Monday, March 30, 2009

Meal Plan

In April we're going to try to keep a bit better track of exactly what we're spending on groceries etc. I've been asked before about food prices and its kind of tough to know for sure. I know in the states food prices are climbing but here I find it hard to tell. Food was pretty cheap when we came here and still is all things considered. So much of it depends on who you are and what you eat. In the interest of saving money we have made an effort to eat a little more from a local menu than a traditional american menu and that has helped us save a bit of money on the grocery bill. Ingredients that are imported normally bear a higher price tag but some we've decided in the interest of health are worth it.
Worth the Price Tag:
- UHT Low Fat or Skim Milk, Full cream milk is WAY cheaper, but heart disease is expensive.
- Whole Wheat Flour, took me a year to find a place willing to sell by the 5kg bag (instead of 80kg).
- Soy Oil, typically homes use Palm Oil, a good way to find the ER at a young age.
- Brown Rice, let's hear it for colon health.
- Whole Cooking Oats

One of the other struggles I have in computing our grocery bill is the exchange rate. Since coming the dollar has actually strengthened against the Local Currency (LC). So while prices may have increased for some things, prices haven't climbed at the rate of the decline of LC. So in effect, my grocery budget goes farther. Now you're seeing where I get confused.

This week's meal plan features heavily off local ingredients.

Monday noon: BBQ Tempeh and Baked Potatos (Jonathan loves this)
Monday pm: the most delicious Beef Stew leftovers
Tuesday noon: Maple Grilled Tempeh, Stir Fry Veg and Brown Rice
Menu: Whole Wheat Pizza Crust- Ham & Spinach Pizza
Wednesday noon: Orik Arik*, Brown Rice
Wednesday pm: Hummus & Whole Wheat Bread Rolls, Fruit & Veg sticks
Menu: Delicious Chicken Bits, Brown Rice, Indian Veg

*This is sort of a recipe for Orik Arik but my houseworker makes it with green beans and carrots. Cabbage and I have a very hostile digestive relationship.

I've also been trying to do more baking to keep us away from buying packaged treats. Truly it isn't the expense on this. Plenty of them are made on this side of the world so they are CHEAP. The problem is that I'm more and more concerned with food safety standards. Too many worries about Melamine in milk and who is REALLY telling the truth when they say they have oversight. My kid's kidneys are not something I'm willing to gamble with.
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