A Brit, a Yank and a Kitchen

Tuesday, January 9

$20 for Groceries for a Week

Dave challenged me. I accepted.

Ring the dong, cause we're on like Donkey Kong!

Now.. I'm not one to take the easy way out and just buy a bunch of ramen and kraft. I wanted to do this and still use REAL FOOD. So I went through my cupboards to see what could be stretched through the next week... a wide array of seasonings... some pasta, noodles and macaroni... and bajillion different cheeses... and of course staples like milk, butter, flour.. a lifetime supply of cream of mushroom soup. "I can do this".. I thought.

So I set off early on Sunday morning to my least favorite store in the world... Super Wal-Mart. But my little bit of research online on the topic "$20 grocery list" told me that Wal-Mart was the way to go... even if I can seriously feel my I.Q. drop and any bit of class I might have melt away as I walk through the huge sliding glass doors.

But as I perused the sadly plastic wrapped uniform cuts of meat... lo and behold my eyes spied an entire shelf of organ meats. It was as if the Offal Gods were smiling down on me and my $20 budget challenge... oh yes... we would win. The shelves were LOADED with innards I didnt think could be found outside of ethnic markets miles away from my little white bread town. Beef kidney... tripe... seperately packaged chicken hearts, gizzards.. and turkey necks!

Oh yes I am sure you all are sure I've lost it now.... but I have to take Bourdain's side on this one. Offal is some good shit. Okay not literally... but you get the point.

In the end... this was the loot...

5 lbs Russet Potatoes $2.24
3 lbs yellow onions $1.98
Jasmine Rice $1.54
Mustard Greens $.98
6 Chicken Thighs $3.06
Stew Beef $3.35
Chicken Livers $1.33
Beef Kidney (3 whole) $2.35
Green Onions $1.17

Grand Total (after tax) $18.00

Now.. what am I making with the above grub you ask?
Well this is the weeks menu-

Fried Chicken Livers, mashed potatoes & Mustard Greens

Home made Mac & Cheese

Chicken Thighs slow cooked in cream of mushroom soup over rice

Soba Noodles with stir fried brocolli

Chicken Teriyaki

Steak & Kidney Pie

The best part is there is still half a pound of chicken livers.. and another 2 kidneys that I can stretch over to next week..... might Dave take a challenge part 2??


Blogger wheresmymind said...

I would've used that extra $2 on a scratcher! TWOO DOLLARS!!!

8:49 PM  
Anonymous amanda said...

that's awesome! i totally agree with you about the yummy organs. it sucks to have to go to walmart, and i think they are despicable, but when the budgets tight they really do offer much cheaper options. :-( it's just a moral sacrifice. Tyler and I fed ourselves for generally 30-40 dollars a week in college shopping at super walmart. i hate to admit that, but sometimes, when you're just that broke, it happens! i can't wait to see all the dishes.

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Ros said...

My jaw dropped when I read that list. Chicken liver here costs 99p, so I guess $1.70 (ish?) for 400g. I hate this country and its crazy pricing sometimes.

Still, back in the days before people read my blog, I did a similar thing and managed breakfast lunch and dinner for a week on about £18, eating well. I should try it again soon- and this time, chicken liver will feature!

5:33 PM  
Anonymous greg gibson said...

You said the 'W' word!! You are probably going to burn for that!!

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What we did in my little town is form buying groups whereby we went to the management of the somewhat more intimate and locally owned alternative to Mega-Lo-Mart and explained what we were doing and that it arises from a common desire to avoid, if not BOYCOTT the Mega-Lo-Mart. The manager agreed to give our group buyer a 10% store credit rebate each month which goes back into all of our pockets as savings. We save a ton this way by ensuring everything we pay for is from a pre-prepared list with no exceptions. Also there's a Whole Foods about an hour away and we are able to send a buyer at lest 3 times a month to bring back specialty items. As for the idea of buying enough food for 2 or more to live on for a week, there are only 3 reasonable possibilities- Either 1) There is a lot of fast food dining or eating at friend's houses going on that we are not hearing about; or, 2) Everyone being fed in this way is as skinny as a speed freak, and, in fact may well be one; or, 3) Our author is a pathological liar.

Nonetheless, her heart is in the right place and I say bless her heart.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Lea said...

Hello Anonymous!

Isnt the web nice how you can hide behind the curtain and throw stones?

Yay for you and your courage!

I'm guessing you didn't read the blog post AT ALL, as I wrote exactly what we bought and exactly what we ate for that week on $20.

No fast food. No eating at friends. No "skinny speed freaks". And no "pathological liars".

Sorry if you cant pull it off.... dont get mad at me about it.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous karen logston said...

girl I here ya but I have been blessed with all the mexican stores around here and find things I wouldnt have any idea what to do with them but it sure smells good when you go in the store where they have the food cooking and cant pronounce the names of them.
You go girl I think if we would all take that challenge we would save some money and eat healthier

2:29 PM  

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