Day 18: The oddest dinner ever

Today, I shopped. I shopped so much that I now have only $32 to last the rest of the month.

May I take a moment here to reassure my sisters folks who are worried we’ve fallen on desperate times? We actually have more than $200 for groceries this month if we need it. We are not broke. But I am really interested this month to explore what life would feel like if we decided to spend less on groceries. And it would be great to end the month with a bit more money than usual. And so I picked a number — $200 — and challenged myself to try it.

But back to the shopping. I doubt I’ve ever made it all the way through my favorite grocery store (WinCo) with so little in my cart. I bought milk, eggs, hamburger, cottage cheese, sausage, ketchup, canning lids, bread, and–hmm, I’m forgetting some things now because it’s almost midnight 1 AM and I’m tired even more tired. But I remember looking at the receipt and seeing that I’d bought only 22 items. $68.

It felt almost like a waste of a trip to buy so little. But it wasn’t a waste of money. There wasn’t a bit of junk. Well, except for the 99 cent can of sweetened condensed milk I got so I could try this yummy-looking thang. The point is, I had a well-thought-out list and got what I needed this week. If I shopped that carefully even one week a month, I would save hundreds, no question.

Meals Today
Breakfast: cold cereal, milk and toast
Lunch: peanut butter sandwiches and apples
Dinner: This is perhaps the oddest dinner I’ve made in awhile. My husband looked at it and said, “Well, that looks like 30 Days of Nothing!” At which point the kids all laughed.

It started out being egg noodles with fresh garlic, olive oil, and sun-dried slivered tomatoes. Then I realized that it had been a zillion hours since lunch and everyone was starving. I hadn’t made nearly enough. I quickly remembered the 5 dozen eggs I’d bought (for $4.58!) and scrambled 18 of them. Then I told my kids to go pick some grapes. My odd dinner was complete. And, to my surprise, completely yummy. Eggs and egg noodles are great together, especially when jazzed up with tomatoes and garlic. Who’d have guessed? I might just make this again sometime.


  1. Ah! You have inspired me! Perhaps the way for me to go is the one-week-a-month route of having a very limited budget. That works out to twelve (well, more realistically, eight) weeks out of the year making the conscious decision to scrimp and be resourceful.

    Maybe I’ll try it!

  2. Your pictures are so pretty! We are trying to live within a very limited budget in an expensive metropolitan area, and it’s so hard! You think you’re spending it just on food, and then that food goes on to exceed your budget. You’re doing great, though!

  3. Thanks for the link to the recipe. It looks delicious!

  4. Hi Mary,

    thanks for sharing the link to the pumpkin mochi, I appreciate it 🙂


  5. Yummy–we love anything pumpkin at my house!