Monday, March 30, 2015

Two People, Fifty Dollars

Two people, fifty dollars.  That's our weekly grocery budget.

After taking a finance class that asked the question "On what do you spend your money and time?" My husband and I decided we spend too much money on food.  And with that, I now spend much more time on food.  Cooking it, planning it out, bemoaning a meal of three sides.... 

The Rules
The goal is to purchase the basics, milk, bread, eggs, cheese, butter, potatoes every week.  Purchase on sale fruits and veggies.  Grab a few grains (preferable ancient grains, but pasta and rice once a week is fine with us).  Grab a few beans.  Add a couple treats.  Stock up on a staple.

We also have $100 a month to spend on food for entertaining and social activities.  So far I've spent $25, but Easter is approaching and I will be in charge of desserts.

This Week
This week I spent $20 dollars at Target and $35 at Safeway, going over by $5.  I had planned to put back the blue cheese after I found out the cost, or the salsa because I'm the only one who eats it but as I was choosing potatoes in the produce section, two customers ran out the back door of my ultra classy neighborhood Safeway with a cart of groceries, and as I was checking out, the security guard was explaining to the checker that the customer who stole the groceries, was the same guy from last week, and how he caught him, and I was engrossed in the story and forgot to put back the cheese or salsa and then I felt ashamed to ask the checker to take it off the bill, so the overage will come out of my fun money.  I'm going to need to invite someone over for blue cheese salads to get the money back from my entertainment fund.  :-) 

The Recipe
I buy a lot of my olive oils and vinegars from Marshalls and occasionally go to a shmanchy olive oil store in SF called "Olive this, Olive that".  My favorite thing there is the walnut-cranberry balsamic.  It's sweet and rich and nutty and I love it mixed with walnut oil and fruit (pears and apples especially) for a breakfast salad.  Given the price of oils and balsamics, one would assume it's not a budget food item, but a little goes a long way and the right oils and vinegars make even the most simple food, special. 

Sweet Walnut Salad
Lettuce (Mescalin mixes or butter lettuce works well.)
1 ounce of blue cheese
1 ounce of candied walnuts
1/4 red apple, thinly sliced or diced
Thin drizzle of walnut oil
Thin drizzle of cranberry-walnut balsamic
Salt and pepper to taste

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