Sunday, October 31, 2010

Using the Fridge

My sister has been staying with us for the six weeks. Since she's been here I've been a lot more organised in planning meals. The best method I've found for doing this is using our old, slightly dodgy refridgerator as a whiteboard for figuring out what to use each ingredient we bought from the market for. This makes sure we don't go hungry (or have to run to the supermarket) during the week and also makes sure nothing we buy goes to waste. Shortly after getting back from the market and stocking up on vegies etc, we plan out what we'll use them for. Andrew usually cooks one or two days a week and my sister one day (for now!). Staples we usually buy to complement the vegetables are plain flour, oil, spices, grains (there's a good grain shop at the market - we go there for chickpeas, lentils, black beans, barley, slivered almonds, cashews), a can of tomatoes, tofu, rice noodles, milk and occasionally cheese. We buy a different spice every week and we've now built up a cupboard full of pretty much every spice you could need to make a delicious dish out of a couple of vegetables. By doing this we've been able to keep our grocery budget to roughly $20 - 25 a week each (so around $75 for the three of us).

We also use the fridge to record our shopping list and everyone can add to it. We all know how to make bread now so if one of us mixes together some dough, another one can come along and see that it's ready to go into the oven and take care of it. It's a collaborative process. We usually have a loaf ready or one on the way. We buy a kilo of flour for 95c so one loaf is worth about 40c and lasts us a few days. Bread baking - a skill for life!

Unfortunately not many fascinating, shareable recipes come out of this process, but we do eat a lot of fresh vegetables and it's so cheap. Someone at work recently made a snarky comment to me about boring ladies who plan their meals in advance and how dull their lives must be - I just laughed to myself. I don't feel bored at all - we are all happy and nourished!