Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2010 Urban Pantry Challenge

1/27/10 I've edited the following post to include all of my purchases hopefully in a more concise order.

For the 2010 - 2011 UPC it occurred to me that I should give more details, show my work = tips, tricks, trades, & blessings for food that we don't grow or harvest. LSS show the grocery store receipts.

Hence the shopping cart full of chicken. In theory this is enough chicken to last us until May. At that time the salad bed and early garden produce such as peas will be in harvest. I can sub veggies for meat entrees if not at dinner then for lunch. Husband is more inclined to accept a meatless meal mid day than for dinner.
One chicken roaster every other week.
Perdue Chicken Roasters were a loss leader last week selling for 89 cents a pound, up 10 cents from last year. Took me until the final day of the sale to make a decision. Buy now or wait for a better/worse price.

8 oven roaster chickens average weight was 5.8 pounds
1 bottle of Soy sauce - $1.69 for 10 oz on sale.
5 jars of Store brand Spaghetti sauce - $1 per jar on sale.
1 package of Italian sausage on sale for $1.88 per pound. 2 1/2 lbs. package will give us 5 meals.
1 package of 90% lean ground beef discounted, almost 3 lbs.
Total = $70.86

One bird gave us 2 dinner meals, enough chicken salad for 3 lunches, & once the chicken carcass was boiled enough chicken stock for soup later on. On the menu for last night's dinner was sliced cukes & roma toms in ranch dressing, shredded chicken in homemade gravy with garlic, sage, & rosemary (herbs were either grown or bartered for), broccoli (freezer last years garden), sauteed sweet potatoes (aldis), mashed potatoes ( 50 lbs./$10 farmers stand). Cooked on wood stove but that's for another blog post.
Soy sauce used for a veggie dinner. This dinner meal which was basically everything vegetables left in the fridge was sauteed. Also added in re hydrated vegetables such as green bell peppers put up last Summer. Side dish was white rice.
About one pound of the ground beef used for a nacho salads. Rest in freezer.
Sauce went to restocking the pantry. Hopefully next Summer I won't have to deal with tomato blight and will be able to can homemade spaghetti sauce instead of buying it.
Italian sausage was for DD#3 & I since we don't care for the Italian
venison/pork sausage husband & DD#2 made. Yes we have issues with game meat. Would be cheaper if we didn't but we do.

Husband ran to Aldis for me a few days before and bought the following items; gallon of 2% milk, package of sliced ham, Italian dressing, roma tomatoes, romaine hearts, coffee creamer (original item that I asked for), sour cream, can of black olives. If I had gone I wouldn't have bought the ham (Husbands lunches) or the sour cream. Doubtful on the salad dressing. Total = $13.68

Cost cutting changes - make salad dressings.
Consider planting patio tomatoes for houseplants. Would entail threatening my red head step child (husband's cat Hunter a red tabby) with harm to keep him from digging in the soil.

Grocery update for the month of January -
1/06/10 - $22.19 bought 16 cans of Progresso soup, 19 oz size & canned tomatoes 28 oz size. 3 cans to
added to the cellar pantry. Normally I don’t buy canned toms but since last years harvest was non existent
there wasn’t any to can. These were an advertised special a.k.a. loss leader @ a dollar each. Normally I
don’t buy canned toms but since last years harvest was non existent there wasn’t any to can. Dawn dish
soap 24 oz. used a 20¢ off coupon that was doubled and Colgate toothpaste used $1 off coupon that was
doubled. These should have been acquired though bartering . Canned soup is a fav with husband to keep
in his locker @ work for those times when he has no packed lunch.
1/16/10 Adis $19.02 - 2 bags of white corn tortilla chips 99¢ each, 2 tubs of quick oats $1.79 each, jar of peanut butter $1.39, bag of brown sugar $1.19, TP for $5.29, fresh bell pepper (used in a veggie dip for church coffee hour) . Also bought a dozen eggs because my usual source was down 79¢. While shopping I realized that Adis sells ground corn flour or Mesa for tortilla making. Eventually then we can make tortilla chips that we use for nacho salad a family dinner favorite.
1/27/10 Tops Market $36.80 - loss leaders that I bought today @ Tops were; eggs 69¢ bought 3 dozen, butter $1.49 pound cheaper than the dairy’s employee discount deal I was included in last October bought
2 pounds, & Carnation evaporated milk a $ a can stocked up & bought 10 for the pantry.
Soda pop is also on sale 2 liter bottles for a buck bought 2. Nice to have on pizza night .
Unable to barter for a gallon of bleach so I purchased a gallon of no name for $1.49. Also bought a small box of powder milk for $4.99. Been without for a few weeks. For me it is a hardships not having it on hand. Tonight I am planning on making cream of Broccoli Soup. Frozen
broccoli from last year’s garden, chicken stock from the bird I roasted last week, & powdered milk. Can't get any easier than that. Grilled
Swiss cheese made with mustard rye bread baked yesterday.
2 cans for tuna packed in h2o @ 99¢ & a pound of deli German bologna both for school lunches.
If I had the extra money I’d have also bought a large family sized package of split chicken breasts @ 99¢ a pound. Nice to have on hand when I don’t have any chicken leftovers. 2 nice sized breast can fill out a pot of soup.

$5.90 spent @ restaurant supply store for 2 lbs of Fleishman’s yeast for baking. I won’t go into how
many teaspoons are in a pound (anyone out there a math whiz?) but single yeast packets which hold 2
teaspoons retail for 79¢ each. If you don’t have someone to split the package/cost divide it up in sections & freeze for later use.
Total -

~~ pelenaka ~~


  1. I am curious as to why you put an importance on farm stands and growing food at home, but don't seem to mind purchasing conventional meat? A chicken from Perdue is a far cry from a farm-raised bird. Is your mission strictly financial? It strikes me as odd (after tasting the difference that homegrown food exhibits) that you don't shun traditional processed food products. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  2. Your absolutely correct about commercially raised meat it doesn't compare to farm/pastured raised. My BBGFs(informal barter/co-op group) has been searching for both an environmentally & economically friendly alternative when it comes to chicken. But & this is a big but I won't pay upwards of $8 for a 2 lbs. roaster bird organic free range or not even if I was flush with $. That is just wrong.
    The beef cow that I bought into while it wasn't certified organic it was primarily pastured raised, was very reasonably priced.
    For the most part we do shun processed food preferring to do scratch cooking - health & money the main reasons.
    The 3rd reason is simply a matter of control & knowledge. I have always found it ironic that bragging about one's inablitiy to even boil water was considered a good thing.

  3. We use enough soy sauce that I buy it by the gallon. It's cheaper, especially at the Asian stores, and keeps forever in the fridge. I also get gallon jugs of the rice vinegar and seasoned rice vinegar while at the Asian store.

    My favorite easy salad dressing is prepared mustard, maple syrup, and vinegar with whatever herbs/seasonings go with the current salad. If you don't want it fatfree, use some oil, too. I have cheap "maple syrup" made with 2 parts sugar to 1 part water boiled and then flavored with maple flavoring. Using brown sugar works if you run out of flavoring. And the vinegar is homemade so extra cheap.

  4. Soy is used sparingly around here - DH has a thing about soy (estrogen). Yeah I know. I just nod & keep my thoughts top my self.
    I'll tweak that sald dressing recipe a bit & use Stevia & maple flavoring instead of the maple syrup.Unfortunetly I have joined the diabetic epidemic.
    Remember my father's Aunt making pancake syrup out of brown sugar once. I thought she was a God !
    Thaks Chili for the recipe.


Thanks, good to know there are other's with this interest