Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, March 14, 2008

This Week's Weekly Bread

For comparison with my shopping from last week, I offer up this week's grocery run:

The Darwins, Round Rock, TX
Grocery total: 98.49

The little pink thing in front is a rubber duckie we picked up in the checkout line.

When I was younger, my family ate on a tight budget, which seemed to translate to certain kinds of cheap convenience foods. I remember plenty of kraft dinners with hot dogs, hamburger helper, little boxed potpies, canned vegetables, instant mashed potatoes, kool-aid, "family-size" frozen entrees (Salisbury steak, anyone?). I don't know whether it was actually less expensive to buy certain low-budget prepared items than to get fresh ingredients, or if it was just that if you wanted to eat more expensive items like meat for the lowest cost you bought potpies and frozen entrees.

We're fortunate to have a larger food budget than my family, but I'd still rather forgo lots of meat and buy fresh produce instead. Ah, when the garden comes in...


PB said...

I'm eager for the weather to warm up here in northwest Ohio because once the farmers markets return, the veggies are great, fresh, and very cheap.

My wife and I do the weekly food budget together and usually grocery shop together as well. We budget around $75 a week for groceries (feeding a family of 4 which includes 3-4 meatless meals a week). I just curious how that compares to your food budget?

PB said...

Also, I meant to include that I noticed the $$$ total as the picture caption, but two weeks doesn't represent every time so that's what triggered the question.

mrsdarwin said...


We used to keep a food budget and hold to it pretty tightly, but lately we've been fortunate enough that we don't have to stick to a set amount for groceries. We do plan out what we want to eat during the week, as well as noting any staples we need to stock. I can kind of eyeball my cart and fairly accurately assess how much I'm spending, and I'll pick up an item here or hold back on something else there depending on how my running tally is going.

We rarely spend more than $130/wk on groceries. The weekly total can fluctuate between $90 and $120, depending on what's already in the pantry or if we're having a fancy birthday dinner. (That total includes all basic things one gets at the grocery store: toiletries, cleaning supplies, paper products, the new broom). We're feeding six people; baby isn't born yet, but it's sure affecting my consumption.

Anonymous said...

My weekly shopping trip picture wouldn't show a good representation of what we actually eat. We always buy a side of beef from a farmer in Indiana every year (organically grown) and it lasts all year. Our vegetable consumption is different too...being raised on a farm, and still living there (as you know) we always ate tons of fresh produce spring to fall, and my mom froze and canned a lot so that in winter we ate all the frozen and canned vegetables. I also do some freezing and canning in the summer so I don't end up buying much fresh vegetables in the winter but I do buy tons of fresh fruit and salad ingredients. I'm also still using potatoes we dug out of the front garden last summer.
I rarely use convenience foods, but I must admit we do buy some snacks, more than I should and we do eat out more than we used to. When we were first married, we couldn't afford to eat out. Now we usually hit LaRosa's once a week.
I hope you're having a good week...I loved the picture of the girls the other day.
God bless!

BrokenFiction said...

I'm kind of interested to see your meal plan for the week based upon this shopping list. It's always been tough for me to take these lists and equate them to what gets prepared with the raw ingredients. Thx!

mrsdarwin said...


Here's the meal plan with a rough breakdown of the ingredients that are on the table:

1. Garlic Soba noodles with parmesan-crusted tofu (bought noodles last week, tofu is toward the front of the table, kale)

2. Hummus (canned garbanzos, tahini in glass jar,) with eggplant salad (eggplants, some tomatoes, bell peppers) and homemade bread

3. King Ranch chicken casserole (red bell pepper, poblano chile, pepper jack and longhorn cheddar back by the milk, corn tortillas, sour cream on top of eggs, already have chicken)

4. Nacho tostadas (tostadas back by cereal, longhorn cheddar, pickled jalapenos in jar by tahini, refried beans, lettuce)

5. Garlic pasta (garlic, shells or farfalle -- I bought both since we were out and I use them frequently)

6. Beef stew (stew meat by milk, carrots, celery, potatoes)


I'd love to buy beef directly from a farmer -- that's something we're looking into this year.

CMinor said...

The thing about Kraft dinners (the mac & cheese, at least) is it really doesn't save you a whole lot of time over making a baked mac & cheese from scratch. Plus, the homemade stuff tastes better.

I'm finding a lot of those frozen dinners aren't all that big a savings either. Not with a pan of frozen lasagne costing you around $10 and taking as long to cook as doing it yourself.

(Have I gone on the lasagne kick before on this blog? I'm feeling some deja vu.)

mrsdarwin said...


I nearly started in to say the same thing about Kraft dinner, but then I thought if I got started in that direction the post would go entirely too long... :)

I've not heard your lasagne kick, but you're welcome to elaborate since I agree completely about the cost/benefit problems of frozen entrees.

Christine said...

Hi! John told me about y'all's blog and I'm always seeing Jen at EtTu refer to y'all.

I absolutely love that you did this. I was wondering if a weeks worth of groceries always has to to look like the pictures in that book, and you show that it can be done simply and frugally - even in a western country.

Foxfier said...

If you're looking into buying part of a steer-- or a pig, for that matter-- try looking up the FFA or 4H club in your area.

Even if they don't have anyone who shows meat-animals, they should know what clubs nearby do. (My mom was a 4H club leader for ages, so I got to find out how BIG the organization can be, in places you'd never expect.)