Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pantry Challenge: Week 1 Update

As I detailed in my Week 1 Grocery post, we had a big FAIL here for grocery spending, overspending our $50 budget by $18.16. That leaves me with $31.84 for this week. My plan is to keep to that. I just bought milk, we have eggs, and barring unforeseen issues all we need this week is coffee, frozen peas, and Target diapers. Between Target and Sam's, that should run me $20.

Why did I overspend? Well, the diapers were a big culprit. I also splurged on two pot roasts I didn't need but were great deals, as well as 5 boxes of crackers. The crackers were $.60 a box, about half what I'd pay at Aldi, because of sales and coupons. Ordinarily I might have resisted, but my husband bought a three-pack of cheese spread awhile ago and we had no good crackers left to put it on. Rather than waste $7 of cheese, I paid the $3 for crackers.

For new readers, we are a family of three. Myself, my husband, and our two-year-old. Our son eats breakfast and lunch at daycare, and we bring our lunches to work every day.

What have we been eating?
Breakfasts: homemade biscuit donuts, toast with pumpkin butter, bacon, cereal, steel-cut oats, apples, juice and coffee
Lunches: dinner leftovers, raviolis, yogurt
Dinners: pizza (two nights), chicken pot pie (two nights), potato soup (two nights), turkey soup (tonight)
Snacks: crackers, fruit, cheese, cookies, cake balls

I normally wouldn't make soup on back to back nights, but the little man and I both have stuffy noses and he has a nasty cough. He has asthma, so we try to nip these things in the bud as soon as we can. We are snowbound today, so I have plenty of time to attend to the soup. A lot of people find soup-making intimidating, but all it really requires is patience. While the turkey stock is cooking, I've got a big pan of homemade bread crumbs drying out in the oven. I made these this morning by tossing a gallon-bag worth of bread loaf ends into the food processor. Some of these will probably end up in a meatloaf this week.

I also made a small batch of clementine marmalade, adapting and messing up Alton Brown's orange marmalade recipe in the process (I put the sugar in way too soon). We'll crack one open this week and I'll share if it turned out. It tasted good, but I'm not sure it will gel. (Marmalade can take up to two weeks to gel.) This is my fourth batch of jam/preserves and only the first one really turned out. The second never set and the third was overcooked.

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