Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Challenge - Finis!

Ramblings and musings coming on so prepare yourself...

First, the expenditures -

Originally spent $34.96

Ended the week with -

  • 2.5# Russet potatoes - $1.25
  • 1.5# Unbleached white flour - $.75
  • 1 ea Apple - $.10
  • 1 ea Kiwi - $.10 (never did get ripe)
  • 1 ea Lemon - $.10 (used about a teaspoon of juice but still have the rest
  • .5# Fusilli pasta - $.50
  • 8oz Organic marinara sauce - $.55
  • .25# Broccoli - $.25 (stems only which I'll use for stirfy, but leftover nonetheless)
  • .5# Carrots - $.50
  • .75 ea Garlic head - $.40
  • 2 ea Cage free eggs - $.34
Total leftover $6.24

Also leftover -
  • 2 Qts Homemade Chicken stock from the carcass early in the week and veg trims
  • Cost - ? -- Cost for 2 Qts Chicken stock @ the market ~$4 -- Value - Priceless :)
  • Enough aioli to make another sandwich
Not figuring in the last two items, it leaves us having spent a grand total of

Divided by 5 = $5.74 per day

Not to pat ourselves on the back too much but I'm calling this a success. It shows you can eat well, with fresh and varied food and still get veg, fruit and protein into your diet on the cheap. Remember this was for 2 people, we used nothing we already had other than herbs from the garden that were planted years ago and although those are for taste, we could have lived w/o their addition but why. As I wrote earlier in the week, found food is good food and we here in the Pacific Northwest are surrounded by food that can be found and it going to waste a lot. The only fruit I eat near the end of summer is blackberries found everywhere, in fact most people want you to take them and plums from the trees in mine and my neighbors yard. I don't know anyone with fruit trees that is not willing to share if you just ask. It's not charity, gardeners LOVE to share their bounty.

All said and done, I asked Henry how he felt about the week and he will share his thoughts with you all later but to sum it up he let me know he thinks we're pretty lucky to not have to worry about having food in the pantry. We made it all the way through the week and since he had been such a good sport, at the last minute before pizza I told him to run to the store and get himself a soda, my treat. I'm not counting it, I just felt he had earned it by living the week with me.

I never did have that drink last night, just to let you know.

Friday Pizza Night

We made 2 ea 9" pizzas last night with this recipe and I'll try and figure the cost as well

Pizza Dough
  • 3/4 C + 2 Tbl Very warm water (usually I would add olive oil to the 3/4 C thus the 2 Tbl) -Free
  • 2 Tbl Baking yeast - $.12
  • 2 C Unbleached white flour - $.27
  • 1 Tbl Kosher salt - $.03
  • 4oz Organic marinara sauce - $.36
  • 2oz Shredded mozzarella - $.32
  • 1.5oz Canadian Bacon - $.69
  • 1/2 Onion caramelized - $.05
  1. Add yeast to warm water
  2. Add flour and salt
  3. Mix and knead for about 5 mins, place in bowl and cover with a kitchen towel for ~40 minutes
  4. Saute onions until caramelized and set aside
  5. Julienne Canadian bacon and set aside
  6. Preheat oven with stone or inverted cookie sheet to 500F
  7. Roll or pat our 1/2 of dough to about a 9" circle
  8. Top with 2oz marinara & spread 1oz cheese each
  9. Top with your choice of toppings - last night Henry had his with 1oz Canadian bacon, mine was caramelized onions and 1/2oz Canadian bacon
  10. Bake for about 6 minutes
Pizza night for 2 - Food cost $1.84 - Add in the last minute treat soda of $1.19 and we're just over $3. The local pizzeria would have cost more than $20.

1/2 Cheese / 1/2 Canadian Bacon for Henry

Canadian bacon & caramelized onions for Dad

Speaking of pizzerias - This exercise in Hunger Awareness brought up an interesting point... Apparently recipients of Basic Food can spend their allotment at Papa Murphy's but can't spend it on deli food? It would seem to me that this is a bit of an inconsistency as prepared food is prepared food. Anyone know about this? Any other inconsistencies to write about? Anyway, I think it's fine that Basic Food can have allowances for some treats but shouldn't it be able to be used across the board? Also, I think as long as the pizza carries a good supply of veg and no extra cheese (not exactly standard fare on any Papa Murphy's menu that I recall) then pizza is a fine balanced meal but a deli salad of pasta with veg and cheese is too. Just thoughts to ponder...

  • We learned some stuff
  • Henry and I both have more empathy for those not so lucky
  • My son and I had some serious conversations
  • I was inspired by the other bloggers and how they stretch their $s (including how they prioritize, some gave up coffee, others did other stuff)
  • We talked to others about this a lot - at work and at school and I think that was the point of the whole thing if I'm not mistaken, to start the conversation and the thought process
  • I made some new blogger friends

Anyway, although we'll continue to work within our budget we are looking at what we can spare from the savings to help others as well. We have been planning to put what we save from the mean expenditure of King County based on the USDA estimate that families spend 13% of their budgets on groceries into our travel fund but we'll be sharing a bit of that with others so they might not have to worry quite so much about food as well. Just to share what those $s are...

  • The average mean income for a family of 4 in King County = Just under 70K
  • 13% of 70K is $9100 annually or or $758 monthly
  • Splitting that in half for my family of 2 = $379
  • We've been living on $200 in groceries monthly so that = ~$180 per month we are saving
  • $180 per month = $2160 we had planned on for saving

Henry and I will discuss this as a family and somewhere in the future we'll let you know how this is going and how we plan to help others with some of this but for now...who knows

I'll keep writing so keep on reading and I hope I can keep some of the new friends and reds I've gained along the way. Writing is a lot of fun for me so keep checking back or subscribe and thanks for reading


1 comment:

  1. Great post. Its interesting though about the average family of 4 in KC making 70k. I think this number is misleading only because we have an abundance of wealthy tech people working here. We also did pizza Friday night. I love making home made pizza. I'm glad Henry got a soda. Today I need to go grocery shopping and you know.. I will be better aware of what I buy. No more impulse buying for me - hopefully.