Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nacho Cheese Sauce and a Bare Pantry

So, I was driving home from work craving...something. On Friday. Now, Friday is generally "leftover day", but I felt like something different. So, I thought about pizza, and when I got home...there was a dominos coupon floating around in our front yard.

$15 later and a large veggie pizza (spinach, onion, roasted pepper, olive, feta) was in our tummies.

But I needed something else...I wanted cheese...but our pantry was empty. All we had was american cheese. Google is so helpful and allrecipes came to the rescue.

Nacho cheese sauce
1/4 small jalapeno: 0.10
1 clove garlic, pressed: 0.05
2 T. butter: 0.09
2 T. flour: 0.03
1 c. milk: 0.14
5 slices American cheese: 0.38
1 T. blue cheese: 0.11
1 T. parmesan cheese: 0.08
1/4 c. diced tomato: 0.25
Total: $1.23 for 1.5 cups.

So, here's the empty pantry. This experiment of alternating grocery budget months from $160 to $300 is very eye-opening. It is also making me have sympathy with people who struggle like this every day, with very little food. The first two $160 months (Jan and Mar) weren't too bad. I started the year with a full pantry and spare freezer and I was able to get by. The $300 months were flush in comparison.

Then it got harder. Because the $300 months I restock the pantry, or do I get some "treats"? Treats being olives, fish, crackers, nice cheese.... And there are still two $160 months left (one of which includes Thanksgiving). Whew. In May, our spare freezer was empty and we unplugged it.

Yesterday being day 1 of August, and $300 month...I went shopping and spent nearly $100. So that will mean the other few weeks will have to be about $60 each.

Summary of how we've done so far:
Jan: $159.77
Feb: $297.92
Mar: $145.65
Apr: $278.47
May: $160.35
Jun: $300.51
July: $158.58
CSA: $850/year * 5.5 mos/10 mos = $467.50

Total: $1968.75

1 comment:

Amy B said...

I love pictures of other people's pantries. I worked as a cashier at a supermarket once and it was a kinda thrill to see what other people buy.

Some little old ladies typically buy one can of soup, a half a carton of eggs, a couple of bananas, a pint of milk and they know exactly what the total will be and have it in their hands to give you. I guess they aren't just on a budget, they don't eat much at their age, and they can't carry a lot of heavy bags. (and they grew up before the age of calculators.)

Then, there are the younger people scarfing up processed and pre-made foods, because they obviously don't know how to cook. In fact, very few peoples seem to know how to cook! Kudos to you for approaching grocery buying with thought and discipline. Most folks are just out there throwing stuff in their carts.