Sorry that the menu plan is late this week – I was feeling totally uninspired on Saturday night and then again Sunday night when I sat down to write it. But I know when I don’t make a menu plan for the week, we end up having unnecessary pressure around mealtimes, meals don’t get served on time, and the food isn’t as nice as when I plan it in advance. Somehow after coming home from doing my monthly shopping today it seemed much easier!
Shabbos – d – challah, chicken soup, meatballs and sauce, mashed potatoes, vegetable kugel, power bars, chocolate chip cookie bars; l – cholent, roast turkey, kishke, green bean mango salad, tomato olive salad, fresh coconut, dried fruit, nuts, power bars
Sunday – breakfast – pizza; l – chicken vegetable soup; d – beef stew, salads
Monday – b – banana bread; l – out doing monthly shopping, had snacks; d – falafel patties, carrot sticks, sour cream, milk
Tuesday – b – blueberry muffins (w/ coconut flour); l – cheesy cauliflower soup; d – vegetarian meatloaf, carrot fries
Wednesday- b – pecan burgers, eggs; l – vegetable lentil soup; d – baked fish, yams, salad
Thursday – b – raisin scones; l – leftovers; d – homemade buckwheat noodles, sauce, cottage cheese
Friday – b – quinoa pudding
In order to prepare for today’s shopping trip, I defrosted and then dehydrated all of the frozen vegetables in my full size freezer yesterday (except for the whole green beans). I always marvel at how small the quantities look once they’re dehydrated! It’s a good thing that last week I took out all the prepared food I had frozen and used them, as well as freeing up the space from the vegetables and some soft cheeses, since today I found a great buy on berries, and was able to buy 20 packages of blueberries (10 oz each) and eight packages of mixed berries (3 lb each). Oh, and six or eight pounds of frozen sliced peaches. And 12 lb of whiting fillets. It was good I had room for them – last month I didn’t take the precautions before I went shopping and bought way more than I had room to store. Fortunately it was freezing outside so I was able to use my outdoor ‘stair pantry’ to keep things cold.
I found a new source to order my bulk food that I’m very happy about, since it’s making my shopping even less expensive! As I’ve said before, don’t be shy to ask store managers to work with you; just because they have never done it before for anyone else doesn’t mean they won’t do it for you! This is the second store that has gladly tacked my bulk order on top of theirs and put it to the side for me when it comes in.
So I bought another 25 lb of pecan meal, 30 lb of quinoa, and 25 lb of raisins – I’ve been using lots more nut and coconut flours for baking and have significantly cut down on oats and grains. Though grain flours tend to be cheap and nuts tend to be expensive, buying nuts/nut meals in bulk has made using them often workable within my budget – I pay between 1/2 – 1/4 of what the exact same items cost in the same store when sold in small packages. I also have been using raisins and dates to decrease the amount of sucanat or honey I use in baked goods. Quinoa is officially a seed and I think it’s more digestible than other grains, and that’s why I got more of that rather than a less expensive grain. But I’m not cutting out grains altogether since they are a frugal cook’s friend.
In addition to that, I got the usual 50 lb potatoes, a case of eggs (30 dozen), 80 lb yams (instead of my usual 40 – the baby loves them and eats our supply down quickly!); 50 lb onions, 27 lb carrots (peeled and packaged as carrot sticks- they were outrageously cheap; I should have gotten more but didn’t realize how few pounds were in each case until I got home), 10 gallons of raw milk (I knew I wouldn’t be able to find fridge space for more), 12 lb honey, and a bunch of canned goods. And all the other miscellany that aren’t worth mentioning. So I’m pretty well set for the coming month, except for the meat/poultry and cheese, which I’ll buy tomorrow, and vegetables, which I’ll shop for again in another couple of weeks. Nice to have it mostly out of the way and done for a while – who wants to be spending time in the store every few days if you don’t have to?!
Last month I bought 25 lb of raw sunflower seeds, and yesterday I finally took some out to soak overnight; they’re in the dehydrator right now and will be ready by morning. Sunflower seeds are the least expensive of the nuts/seeds, and they are a nice addition to various dishes, like salads and grainless granolas.