I kept writing about our strategically planned meals and grocery run during our $30 for 10 Days challenge, so I thought I should give you a sampling of our menu. The food was created with staples that we had in our pantry on top of $28.73 worth of groceries purchased on the 1st day of the challenge. They served 2 hungry adults.
Main dishes that kept well in the fridge & fed us for more than one meal:
Brazilian style black beans and rice (Brad’s authentic recipe)—3 meals
Pinto beans and cornbread (my own hillbilly recipe)—3 meals
2 baked pasta dishes with different variations of tomato sauce, cheese and veggies—5 meals
Oatmeal and berries
Yogurt and granola
Baked potato with all the fixins
Eggs sunny-side-up and hashbrown potatoes
Egg scramble with veggies and bacon
Potato onion frittata
Strawberry banana yogurt smoothie
Pizza toast of many variations
Yogurt with maple syrup
Toast with butter and jam
Homemade chocolate brownies
This was our shopping cart from a few weeks ago. Granted, we did have a decent amount of staple food already at home. We just wanted to see how little we could buy on the weekly grocery run. Thank you Trader Joe’s for saving us once again.
With only a $50 gap, I’m calling a tie for 3rd Place in our first ever Money Drain Awards.
Dining Out - $440/month
This includes ALL food and drink experiences not prepped or cooked in the home - restaurants, take out, coffee shops, frozen yogurt, ice cream, wineries, bars, bakeries, etc. This is by far the most tempestuous category in the Bay Area. We live in Foodie Nation. Walking down 24th Street in the heart of the Mission, how can you not be enticed by a scoop of Humphry Slocombe’s Secret Breakfast ice cream, a flavorful blend of bourbon and cornflakes? And don’t get me started on the beloved bay area organic Blue Bottle coffee, individually slow dripped less than 48 hours out of a micro roaster, we’re talking smooooth! I’m not going to bore you with elite San Francisco foodie talk, because there are plenty of other blogs for that. Dining out is a phenomenal part of the cultural makeup here, and I’m starting to think we’ve lost our minds declaring we will not be eating out for an entire year. We’re swimming in a sea of sharks.
Groceries and Household - $490/month
I found it too difficult to separate the food groceries from the random household products like detergent and cleaning supplies. Every couple of months, a trip to Costco or Target would greatly increase this tally while some months were much lower, but averaging it out over 12 months resulted in nearly $500 per month in groceries. Really? I think the bulk of it was food, indulging on fancier cuts of meat, name brand labels, gourmet products and over abundance. We simply would buy more than we could eat in a week - especially considering that we were often running for take out or casual dining. Many of the overstocked items would sit in our cabinet for months, even years. Since our spending lockdown started, we’ve been eating the remnants of this bounty.
All in all, spending almost $1000 a month nearly all on food is comical for two people. It’s important to note that we are not giving up foodie culture, and as a result, we are learning to cook our favorite dishes from scratch. To tell ya the truth, cooking at home has thus far been the most rewarding part of this whole experience.