And we did it with 56 cents still left!
Lesson here: Just because the money is there, it doesn't mean it HAS to be spent. I think I will transfer that amount to my retirement account.
I realized dry beans taste better in recipes than canned beans. Dry beans aren't THAT hard to prepare and don't take as much time as I remembered. I re-learned an appreciation for snacking on raw celery (with peanut butter, of course!) and baby carrots. I rejoiced in Brussels sprouts. They were my undepletable basket of fish and loaves. I kept shredding them into eggs, sauces, soups, and stir-frys and they still lasted me through the entire challenge!
Here's a list of some of what we ate (some of these, MANY MANY times):
- Chicken stir-fry (one chicken breast feeds 3 of us, shredded Brussels sprouts, carrots, frozen corn or mixed veggies)
- Shrimp stir-fry (same, but with a handful of shrimp)
- Turkey burgers (leftovers from a BBQ we had previously hosted, lettuce and cherry tomatoes on the patties, fresh corn on the side)
- Bodega beans (dried pinto beans, onions, brown rice)
- Soup with rice (canned soup with lots of brown rice added)
- Potato soup (homemade, with potatoes, broccoli, corn, ham from food storage)
- Scrambled eggs (with chopped peppers, onions, and shredded Brussels sprouts)
- Homemade yogurt with blueberries
- Oatmeal with fruit chopped in
- Whey-protein enzyme shake
- Tuna casserole ("regular" style and a Southwestern style made with salsa)
- Linguini (or rotini) and pasta sauce
- Whole roasted chicken (which after the first night yielded leftovers to make the following:)
- Chicken picadillo (delicious new recipe we will be adding to our rotation!)
- White chicken chili
- Homemade chicken pizza
Every meal included a salad. As we ran out of vegetables, the salads varied. One of the nights, my husband made a salad of lettuce and blueberries.
Looking for fresh
I realized fresh produce means a lot to me. As the end of the month neared, I asked in a local online group if anyone had a fruit tree that I could help harvest. Unfortunately, the one who responded directly to me has a plum tree that won't be ready to pick until a week from now, but -hey- that helps for next month's groceries! The other person announced publicly that their peach tree was ready, and they got hit with lots of takers. I was not first, second, or third in line.
This $21 challenge unearthed a lot of my resourcefulness and increased my appreciation for Google. Experimenting with frugal recipes has been an awesome experience and has increased in me wisdom in managing foods. You better believe I will be a lot more aware with our grocery envelope!
Yesterday, I celebrated successfully completing the challenge by picking up a Bountiful Basket for August. Here's to an awesome month coming up. HOORAY!