Project: Food Budget, Week #10

Target's section of frozen vegan and vegetarian offerings isn't too bad, I suppose, but the prices are kind of crazy considering how big box this place is... But hey, organic limes were the same price as regular limes and they were good and juicy. I think sometimes it balances out somehow. I do love how there's a giant shrimp cocktail right above the "meatless" section, though. Nice touch.

This week, I don't have any main meals planned. I don't have anything at all planned, in fact. Spring break is coming up. I'm doing a lot of planning and researching for work stuff plus dealing with some crap there that has my planning muscles all occupied. It's also a bit exhausting, so I kind of don't want to worry about cooking so much. I guess you could call this week a week of convenience foods.

Celery 1.49
Smoked Paprika 5.99
BBQ Sauce 1.54
Limes 2.36
Cocoa 2.50
Ghirardelli Chips x 3 6.00
Boca Chik 2.98
Lemons 2.50
Potatoes 1.77
Bananas .74
JalapeƱos .40
Orange .44
Earth Balance x 2 6.88
Cheese Singles for Omnis 2.68
Frozen Burritos 2.98
Pickles 1.50
Bread 5.69
Pita Bites 6.39
Parmesan for the Omnis 7.39
Kirkland Mac + Cheese for Omnis 7.99
Red Pepper Hummus 5.99
Cranberry Juice 5.99
Tea Bottles for Boyfriend's Work 10.99
Shiner Bock Family Reunion 22.99
Total 116.17

Just about everything felt like a splurge to me.

Chocolate chips were on sale for $2 so I got three packs (That's like 10 batches of cookies there, hard to pass up).

I bought bread and I usually make it. I bought hummus and I usually make it. Tea was purchased but hey, if he buys it at work, it's twice as much, so maybe that's saving... $22 of beer was purchased but hey, that will probably last us through the summer. We don't buy that very often. If I just preface things with "but hey," then it makes it all right, no?

I haven't gotten macaroni and cheese for the boy for a while, but he's been eating me out of house and home. I literally cannot keep up with his teen needs. Every hour and a half he's like, "Mom, will you cook me something?" So I got him some of that and some frozen bean burritos so that he can make those snacks himself.

Smoked paprika cost me an arm and a leg, but it really is pretty wonderful and I've used it twice already. Once in "ribz" and once in some Spanish rice. Yum. I really like it and will be looking for it in bulk the next time I hit Central Market or Whole Foods (didn't go to those stores this week).

I'm out of Earth Balance so had to stock up on that. While I was there, I saw a new contender: Bestlife Buttery Spread. It was half the price of Earth Balance. I looked at the ingredients and didn't see any of the usual offenders. So, I pulled out the phone and checked to see if anyone had made any contact with the company, and it turns out that *sometimes* the vitamin D is sourced from animals.

On the one hand, I don't feel like I can buy this because I *know* what the deal is... but on the other hand, I feel like this falls into that area of not flipping my shit and being unable to sleep due to gnashing of teeth over .001 of possibly animal-derived ingredients. In the end, I decided that I had a choice and so I chose Earth Balance even though it cost more. If someone was standing before me and said, "For $3.44 I'm just going to hurt the animal you see before you a little, but if you give me $6.88 I won't hurt him at all," well, I think you know what I would do.

Now, on another similar note, help me contemplate this. I bought American cheese singles for the kiddo because he's out and lately he's all about the grilled cheese and soup combo. The soup he eats is vegan (lentil or tomato or minestrone, etc. either made from scratch or Amy's vegan versions) and he uses Earth Balance to coat his bread. He does not like vegan versions of cheese, however. I don't blame him, I'm not much of a fan and would just rather not have cheese at all. But he can tolerate (even enjoy) *nearly* vegan (sometimes I think that should be the name of my blog, rather than newly vegan - ha!) versions of cheese like the Veggy Slices from Galaxy foods that have just a smidge of casein in them but otherwise no animal products. So, I should just go on and buy those, right?

I have some guilt over depriving the omnis around here of their favorite dairy bits, can you tell? But, as I've said before, they are both very understanding. They are both very cooperative. They are both very on board with this, just clinging to a few things. This is not a fight or a struggle about animal flesh so I feel pretty fortunate that they meet me all the way over here where I am and without complaint. Boyfriend even went so far this week as to ask me if it weirded me out to see him eating cheese and he told me to let him know if it gets to that point. My son ate seitan ribs with delight and they both give me pointers on how to improve my fake meats to their liking and they do it with love in their hearts. They don't say, "What the hell are these things? These aren't ribs!" They say, "These are pretty good but next time let's have even more sauce and more crusty bits like Kansas City 'burnt ends' " They think it's fun and an adventure when I try to replicate things. They laugh about seitan that comes out either tasting like hot dogs or play dough.

So, when I think about taking it upon myself to further squeeze out a bit of dairy on their behalf, I feel a little guilt and wafflage. Then again, I realize that there's no way I'm ever going to be able to replicate Parmesan to their liking, so I guess I should just buy the almost vegan cheese and not worry.


In other news, I read a quote this week from Mark Twain that I hadn't seen before and it struck a nerve...

"Of all the creatures, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot."

Bottom Line

I was $41.17 over my $75 for the week. I bought a lot of crap. This week, what I did was not so much buy food, but buy myself some time. Last week I was $47.45 under budget, so I guess it all balances out. I can't let every week look like this week, but I have to admit, it kind of feels good.

This entry is part of Project: Food Budget. (Join here!) Check out how the entire crew is doing:


  1. Good to know about Target! I don't think I've ever checked out their frozen food section.

    In the future, there's a brand of spices called Badia (I think) that you can find in the Mexican/Spanish section of grocery stores (our section is called "Hispanic," which doesn't really make sense because that means "Spanish speaking" and the food items aren't speaking Spanish, but whatever!) that is really inexpensive. You can get smoked paprika for about $1.89.

  2. I would buy the nearly vegan cheese for sure. That is moving in the right direction, and you will both be happy!

  3. Great post..I really like your food ones.I talked about it in my blog.I hope you don't mind.I really relate on the family's hard to make them change.But, I HOPE to get better at cooking abd baking vegan so it will be easier.Right now it's my new Hobby as someone said on a forum and I think it fits.Good luck on inproving the fake

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Everytime I read your blog, I am convinced you live in Austin with us.

    I think the cheese substitutes are the most difficult. I have found several good meat alternatives, but the cheeses are usually really gross. Daiya is pretty good though. It has a bit of a buttery flavor and melts well. When I was making grilled cheese, I would mix it with regular cheese to stretch the budget and wean off the cheese.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Vegan Lentil and Red Quinoa Tacos

I Came for the Health Benefits but I'm Staying for the Animals

Meatless Monday