Experiments in Loving Life

Life is journey, let's enjoy it.

Archive for the category “Food”

Prepping for the week

Before I start talking about what all I cooked last night, let me pose a question that begs to be answered. How do you put a price on something that comes off a bush? Or out of a garden for that matter? Is it free once you’ve paid for the land? Or the bush?  Or the plant? I rented a 20′ x 20′ plot of land on Wednesday that is 2.5 miles from my current apartment. The plot cost me $50.00. Now here’s the question I have to ask myself. Let’s say I plant another $50.00 worth of plants. Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers, Herbs, Lettuce, Cabbage, Maybe a melon if I have space. I don’t really think that would add up to $50.00 but you get the idea. That’s only $100.00 spent on this garden. Given that figure, how does one mesure the value of the food I lift from the garden. Do I just count, every time I take something away from the garden I add it to a growing tally in my head. Today I took the 357th item from this garden. And then just divide 100 by that number to determine the value of the food? Talk about savings. Of course that doesn’t account for whether or not I am taking what would ordinarily be a 9 cent jalapeño or a 5 dollar watermelon. I suppose I will continue to mull this over in my head as I clearly am not ready to come to a congruent solution.


In other news, last night, I made 18 cups of food for a mere $6.73. Beans, squash, and rice. YUM!!! If you figure that the most I can eat at any one given meal is going to about 1.5 cups. That means that my 18 cups of food should spread out over 12 meals. Sounds good to me I say. That means that per serving, The food I made yesterday will cost only $0.56.  Which, may I point out, leaves me plenty of expense to throw it all down on a nice bed of greens with a couple pinches of nuts, and dried raisins, and the like. I’m already excited for the week ahead 🙂

In other news, This pepper shaker mysteriously showed up at my house yesterday. Addressed to me. With no return address. So I’m sending a thank you out into the world through every channel that I have access to. Thank you for the Pepper Grinder oh Mysterious one.



And with that I bid you a good day.


This is so cool.

So I’m about 85% done with my ingredients expenses list, and I can now open up any cookbook that I have and in about 45 seconds know almost exactly what that particular recipe will cost which makes it super easy to know how many meals it will have to span for it to fit into my budget. It also makes it really easy for me to see what recipes will be viable for company and things because I will still want enough leftovers for it to meet my budgetary requirements.

Here’s what it looks like so far.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 1.08.08 PM


I hope that isn’t too hard to read . . . it looks pretty bad in my editor here. Maybe click on it?

Anyway, I can already say with certainty that if you are trying to budget your food allowances, this has got to be the way to go.

I have already got most of the items I cook with cataloged and like I said before, so cool. I had no idea for instance that 3/4 cups of cooked black beans cost me a mere 12 cents. 12!!! Beans are about to make an appearance at almost every lunch and dinnertime meal that I eat simply for the fact that paired with other things, they fill you up for such a small price. I mean seriously, One ‘serving’ (I’m calling a serving of beans 3/4 cups cooked) added to any meal leaves me about $2.00 of other delicious things I can still include! Super excited about that one I can assure you.

Anyway, two posts a day isn’t usually my style. Have a good rest of your day!

I have a goal

Do you ever have goals?  Dreams? Desires? Anything that you just really wish that you could either accomplish or achieve or witness or experience?  I do. Though I saw a cartoon earlier today that indicated that perhaps we should do these things less. For it is in the having of wants and desires that we make ourselves unhappy. And it is in the thinking of ourselves that makes us even less so.

If you have ever heard of Leo Babauta he has similar ideas and says that in living a life free of goals and self-expectations (with 6 kids and a wife) he has found so much more happiness than he ever could have imagined. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Should we really have goals?

Nevertheless, despite what I sometimes wonder, I do have goals. And the one that I am going to spend the day focusing on is my goal of spending only $200 on groceries in the month of January. That equates to $2.15 a meal. or $6.45 a day.

What?!? Is this even possible? I believe that it is. Especially since I am single and have no problem eating the same meal several days in a row. Not that I think eating the same meal every day is a necessity to achieve this goal but, as a Vegan who believes in whole foods and eating plant based and attempting to eat Organic at least 50% of the time, I do think that making meals that can be frozen, or eaten two or three times will ultimately make this process much easier for me. After-all, If I make an $8.60 pot of soup, and eat the soup for 4 meals, piece of cake right!

So today I will be doing a little bit of Math, trying to figure out exactly what a half cup of say, cannellini beans costs vs. a half cup of black beans vs. a half cup of quinoa vs. a half cup of black lentils. Not because when I figure out what is cheapest I will use only the cheapest ingredients but so that I can easily figure out how to balance different ingredients to make appropriately priced dishes.

And of course, things like oatmeal for breakfast, cooked with the bags of home frozen berries that Tara (my future Step-Mom) gave me at the end of my visit home this last week should help me drive prices down at breakfast in order so that I can maybe drive them a little bit at other meals. Careful planning I believe, is all that matters.

So today, not only will I be doing Math, but I will also be creating a menu for the month that should make it exceptionally easy (I hope) to accomplish this goal.

Which will ultimately roll the goal over to February, and then March, and then April, but one Goal at a time please! one Goal at a time!

What goals do you have or the month of January? Or do you also believe that having goals and desires brings us more unhappiness than happiness? If you do, why do you believe this?

Post Navigation