Thursday, 19 January 2017



This last Sunday, we started a $21 Challenge.  This week, our grocery spending will only be $21!

Yes, impossible of course!!

Except that it isn’t!  It only takes perseverance, ingenuity and a good mind-set!

On the Saturday, I asked the family what were their grocery essentials – so I could see what substitutions we already had in the cupboard – and so I could see what I would be spending $21 on this week.

Here was our list:
Item
Substitute?
Cereal, coffee and tea
Already have plenty, will just use up.
Eggs
Have 1 dozen = 2 each person for this week.  Cake subs = bicarb and vinegar
Milk
Have 3L UHT and plenty of powder.  Will prob buy 1 x 3L fresh.
Bread
Plenty of bread flour and yeast, will use.
Fruit
Have 20 pieces fresh, 3 lge tins = 5 days worth.  Subs = plenty dried fruit.
Butter
Have 2 x 500g.  Plenty.
Meat
Plenty.  Subs = dried beans.
Potatoes
4kg on hand – should be enough!  Subs = plenty rice and pasta
Garlic
2 whole heads.  Conserve.
Cheese
Have 500g block and 500g grated.  We eat a lot of cheese so will need to major conserve or buy.  Plenty of dried parmesan for cooking.
Yoghurt
300g left.  Have culture to make more, but not enough milk…will make/buy milk.

Hmm, looks like no-one nominated vegetables – LOL!  But they do need to be on the list so here was the situation:
Vegetables
Harvest: tomatoes, cue, carrots, onions, kale; Have half lettuce, 1.5 lge zucc; 3 sweet pots.  Will possibly buy some pumpkin and more lettuce.

So you could be thinking we are well prepared.  And we are – I buy in bulk wherever possible so we do have quite some supplies.  And that is half the point – to do a bit of a pantry inventory and realise you don’t need to mindlessly go shopping and buy the usual $200++ of food.

And, just for the record, my last food shopping day was Friday 13th January.

But what will we eat from what we have?  Won’t it get boring??  I very much doubt it but let’s wait and see.  I will write it all down just for fun :-)!

Breakfast – yoghurt with fruit and nut, eggs on toast, cereal, coffee & tea (milk and sugar)
Morning tea – cake/cookie, salad, fruit, coffee, tea, baked scones and muffins
Lunch – Soup in a cup and toast, fried tomato and cheese on toast, salad
Snacks – fruit, nuts, cheese, crackers, pasta, corn chips,
Dinners –chicken kebabs, BBQ pots/sweet pots, zucc and beans; sticky date pudding and icecream;
-        lamb chops, carrots, zucc, kale - cooked in herby tomato soup, rice
-        sausages and mash, fried tomatoes, baked beans
-        pasta with cheesy, bacon and zucc sauce
-        lamb chops, potato salad and garden salad

Today, we are officially out of milk (fresh was finished on first day, UHT today), so we are buying 1 x 3L.  We are out of fresh fruit, but still have 1.5 tinned.  We are out of cheese, except for a tiny bit of grated.  We will eat salad tonight and that will use up the lettuce…so it is getting down to the wire in terms of variety of food – but there is still plenty to eat here!   Just got to convince the kids ;-)

And we have a birthday tomorrow, so it will be interesting to see what the birthday boy chooses for his celebration dinner!  And, yes, I will blow the budget for that.  Because no matter what, we have done very well and this has been a good lesson for us all to be more mindful consumers.

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