Tuesday, February 17, 2009

$3.33 a day: FEAR and pantry inventory results

I need some heart healing today and my dog is perfect for that. Just look into her eyes. She is truly an amazing little human being. Yes.. I said human. lol

I am afraid today. My EX just got laid off too.

I am not sure what we are going to do. Life is very challenging right now. The fear I feel is just creeping into my body and I feel almost paralyzed. It's hard not to let my head whirl with terrifying thoughts.

I guess all we can do is take things one day at a time and do the best we can.

I want so badly to work in at least a vegetarian environment. Vegan preferable, but vegetarian is OK... I can do photography, but have not heard back from the places I've applied for those jobs. It is a rough market out there. I have spent most of my adult life making food and that is what I know.

So.... I may have to reduce my budget even more. Maybe this will be become a $2.22 a day blog instead?

OK.. now that I've vented about the scary stuff... I did a full pantry inventory and have so much to work with. It's shocking how much food I can fit in an average sized apartment fridge and freezer.

This list is very much represents the staples I have kept in my pantry for years. You can gradually build your pantry and given the amount of food I have, next week, I am going to try to only spend $15.00 on veggies.

Pantry Ingredients:

1lb Bulgar
1 lb brown rice
1 lb millet
8 lbs wheat berries
1 package tapioca
4 lbs brown rice pasta
2 lbs asian rice/yam noodles
15 oz canned pumpkin
3 lbs sun dried tomatoes
10 veggie bouillon cubes
5 lbs instant cornmeal/flour
1.5 lbs regular cornmeal
2 lbs baking soda (I use this for cleaning as well as baking)
1/2 gallon white vinegar (for cleaning)
2 c chickpea flour
xanthan gum
1 can artichoke hearts
8 oz baking powder
10 lbs nutritional yeast
2 lbs dried, unsweetened coconut
4 lbs golden flax seeds
2 Kal Stevia
8 oz carob powder
1 lb rolled oats
1 lb kidney beans
1.5 lbs split peas
1 lb barley
2 lbs vital wheat gluten
2 lbs white whole wheat flour
Fiber One Cereal
3/4 package raisin bran cereal
4 28 oz canned tomatoes
small amount cocoa powder
white sugar
sugar free maple syrup
teeny bit brown sugar
6 boxes herbal tea
1 box black tea
2 lb dried tomato powder
2 lbs dried red and green peppers
liquid smoke
5 lbs tvp
2 lbs sunflower seeds
1 lb garbanzo beans
1 lb cashews
1.5 lbs sesame seeds
4 lbs black sesame seeds (I need to check these.. they may not be fresh)
1 lb chia seeds
8 oz balsamic vinegar
8 oz red wine vinegar
17 oz white balsamic vinegar
8 oz truffle oil
4 oz EVOO
2 oz sesame oil
16 oz dark soy sauce
2 tubes wasabi
8 oz wing sauce
8 oz popcorn
18 oz fleur de sal
18 oz psyllium husks
2 jars almond butter
1 jar peanut butter
1/2 jar tahini
1/2 jar tahini
Nori sheets
Nori shreds
rice paper wraps
1/3 package soy curls
16 oz grey poupon
1/2 jar marmite
2 oz soy sauce
12 oz coconut oil
3 cans mandarin oranges
24 oz yellow mustard
5 lbs soybeans
15 oz black olives
8 oz strawberry jelly
1/2 c quinoa
1/2 lb lentils


6 c Eggplant/Quinoa Veggie Soup
Leftover noodles/soycurls (saving to turn into soup)
2 C white beans
2 C white bean soup
8 oz pesto
1 lb edamame
1/3 c active dry yeast
1 lb frozen broccoli
1 lb frozen cauliflower
3 lbs frozen pineapple
1 lb frozen peaches
1 lb frozen mango
1.5 lbs frozen blueberries
2 C Dahl
2 lbs walnuts
1 c refried black beans
1 1/2 c spinach/sausage/tofu filling
2 lbs frozen corn
3 c lentil burger mixture
1 lb tempeh
1 c black eyed peas
1 lb mixed veggies
1 lb frozen strawberries
2 c goddess dressing
4 c almond pulp
16 oz cranberry chutney
3 pieces 100% rye bread
6 slices sprouted bread

2 packages soft tofu
1/2 bunch cilantro
4 c split pea soup
1/2 lb carrots
1/2 small head cabbage
1/2 lb brussels sprouts
Vegenaise ( I bought a gallon of it in December for catering and have quite a bit leftover!)
4 jalapenos
16 oz cranberry chutney
kalamata olives
green olives
cashew cheese (homemade)
1/3 bunch celery
4 packages shirataki noodles
3 lavash (pieces)
6 low carb flax/oat bran tortillas
8 oz alfalfa seeds
1 lb dates
16 oz hot mustard seeds (for sprouting)
3 c various sprouts (and 4 jars that are always sprouting)
1 big package corn tortillas
hoisin sauce
2 c thawed frozen peas
2 lb walnuts
1.5 lb almonds
pickled ginger
2 avocados
1 package wholly guacamole
raw chocolate sauce (12 oz)
1 qt homemade salsa
5 small sweet potatoes
3 small russet potatoes
2 onions
3 garlic bulbs
4 lemons
3 limes
4 apples

I finally went grocery shopping yesterday. I bought all produce with the exception of 2 lbs of lentils and 2 rolls of toilet paper. I spent $24.80. I shopped at Market Basket on Lafayette Road in Portsmouth, NH.

I got a lot of loot!
Normally, I would buy organic spinach, but they were out. I really wanted baby spinach so I looked at my options and found the 9oz bag for the same price as the 7oz container. I usually pay 2.99 for 5 oz organic spinach and it's worth it to me. I got 9 small to medium red peppers!

The discounted produce was a huge bag of mixed potatoes and a bag of 4 very large onions. I was going to buy 2 lbs of onions for $1.29, but went with the discounted onions for $.99.

Given my very stocked pantry and the horrible news of my X's layoff (I depend on child support money to LIVE... we share custody of our kids and he is MORE THAN GENEROUS.. but if he doesn't have a job well... uuggghh)...

I digress...

I was saying that given my BEAUTIFULLY STOCKED PANTRY AND FREEZER I should definitely be able to only spend 15 dollars next week on produce. I have so much to work with and I am very fortunate.

Total spent this month: $34.80

Total banked in bulk foods fund: $10.00

Total left for the week: $0.00


  1. I'm sorry it's getting harder for you :( And hurray for MB! Except for the stuff packed on those green trays, their produce is pretty good. I recognize your bag of bulk peppers :) And I've been buying the non-baby, non-organic 1lb bag of spinach for $2.29.

  2. Melody, I'm so sorry to hear this! I'm sending hugs and hope things get better soon.

  3. I am so sorry to hear about your ex. I am also sending you big hugs!

  4. Melody, sorry to hear this news. Sending you hugs as well. It looks as if you have a well stocked pantry. This is a plus about being vegan, we can make so many meals without spending alot of $$. We have also been feeling the effects of the economy as I know so many of us have. Hang in there.

  5. So sorry to hear about your ex! Hope that you both find some good work soon. Your pantry (and fridge, and freezer) are incredibly well stocked in the meantime, I'd say. :) You're doing amazingly!

  6. I am so sorry to hear about your ex. I understand your fear--it is paralyzing sometimes. Hang in there!

    Oh my goodness! Your pantry (and fridge and freezer) ARE well stocked! That is amazing! Good luck--with all that you already have, I hope that you can continue on your planned budget and not have to lower it.


  7. AutumnTao6:09 PM

    Sending lots of good energy and positive thoughts your way.

  8. btw, in my dreams, i'm opening a vegan cafe @ jacob's crossing - you're hired if i do! :) 2 store openings on congress st. for me to get delusional about too.

  9. I'm so sorry about you and your Ex's jobs! You are doing so well with your food budget.
    I hope you both find work soon!

  10. I'm so sorry things are getting harder for you guys! I hope you find a good job really really soon!

    Those organic carrots are cheap! We get ripped off at our grocery store!

    I'm sending you super job-magnet vibes!

  11. I am so sorry to hear that you are facing such a struggle.
    Very positive going your way.

  12. love to you, melody! I know how bad the current economy is working out for people, and I'm sending all my good energy and thoughts your way!

    And woah... tell me more about dried tomato powder!

  13. Aww, what a sad face. I'm sorry times are hard for you right now. Your pantry and fridge seemed to be nicely stocked thought - yay!

  14. Just thought I´d let you know that as a freelance writer I have noticed quite a few ads needing vegan/raw food eaters to write for magazines and other things. You might want to look into it. A great place to start is at www.freelancewritinggigs.com (no, it isn't mine!) BTW, love your blog!

  15. I'm so sorry to hear this news, Melody. I can only say that things have to get better.

    You are an inspiration with your inexpensive healthy meals. That raw pie in the previous post looks insanely good.


  16. I'm so sorry about your ex. No wonder you feel panic-stricken.

    Things will get better. Hugs to you!

  17. Hey Melody. I'm so sorry to hear about your ex. I remember speaking with you about that. My thoughts and bright hopes will be with you.

    On a lighter note: wow, your NH pantries must be 5 times the size of our NYC ones! lol go girl

  18. Stay strong and hope for the best. MY father has recently been laid-off too - it's a scary time for many of us.

  19. I just found your blog, I love your recipes. I just wanted to say that both my husband and I have been laid off. I've had to get very creative with our food shopping. I've been spending $50 every 3 weeks and am still trying to get us down to $35. If I could cry I would, but my emotions seem to be completely frozen.

  20. like your blog. have you considered dumpster diving?

  21. Sorry to hear times are tough. With your well stocked pantry you will be able to continue making healthy meals for $3.33 for a long time to come.

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