Sunday, April 3, 2011

Project Food Budget: Week 13


Lucky week 13 here. Sorry I'm late this week but better late than never. Again, I'm really enjoying moving along without planning a menu. Who knew? I think I'm getting better at cooking vegan food and throwing things together plus, it's taco season, so I see that becoming a more-than-once-a-week affair through the spring and summer months. All that fresh produce and abundance of tomatoes and avocados has me really feelin' it.



This week, I also went to an Asian supermarket called Super H Mart. I've talked about Latin-flavored supermarkets before and how I love the freshness and variety of the tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, etc. (Not to mention how great it is to find pinto beans in bulk.) Super H Mart does the same thing for produce like bok choy, daikon radish, mushrooms and other produce I can't find at my local stores so easy.




And then there was the wall of tofu and seitan.


I found this seitan from a company called Nature's Soy that I used to make banh mi and it was incredible. I will be buying it a lot in the future because it's inexpensive and they manage to get the seitan into a form and texture I've yet to duplicate at home.



I also got some soy cutlets, which are really firm and kind of chewy and hold up to thick sauces and a lot of handling.


And I got some pressed tofu, which is just about my favorite. It's a little bit like the tofu at Pei Wei but softer. It's very smooth inside.


And there were others I didn't get, but want to try in the future.





The big win was the seitan, though. They even had some in cans, which I think would be great to take camping if there's a burn ban. The texture here makes some tasty sandwiches (as you can see with the banh mi I made here).

What I bought:


Super H Mart Trip
Maggi Sauce 3.49
Fried Gluten .99
Chili Garlic Sauce 1.49
Garlic .25
Vegetarian Chicken 1.79
Vegetarian Beef 1.79
Fried Tofu 1.69
Savory Pressed Tofu 1.99
Avocados 2.58
Red Onion .46
JalapeƱos .24
String Beans 1.60
Green Bell Peppers 1.16
Carrots .69
Target Trip
Grape Jelly 1.74
BBQ Sauce 1.52
Brown Rice 1.11
Red Beans 1.39
Great Northern Beans .69
Cilantro .99
Bolillo Rolls 1.99
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Total $29.64


Splurges

No real splurges this week and we're still eating grapefruit and strawberries from last week's splurge-fest. I feel like I bought a lot of tofu, etc. but the strange thing is that the "Use By" dates are much further out. I have a feeling there's a lot more turnover on the tofu at this store than even somewhere like Whole Foods where I walk in and get tofu and it seems to expire shortly after I get it home. Even when I search for better dates at the back, there aren't any. I think I'm going to enjoy being able to stock up without worry.

There is a hidden splurge, though. This store is 33 miles away. Still, if I only make it a monthly or so trip, it will be worth it. Plus, if I take a cooler, I can hit Costco which is about 2/3 of the trip there and that absorbs a little of the cost of driving all the way up there.

Bottom Line

I found a new store that I'm in love with. It's got reasonable prices on things I want and need. It's spring and we're headed into summer which means better produce, more of it and at better prices.

Also, I haven't talked about this much, but I am really feeling like I need to be spending even less and I think that I can do it. Before, I was always planning meals and then not even cooking some of them, so some food would be wasted. Then I planned less meals but that wasn't much better. Now, I'm just buying what's on sale, what's in season and what looks good and winging it and I think I like that best of all.

This week I spent $29.64 of my $75 budget and we ate delicious, easy meals that were also fun and interesting. I'm going to reduce my food budget to $50 and use the extra $25 per week for plants, seeds and other garden goodies for the next couple of months and see if I can make that work in our favor.



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

2 comments:

  1. Stephanie amazing job on that food budget.Holy you do a great job.Cudos!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't wait to see how you do with $50. If you can do it, you have to teach me how!!!

    ReplyDelete

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