A blog about spending wisely in your twenties, with advice on everything from cooking to saving money on gas; how to teach yourself to save money instead of spending it, traveling without breaking the bank, and much more.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The No-Groceries Experiment Update

This month's experiment to spend no money on groceries is going swimmingly so far. (Well, it is only the 9th. But still!). The closest I've come to grocery shopping is paying one roommate back for 6 or 7 bottles of beer and asking the other to please pick up a lime. I've eaten/drank:

Leftover Pesto Pasta
Bow Tie Noodles with Tomato Sauce
Pea Soup (vegetarian)
Pancakes (make a Big Batch on a weekend morning, and then freeze enough for quick breakfasts during the week)
Irish Soda Bread
Peanut Butter Cookies
Black Bean Soup (with cilantro from my container garden!)
Corn Bread
Chocolate Truffle Cookies
A Bagel or Two
Sweet Iced Tea
Apple Juice
+Burgers from Work (about 5 a week)

The soup + bread combo works wonders for me. I can make a big batch of soup and I'll get about two dinners (me + Boyfriend), one or two lunches for me, and I can send some with him to work. If I make a batch of a quick bread to pair with it, I've got quite a filling meal indeed.

Because even Pea Soup haters love my Pea Soup, though it might more accurately be called Vegetarian Pea Stew, here's my recipe (in all of it's guesstimating glory):

1 lb Split Peas
7 c water
2 vegetable boullion cubes
2 large carrots
2 small potatoes
1 brown onion
1 1/2 Tbs Cumin
2 or 3 Bay Leaves
Tabasco Sauce

Place the split peas in a bowl with 3 cups water to soak. Put the other 4 cups of water in a stock pot to boil. Chop the carrots and potatoes into your version of bitesize. Peel the onion and chop it in half. When the water in the pot boils, toss in the boullion cubes. Once the cubes dissolve, dump the split peas (do not drain), the half onion, carrots, and potatoes into the pot. Add the cumin, bay leaves, and salt & pepper to taste. Add Tabasco if desired. Keep in stock pot over medium-low heat for about 30 mins, or until peas have become mushy and potatoes are tender. Remove onion and bay leaves before serving.

You can replace the boullion cubes + water with vegetable broth if you like.

I make a batch of this soup about once a month. I eat at least one meal a day for about week with it, and that includes feeding my significant other when he comes over. I serve it with Irish Soda Bread or plain old biscuits.

And the very best part is that this soup costs me less than $5 to make. Much, much less. More often than not, I'll offer this one up to the roommates for dinner, because they love it. Even my roommate's 5 year old daughter will attest that the mushy green stew "... looks yucky but it tastes really good!"

1 comment:

Mandy said...

Margie- Its amazing how far long you can go without groceries. We're broke this month because of my boobs, and I've only gone to the store for milk for the kids. I've managed to make 3 nutritious meals (meatloaf vegetable pinwheels, lasagna, garlic lime chicken & couscous) that fed us for a whole week (including leftovers) without going to the grocery store!

I also do the pancake freeze! its GREAT for parents. I always put fruit in them so i can slap them in the microwave or toaster, give them to the kids, and fall asleep on the couch.

Great post!