Well, the first week of our No Spend Challenge is over and as JC said last night, "What is this here? Oh, sweet potatoes! Man, we are eating like Kings." I'm not sure that royalty would get all excited about having sweet potatoes in their black bean/corn/quinoa chili, but we sure did.
Some things I noticed this week. Breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day because of two things. One, I simply don't feel much like eating in the mornings and two, my choices are limited (no gluten, low histamine, etc.). I really noticed breakfast, it seemed the most limited...I could have cereal, oatmeal, or eggs(which we will talk about in a bit).This challenge reminded me that there are things in the freezer and I re-discovered fruit smoothies. WOOT! WOOT! (Too bad I really think of smoothies as summer food). We have big bags of blueberries and mango from Costco and I canned grape juice from wild grapes. There are also blackberries from our garden, but those seem a little too "precious" to use for smoothies (more on that "precious" word later).
Oddly enough, the fridge actually started out kind of empty even though I bought a lot of food a week ago Friday. Most of it was dry goods or winter squash and potatoes. As always I'm very grateful that we have our own source of milk, especially since we can also make cheese. We had some cheddar and gouda from Veldhuizen, which is mostly gone, but the mozzarella I make each week lasts all week. The fresh cheese generally is the backbone of my lunch and I tend to nibble on a slice or two if I'm feeling like a snack.
We didn't harvest much from the garden except greens...the above are beet and Swiss chard that we chopped for scrambled eggs for dinner. Which brings me to the next important thing. This time of year the hens are (because of the short days) not very productive. We've gotten three eggs this week, but I used 7. I only have 10 and I am acutely aware of that number. Eggs are PRECIOUS, y'all. Who knew? We are accustomed to having eggs at least once a week for dinner and I boil some each week for lunch and have eggs for breakfast sometimes too.
The lack of eggs isn't the only thing that this very first week has made me aware of....carrots and lettuce! Oh, how I love my carrots and nothing is better than a salad in the middle of winter because even though we do salad we eat more seasonally than most folks and that little bit of fresh is awesome in Winter when we are eating lots of greens and roots and storage veg. It was only Day 3 when I started to think about eggs, carrots, and lettuce...okay, actually I started to fret a bit. I don't want to do without, but part of this challenge is to test the kitchen/pantry and garden.
With that niggely fretful feeling at the back of my head I got motivated to make sure we would have more in the coming months from the garden. Since we are having a weirdly warm November I headed out to the garden with my box of seeds to plant all the things I had just neglected to get in earlier...all I had were some old ones from last year, but I seeded carrots, parsnips, beets, radishes, lettuce, and spinach. All are up, but the parsnips (and I actually don't know what the seedlings look like so maybe they are up and I just don't know it).
Breakfast: cereal milk/boiled eggs/smoothies/oatmeal
Lunch components: roasted red pepper and tomato soup (add rice or pasta), cream cheese/mozzarella and rice crackers, tuna salad, pickles, potato chips, apples, JC had at least one grilled cheese
Dinners: tomato soup with rice and salad, scrambled eggs with greens, onions, peppers and tomatoes and oven fries, salmon cakes, delicata squash and herby rice, leftover tomato soup, pizza and salad, black bean/corn/quinoa chili with tortilla chips and cheddar cheese.
Desserts: Pumpkin pie with whipped cream and banana bread.
Gas (exempt per my rules): $49.34
Feed order (exempt, money saved out of Sept paycheck): $800
Drinks/restroom "rental": $6.08 (I have a hard and fast rule that you have to make a purchase to use a restroom. Plus, roadtrip OCD rules...must stop here, must get tea because I always do).
Household (flue cleaning tools): $9.59
JC muck boots (on the list for weeks, got a coupon, so exempt): $14.40
cat food (exempt per my rules): $10.61
Total: $890. 02
Total expenditures NON-EXEMPT: $15.67
(I also co-op my feed and I sold two bags....money coming in, not out!)