Project: Food Budget– Week 3

10 02 2011

This was an odd week. In a good way!IMGP0683

2Chili and I took a much-needed mini vacation to Utah to ski for a few days. We have history with Utah, though Utah may disagree that it has history with us. A few years ago, after we finished and sold our first remodeled house, we packed up the farm (and the cat, much to her dismay) and relocated to Park City for a winter. In fact, we came this close to buying a house there. Thankfully the mortgage broker we were using was incompetent, and that caused us to reconsider and led us home to the Emerald City, where we belong, at least for now.

That winter (‘06-‘07) turned out to be the worst winter in 30 years in terms of snow fall in Park City – meaning, there wasn’t much. Needless to say, for a couple wannabe ski bums, that wasn’t ideal. We called it quits on the ski bummning in February that year and moved back to Seattle, and have since completed another remodel, though this one isn’t going on the market anytime soon.

Enough time has passed that we are back on speaking terms with Utah, and, we just had a fantastic vacation there. If you’re interested in skiing, I put up some pictures over here.

Moving along – the budget! I am excited about this. We came home to a pretty empty pantry and fridge yesterday, and I managed to squeak in just under budget after a trip to Trader Joe’s. It should be known that I don’t consider math my strong suit, and somehow I managed to tally up my total in my head as I went. High five! Fist bump?! Or, maybe chest thump? No matter your celebratory rituals, let’s just say the shopping trip was successful.

Budget: $75
Actual: $71.98

Trader Joe’s Qty. Extended Price ($)
Multigrain Tortilla Chips 1 $2.49
TJ’s Mini Shredded Frosted Wheats 2 $5.98
Organic Baby Spinach 1 $1.99
Organic White/Wheat Flour Tortillas 1 $1.99
Organic Zucchini Squash, 1.5 lbs 1 $2.99
Kiwi 7 $2.73
Dozen Large Grade AA Cage Free Eggs 1 $2.29
Whole Pineapple 1 $2.99
TJ’s 0% Plain Greek Yogurt 2 $5.58
Canned Tomatoes, No Salt 28 oz 2 $2.98
Low Sodium Veggie Broth 1 $1.99
TJ Organic No Added Salt Marinara 2 $4.58
Red Seedless Grapes, 1 lb 1 $2.69
Organic Sugar Plum Tomatoes 1 $3.29
Roasted Unsalted Cashews 1 $5.49
Organic Fat Free Milk, Gallon 1 $5.69
Frozen Strawberries 1 $1.69
TJ’s Orange Juice with Calcium, 1/2 Gal 1 $1.99
Medjool Dates 1 $3.79
Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese 1 $3.49
Mini Milk Chocolate Bars  1 $1.79
Dried Bing Cherries 1 $3.49

Menu for this week

For the rest of this week, I’m going to play it by ear and decide on a day-by-day basis. Crazy talk! I plan to make the Baked Ziti again over the weekend because I  had leftover cashew cheese, and expect we’ll probably have a Panini night and a pizza night along the way.


Interestingly, this week, I didn’t even bother with an Amazon Fresh order. We needed several things that are dramatically cheaper at TJ’s, like pasta sauce, tomatoes, Greek yogurt and veggie broth, so I just bought everything in one place. It was kind of nice, but I remembered quickly that I enjoy having my groceries dropped off on the porch when I tried to bring everything in from the garage in just one trip.

Also, you can tell a lot about someone from their grocery order! It is clear I live up to the “Sodium Nazi” nickname 2Chili gave me, as I buy everything with “no salt added” or “low sodium.” But you know what, I must be rubbing off on him, because the first thing he does now is check labels for sodium content, and then reads the ingredients to see if he can pronounce everything listed. We are making progress in the Test Kitchen household!

But enough about me. Check out how other bloggers in the Project: Food Budget endeavor are doing:




3 responses

10 02 2011

way to go lady!

i’m doing a happy dance with you. hope you had a good time on your trip.

10 02 2011
Stephanie Brown

What’s your take on the salt? I’m a chronic undersalter but I don’t really pay a ton of attention to things I buy unless it has tasted salty to me or made me thirsty in the past. Everything I cook, though, everyone is always like, “This needs salt.” Just wondering why you do what you do.

10 02 2011

Hi Stephanie,

Undersalters unite! 🙂 To be honest, I have never been much of a salter, which is probably a good thing because there is hidden sodium in pretty much everything processed and purchased already prepared, especially restaurant food.

I try to buy most jarred or canned items with no salt added. After a few weeks of tracking my food consumption when I was trying to lose some weight last year, I noticed I was eating 4,000-5,000 mg of salt a day, which is pretty much double the RDA. By controlling what I can at home, I feel okay about eating out here and there, when one meal can have your daily allowance all to itself.

Usually, if I’m cooking, I admit to leaving out most, if not all the salt called for. For baking, I try to strike a nice balance between enough to have the item still taste good, but I almost never use the amount of salt called for in recipes. I figure dinner guests can always add more salt if they please, my mother included!

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