Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Shopping Trip #1 and Another Pancake Recipe

The husband and I did our grocery shopping at the commissary this past weekend. Most of the foods there seem to be cheaper than they are at regular grocery stores, and they don't add sales tax. Bottled water was our most prized find of the trip. We got 32 bottles of Aquafina for $3.29! Also, meat. Meat is always WAY cheaper there. We ended up spending about $99. It would have been closer to $94, but I went a little overboard on tipping the baggers. I haven't quite figured out that system yet.

Some of my planned meals for the week are protein spinach oatmeal, flourless banana pancakes, breakfast tacos, pretzel crusted cod fish with spinach parmesan, spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs, and something with shrimp. So far this week we have already had bbq pulled pork and huge salads with chicken, cucumber, carrots, apples, and guacamole.

I have posted some pancake recipes on here already, but I am going to give you another. This one is my current favorite, and it's so easy!

1 egg
1 ripe banana
dash of cinnamon and/or vanilla
tsp of Greek yogurt, any flavor (I used plain)

1. Place a frying pan on the stove and turn the heat on low-medium. I use a tiny bit of butter to grease the pan.
2. In a bowl, mash the banana and try to make it as lump-free as possible. Add the egg and mix well. Add in optional ingredients if you choose to use them.
3. Pour about 1/4 of the batter into the pan to form one pancake. This recipe makes about 4 small pancakes. You can cook all 4 at once depending on how big your pan is.
4. Flip them when they start to bubble around the edges. Be careful, they are delicate!

Today I added in the Greek yogurt for the first time. I didn't really notice a difference between using the yogurt or not using it. They taste great either way! The yogurt does add in a little extra protein though. I topped my pancakes with coconut butter, chopped almonds, blueberries, and a tiny bit of maple syrup. The pancakes have quite a bit of natural sweetness from the banana, and they are super soft and moist, so the syrup isn't really necessary. My husband isn't wild about these pancakes, he thinks the banana and egg combo make them soggy/taste undercooked. I love them though! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

$300 A Month for Food

Is $300 enough for two people to buy food at the grocery store for one month? I say it is, my husband says it isn't. We are going to start our one month on Sunday and put the question to the test. Right now we spend anywhere from $40-$80 a week on groceries. If we are at the higher end of that range for a whole month, $300 definitely won't be enough for us. I am pretty sure we can make it work though.

What started this debate was a discussion we had on the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Aid Program) aka, Food Stamps. One of the key words in the SNAP acronym is supplemental, meaning the aid program is designed to help people with the purchasing of their food, not give them enough money to purchase ALL of their food. I was telling my husband that some people I have talked to in the WIC office receive at least $300 a month in SNAP benefits for a family of 2 (usually a mother and child, in Maine). In my opinion, that is beyond supplemental, especially if the child is over 1 year old and no longer drinks formula. Also, a child does not eat nearly as much as an adult, so $300 a month for a mother and child will go further then $300 a month for two adults. My husband's argument is that we will not be able to buy healthy food for a whole month and keep it at $300 or less. As I mentioned, I think we can do it. We will see who is right!

This week our goal is to not have to go to the grocery store at all. We want to use up the food we already have, just to help clear out our refrigerator and cupboards. I feel like we buy things, store them, and forget about them. So far we are doing ok, even though it is only Tuesday! Usually we do our grocery shopping on Sunday, and end up going back to the store 1-2 times during the week (this past weekend we went on Saturday, bad idea). Sometimes I think we go so much during the week just just for something to do. Most of the time though it is because I forgot to get something on our list (I have a bad tendency to do that). I took an inventory of what we have for food, and came up with a meal plan for the week based on that. In order for us to stick to $300 plan for the next month I will continue to make weekly meal plans. My plan for the next month is to write a weekly blog post talking about how much we spent for the week, foods we bought, and meals that are planned. Stay tuned to see how we do!