week 12

v515_4I’m trying a new tactic for us now, since we’ve thinned out all the really old, odd things hiding in our cupboards. It’s called “build a pantry like an adult,” and my mom is awesome at it–keeping lots of things on hand, so that dinner is never a crisis. This week and last, I spent a lot of money on dry goods to fill our shelves. This way, we can do larger purchases at the store every two weeks, making sure to go on the day you get a 5% discount, then round out produce purchases as they’re needed.

Our fridge really sucks the moisture out of produce, even especially in the crisper. It’s like making kale chips. But you didn’t want them & they’re really cold. It’s an issue we were hoping to ignore, but now that we’re looking at living here a bit longer I hope to get it addressed. It’s also time that we start facing the problem & buying produce more regularly. We were great at this in France, running to market several times as things were needed. Here, we’re busier & more dependent on cars, so we head to the store once a week… then struggle to use shriveling produce we don’t want to throw away.

We didn’t use much of the “bulk” this week, but we did rely on some of the on-sale things I’ve been snagging lately. In summary, our grocery strategy is: (1) buy mostly bulk, and load up on it every once in a while (2) supplement that with smaller, more frequent produce purchases (3) buy more processed things only when they’re no sale & eat them only when I’m desperately trying to avoid the kitchen–which has been a lot lately.


Breakfast: peanut butter toast or eggs & potatoes or breakfast smoothies

Sat. lunch: Joe’s new “potato nest” (fried potatoes & sautéed tomato surrounded by wilted kale, then topped with eggs until they’re cooked through–serious noms)
Sat. dinner: taco dip (refried bean goodness with the taco-flavored sour cream on top)
Sun. lunch: snacks at a volunteer celebration for work
Sun. dinner: roasted vegetables with fried tempeh
Mon. lunch: roasted vegetables with fried tempeh
Mon. dinner:
eggs & potatoes
Tues. lunch: eggs & potatoes
Tues. dinner: mac & cheese with tomato & avocado
Wed. lunch: frozen pizza + dark chocolate brownies #noshame
Wed. dinner: eggs & toast
Thurs. lunch: Joe’s “potato nest”
Thurs. dinner: frozen pizza + dark chocolate brownies #judgingmyselfenoughforbothofusthanks
Fri. lunch: leftover pizza & soup
Fri. dinner: vegetarian bibimbap

hummus & toasted pita, crackers, carrots, almonds, COOKIES


Organic Groceries from the Co-op ($80)
pomegranate & blueberry juice
refried beans
taco seasoning
turbinado sugar
giant brick (several pounds) of butter
1 bunch of carrots
2 avocadoes
2 lbs. beets
2 lbs. dried garbanzo beans
sour cream
2 lbs. mandarins
3 lbs. bread flour
peanut butter
2 lbs. Jasmine rice
2 packs of crackers
tortilla chips
broccoli soup

A Wednesday Run to Marsh ($12)
grapefruit juice
frozen pizza
cocoa powder


  • some old soup
  • some plastic bags from bulk goods
  • plastic bottle from tonic water & ginger ale (from weekend cocktails)
  • bottles from sauces & things in the fridge that finally got used up
  • the greens of turnips that were finally eaten
  • some eggs whites I’d been saving for God knows how long
  • lots of compost

About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
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4 Responses to week 12

  1. UKLady says:

    So much detail, you’re trying hard with this aren’t you – good luck 🙂 PS, I love the ‘waste’ section

    • meganbetz says:

      We’re trying! Now, we just need to get better at making food to take for lunch & save for dinner… we keep falling in the pizza trap!

  2. plastic bags: do you not resuse them? I rinse and reuse ziploc-kinds-of bags A LOT. My fav method for drying is on a magnet to the frige(very decorative, Martha S would be impressed). Yes, I know that there are studies about plastic leaching, yada yada over time. But I’m not talking about oily stuff, nor applying heat to the food. Simply reusing baggies. Saves $ and keeps a tool around and out of the landfill a bit longer. which I think is better for us all. Call me #influenced-bygrandma-who-lived-thru-30s. 1930s, that is. (and that hashtag isn’t real, #not_a_tweeter_here. LOL

    • meganbetz says:

      I miss you so much! And absolutely. We don’t have ziplock bags–just the ones from the bulk aisle. I try to reuse them, but I end up hoarding them and getting frustrated by the pile and tossing them out. (I know, I know. Judged.) I’m trying to be better, using them for homemade breads, etc. But yeah… I’m horrible at actually reusing them. (Is it frowned upon to just take them back to the store & reuse?)

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