Monday, April 20, 2009

The Challenge - Day 1

OK so it started out OK and so far we're doing well. I was a bit challenged this morning with what to make for lunch as I hadn't really done any cooking yet for the week so no leftovers!

Anyway, I had baked a nice wide baguette yesterday so I small diced one slice of Canadian bacon and then some onions in just a pinch of canola oil in a non-stick pan, scrambled a couple of eggs into it and then put just under half the eggs into some of the baguette for breakfast and took the rest to work with some more baguette for lunch with a small apple. Henry took 2 apples, and (OK this might be called cheating but since I'm feeding us both on what "da rules" allow for an individual, I let it slide) and some leftover pizza from his dinner the night before. He had gone to Carmelita with his Mum for his Auntie's birthday dinner and it would definitely have been wasteful had he not eaten it and that is probably more important when living on a budget; no waste! He told me he had plenty to eat, I was a bit hungry by dinner time but that's how it's supposed to be right? I had no nibbles at work, we went for more apples after work (small Fuji apples are still on sale for $.10 so we picked up 8 more and a kiwi, also $.10 so we are now down to $.14 left from the $35) because they were so good and a way to keep fresh stuff in us for this challenge.
Returning home I broke down a whole chicken and barbecued the 2 hindquarters and wing segments. I removed the breast meat from the carcass and skinned those, saving them for later in the week. I par-cooked 3 small russet potatoes, cooled and sliced them each into 4 slices and brushed with canola oil and sprinkled with salt before grilling in the same spot where I had cooked the chicken hindquarters to help keep from sticking. Some carrot sticks and ice water and this is how dinner looked ---
This was our dinner day 1, a grilled chicken leg with just salt and pepper, 1 carrot each and we split the 12 slices of grilled spuds (we ended up eating them all although not all shown here) and as you can see out plates were full, protein was about the recommended 4oz each and we're both fact my happy boy proclaimed this one of the best dinners he's had in quite a while, the potatoes rock! and he ate all his carrots. We even have peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for a bit of a sweet treat in a while. I baked these yesterday from our $35 larder so they're legal. Day 1 , successful!

Here's how we started the week...

Saturday prior to the challenge - shopping

Sunday prior to the challenge - bread dough for the week - more on this as the week goes on, baked one loaf of bread and baked peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for the week. The cookies are better made with butter but hey, trying to keep it real so made them with canola oil and I was able to buy just enough oats and chocolate chips from the bulk section.

I used no coupons, I shopped at the following stores; Top Foods, Trader Joe's, Manna Mills (just for the baking yeast), QFC and PCC. As any of you who live in the Seattle area know, both PCC and QFC are not the least expensive groceries by any means but they are the closest to my house and they are right across the street from one another. I know both of these groceries well and I like the products. Trader Joe's is a bit out of the way but the price on organic milk is the best, they have the small package of inexpensive very low fat Canadian bacon, they had the best price on a whole chicken (surprisingly) but that's because chicken wasn't on sale anywhere and I figured this was my best deal on protein for the majority of the week and again I know the store well. Manna Mills is a great store and until PCC came to town was my bulk food and natural food grocer of choice and they still carry the local grass fed beef products I like but they are the only ones that have the bulk baking yeast and I needed just a few tablespoons of it. I hit Top Foods because they had a great sale on small apples for $.10 each and Henry and I both like apples and they are a great way to keep the fresh healthy stuff going as I said before. That's about it for strategy, nothing crazy, shopping took too long obviously at 2.5+ hours and that is not something I would normally do but it's all in the name of getting the job done. I believe I can feed 2 people on the individual allotment all week.

From time to time, you may read a bit from Henry. He has asked that I allow him to comment along the way this week. I asked that he sign his posts with his name so you'll know his words. Let me take a moment to say thinks for reading, please add your comments along the way as I love to get 'em and look forward to them when I get the email notification. Most of all, thanks for the well wishes from all of you who have commented and I hope this helps some who are not as fortunate as we are.



  1. Hi Jim,

    I posted earlier today about wanting to BBQ because it was such a nice day. I'm happy that you did because we don't get too many "nice" days here in Seattle. Day 1 is done, and you're looking good so far :)


  2. Hey Jim,
    Great job. I bought so many apples, lemons, and kiwis from the 10 cent sale at Top Foods. Looks like you did a wonderful job. Can't wait to read about day 2!