Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 212- Shopping Temptations

Sometime later today I plan to do some shopping. I don't know how much I have to spend yet- I need to update my spreadsheet-thingy first (linked here and in the sidebar when I get to it).

Until I know exactly (and I suspect it's somewhere between 15 and 18 dollars) I can't make an exact list. I can only lust after food-type stuff, think about it, plot, all that fun stuff.

The way I see it, there are a bunch of different ways I can go.
  1. I can indulge- one or two ultra splurge-y splurges plus normal food (oh, ice cream, I miss you so...)
  2. I can plan a more expensive menu (lasagna is calling to me, and would cost at least $10)
  3. I can refill staples like flour, oil, rice
  4. I can pick up a couple longer-use ingredients to make something normally out of my budget (like apple sauce, juice, and oat bran for muffins).
  5. I can eat nothing but candy and cookies for the next two weeks (good sale on oreos)
  6. I can spend like normal and save the extra, or
  7. I can do some strange hybrid-type mix of the above options
Did I miss any?

I'm leaning toward that last one. I'm almost out of just about everything (somehow still have both raisins and oatmeal...), and a couple dollars dropped on flour, rice, and oil now is better than having to carve the cost out later. I also *really* want lasagna. Some problems with lasagna, though-- I prefer straight cheese and sauce (though adding black olives and caramelized onions would be good too), so all the flavor has to come from those, the cheese is expensive and I'm not sure 1 package would be enough, and once I have a lasagna in my sights I tend to go all Garfield on it.

So I need some kind of balanced plan that still gets me *some* splurge (I've been disgustingly good the last couple weeks) and doesn't leave me with a scary empty pantry/ fridge (see: lasagna). I know there are people who live for this stuff, but the whole "how long can I stretch 1lb each of onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, beans, and flour" thing has gotten a little old.

I could easily blow the whole thing on chips. Heck, I could blow it on bread- it's less than $20, really not that much when you think about it. ZOMG, though, it's a lot of cash. I *need* oil and flour, figure $3.50 for the two, but even worst case that leaves me with more than $10. I've also got to make sure I eat before I go shopping-- don't want to come home with frozen pizza again.

What do you ladies/ guys think? It seems like so much, but if I don't plan it out, I'll leave the store with 3 bags of chips, an avocado, and 10 cents for the rest of the week.


  1. How are you doing/feeling health wise? Im just curious as you do not get much variety and seem to be missing certain food groups.

  2. I agree with going with the last option. For the mix, I'd go 3, 4, and if you have enough leftover, *start* on 2. I mean, you should really restock on flour, not sure how low you're on oil (but if you can make it till next week with what you have, go for it), and then buy different things so you dont feel as deprived or limited to your food options (you still need to also start getting fruits into your diet, even if it's applesauce). Maybe go to the store with the three plans mapped out, and once you get the prices, pick whichever fits, or a combination of thereof. At least you would have the lasagna started.

    Not sure if your links to the spreadsheet are working yet. I'm curious to see how it looks.

  3. Can you restock on staples, plan one or two bigger meals (like lasagna), and have enough to make your splurge that vegan cheese you like?

    I figure if you're going to plan a splurge, tricking yourself by making it something that adds to an actual meal is the best way to go. Chips are bad!

  4. I vote for a mix of 3 and 4. Sure would be nice for you to get that lasagna though...5 sounds like heaven. I am trying to lose weight so I have told myself Halloween is my next "cheat". I am dreaming of cupcakes!!!!!!

  5. I say restock and make the lasagna. You could make a crapload of lasagna and freeze it in blocks for treats every now and then. Just put your cheese only on top to make it last longer. I promise you won't miss it in the layers if you add other stuff. I don't know how your veg cheese freezes though. :/

    Definitely get your staples.

  6. Ok, spreadsheet's up. I was off a bit with my numbers in my head. I'm counting a bag of chips (that I don't actually have a receipt for) in with my food spending, instead of "cheating" it. So I have $13.50, I think.

    @dailycandy- Not that bad. I'm tired, but I think that's a combo of not sleeping enough, being off caffeine, and the magic depression monster. Other than fruit, which I hate (but do want to add back in with muffins), and "dairy" which I don't really eat, What do you see me missing? Sometimes it's easier to spot from the outside, KWIM?

    @TJ- That makes way too much sense. I don't think the oil would last, there's less than 1cm in the bottom of the bottle and it's my main source of fat. Other than apples I really can't stand sweet fruit, and for some reason no-one counts the "savory" ones- zucchini, tomatoes, pumpkin. Oh, that's slightly a lie- I like dates, figs *in* stuff, and lemon, lime, and strawberry as juice or sauce. All totally out of budget.

    Multi-plan plan sounds good.

    @Kim- Nope, I don't think so. The vegan cheese is at least $4 for an 8oz package, and I've yet to find a store here that sells it in bulk. Are you sure chips are bad? They taste pretty good to me.

    @tiff- The lasagna *would* be nice. Or maybe pirogi... I think I'm getting cookies and candy for winter holidays, actually, so I *should* be able to avoid them a bit longer. I spent most of last night dreaming of onion bagels with roast garlic paste and "cream cheese", so I get the cupcake thing.

    @Alyse- Freeze? People freeze lasagna? With dedication I can eat one (14x9-ish) in less than a day (hollow leg). Luckily the cheese itself freezes pretty well. The tofu ricotta, however...

    This is going to sound extra brain-dead, but I just realized that I can *make* lasagna noodles, and don't have to buy them. Only ever used boxed ones, I wonder how they're different.

    I'm seeing a pretty solid restocking/ multi-week item/ lasagna consensus going on here. Does that change with the actual dollar amount (13.50)? I don't think I can do all three.

  7. I totally freeze lasagna. My stomach hates too much tomato sauce. If it weren't for that I'd eat it more.

    When I hated to cook as much as I do now I'd whip up a couple big pans, block it, and freeze it. :)

  8. Ok, that makes a bit more sense. I don't think my interest or budget would stretch to more than one, though. Plus I'd probably have to make 3 or 4 to have enough to freeze.

  9. How about making the lasagna a more-than-one-item meal? So you can have lasagna *and* something like, say, rice and veggies. Or gnocci. Or a ton of potato homefries? That would stretch the lasagna to over a day or two, no?

  10. Strangely enugh, once I started thinking about the amount of work required for lasagna, the craving mostly pased. I can get (most of) the same flavor from bread-sticks with red sauce for dipping, even stuffed with tofu ricotta, for a fraction of the cost and time.

    I seem to have wandered in a rather more veggie-full direction. About the same amount of work, actually, but less fun to gorge on and more in keeping with my snacky-desires. I'm thinking spring rolls and/ or fried rice. I really just need flour (already on the list), cabbage, soy sauce, rice, and maybe some sweet chili sauce. I have *everything* else. Oh, yeah, and maybe some tofu, too, for extra nom- though tvp would be better, budget-wise.

    Plus, the sweet chili sauce is a splurge (I hearts it) and the total cost should be low enough to allow me to pick up my muffin making-type fruit stuff. Maybe even have some money left over for potatoes.

    Otherwise, *yes*, lasagna plus sides would help stretch it. Hmmm, I have some deciding to do...

  11. Spring rolls sound good. Or empanadas - black beans, onions, zucchini, sweet potato . . .

  12. Ooh, Yes. Found cheap abba juice, too.

  13. What's abba juice? Weird vegan hoodoo? ;)

  14. It's more fun saying and spelling than apple juice.

  15. Ever think about making your own potato chips? I haven't had any luck at it and we have a deep fryer that we've never used (it was on our wedding gift list, I would have preferred the home canning kit instead lol), and maybe making homemade potato chips with your choice of seasonings could be a new, fun thing to do when the spuds are on sale.

  16. I think about it every once in a while, but me and big open vats of boiling oil shouldn't mix. I'm a *little* too klutzy for it.