Follow our family's weekly vegetarian menu, access recipes, and download weekly grocery lists, during my quest to get our weekly grocery bill down to $70 per week, while supporting local agriculture and eating healthy organic foods!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Project Food Budget: Week 8

Goal: $70
Actual: $84.53 plus we went out to eat for another $25

This weeks overages are due to a number of factors. I went shopping based on our passed grocery needs. Meaning I bought a lot of items for an entire weeks worth of eating. The very next day, my neighbors and I decided to start a dinner swap. This means that I purchased almost an entire weeks worth of groceries, and then went back to the store to buy enough ingredients to make a meal for 20 people. I think the overage is fairly reasonable for that fact. I also went a little nuts in the bulk grain section, but the surplus will lower bills later.

Now lets talk food swap! Cooking co-op, dinner trade, whatever you call it, it is AMAZING! The basic premise is you find friends, coworkers, neighbors that would like to join. You make enough food for every family in the group and they do the same. Some co-ops make all their meals and meet one day, swap them and freeze them. We all live very close to each other, and I like fresh hot food, so we each chose a day of the week to be our day to cook. We cook enough food for 24 people, divide it up amongst the group and deliver it to each family by 5:30 pm. The rest of the week, you wait for dinner to be delivered to you!

I can can not articulate how awesome it was. Last week was the first week and it was more than I dreamt it to be. :) Four nights last week, I was able to sit and read to my 2 year old, relax, go for a late afternoon/early evening walk, and get much needed/neglected deep cleaning done. Normally from 5-6 I am stuck in the kitchen, rushing home to be stuck in the kitchen, or prepping everything. It was unbelievably relaxing to take my time on those days. I could get used to this co-operative lifestyle. The meals were all amazing as well.

Dinner Swap Menu:

  • Curried chickpeas and spinach on a bed of kasha
  • Eggplant (or chicken) Parmesan
  • Potato soup
  • Homemade pizza and Salad w/peanut dressing
  • Roasted vegetables and pasta with delicious tiramisu for dessert
I could go on and on about how wonderful it was. We even have a new member this week. This means I cook for the group on Mondays, and for just my family on Saturdays, every other day I get a hot home cooked meal at my door. sigh... life is good. 

I also made:
You might be wondering why I made so many cookies. Sleep deprivation. My two year old daughter has the hardest time going to sleep and staying asleep. One night last week she woke at 1:30 am and when I left for work at 4:30 am she was still awake. This means I got very little sleep that night. I do not understand how she could be up in the middle of the time. I have decided she has toddler insomnia. I have, in fact, coined that term. So, I began a frantic search of ways to get her sleeping at night. I came across all this information about adults with insomnia and in many cases it is due to hunger. Apparently if you eat the wrong types of food before bedtime, or do not eat a snack before bedtime your body does not make and maintain the proper hormones. It them signals hunger, and it can wake you. In the reading, it indicated you might not even be aware your are hungry when you wake. The information stated eating high protein foods before bed will cause these undesired waking. Everything I read said, small amounts of protein, and complex carbohydrates before bed. So I began a quest for "healthy" cookies for her to eat, and decided to push chamomile tea. She did not care for the tea, so I found the lemonade recipe. It is great. She has slept well every night since I started this new bedtime snack ritual. I am also less of a crazy person.. if only a little. 

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