This week I spent 19.52.
Thank you sprouts!
In the bag:
- Green leaf lettuce
- instant oatmeal (99 cents per pound)
- 1 lb of tomatoes (on sale for 88 cents per lb)
- 2.4 lb of beef ($10.64)
- 1 lb pears (88 cents per lb)
- red onion
- 1 carton of eggs (not pictured)
- 3 limes (0.75)
- half gallon of vanilla coconut milk (got a dollar off coupon)
Not bad… so far, me and Mr. Fish have done a really good job being within budget. As we’ve shown, you can live off of 20 dollars worth in groceries and we’ll keep doing it.
As I told myself, I think it’s time for a food blog due to a special request.
In other news…
Have you seen the gas prices in California?
I thought it was very hard to go out this weekend. I was planning to go to LA on Sunday but instead I didn’t, I just played tennis at the park and studied for the CAPM.
Thank goodness for Amazon Prime. I think with these rising gas prices, I don’t mind buying things on the internet for deodorant and toothbrush heads and other basic things. I’ll just stick with driving my car for going to work (some days I carpool), going to the Pilates studio twice a week, groceries, and going to my CAPM exam.
This week in 20 dollars of groceries was way over budget. On Tuesday, I have a little get together and I did say that I did not want to count alcohol and food we are preparing for a party. Highlights is two bottles of Lambic Framboise, frozen packets of Acai Puree, and gluten free BBQ sauce (which I did not know was gluten-free — I picked out the cheapest BBQ I could find).
Ehh…that’s ok. Anyways I thought maybe we can start Monday off with some salad!
Maybe I should start eating more salad — eat salad once a day, everyday. I’ve attempted a few times before by taking salad to work and everyone assumes that you’re on a fad diet. Example:
Day 1: Coworker: what are you eating lunch?
Me: Just salad.
Day 2: Coworker: what are you eating today for lunch?
Day 3: Coworker: What are you eating today for lunch?
Coworker: Are you on a diet?
And that ends the conversation. I don’t know why people assume I was dieting. And it usually leads to someone telling me that I don’t need to diet. Please. I eat a lot more at home anyways. I like making salad and I do just more than Caesar. I can make filling and I can prove it.
The salad I’m going to make is from Good Food Buzz, but I made a little changes. Also, I made a chimichurri sauce for the dressing and it tastes AMAZING!
Quinoa, black bean, Arugula salad (I need a shorter name )
1 cup of Quinoa
1 can of black beans – drained
Arugula – I bought a box of prewashed Arugula from Sprouts (2.99)
1 Avocado (0.50)
1 Red Bell Peppers (0.50)
Feel free to change up the portions to whatever you like. My box of Arugula is good for about until Friday (assuming I’m the only one who eats the salad) so I probably am going to use a 2nd avocado and more bell pepper.
1. In a saucepan, cook quinoa until it’s fluffy and set it aside to cool.
2. Chop bell peppers and avocado.
3. Add the chopped bell peppers, avocado, and quinoa to the arugula.
Cost to make:3.99 (did not include the cost of beans and quinoa because I bought them a while back). 3.99 for 5 days equals to 0.80 a day, I think I should start making salad at home more often.
This a very versatile sauce. Apparently people in Argentina use this sauce like ketchup — this usually goes with steak. My friend uses Chimichurri sauce with her fish and growing up she would dip bread and chorizo. Today, I’m going to use it as a dressing. Can’t wait to try pairing it with other things!
1/2 cup of oil (I used grapeseed)
2 tbsp of red vinegar
1 cup of chopped parsley (0.50)
4 cloves of garlic chopped (0.33 for one garlic)
1 tbsp of salt
1/4 tbsp of black pepper
1/4 tbsp of red pepper
Note: I used the Ninja to chop the parsley. I mixed the oil, red vinegar, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red peppers and put the parsley last.
Also to note, I need a cute container to serve sauces.
Cost: 0.88. If you already got oil, vinegar, and spices — you can pretty much make almost any type of dressing .
Another week of living off 20 dollars in groceries. Its starting to get really challenging because I wanted to get avocados but I knew I would be over budget. I wanted to get açai puree but I knew I would be over budget. I just had to tell myself “maybe next week.” Oh the temptation! This week I went over by $2.06. Not bad…I think its because of the chicken that I needed for my favorite margarita pasta recipe (will post that next week).
So here is what I bought this week:
Sprouts had an amazing 72 hour sale (Friday-Saturday):
1. Mom’s Best naturals Toasted Cinnamon Squares
2. 1 Gallon of 2% Milk
3. Roma tomatoes (1.29 for a pound)
4. Shredded cheddar cheese (1.30)
5. Grapes (0.88 per pound)
6. Chicken breast (really small portion for 2.83)
7. Pasta (1.50 each!)
Vietnamese market down the street from my place — I usually like buying meats here.
1. 1 pound of pork shoulder (1.99 per lb)
2. Pork neck bone (0.99 per lb)
3. Ginger (I only needed 1-inch of ginger. Don’t recall how much it was per pound but I was only charged 4 cents)
4. Dozen medium eggs (1.19)
5. Preserved duck egg
I can’t believe I forgot to take pictures of my grocery shopping trip. But just take my word for it folks.
I’m going post the congee recipe by popular demand. It’s called by many names throughout Asia — Chao (Vietnam), Jook (China), Lugao (Philippines), and more.
Anyways, I grew up eating this dish and I didn’t like it too much growing up. Maybe because my mom made it every week and my dad liked it and that was all he asked for. My boyfriend loves this dish. In fact, he tried to make it and I didn’t like the texture too much–too much rice. Then one night, my friend took me to a Hong Kong cafe in Alhambra. She told me her favorite dish was the rice porridge and I said “eh…really? I’m not too crazy about it because my mom always makes it. My boyfriend loves it and makes it. My boyfriend’s mom makes it too.” Then when the tilapia with preserved egg congee came in, I became a believer. It sounds like an unusual combination but its so good, it’s addicting! I guess it was the creamy texture and the preserved egg that bought me in.
A couple weeks later, I took my boyfriend to the same Hong Kong Cafe in Alhambra and ordered the tilapia with preserved egg congee to show him what it’s all about. He liked it too and I was trying to find out how this congee’s smooth and creamy texture.
After researching, it’s very easy — no blending or breaking rice required. It’s a very forgiving recipe so feel free to change the quantities. Also it’s very cheap to make.
Pork and Preserved Egg Congee
2 cups of rice, rinsed
13 cups of water
1 lb of Pork (1.99 for 1 lb)
1 lb of pork bones (69 cents)
1-inch of ginger (4 cents)
4-6 preserved eggs (1.99)
1. Rinse rice and put rice in a container. Marinate rice with sesame (try other oils too if you don’t have sesame) oil and 1 tbsp of salt. Take your time.
2. In a stew pot of 13 cups of water put in pork, pork bones, and ginger and let it cook all the way through. This will be your pork stock. (Feel free to put chicken or beef stock).
3. After the pork cooks, take out the pork and cut it into small pieces and set it aside for later.
4. In the stew pot, let your pork stock reduce (to however you want). Add more salt to taste.
5. Take out the pork bones and discard.
6. Rinse your marinated rice with water and put it in the stew pot and let the rice cook. Take your time with this one. How the rice becomes so creamy and fine is that when the rice cooks in the stew pot, it pretty much get “overcooked” that it breaks itself. See? No blender needed.
7. After you get your desired texture, you can add more water to make it less sticky.
8. Add back your pork. Add quartered preserved eggs and let it heat up.
9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
10. Add in green onions (I didn’t have a lot of green onions in my porch, so I used chives too).
Feel free to add soy sauce or fish sauce or some sriracha .
Cost of ingredients: $4.71 (does not include rice, oil, salt, ground pepper, green onion).
- roma tomatoes
- grapes (not pictured)
- red leaf lettuce
- wheat bread
- black forest ham
Trader Joe’s ( my favorite place )
- orange chicken
- frozen Asian stirfry vegetables
- pita chips
Total: 20.86 — which was better than last week’s trip. We still have frozen chicken thighs in the freezer from last week. I think we won’t be starving this week. I noticed our fridge is looking cleaner lately :-p.
Looks like we will be eating sandwiches everyday for lunch this week. I had spare canned garbanzo beans to make hummus for the pita chips.
Challenge accepted! BF and I are going to give this a try for a month. I think it’s doable.
To be exact, this turned out to be 23 dollars. Bought this bag of bananas because the sign said “1 dollar” so I thought it meant one dollar for the whole bag. Oh well, looks like next week will be 17 dollar worth of groceries.
So this week we bought:
- 2 pasta boxes
- generic Honey bunches of Oat
- bag of bananas
- ground beef
- bag of frozen chicken thigh
- 1.5 lbs of tomatoes
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 1 container of Parmesan cheese
- 1 bag of grapes
FYI: We don’t count sales tax, but then again sales tax is generally not applied to most grocery food.
We don’t count alcohol or buying food for a potluck party (which is on a very rare occasion)
I felt August was fun. During the first three weeks of August, I felt as though I went to the beach every weekend. I’m pretty beach-ed out. Last summer, I don’t recall ever going to the beach.
These were pretty interesting. They’re like little sandbugs crawling underneath the sand (at Solana Beach). I still think it’s a baby hermit crab.
Noodles in black bean sauce — so good. It was from Tasty Garden Cafe in Alhambra. If you want to try Hong Kong food — try it here! Also it opens late! Will come back to try other items maybe even their Hong Kong waffle or brick toast.
I must learn how to make myself a Cubano one of these days.
There’s nothing like home-made pho (not by me , by my boyfriend’s mom of course).
This was an easy recipe (Blogilates) –just one ripe banana and two eggs and feel free to add whatever toppings.
Can’t believe this is gluten free and processed sugar free! It’s amazingly good — now I need to perfect making neat pancake circles!
P.S. I have a cold — need to make it go away. I think it was all that travelling and studying and multi-tasking that’s been bogging me down :-/.
Banana “nice cream“ sound like the latest trend in health and fitness blogs. If you have bananas that are starting to turn brown, put them in the freezer and later toss them in a blender or food processor.
For me, I added coconut flakes, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Yum…
You get your potassium, omega-3s, and a touch of chocolate in one dish.
I even told myself to try cutting off from desserts for three weeks too. This is hard for me to do when I know I have to cut back on the ice cream (cake, cookies, etc), I eat Greek yogurt. After while I get tired of Greek yogurt and go back to eating ice cream again.
I posted this picture on my Facebook and people had no idea it was really bananas.
Saw “Rent” last night at the Birch North Park Theatre on Saturday. I listened to the “Rent” soundtrack back in high school but I never saw a production until Saturday night.
The soundtrack is still my favorite albums to listen to because it’s a reminder to live life to the fullest. You really do rent your life, the people in your life, your talents, and your emotions. It’s been about a few years since I’ve listened to the soundtrack (for I no longer own a CD player ). Saturday night’s show definitely blew me away with their songs and remind me again to live life to the fullest.
It was also my boyfriend’s first time watching a musical. I was a afraid maybe he wouldn’t like it and I thought maybe the content would be a tad salty for a first musical but he really enjoyed the production. Can’t wait to take him to more musicals.
I told my boyfriend my interpretation of “Rent” how I feel that you just don’t own anything — even married couples don’t even own each other — they still rent. He tells me “yes they do! They’re married!” I told him even in married couples they still have to work to make their love stay alive with affection and devotion and that’s how married couples (actually any couple) pay the rent.
In anything you do, you have to work for it (rent) to keep the things in your life sustaining. Examples would be talent: you don’t own your talent, you rent by practicing and training regularly. You don’t own your slim trim physique, you rent by eating in moderation and exercise regularly (I’m using “regularly” in the most liberal way). You definitely don’t own your happiness or your sadness either.
My boyfriend saw it as a little depressing, maybe he’ll find out the things he enjoy in life, he actually leases. To me, I don’t mind the idea that I rent everything. I believe whatever I get out of my life is what I put into it (rent). So far after being a life renter for many years, I’m content with my outcomes and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Now if only I can convince my friends and my peers to start renting instead of just aiming for the moon and have nowhere to go. Why does it take so much convincing to tell people to dedicate their work (not just hard work) for what they want. All I hear is excuses and hope someone caters on the way. Just realize your direction and figure out what you want. As soon as you figure out what you want, put your lease and pay your dues .
Anyways after the show, we ended the night by taking out some Heaven Sent Desserts — which is so much better than Extraordinary Desserts.
This is a Strawberry Red Velvet Parfait. The strawberry mousse on top is really good. I need to learn how to make the mousse and maybe attempt my own parfait.