• Personally speaking….

    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
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Menu Plan Monday

I’ve seen some others doing a menu plan on Monday and thought I’d give it a whirl. This week is pretty busy so there are a few nights off. For more menus, head over to Meal Plan Monday. I have classes on Monday and Wednesday at 6:30.

Monday: Sweet Potato and Kidney Bean Burrito (Froze 99% of them when I cooked them. Not sure how they’ll do from the freezer but we’ll see!)
Tuesday: Out to eat
Wednesday: Taco Soup but leaving out the meat, Bread
Thursday: Lasagna Spirals, Salad, Bread
Friday: C.O.R.N. (Clean Out Refrigerator Night)
Saturday: Out to eat
Sunday: Spaghetti Pie, Green Beans

Two days of eats

Oatmeal:
How I love thee but won’t it get old quickly? I still have about 2 or 3 cups left in the fridge for nuking. So far my favorite way to make it (other than oodles of brown sugar and milk and butter) is banana. Gotta find some other ways!

PB&J Roll-up massacre
PB&J roll-up disaster
I tried to make a PB&J roll-up so that I can cut it up for my Laptop Lunch. It was a disaster! My little cutting board looked like I just butchered something. The spewed guts (aka: jam) went on top of some yogurt so that was good. But the roll-up…. I don’t know what I did wrong! I put peanut nut butter on the tortilla first so it wouldn’t get soggy and then put on the jam. I put too much jam (2 tablespoons) definitely but the cutting was horrible.

Breakfast
Breakfast

  • Oatmeal, steel-cut, leftover, 1 cup: 2
  • Apple, organic, Fuji, cut-up: 1
  • Cinnamon:0
  • Da Dew! 0
  • Was going to put slices on top of the oatmeal but that’s hard to eat so I chopped some up and mixed apple in after the oatmeal was nuked. Sprinkled cinnamon on top. Not a huge fan. Maybe it’d be better with the apple nuked or some sweetener added like honey or such. I’ve seen people add applesauce to oatmeal so thought this would work.

Chicken fried rice
Lunch

  • Chicken fried rice
    Based loosely on OAMC Chicken Fried Rice. I used some of the cooked brown rice, rest of the chicken, onion, frozen vegetables, 2 eggs, and soy sauce/pepper.

Dinner
Dinner
2 Turkey cheddar dogs, 1 cup corn/lima beans.
I didn’t cook this but photographed anyway.
3 hot cocoas: 12
ice cream (1 cup + chocolate syrup): A kazillion points. Ok, not really.

PB&J Roll-up massacre
Brunch
PB&J roll-ups: 2 Tbl peanut butter, 2 Tbl jam, 1 tortilla (3)
1 cup ff yogurt
Diet dew, 1 can

Saving by menu planning


Image: Daniel Y. Go

I tried The Grocery Game for a $1 trial. Pretty neat idea. If I actually visited the site and did what she said to do, I can definitely see how I’d save in the long run. But I tend to shop at one store, with maybe a quick stop at a couple on the way home if they have a really good deal on meat or produce.

I have a subscription to E-mealz but haven’t really been keeping up with that either. The Walmart menu has prices on it and they say they make up menus based on sales. I get a generic points one.

Finding the circulars online
I usually visit the stores’ sites directly. Also, there’s: Sunday Saver. Unfortunately, some stores don’t list grocery sales in their online ads. For example, Walmart.

Update the price sheet
I have a price sheet in Google docs’ spreadsheet. I input prices that look low to me and keep them categorically.

Date Store Category Item Total weight Units Price Price per Weight unit Price a pound Notes
4/22/2008 Food Lion Meat Chicken breast, frozen 2.5 pound 6.99 2.80 pound

I also have a notes column and an extra column for pound. Like when cans of green beans are on sale, they are X per ounce. I then take the X and multiply it by 16 so I can see price per pound. I do this on frozen meals and canned vegetables mostly.

Before I started this, I thought that those big bags of flash frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts were always a better deal. Nope. Especially now that I’ve learned how to freeze stuff better.

Highlight the good deals
If there’s a great meat deal based on the previous prices, then I stock up a bit. Not too much since I am cooking for one or two max. If there’s a great produce deal, I use that as inspiration.

Farmers’ Markets
I had previous plans Saturday so missed out on the local market but hopefully I can hit it up next weekend. I bought less veggies this last grocery shopping trip because I knew we’ve got lots of local seasonal produce to purchase and use!

Coupons
This is a major weakness of mine that I hope to improve upon. I clip coupons from the paper when I get it, file them and forget them. I haven’t utilized the plethora of online coupon sites but should. It’s a really kick in the pants when I get home to find that there was a $1 (or more!) coupon for something I just bought. Here’s some great tips on coupons (that I hope to do m’self!): So where can you find the coupons?

Saturday foodstuffs

Yeah. Difficult day. Emotionally draining. I’m glad it’s over. I ate those little quarter sandwich things on a boat that I didn’t take pictures of but I did take pictures of the dinner I ate out. Yay? Oh and I am a huge fan of steel-cut oats! Cook up a bunch and store it for a quick nuke each day!

Breakfast
Breakfast [5]

  • Oatmeal, steel-cut, leftover, 1 cup: 2
    I’ve been warming the oatmeal up in this bowl. I measured out how much each line is with water from a measuring cup, but also the oatmeal comes from a storage container that has lines for 1 cup, 2 cup on it. Very helpful.
  • Banana, 1: 2
  • Honey, 1 teaspoon: .5
  • ICBINB, 1 teaspoon: .5
  • Diet Dew, of course: 0
  • I mixed up some cut-up, slightly smooshed banana in with the microwave oatmeal. Pretty lovely combination!

Invisible dolphins
No picture of the food, but enjoy the water….
Lunch [4][9]

  • Finger sandwich, 2 quarters, 1 turkey and 1 roast beef: 4?
  • Water: 0

Dinner
Dinner [9.5][18.5]

  • Diet pepsi: 0
  • 1 fried mozzarella stick: 2
  • 1 broccoli nugget thing: 1
  • Mahimahi: 5
  • Broccoli: 1
  • Hushpuppy, 1/2 of one: .5

After

  • Diet dew, 1 can: 0

And then….

Ice cream with chocolate syrup. It seems the emotions of the day sent me back to my frozen lover. At least now that I’ve figured out how much my bowls hold, I can say how much I had. 13.5 points. How satisfying was it? Not very.

Friday Food Journal

I’m off work today. Thought I’d make a bunch of steel-cut oats for heating up later. This time, I stirred more so I didn’t have a layer of very browned bits stuck to the bottom. Stirring is our friend!

Also, while on the brain train, I came up with a way to outsmart my temperamental card reader. I locked the card before trying so that if it got hungry, it would not eat my pictures.

DSCN2928
Breakfast [7]

  • Oatmeal, steel cut, 1.5 cups: 3
  • Local honey, 1 tablespoon: 1
  • ICBINB, light, 1 tablespoon: 1
  • Banana, 1 whole: 2
  • Diet Mountain Dew, 1 can: 0
  • Notes: I measured out the margarine this time to see how much of a dollop I do. 1 tablespoon was too much. And 1 tablespoon was too much honey. I tried banana chunks in it as I was eating and liked that combination.

DSCN2936
Lunch [6][13]

  • Leftover chicken, 1 breast: 5
  • Mixed vegetables, 1.5 cups: 1
    I put the frozen pile right next to the chicken on the same plate and microwaved everything for 5 minutes. Vegetables were hot. Chicken was warm enough.
  • Apple, organic Fuji, 1 whole: 1
  • Diet Mountain Dew, 1 can: 0

Dinner [6][19]

  • Cereal, 2 cups: 4
  • Milk, Skim, 1 cup: 2

I feel like I’m forgetting something but am finishing this post almost 24 hours after eating this dinner so forgot. Argh!

Ye ol’ hump day food journal

Last night I suddenly got starving hungry around 11:30. “Well, Jessica, if you were in bed….” I know. So I had a Laughing Cow wedge since I’m fruitless. I’ll add that on to today.

My excuse is that I was so busy studying my computer science homework and taking a quiz — which I bombed unfortunately — that I lost track of time. And then, of course, I had to read the User’s Guide for my new toy. Weird thing? I’m thinking about sketching out some ideas for boxes so that I can make a shopping list. Either that or just copying Vigilant20.

I threw together one tonight from leftovers and what I had on hand. Photos tomorrow of my first Bento / Laptop Lunch!

Last night [1]

  • Laughing Cow, Light, 1 wedge: 1

Breakfast
Breakfast [2] [3]

  • Oatmeal, 1 cup: 2?
  • Splenda, cinnamon: 0
  • Diet Dew, 20 oz: 0
  • Multivitamin: 0
  • Water, 24 oz:0

Lunch
Lunch – 12:30ish [4] [7]

  • Fruit salad: 2?
    1/2 cup? raw spinach, mandarin orange, sprinkle of carrots, 1 cup? melon bits; no dressing and I didn’t miss it… the orange juice was plenty!
  • Yogurt, fat-free, 1 container: 2
    Amazing that this little container (6 oz) is 100 calories. Also amazing the list of ingredients is almost as tall as the container. Milk, High fructose corn syrup — no wonder 100 calories. Sigh.

Snack – 2ish [7] [14]

  • Cheddar cheese stick, Sargento, light: 2?
    I’d rather have Laughing Cow. That stuff is so good.
  • Water, 24 oz: 0
  • Die dew, can: 0
  • KitKat: 5
    I chose this over cake in the conference room. KitKat >>>> cake. See? Indulgence. But choosing what is ‘worth’ it. Y’know?

Snack – 4 [5] [19]

  • ::whisper::KitKat: 5

Dinner
Dinner – 7:45~ [9] [28]

  • a href=”http://www.recipezaar.com/3929″ target=”_new”>Oven Fried Chicken, 1 huge piece: 6
    I used some of that frozen cut-up chicken from last month’s .49/lb whole chicken sale. So, don’t laugh at the piece shapes. Ok, you can laugh. I did. Because I use so much chicken and because I love spice, I increase the flour to 3/4 cup and each spice gets upped to 1 teaspoon and the salt becomes 2 teaspoons. I spray the pan with some butter-flavored Pan since I was raised on butter-flavored Crisco as the oil of choice for fried chicken. Also, Recipezaar’s values come out to 4 points a piece but these are huge so I rounded.
  • Milk, 1 cup, skim: 2
  • Romaine lettuce, 1 cup~: 0
  • Greek dressing, light, 2 Tbl: 1
  • Carrot, 1: 0

Snack [8] [36]

  • Hot cocoa, 2 cups: 8

Total: 36

Eating through Tuesday

[HAHA! I was so distracted by the laptop lunch that I forgot to ‘publish’ this.]

Class went late Monday which threw me off. I was late to work. I hate that. Well, I wasn’t late because I was in by the implied cut-off time but I am trying to hit closer to 8 a.m. than 9 a.m.

Because of my glorious excuses in the previous paragraph, I didn’t pack my breakfast. I did bring snacks though because they were easy to grab. In my bear-just-woke-from-hibernation stupor, I put my Lean Pocket in the fridge. It thawed, of course. I tossed it. Bright idea: Buy a bunch of frozen stuff and stick it in the freezer at work in a container that says “Jessica’s Low-calorie, Low-fat, Low-taste Food.” If I mark it that way, then who’d want it?

Had another follow-up visit for the Lasik today. Even with all the water I drank, he said my eyes were dry. They don’t feel dry. Argh.

Now, on to the real excitement! What’d I eat today and what’d it look like!

Breakfast
Breakfast [9]

  • Multivitamin: 0
  • Hot sausage, 1 link: 7~
    I wish I’d never tried these. They’re addictive. Since last night’s meeting was about indulgence and our homework was to indulge in something, I thought I’d have a little treat.
  • Potatoes, 1/2 cup: 3~
    I can’t finish the amount the give me.
  • Diet Dew, 20 oz: 0
  • Water, 24oz: 0
    I know, right? Water before noon!

Lunch
Lunch – 12:30ish [3.5]

  • Egg drop so up, 16 oz: 1.5
    I got excited that this was being served today but my heart fell to my feet when I saw the red flecks. I remember one day almost everything had some sort of bell pepper in it. I like all peppers except the sweet bell peppers. But, no, it seems to be a hot pepper and there’s a gingery sweet flavor or something. I think this was the worst egg drop soup I’ve ever had. But others probably love it.
  • Banana, 1: 2
  • Water, 24 oz: 0
    Yes, that’s my 24 ounce mug.

Snack
Snack – 3ish [4.5]

  • Water, 24oz: 0
  • Cottage cheese, fat-free, 1~ cup: 3.5
    I sprinkled some cinnamon on some and it was ok.
  • Laughing Cow, light, 1 wedge: 1

Dinner
Dinner – 7ish [12.5]

  • I didn’t make it but I photographed it.
  • Some kinda southern sausage, 3 oz.: 7.5
  • Collards, 3/4 cup?: 1
  • Blackeyed peas, 1 cup?: 4
  • Water, 8 oz: 0

Snack [8]

  • Hot cocoa, 2 cups: 8

Total: 37.5