It is one week into our month-long food challenge, where we are trying to eat less red meat and buy more organic foods.
My menu plan shifted slightly, starting one day later because we went out to dinner with friends on Friday.
Key: Organic | Red meat
- Friday 6/1 – Dinner out.
- Saturday 6/2 – Spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce. Meat was from freezer. Green salad w/ strawberries and cucumber.
- Sunday 6/3 – Leftover spaghetti and meatballs.
- Monday 6/4 – Curried tuna, mushroom curry, Indian-spiced spinach, white rice. Didn’t pick up naan bread from restaurant. Curried tuna was deliciously spicy.
- Tuesday 6/5 – Made Lipton roasted potatoes to bring to our weekly small group meeting, where I managed to eat mostly vegetarian… I think.
- Wednesday 6/6 – Leftover Indian food plus potatoes from Tuesday.
- Tonight will be skillet lasagna with tomato sauce and meat. I’ll probably make a salad to go with it, and we still have leftover potatoes. [update: Friends invited us to dinner instead. Bringing cherries to share.]
I’ve also been getting organic wheat bread, milk, jam, and other fruit. The cat food I got initially isn’t organic, but the kitty litter supposedly is made out of organic corn! (I don’t count cat-products as groceries, but made a new line item in my budget for the cat.)
Our local Safeway has a lot of canned organic stuff but the fresh veggies and fruit aren’t great. I made a trip to our local food co-op (and renewed my membership) and they have a very nice variety of fresh fruits and veggies, with convenient color-coded tags for organic or conventional. The tags even say where the fruit or veggie came from, so you can try to get locally-grown items. (I wish the other items on their shelves were similarly coded, but that probably wouldn’t be a very fun job.)
The Farmer’s Market was fun but expensive. I’m realizing that I should stick to the Co-op for most veggies and grocery items, but get fresh summer fruit at the Farmer’s Market.
We made a Costco trip and bought non-organic drinks and snacks for Steve’s lunches. There are some organic snack options, but we hadn’t tried any of them so felt nervous about buying in bulk. (Has anyone tried Larabars before?)
Even without the Costco budget-breaking trip factored in, we were already halfway through our budgeted grocery amount, and it’s not even a full week yet! With Costco items included, I’m 75% through our $200/mo grocery budget. Granted, most months I go over the budget anyway (we really average about $235, but I keep shooting for $200), but this is going to be an expensive month unless I spend more time comparison-shopping. For example, I spent $3 on lettuce at the first stall I saw, but later on saw equally good organic lettuce for $1.50 further down.
I’m fumbling around to be sure, but still trying! All tips and advice are welcome.