One tricky aspect of “thinking like a restaurant” and making the menu before the grocery list is the front-end thinking it requires, and sometimes the ol’ gray matter isn’t quite up to the task. Last week’s went pretty well, I thought; good balance and variety, with room to improvise:
Keeping in mind that I don’t post my lunches, as I’ve already explained. I should probably delete that column in the template.
Anyway, this week’s hasn’t come together quite as cleanly; I just couldn’t pull it together. There’s a gap where Sunday’s dinner should be, there’s apples and rice everywhere-it’s a mess to my eyes. I’ll post it later for your entertainment.
I was going to bike the groceries this week; but My Dear Wife had a dentist appointment at 8 am, and she wanted a ride. Who am I to deny her? So we headed out, early but none too bright. I’m a little surprised I remembered the list. My first stop was The Co-op, further into town past the WinCo. After a delightful cinnamon roll and Americano from their deli(!), I was ready to shop-so I thought. ‘Hmmm…kinda spendy here; I need to make a price book. Organic tomatoes-from Mexico? $5 per pound? No thanks. Tomatoes grown in town for $2 per pound? Why yes, I’d love some. And some more. Six pounds or so ought to do it.’ Add two pounds of butter (from Oregon!), and four pounds of organic fat-free yogurt (from Oregon too!) and another little something for Dear Wife from the deli, and I was $36 lighter. I knocked out most of the rest of the list at WinCo for $60, then dropped $24 at Safeway.
I like Safeway. I know, Big Corporation, Big Box, Big Brother, blah blah blah. It’s still a pretty nice store. They carry local and organic produce; they have crazy deals on close-dated meats (more on that in a bit); and they bake their own cookies. Right in the store. They’re really really really good. Usually on sale too, like 20 for $2.50. Yeah. I like Safeway. About the meat: a 1-pound package of 90% lean, organic ground beef, for…wait for it…are you ready? Here it goes…$1.49. Oh, yeah. I bought all four. Re-bagged ’em in zip-locks and stuffed ’em in the freezer. Maybe we’ll have meatloaf again on Sunday.
I like The Co-op too. Really, I do. I’ll write more about it soon, but there are some mixed emotions I need to sort out first. It may end up being me, not it, but I need some more time.
Here, then, is a visual record of what I got for $116.73:
Behind the peppers is a wooden bowl full of those AWESOME local tomatoes. The spinach, peppers, and zucchini were from WinCo, and I must say MUCH cheaper than “elsewhere.” Seriously-The Co-op is selling organic baby spinach for $16 per pound. That bunch cost 1/10 as much. I’m feeding FIVE, people-help me out. I hope it all lasts the week, as I’m right on track with the budget. And that’s a huge element of this project, to bring things in under budget. Once I’m doing that consistently, I can really try to dial in the local.