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My Grocery Challenege Update

May 15, 2008

I’ve been super disorganized with my grocery shopping this month, and I’ve managed to spend $95 of my allocated $145.  Ouch!  I get excited about new recipes I find and want to try them immediately, so I have made several trips to the grocery store for less than $10 worth of food.   However, I do have quite a bit of food on hand, and if I just simply eat what I have, I should be fine to meet my budget.  I swear!

I went to Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) yesterday, which really isn’t the place for a girl on a budget to hang out.  However, I went specifically in search of their bulk food section and wasn’t disappointed.

Granola in yogurt is my favorite breakfast, and I decided to try making my own granola.  I estimated the cost to be about $3 for 2 cups of this (which would be about $9/lb), but maybe I could use less cashews and a lower priced maple syrup to bring the cost down.  The oatmeal was dirt cheap, it was the mix-in’s that brought things up.  The best granola deal seems to be the various organic bulk flavors for about $3.50-$4/lb (not an amazing deal, but tastier than boxed granola).  I could look around for a health food store that offers bulk ingredients at a more competitive price.  So far, I haven’t found making my own granola less expensive than purchasing, and not even more delicious because I burned it!  My next thought was to try making my own yogurt, but perhaps I’m getting too extreme…  Have you ever done this?  Is it cost effective?

Besides granola ingredients (including maple syrup for about $6 and canola oil for $3), I bought to tangelo oranges and a bottle of store brand organic conditioner for $2.  The conditioner was disappointing, but the oranges were very delicious.  I spent a minute suspiciously eying the Naked brand juices.  Can juice really be worth $9 for a small jug? I wanted to try it, but no good can come from it.  Either I like it and start to want it, or i hate it and I’ve wasted my money.

In other food news, I had an out of town friend crash at my place last night, and he inspected the contents of my fridge.  New Castle.  Yogurt.  Cheese.  One egg. Britta pitcher.  Red onion, chopped.  Coffee…. Not much else.  “Do you eat out a lot?”   If he only knew what I could do with the contents of my kitchen! (Mainly the cupboard and freezer, admittedly). What is in your fridge?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2008 12:31 pm

    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000176.html

    Here is a great article about homemade yogurt. I occasionally make my own yogurt and it is always rewarding, but it is different than store bought yogurt.

  2. Alice permalink
    May 23, 2008 4:32 pm

    I also made the Honey Maple Granola from sugarlaws.com and burned it the first time! But try making it again if you haven’t already — it is delicious and definitely worth it. Here’s what I learned:

    The temperature in the recipe is incorrect — it should be 300F instead of 350. Around 20-25 minutes, start checking every 2-3 minutes. It gets brown and the burns really fast. Mine took about 26 minutes.

    Make sure your cashews are chopped very coarsely (like just in half), or they might burn.

    I made my second batch in a 13×9 pan so that no stray pieces would get burned at the edge of the larger baking sheet.

    (I also reduced the raisins to 1/2 cup. One cup was just too much for me.)

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