamic chicken (crockpot)/ spaghetti squash with Parmesan and tomatoes/ roasted broccoli 
Whole Roasted Chicken/ eggplant Parmesan/ sauteed carrots

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