Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Experiment Update #1

Not gonna lie. After announcing my experiment, my thoughts were all over the place.

Immediately after:
"Should be doable. It's basically $1 a day."

3 hours later:
"Hmm. I'll have to figure out some new meals with dried beans."

7 hours later:
"We are going to die."

A fortunate turn, and one I had forgotten about, was that I paid for a Bountiful Basket the Monday prior. I pick it up on Saturday, which gives me a good base of vegetables to get through the next week and a half. The slight down side is that most of the veggies this week are cruciferous, which doesn't lend itself to a big variety when throwing it in lettuce. Also, I find that we are out of creamy salad dressing. Usually, not a big deal, but if we are going to eat as much salad as I think we are, it will be nice to have some variety in dressings. I write "Ranch" on my food storage shopping list for next month.

I survey my basket and announce via Facebook my desire to trade some of my extras. Friends mostly just want to GIVE me their offerings, but I decide to only accept trades (kind of a sub-experiment in my mind). I give my neighbor Trevor four ears of corn for a bottle of Ranch dressing and give another neighbor Jackie one of the bunches of white asparagus for about a cup of pecans. I had hoped to get a chicken breast or two, but my other offerings of baby carrots and Brussels sprouts were apparently not THAT enticing.

I turn my attention to protein. In my kitchen, I have some whey protein shakes, 3 chicken breasts, a handful of waxed blocks of cheese, peanut butter, half a tub of yogurt and a few bags of dried beans.

I decide I need chicken and yogurt. A 3lb chicken is typically less than $3 and has yielded us in the past enough meat for several meals. The yogurt has me worried. At $1.60-$2 per tub, I decide it is time to learn how to make yogurt at home. I find this recipe and am relieved to find I have enough yogurt left in the fridge to use as a starter. With a list in hand, off to the store I go!

First trip to the store yields:
1 gallon of milk $1.78 (enough to make two large batches of yogurt)
4oz can of green chiles $0.56 (for a recipe using leftover chicken)
5lb baking hen $4.93 (it is the smallest hen available today)
dozen large eggs $0.66 (to make treats and breakfasts instead of buying them)

With tax, the total comes to $8.17.

Left in the envelope:

Onward and upward!

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