a week of food...in review.

granola from ransacked goods
so, i am trying to create a grocery budget...yes, i know lots of people have budgets, stick to them, create them and all that jazz, but i am not a budget person, far too impulsive...especially with food. i love good food.
so, in order to create a budget, i need to know what i normally spend on groceries.
although saying that, i am also trying to be more responsible with what i buy, less wasteful more purposeful food purchases.
so i asked myself, could be a family of 4 live on $80 /week without compromising our desired lifestyle of eating(local and mostly organic, limited processed food).
i tried but i think$80/week is a bit tight for us considering our garden is not a garden these days. so i am back to aiming for $450-500/month.
what does your grocery budget look like?
do you have one?

i thought i'd share a few meals/foods we ate this week at our house, so you know i am not starving my family....quite the contrary my dear.
we have eaten like kings...kings on a budget.
lots of homemade baking this week.

i try to ask my family what they hope for meal wise for the up coming week.
the kids said puffed pancake (check), john said rice (check, check) and I wanted chicken noodle soup and seafood (check check)

whole wheat bread x3 from "artisan bread in 5 minutes a day"

homemade chai concentrate added to black tea, via angry chicken.

leftover bits of bread turned into an adapted version of banana raisin bread pudding from martha stewart.
bread pudding is terrific not only for dessert but for school lunch for the kids, warmish breakfast and even an after-school snack.

a colleague of john's gave a bag of foraged chanterelle mushrooms.
local...from the berkeley hills.

i caramelized the mushrooms, removed them from the pan, pan-cooked chicken, after the chicken was cooked I made a pan sauce with white wine and a splash on cream, finally returned the mushrooms to the pan.
super yummy...the kids said no thanks to the mushrooms but they accepted the sauce on their rice....john says he needs more rice in his diet.
served with roasted cauliflower and spinach.
see we did eat like kings.
do you really care what we ate?


  1. i do love real simple for recipes. and yes, it's good to see what wonderful things can be made on the budget.

  2. you are so freaking inspriring. and yes, we are on for next sat!

  3. this is fantastic!
    i love your food photos!
    a couple years ago i did a grand survey on budgeting - couples and families with small children- only one family got by under $450. this was across the board - cooks from scratch, families who ate processed foods, and people who ate out half their meals could still not keep it under $450. i was shocked, and relieved since i was working so hard to keep it simple, but healthy. that's when we realized that indeed it was better to be eating organic, fresh, in season and locally.
    thank you for sharing great ideas for my dinner tonight!

  4. i just looked at that chai mix. we love chai and i just ran out of a mix, that sounds a lot like this, that we add to sweetened condensed milk. we love spicy, is this pretty spicy, flavorful? i just might give it a go! thanks!

  5. It all looks fabulous - especially the mushrooms! mmmmmm. Love me some mushrooms! How do you like that bread recipe? I use it off and on.

  6. I spend an embarrassing amount of money on food, if you spend $80 for a family of 4! You go! Amazing what you can do with that. Your meals look delicious.

  7. let's be clear...i am trying a budget...so far this month we are around the $450 mark...$80/wk is a bit tight!

  8. would this colleague of John's happen to be a guy named Clark?

  9. Love your food blogs. I get super excited about cooking and trying new things. Everything looks delicious! I have to admit that I have taken some of the recipes that you cooked and made them myself. Love your finds for great flavorful food.
    When I saw that you created a budget for your food I laughed as I just started collecting recipts to figure out how much im spending.
    I eat local when I can... But living in Wisconsin this is a no go during the winter.
    I also eat mostly organic... Family, just me and my husband. Ya Have to say im spending $100 to $150 a week. Wow your budget blows me away!
    Hope my being able to have my own garden this year will help knock down cost!
    Thanks for sharing your adventures!

  10. Mmm this is super inspirational -- we're really been trying to get back to basics with our cooking. We were ordering in a lot, costing ourselves WAY too much cashola and feeling fatty fat. We were both down about 5lbs after just two weeks of veggies and good stuff -- no more pizza. ick!
    I definitely love reading posts like this one -- gives me great ideas for future good eats! MERCI!

  11. Ugh, I hear you. We try to do beans and rice one a week, but I do add things like tortillas and sour cream to the table to make it more exciting. The other budget-helper meals we do are baked potatoes once a week with some cheap topping like steamed broccoli or apple-ghouda sausages from Costco and of course, pasta. It's so hard to blend health and budget, isn't it?


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