Saturday, January 3, 2009

Being a Good Steward This Year - The Grocery Challenge

I have decided that this year I need to be a better steward of my gifts from God. Overall I think I do OK but I want to see if I can improve in the area of meals. My goal is to plan more nutrient dense meals for less. I find myself getting busy, pop into the grocery store, grab a few items and then get home to find out I already have 3 of something and none of something else I needed. I also want to plan things so that those partial cans of things get used in something else, the leftovers are sent with my kiddo's to school or eaten for another family meal.

So here is my first run at 2 meals. Today I baked the Ginger Lemon Girl Favorite Sandwich Bread. I doubled the batch and made 1/2 into 2 mini loaves and 8 hamburger buns. I took the other 1/2 of the batch and made a loaf of bread for sandwiches for the week. By the way this bread does really well on the counter. We had it there for almost a week w/o it drying out. Today I noticed flecks of white mold so the last 3 pcs went to the birds.

Two meals (Chili & BBQ's) Ingredients total $13.20.

Grass Fed Ground Beef (1 2/3 cups) $4.75
Can Organic Kidney Beans $ .99 cents
Can Organic Northern Beans $1.78
Can Organic Beef Broth $2.79
Can Organic Tomato Paste $1.09
Leftover 1/2 of 28 oz Can of Organic Diced Tomatoes $1.45
1/2 Organic Red Onion diced .32

First I made chili. I browned the ground beef and took 1/2 of it and put it in a soup pot with once can of kidney beans, northern beans, beef broth and 1/2 the can of tomato paste plus the leftover diced tomatoes. Then I added 1/4 of the red onion. I seasoned it with 1 Tbs Chili powder, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp Penzeys minced garlic, 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp celtic sea salt and some pepper. I also added a few red pepper (the hot flakes) for some "zing".

Next, I made BBQ for the buns I baked. I took the other 1/2 of the ground beef and added the rest of the tomato paste with 1 cup of water. Then I added the other 1/4 of diced onion. For seasoning I add 1/4 cup of ketchup (I use Trader Joes because it uses sugar and not high fructose corn syrup), 1 Tbs Yellow Mustard and 2 Tbs Brown Sugar. I simmer it and add a touch of celtic salt and pepper.

Tonight we had:
Rotisserie Chicken from CostCo $4.99
1/4 the bag of Peas and Pearl Onions $1.25
Au Gratin Potatoes from Trader Joes (no hydrogenated oils) $1.99

Dinner cost: $8.24 for 4 of us but....... 1/2 the chicken was left so it will be used for another meal so really it was only $5.74 for the entire meal.

I currently have a banana bread (Bette Hagman's) in the oven. Thankfully I made up the Four Bean Flour mix for Christmas baking and had leftovers so I put the flour in the freezer. I used 2 very squishy banana's on the counter for my bread. I put it into my mini loaf pans so I can freeze one for later. My kids will need snacks this coming week.

So far so good. No trips to the store since New Years Eve. I will continue to try to be creative with what is in the house for the next few days.

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