1 Year Of Eating Locally - Weekly Meal Plan + Food Cost: Week of June 3, 2018

If you’re just tuning in, this is our 1 year challenge in which I share our weekly meal plan as we try to eat primarily locally grown food.  You will see that I often I make 2 different meals because I am primarily plant-based and my husband is not.  Most of what we eat is made from scratch and any boxed, canned and/or frozen products follow the Real Food guidelines.  Meal planning is my way of controlling the grocery budget (read as a LOT of dollars saved), ensuring there is no food waste for the week, as well as saving time.  You can read more about meal planning here.

Read the entire series here.

Well, we have started our eat local challenge!  Smack dab in the middle of asparagus season means we are eating a LOT of asparagus.  We do grow some, however, our asparagus bed is not large enough to give us enough of this delectable plant for more than one or two meals each week.  So, we buy some at the farmer's market.  I'm also planning to try pickling some asparagus this year.  I've never tried it but am excited to see how it tastes.

We are very fortunate to have vegetable farmer's who grow a variety of plants - I was shocked, for instance, to see kohlrabi available this week!  We love it so I scooped that up right away.  It's not quite time for strawberries (about 1-2 weeks away) but I had frozen strawberries that I processed last summer, and paired with fresh rhubarb I was able to make a delicious strawberry rhubarb pie.  It was sooooooo good.  Recipe coming soon!

Because not many fruit or veggies are available, I've supplemented with what we were able to put up in the freezer last summer and fall plus purchased a few things from the grocery store.  We will be freezing and canning again this year so that we have a bit of variety next winter and spring.

J decided to go back to purchasing milk products from our local source.  Unfortunately, we do not have an organic dairy (that I'm aware of at least) local, so, it means purchasing non-organic products.

So let's talk about this week's $24.00 chicken.  I know it sounds crazy, right?  You can buy a whole chicken from the supermarket for anywhere from $4.00 - $12.00.  Why in the world would someone pay $24.00?  And it's not even certified organic!  My husband and I have discussed it at length and I have conversations frequently with friends regarding exactly this topic. 

It all goes back to voting with your food dollars. 

You might (might) be able to find a chicken in the grocery store that is the same quality as a chicken purchased from a local farmer, but it's all about animal welfare.  How was that chicken treated?  I truly believe that all living beings should be treated with respect, and that includes those born and raised purely to feed us.  I believe that it matters how they are treated while they are alive, and it matters how they are treated when they are harvested.  Unfortunately, animals are just not treated with respect when they are raised in feed lots.  Not when they are growing up, and not when they are harvested.  Never.  When you find local farmers who raise animals for meat in a way that you can respect, then you vote with your food dollars by purchasing from them.  And that's exactly what we've decided to do.  Additionally, we've raised chickens for meat in the past.  It's expensive.  I can see exactly how they must charge what they do in order to make a living.  (**We are in no way suggesting that this is for everyone.  I understand that this is a lot of money to spend on one item.**)

So, we've purchased a $24.00 chicken and plan to buy more.

On to the menu!

Weekly Meal Plan:
Breakfast - Breakfast Burritos
Lunch - Cashew Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Greens
Dinner - Homemade Pizza (me - arugula, mushrooms & roasted red peppers, J - burger, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, & mozzarella)

Breakfast - Oatmeal with Rhubarb, Honey & Raw Walnuts
Lunch - leftover pizza
Dinner - Refried Bean Enchiladas, Guacamole, Corn Salad (corn was frozen from last fall) with Cilantro & Avocado

Breakfast - Oatmeal with Rhubarb, Honey & Raw Walnuts
Lunch - leftover pizza
Dinner - (me) Rice Bowl (rice, kale, corn, asparagus, & black beans), (J) Whole-Roasted Chicken, Rice, Asparagus

Breakfast - Oatmeal with Rhubarb, Honey & Raw Walnuts
Lunch - (me) salad, (J) leftover chicken & veggies
Dinner - Burgers On The Grill (J- Beef, me- black bean & sweet potato), Potato Salad, Greens

Breakfast - Oatmeal with Rhubarb, Honey & Raw Walnuts
Lunch - (me) salad, (J) leftover chicken & veggies
Dinner - (me) Pasta with Kale & Beans, Roasted Asparagus with Citrus Butter, (J) Grilled BBQ Pork Chop, Mac & Cheese

Breakfast - Oatmeal with Rhubarb, Honey & Raw Walnuts
Lunch - (me) salad, (J) leftover burger
Dinner - Fajitas (me - veg & refried beans, J - leftover chicken & veg), Mexican Rice (salsa + rice)

Breakfast - Asparagus Frittata, Hashbrowns
Lunch - Salad with Grilled Salmon 
Dinner - Southwestern Rice (with corn, roasted red peppers & cayenne), (me) Greens, (J) Grilled Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breast

Weekly Food Cost:

Farmer's Market - $101.40
  • 1/2 gallon milk - $2.50
  • 1/2 gallon 1/2 & 1/2 - $2.50
  • rhubarb - $4.00
  • asparagus - $10.00
  • certified organic mesclun mix - $5.00
  • certified organic arugula - $2.50
  • certified organic kohlrabi - $2.50
  • grass-fed pork chops (3 chops) - $15.00
  • grass-fed beef - burger (1 lb) - $5.00
  • pastured whole chicken - $24.00
  • sweet potato (1) - $1.00
  • red potatoes (2 lbs) - $5.00
  • cheddar cheese - $8.40
  • mozzarella cheese - $8.00
  • apples - $6.00
Commissary - $12.27
*I am not allowed to share individual costs from the commissary so I've listed what we purchased and the total price*
  • tortillas, tomato sauce, burger rolls, lemons, salsa, mushrooms 

Hannaford - $18.78
  • cilantro - $1.29
  • avocado (2) - $2.40
  • blackberries - $6.00
  • oranges - $4.60
  • whole wheat bread - $4.49

Grand Total - $132.45

Weekly Food Notes:

  • You should never (ever) see eggs on our shopping list since we raise chickens for eggs.
  • I had on hand: Refried Beans, Frozen Corn, Rice, Rolled Oats, Frozen Kale, Black Beans, Whole Wheat Pasta, Roasted Red Peppers, Flour, Frozen Shredded Hashbrowns, Cashew Butter, Honey, Raw Walnuts, Jelly, Butter, Lard, frozen Salmon, & Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts


Grow Gather Enjoy said...

I think you did pretty well on the costs for your first week. I bet you got all the goodness out of that $24 chicken! It'll be interesting to see how costs change over time as seasons change and also as you get your preserving stockpile working with your new style of eating.
Your opening reminded me of animal, vegetable, miracle where they start out in the hungry gap of spring and eat a lot of asparagus too. If you try pickling please share the recipe - I think they'd be tasty, but I'm a bit of a pickle fiend if I'm being honest!

daisy g said...

I agree with your philosophy about raising animals. Unfortunately, most of us cannot afford to buy a chicken at that price.
I need to look for the black bean & sweet potato burger recipe. I have both and need something new for myself.

How are your allergies since you've been on the plant-based diet? I am dealing with another bout of sinusitis after eating cheese for a week. When will I learn?

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Laura - I was thinking the same thing! It will definitely be interesting, particularly because I LOVE veggies and have a hard time restraining myself when they are available. :) I will definitely share the recipe if it turns out!!

Daisy - yes, very true. It's expensive! And it's too bad. Regarding my allergies, as long as I have absolutely no dairy they are fine. I had sauce from a restaurant a few weeks ago and I believe it had dairy in it because I was sick for a week. Seems the smallest amount of dairy triggers sinusitis. I wish you a quick recovery!!