February was a bad month for our food budget…by which I mean we spent our entire budget in the first half of the month.
This is one of those odd moments where I’m really not sure how the budget went so awry. Yes, we did some stocking up, and yes we purchase some beer, but I can’t point to a specific culprit. And if you couldn’t tell already, that fact bothers me a fair bit.
Anyway. In an effort to come in as close to the budget as possible we spent the latter half of the month eating some relatively inexpensive meals. These aren’t necessarily dirt cheap meals but they are heavily focused on ingredients that we had around.
1. Chili. No recipe for this one because it was based around whatever chili bits we had in our kitchen: a 28oz can of tomatoes, ground turkey, hatch peppers, a bell pepper, kidney beans, white beans, chili spices, and maybe a bit of a roux? It was delicious and filling.
2. Loaded potato casserole. I’ve linked to the original recipe here, but we followed a modification (that I can no longer find!) that substituted the hot sauce for bbq sauce. This was awesome! A word of warning: you have to get your oven hot (really hot) to make this dish. That’s perfect for us because that helped to heat our apartment a bit, but once the weather warms up a bit we probably won’t make this again. Also, we’re big eaters and this left us with six good servings. Also also, the leftovers held up really well.
3. Carrot soup. While I actually love this recipe, carrot soup is the harbinger of a truly empty pantry in this house.
4. Egg salad sandwiches. In hindsight this would have gone well with the carrot soup, but we actually made them at different times. We happened to have random package of rolls in our freezer and we always have eggs on hand. I personally am a fan of super-basic egg salad (ahem eggs + a tiny bit of mayo) and ate this for lunch a few times.
5. Brown sugar pancakes. Things got low enough that we ran out of white sugar (!!) and I went scrambling for a recipe for brown sugar pancakes. These are some seriously thick pancakes and by themselves they’re not too sweet.
And in all honesty there were also a few frozen pizzas thrown in there for good measure. Frozen pizza serves two purposes in my mind: saving you from takeout when you don’t want to cook and saving you from having to run to the store when you can’t/shouldn’t.