Ah well, life happens. Schedules must always be flexible. Normally my schedule on Wednesday is fairly simple - clean out the refrigerator, empty all trash cans and put in new liners, clean three bathrooms, and declutter one closet or drawer. But today I need to swap Wednesday's scheduled household chores for Thursday, which is Errand Day.
I've been without a car for a few days because my daughter's car was in the shop. I honestly don't mind being without a car (and if we were making payments on it, I'd probably volunteer to go without), but I am behind on my grocery shopping, which my grandson is happy to point out to me when he arrives after school, looking for a snack! So today I need to go grocery shopping.
Yesterday I received my first basket of fruits and veggies from GreanB.E.A.N. Delivery service. These fruits and veggies are organically and locally grown, and I have signed up for a $35 basket every two weeks. That's a little less than I currently pay for fruits and veggies, so if these last me two weeks, I'll be happy. Remember, for the most part, I am cooking only for two.
My basket contained:
1.5 lbs of fingerling potatoes. I've never tried these and look forward to using them!
1 (very small) Delicata Squash (again, never tried it before)
1 lb of green beans
1 (quite large) bunch of carrots
1 Candy Onion
2 Eggplant - yum! my favorite vegetable!
2 Granny Smith apples
2 Black Plums (itty bitty)
1 lb fresh Roma Tomatoes
1 large bag of Spring Mix greens
1/2 pt Red Rasperberries
Now, I need to compose my menu for the week around these veggies. Carrots, onions, green beans - that says Beef Stew to me, so I'll pick up 1.5 lbs of stew meat, and make an extra large pot of stew with two or three extra for the freezer, and one small portion for a lunch for Jeff.
Eggplant - Love love love. I think we'll have a meatless meal of Eggplant Parmesan served with a side salad of the mixed greens and some homemade garlic bread. Again, this will be two meals for us.
With the apples and a few of the Raspberries, I'll make an Apple Tart. I already have pie crust in the fridge, so won't need to buy anything for this. That will make a good dessert for three nights. With the rest of the Raspberries I'll make a jar of Raspberry Jam.
That leads me to thinking that one night we can have breakfast for Dinner (Jeff's favorite). We'll have sausage or bacon, cheese omelets, toast with raspberry jam, and sliced cantalope. Yum! We'll use the rest of the cantalope for snacking, along with the plums.
I'd like to try a recipe I found called Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Garlic. I have chicken in the freezer, so we'll have these with roast chicken and steamed green beans.
I picked up some fresh tomatoes at the Flea Market last weekend, so I'll combine those with these new Roma Tomatoes and the Onion, and make a pot of tomato sauce. I may have to add in canned tomatoes, but I have plenty of these in the pantry. I should be able to get at least three meals from this, one for this week, two for the freezer. This week we'll have Baked Ziti served with a side salad of mixed greens and homemade bread. I'll make a small batch with just enough leftover for one lunch for Jeff's packed lunch. I'll need to buy some mozarella cheese for this, but that's it. My pantry is well stocked with all kinds of pasta.
Lastly, I think I'll make an Eggplant Pizza - using the sauce already made, some sliced eggplant, and maybe some pepperoni or cooked sausage, on top of homemade pizza dough. I'll use mozzarella cheese used in the Baked Ziti.
At the end of the week I'll have carrots, the squash and half of the green beans left. The carrots and squash should keep just fine to use next week, and I will freeze the green beans. We will, however, come out short on fruit and salad greens.
So to my basket of goodies (which, by the way, cost just $17.50 this time because of an introductory offer they had last week), I will only need to buy 1.5 lbs. of stew meat and some mozarella cheese, combined with items I already have in my pantry and freezer - and I will get 12 meals (including those going in the freezer), plus three packed lunches of leftovers for Jeff.
And all those snacks Mr. B. needs for after school, of course!
ADDED AFTER GROCERY SHOPPING: Just to add a "save money" helpful hint here. Stew meat at my local grocer's was $4.99 a pound (!), but chuck stead was on sale for $3.19. I bought the chuck steak (about 3/4 inch thick) and will cut it into chunks myself - a savings of $1.80 a pound for 5 minutes worth of work!
Also, we eat a lot of salads here and I was worried that the bag of mixed greens I got would not last us for the two weeks. When I saw Iceberg Lettuce on sale today for .99, I bought one. I will break it up and mix it in with the Spring Greens from the veggie box, just to extend them. And here's another frugal tip for you. Get a gallon sized Ziploc bag and put a double layer of paper towel in the bottom. Put your lettuce/greens in and seal as air tight as you can get. The paper towel absorbs the moisture, which is why your lettuce turns brown and mushy! I have found lettuce lasts four to five times as long when I store it this way.