We just finished our second week plus a day of eating from the pantry (and only spending $150 for groceries for the month of August). The pantry was a little barer than it was when we began, but our fridge was full of beautiful vegetables from our CSA. Two very sweet friends brought soup on two different days early in the week as I was recovering from being sick. And one of them gave me a whole, cooked (local, organic) chicken later in the week. I pulled all the meat off, made stock out of the bones, and then cooked a warming soup with coconut milk, lime, and ginger. And odds and ends of vegetables.
I’ve had a bad cold all week, and John came down with it later in the week, so I actually cheated a little and bought several boxes of Traditional Medicinals tea and a jar of honey that I’m not counting toward our total for this month. I’ve been thinking about how it’s such a fine line between food and medicine– what actually counts toward the grocery budget, and what doesn’t? Anyway, I made the executive decision to just buy the tea and honey and not stress about it.
One somewhat unexpected benefit of eating from the pantry this month is that I have been just thinking about the overall functionality and aesthetics of our kitchen space. Like I wrote earlier, we’ve lost a lot of pantry space because of Will, and we also lost the storage space under our kitchen island, so I’ve moved a lot of things around over the past few months. But some things were moved hastily and not planned out very well. So I’ve decided that I want to make our kitchen space work a little better. And if possible… be a little prettier. The latter is the hardest, because I also don’t want to spend much money at all. But I’ve changed a few things around, bought a few new glass jars for things, and hopefully soon I can show you all the somewhat improved space! (Baking supplies below– I already had most things in glass jars, but I transferred baking powder to a glass jar, got rid of some old odds and ends, and peeled the labels off a few bottles (vanilla, ghee, and molasses) and replaced with paper labels to create a somewhat more unified appearance. It’s still, as you can see, not Pinterest-worthy glamorous, but it’s uncluttered, and I like it.)
Anyway, here is what I’ve spent on groceries over the past week plus a day or so:
Aug. 10 $16.50 For 2 dozen eggs (local, pastured), a pound of organic butter, and a block of not organic cheese
Aug. 11 $24.50 Cheese, corn tortillas, organic pork sausage (a pound and a half), 4 avocados, 7 bananas, and a small amount of real salt from the bulk bins for some pickles I planned to make
Aug. 13 $4.00 bread
Aug. 17 $15.50 Raw, organic cheese, coffee filters, smoked oysters (for Will), 5 bananas, and dill (for some pickles I started a few days ago)
Total: $60.50, Remaining: $55.50
And here’s what we ate:
August 10, Sunday My fever was gone this morning, but a terrible cough has settled in. Sigh. Once again John has fended for himself and the baby for breakfast and lunch. I ate about a third of a cup of yogurt in the morning, and a piece of cheese toast for lunch. A dear, wonderful, angel-heart of a friend brought us over a big pot of lentil soup for dinner.
August 12, Tuesday Breakfast was eggs and toast all around, plus banana and cheese for Will. Lunch: I ate the rest of the lentil soup my friend brought. Will had another egg, some beans, and sweet potatoes. John took our last two pieces of bread and a tomato to work to eat with some tuna fish he had in his office. Dinner: ANOTHER super sweet friend brought us soup for dinner. Along with a loaf of bread. Truly manna from heaven because I’m still feeling not great and the kitchen is piled with dishes I haven’t done from earlier in the day.
August 13, Wednesday Dinner: I made some pesto from CSA basil and we ate it with pasta, a small amount of the sausage I bought on the 11th (and froze in small portions) cooked up with onions and all tossed with finely chopped celery leaves.
August 14, Thursday Breakfast: More soaked porridge with raisins and cinnamon, plus 2 eggs for Will. Working on organizing the spices and overhauling the pantry in general and as I was cleaning out one dark corner I discovered half a bar of chocolate that had fallen down out of sight! Not too old, either!
August 15, Friday Made coconut chicken soup from the chicken a friend of ours gave us. Used my last can of coconut milk and ginger powder instead of fresh ginger (didn’t have any fresh). John has come down with a cold as well, so lots of soup and tea for both of us.
August 16, Saturday Chicken soup for lunch and supper. Odds and ends for Will, some chicken and vegetables from the soup, bits of avocado, scrambled eggs.
August 17, Sunday Lunch: chicken soup Dinner: Roasted potatoes & tomatoes with heaps of pesto (pretty much all either from our CSA last week or this)
Here’s the pantry (when we started on the left, today on the right):