Monday, October 12, 2009

Days 1&2

So, here's the thing.  Yesterday was kind of a cheater day to start Eat on $30, because The Frugal Husband came back from his Football Pilgrimage with a bunch of leftovers that his dad paid for.  Everything was free, except coffee ($1), apple ($.50), and bun ($.50).

Day 1 total: $2 

By the way, The Frugal Husband isn't playing.

Also yesterday, The Frugal Hostess did some prep work to get ready for the week on a budget.  While it would probably have made sense to take $30 to the grocery store and buy everything for the week, the CSA box had already been delivered before TFH knew she was going to participate. We all know how she feels about wasting organic produce - completely against the rules.  So, FruHo will be estimating the prices of some items based on Googling them.

This brings up an interesting point.  The Frugal Hostess has a house full of organic food and spices and staples like flour.  Her pantry is well-stocked, so she can use twelve cents worth of paprika in a dish, stay well within the Eat on $30 budget, and still get something pretty good.  Not so if you don't have the money to stock a pantry, like if you are on public assistance.  What if you had to buy the herbs to season your dish as you needed them, rather than having a storehouse of stuff?  You couldn't, of course, because you can't buy twelve cents worth of paprika, and a $21 (or $30) budget doesn't allow for the whole jar.  How do you build up a stock of the condiments and oils that let you eat good food pretty cheaply on a regular basis without some kind of start-up cash?

As she was saying, TFH did a good amount of prep work to get ready for the week.  She had read a recipe a few months back for miniature frittatas and, being a haphazard breakfast eater, decided having them pre-made would help her out.  Here's how she made them (which in no way resembles the original recipe, which is why there's no link; she would probably get sued for saying these are like the ones that inspired them):

6 eggs ($3.50 per dozen organic, pasture-raised eggs, or $1.75 for this recipe)
Approx. 1 pound of potatoes ($.50, Googled)
Half an onion ($.32, Googled - Vidalias)
2-3 cloves of garlic (Organic, $.10, guessing)
Shredded cheese (maybe 4 ounces) (Organic, $4 block from Trader Joe's, $1 for this recipe)
Splash of milk or cream (Organic, $.30)
Couple pats of butter
Salt and pepper

1.  Peel and cube the potatoes.  Like, small home-fry type cubes.  Steam them until soft.
2.  Finely dice the onion.  Saute in butter on low to medium heat until very soft.
3.  Grate the cheese.
4.  Mince the garlic and add to the onions at the very end; cook for a minute or so longer.
5.  Let all of the above ingredients cool down (do the steps below during the cooling-off period), then mix together in a bowl.  Add salt and pepper.
6.  Grease a 12-muffin tin.  Then, cut circles out of parchment paper and drop them in the holes.  (TFH realizes this sounds stupid but you have to do it or the frittatas won't come out.)  Another option is to take the mini-muffin papers, turn them inside-out, and use those.  You don't want the full-size muffin cups because they take up too much space, eliminate the crust, and are just generally a nuisance.  To recap, put something down there.  You know, in the hole.
7.  Fill each hole about two-thirds full of the potato mixture.
8.  In a measuring cup or bowl with a spout, beat the eggs with a splash of milk, salt, and pepper.  Fill the remaining space in each muffin cup with beaten egg.  You'll notice why the spout was suggested.
9.  Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

When they're done, you'll have 12 delicious little frittatas to eat for breakfast!  TFH made them Sunday and then microwaved them for 60 seconds before eating this morning.  You probably need to eat two.  Some variations that would be good: add bacon or ham; use sweet potatoes and leeks; try spinach and mushrooms.  So, with the recipe costing $4 for 12, these little guys are $.33 each, or $.67 for a serving of two.  And The Frugal Hostess's stomach is growling.  More on Day Two tomorrow....
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  1. Nice!! LOVE getting new/add'l egg recipes!!

  2. You are a hoot! And I love your observation about the $.12 of paprika. So very true (this was why I did so much recipe juggling before hitting the store - anything requiring a touch of vanilla was OUT b/c vanilla broke the bank despite the vats of organic vanilla and vanilla beans I have in my cupboards). You go lady!

  3. I had the same thing about the spices. I have a giant spice cabinet. So for this challenge I decided to use only two different ones plus the kitchen herbs from the sill. I figure someone might lay out $5 for 1-2 spices and it would absolutely transform their food even on $30 a week.

  4. Very nice . . . great self depreciating humor and candor. Husbands are great fall guys :) We met at the PRFM today - I think Hansens going to be the next "gotta have". I have no idea what profile to select so here goes a random guess . . .


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