Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weeks of Eating Cheap

I am incredibly lucky in that for the most part, we don't have to worry about the grocery budget. Every once in a while, though, we have an unusual bill (usually car-related these days) that makes me frown at the amount I've been spending, and vow to cut back a little bit. Then we have a week in which we try to eat from the pantry (which tends to be kind of overstocked, because I never buy one can of something when I can buy three). Here, in no particular order, are my favorite "cheap week" meals:
  • Pizza. We have homemade dough, mozzarella, and pepperoni already, so kind of a no-brainer. Our oldest recently commented that we've stopped having pizza-and-a-movie nights; perhaps it's time to resume that tradition.
  • Tacos. One of my guilty pleasures is Old El Paso or Ortega tacos. From an actual box. With iceberg lettuce on top. Using ground beef from the farmer's market makes it all right, doesn't it? 
  • Fritatta. This counts as actual food. A half dozen eggs and a few vegetable odds and ends and you have a meal, albeit a rather slim one for hearty appetites. I will probably try to bake some bread or make a simple soup to go with it. Speaking of which...
  • Soups. Grab a butternut squash (cheap and abundant at this time of year), or a few potatoes, or a few cans of black beans for that matter.
  • Chickpea curries. One can of chickpeas, one can of diced tomatoes, seasonings, perhaps some fresh spinach (the only thing you'd need to buy), serve over the starch of your choice.
With no fuss and very little thinking, and one or two "leftovers" nights, there's a week of dinners. Not particularly inspired dinners, perhaps, but tasty and reasonably healthy. My shopping list has a mere 20 items on it, half of which we can probably get at the farmer's market.

Even better would be if I can get myself organized enough to make muffins or something over the weekend.

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