Dec 9: Popeye’s Fried Chicken with Sesame Crunch Salad; Yellow Jackfruit Curry with Jasmine Rice and Sesame Crunch Salad


Today we finished the Popeye’s Fried Chicken and served it with a Sesame Crunch Salad kit.

  • Each piece of Chicken was $1.50 with tax, and we had five piece in total, or $3.75 per serve
  • The Sesame Crunch Salad was $3.99 or $1.00 per serve.

The salad was pretty good and made a good meal for $4.75 per serve.


For this week’s “Meatless Monday” meal, we tried Trader Joe’s Yellow Jackfruit Curry with the Sesame Crunch Salad.

  • The Yellow Jackfruit Curry was $2.78 per serve
  • The Sesame Crunch Salad was $3.99 or $1.00 per serve.

The curry was probably a little over-spiced although it balanced okay with the rice. Overall, it had decent flavor and the Jackfruit mostly disappeared. An okay meal for $3.78 per serve.

Dec 8: Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Eggs on Toast; ‘Prime Rib’ with Béarnaise Sauce, Garlic Mushrooms and Tabouli


Because today if Foodie Philip’s birthday we had a ‘special’ lunch and dinner. For lunch it was Smoked Salmon, on Toast spread with Tzatziki Labné, and topped with Scrambled Eggs.

  • The Dave’s Killer Bread is 33c per serve
  • Two Pastured eggs are $1.02 per serve
  • Tzatziki Labné adds 20c
  • The Wild Caught Smoked Salmon was $9.99 or $4.50 per serve.

A very enjoyable celebratory lunch for $6.05 per serve.


Our tradition for Foodie Philip’s birthday has been to prepare a Prime Rib. Unable to find one, we substituted a Tomahawk Steak, which is a One Bone Prime Rib. We cooked it as a Prime Rib, not a steak, which was very successful.

Tomahawk ‘Steak’ cooked as. Prime Rib
  • The Prime Rib was $35.39 and we ate most of it, or $17.70 per serve
  • The Tabouli is $2.89 and we served half, or 72c per serve
  • Mushrooms were $2.49 or $1.25 per serve
  • The Béarnaise sauce was $3.29 and we used about ⅓, or 55c per serve
  • Add 25c for other ingredients.

The meat turned out a perfect medium rare, which enable the fat to render. It was extremely tender and flavorsome. Although from Whole Foods it was every bit as good as our Keller Crafted meat delivery. All in all a great birthday meal for $20.47 per serve.

By way of comparison, a Tomahawk Steak at Ruth’s Chris Steak House is $126.00 without sides, or $63.00 per serve!

Dec 7: Pho; Bacon and Black Bean Chili


A cold day led us down to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Saigon 1, to sample their Pho, and see if it lives up to the version we had in Cupertino early November.

It was very good for $11.75 per serve with rare beef. Perhaps the restaurant in Cupertino was a little tastier, but that’s a long way to drive for Pho!


For dinner we revisited the Bacon and Black Bean Chili with fixings for $4.99 per serve.

Dec 6: Smoked Trout & Bean Sprouts; Cod à la Nage


We had planned a food adventure in Moorpark on the way to our favorite nursery, but they no longer serve lunch and we had to “make do” when we got back home with Smoked Trout, Guacamole, & Bean Sprout sandwiches, which turned out really well.

  • Dave’s Killer Bread is 66c per serve
  • The Guacamole Snack Packs are $3.99 for six, and we used one each, or 67c per serve
  • The Sprouts are $2.99 and we use ¼ per sandwich, or 38c per serve
  • We shared a $3.49 can of Smoked Trout, or $1.75 per serve
  • Add 30c for Garlic Spread.

These were so tasty for $3.66 that we hardly missed our fancy Italian lunch!


A new “Fishy Friday” recipe Thai Style Cod à la Nage with Coconut Milk, Lime and Lemongrass, and more Fish Sauce than the recipe calls for!

  • The cod fillets were six for $12.99 or $2.17 per serve
  • Coconut milk was $1.89 or 95c per serve
  • Limes were 68c or 34c per serve
  • Sweet onions were $2.49 for six, but we used one, or 21c per serve
  • Add 55c per serve for fish sauce, garlic, chili, ginger and seasoning

This dish turned out really well. The poached cod was tender and flakey, with a very flavorsome broth that wasn’t overly spicy. We’ll definitely repeat this one, that cost $4.12 per serve.

Dec 5: Popeye’s Fried Chicken; Split Pea Soup with Baked Ham


Foodie Philip was driving near a Popeye’s at lunch time, so we picked up some Fried Chicken with Red Beans & Rice.

  • Each piece of Chicken was $1.50 with tax, and we had five piece in total, or $3.75 per serve
  • The Red Beans and Rice was $2.20 with tax.

It’s a guilty pleasure for $5.95 per serve.


Since we had recently added a new Ham Bone to the freezer, we pulled out the oldest and made Ham Stock from it, as the basis of our Split Pea Soup. We diced the remaining half serve of ham into the soup.

The recipe makes six serves.

  • The Ham is $1.11 per serve, and we shared half, or 28c per serve
  • The stock has no real cost
  • The pack of split peas was $1.59 or 27c per serve
  • The frozen peas is 99c a pack, or 16c per serve
  • Add 10c for Worcestershire Sauce.

As always this soup is kicked up a notch or two with a dash of liquid smoke, which amplifies the ‘hamminess,’ one pound of frozen peas blended in at the end, which adds a fresh edge, and a generous dash of Worcestershire Sauce for a little acid. A great soup for 81c per serve.

Dec 4: Ham, Swiss & Kumato, Sweet & Spicy Tuna & Swiss; Beef Massaman Curry


Once again with the melted sandwiches on a cold, rainy day.

  • Dave’s Killer Bread is 66c per serve
  • We shared half a serve of Ham or 28c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 34c per serv
  • Five Kumato were $3.49 and we shared one, or 35c per serve
  • The Tuna pouch is $1.00 or 50c per serve
  • Add 40c for capers, mustard and Garlic Spread.

Good sandwiches for $2.53 per serve.


A welcome return to Beef Massaman.

  • The beef was $8.84, or $4.42 per serve
  • The curry is $3.38 per can or $1.69 per serve
  • Coconut milk is $1.69 per can or 85c per serve
  • Peanuts were $2.99 but we only used half, or 75c per serve
  • Peal onion adds 20c per serve
  • Brown rice adds 33c per serve.

This is probably our favorite curry for $8.24 per serve.

Dec 3: Cubano; Bacon & Black Bean Chili with Avocado & Labné


The Foodies were in the West end of Simi Valley for some shopping, so we explored the food nearby and decided on Cienfuego’s Cuban Cafe where we had an excellent Cubano sandwich for $13.78 per serve including tax and tip.


With rain and cold weather all around, we returned to a favorite: Bacon and Black Bean Chili. We will probably get more than the four serves used to calculate the cost.

  • The ground beef was $10.34 or $2.59 per serve
  • The beans are $1.00 per can and we used two, or 50c per serve
  • Canned tomatoes were $1.29 or 32c per serve
  • Tomato paste was 79c or 20c per serve
  • Bacon is $4.99 for the pack and we used 40%, or 50c per serve
  • Add 30c per serve for seasoning
  • The avocado was four for $2.99 and we shared one, or 38c per serve
  • The labne adds 20c per serve
  • The cheddar is $3.99 a block and we used 1/2 or $1.25 per serve.

Definitely a warming and filling chili for $4.99 per serve.

Dec 2: Ham, Chees & Kumato; Hummus & Bean Sprouts; Brothy Heirloom Beans with Cream


Of course we had ham on one sandwich, while the other featured Hummus & Sprouts.

  • Dave’s Killer Bread is 66c per serve
  • The Sprouts are $2.99 and we use ¼ per sandwich, or 38c per serve
  • The Hummus was $3.99 and we used ¼ or 50c per serve
  • We shared half a serve of Ham or 28c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 34c per serv
  • Five Kumato were $3.49 and we shared one, or 35c per serve.

We obviously enjoy these sandwiches as we keep returning to them. Decent sandwiches for $2.51 per serve.


Tonight was an experiment with a new meatless recipe: Brothy Heirloom Beans with Cream.

  • The beans were $6.99 or $3.50 per serve
  • The bone broth was $2.99 for one pint, or $1.50 per serve
  • The Cream was $1.79, but we used the remains half, or 45c per serve
  • Add 30c for other ingredients.

The dish was surprisingly flavorful for $5.75 per serve. No photograph because it was not very attractive!

Dec 1: roasted Potato with Pepper & Onion Frittata; Baked Ham, Turkey Dressing, Creamed Corn


Today we cooked up half a pack of Trader Joe’s Roasted Potatoes with Peppers and Onions, and topped with beaten eggs and cooked as a Frittata.

  • The Roasted Potatoes with Peppers and Onions is $2.99 for the pack, but we used half, or 75c per serve
  • Pastured Eggs are 51c each or $1.02 per serve.

We ate two quarters each, it was that good, for $1.77 per serve.


Not surprising, tonight we had left overs from Thanksgiving dinner sent home with us from yesterday’s meal.

  • Creamed corn is about 50c per serve
  • The Ham is $1.11 per serve
  • The balance of the meal came free.

While it lacked the excellent gravy Foodie Philip made yesterday, it was still pretty good, for $1.61 per serve.

November 2019: Summary and Observations

Other than three nights away for a conference and Thanksgiving, November was a very normal month for the Foodies

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.51 ($2.46 in October)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $10.94 ($15.53)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $5.43 ($5.93)
  • Dinner eaten out: $16.73 ($13.29).

Our lunches at home average in a fairly narrow band and this month is only a few cents up serve down from last month.

We ate twelve meals prepared outside the home (mostly because we were traveling). Our most expensive meal for the month was the strange seafood vegetable stew at Riva in Santa Cruz for $30.55 per serve.

Our most expensive at home meal was the Flat Iron Steak /Pork Chop with Spinach, Blue Cheese & Pomegranate at $13.53 per serve.

This month, lunches at home cost 23% of the cost of eating lunches prepared outside the home. Dinners at home cost 32% of those prepared outside the home.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $328.20 per person in October. We actually spent $55.21 for lunches at home plus $87.50 for lunches purchased or eaten out:  $142.71 in total.

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $501.90 per person. We actually spent $130.29 for dinners at home and $66.90 for dinners out, or $197.19 in total.

This month’s savings from preparing most of our food at home is $490.20 and we had a lot more control over what we eat.

Over the month we prepared 20 different recipes for evening meals. We had our first introduction to Birani, which was good and goat tastes like lamb! We also had some great Pho near the conference venue in Cupertino.