First, a few clarifying details about the $500 month just for those of you who are curious or are trying a similar thing.
- There are five people in our family. We have three children, ages 7, 5, and 3. We have no food allergies or intolerances.
- We DO have some SMALL stockpile of foods, so obviously we will be consuming those items, along with whatever we purchase for $500 or less.
- Because we will be eating the stockpiled foods, I won’t necessarily be able to give you a perfect cost estimate per day, but I will try.
- We live in a small town near Charlotte, NC where gas and a gallon of regular non organic milk are both around $3.65 a gallon. Your expenses might be more or less depending on where you live.
- I shop at our local Harris Teeter, ALDI, and the Farmer’s Market, primarily. Trader Joes and Earth Fare are a bit more of a hike. Whole Foods opens next week in the fancy part of town, which is kind of far away, so I am going to resist the temptation as long as I can.
- Me: Coffee with sugar cream and whole wheat toast. The second cup is usually black because I don’t refill the cream and sugar due to laziness.
- ProvidinaTOR: Organic eggs on toast with HT ham. Coffee
- Kids: Tasteeos with whole non-organic milk and honey.(Cheerios or cheapy equivalent are one of our five ingredient “exception” foods.) Non-organic clementine oranges
Please don’t judge me. Or do. GO AHEAD. I can take it. My husband suggested Subway after he saw me give my weary “Please don’t make me cook for these terrible kids after that church service.” (We are church shopping, which is a dreadful wearisome process much like dating. Try taking your extremely shy three year old to four different churches in as many weeks, and you might have a clue.)
I said okay and he ordered. I forked over the cashola, $16
Family: 2 footlong cold cut combos with Cheetos, Doritos, sprite, and a sweet tea.
(Don’t say it. I heard it. I heard you judging me. I heard it all the way over here through the space time continuum.)
Homemade Lara Bars. Those of you who asked for the recipe should NOT follow the method I am going to describe below. You should Google it for more sophisticated information, but here is what I did.
For the first batch, I took a bag of leftover trailmix that had peanuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, etc (probably about a cup) and pulsed it in the mini-chop food processor till it was like fine bread crumbs. Then I added some dates one at a time, pulsing until it was a thick pastey consistency. Then I pressed it into wax paper and left it in the fridge till I could cut it.
Since that worked pretty decently, I took some post-fresh
old granola (oats, unsweetened coconut, chopped nuts, etc.) and pulsed it until it was crumby. Then I added dates to it in batches till it turned thick and pastey. I did this in batches until smoke started coming out of my little food processor.
Then I dumped the food out and cleaned out wheezing, smokey processor. I tried again until I smelled the smell of burning metal. Then I tried to pulse again until I heard the sound of a lawn mower running over an anvil. Then I stopped.
I put the mixture I had finished in wax paper in a pan and refrigerated it till it was firm enough to slice.
So, all that to say, I think you can mix dates with about anything and turn out a fruitylicious treat, but your appliances might be in jeopardy.
As penance for feeding my kids “pink meat combo” and killing our appliances, I made these delicious ALL organic roasted veggies and ALL organic spinach and beet-green salad with homemade vinagrette. I even used my one butternut squash that I grew in my garden, despite having an almost entirely unsuccessful summer of growing anything. I would
estimate this dinner cost about $10 or less. Although actually, I put the price of that butternut squash at around $40 since it is almost the only thing that I managed to grow.
Truthfully, my littlest two were not as psyched for it as they had been for Doritos, but they ate some of it and only cried for a few minutes when I refused to give them anything else after dinner. (So in addition to being a bit of a food-hypocrite, I’m also really mean.)
Anyway, that was day 2. Breakfast we did okay. Lunch we did terrible. Dinner we did awesome. I guess being poorganic means averaging out the poor and the organic by the end of the day. We are almost a $100 down already, but I’m determined to menu plan tomorrow. What’s on my menu? Please help me. I’m weak.
Are you having fun laughing at my expense? Invite your friends to follow along with the $500 month too.