Feb 4: Tuna & Swiss; Split Pea Soup


For lunch we had a toasted Lemon Pepper Tuna with Swiss sandwich.

  • Sprouted rye bread is 32c per serve
  • The tuna was $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 34c per serve
  • Add 50c for butter, garlic spread and capers.

A serviceable lunch for $2.16 per serve.


Split pea soup based on a home made ham stock isn’t totally meatless, but there’s no meat left in the final result, so we though it would count as “meatless Monday.”

The recipe makes eight serves.

  • 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
  • A bread roll is 63c.

For dinner tonight the soup cost 43c per serve, and with the roll, $1.06 per serve.

Feb 3: Avocado & Turkey Breast; Super Bowl Party


We had a simple Avocado and Sliced Turkey Breast sandwich before heading for the Super Bowl party.

  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • The turkey breast is $2.99 for 8 oz and two went on the sandwich, or 76c per serve
  • Two avocados were $1.98 but we shared one, or 50c per serve
  • Add 30c for butter.

A not-to-filling sandwich for $1.88 per serve


The afternoon and early evening was spent at a Super Bowl party hosted by friends, who supplied a vast array of tasty feed, featuring Trip Tip smoked just before serving along with sausages, salads, and caramelized onion with bell peppers.

A great meal that we both enjoyed. We went back for seconds on the tri tip and sausages!

Feb 2: Baked Eggs & Toast; Bacon and Black Bean Chili


For lunch we tried a baked egg recipe. We took some small ramekins and covered the bottom with a little of our (still) left over Pinto Bean and Andouille sausage stew, dropped in two eggs, covered with some grated cheese and baked in a water bath until the eggs were set.

We served it with “fry bread,” which is toast made in the panini press!

  • A slice of rye bread is 16c
  • Pastured eggs are 51c each, or 1.02 per serve
  • Add 20c for grated cheese
  • Add 20c for the stew.

We discovered that two eggs do not work in this configuration. A single egg would have the yolk to the center, so the outside white could cook without overcooking the yolk. Although we had very uneven cooking we enjoyed this for $1.58 per serve.


For dinner we thought we would finish the final two serves of Bacon and Black Bean Chili, but we still have left overs!

The chili, with avocado and labné was $4.99 per serve. Tonight we tried spicy labné, which worked really well.

Feb 1: Trout & Avocado; Mussels in Coconut Red Curry


For lunch we each had a Smoked Trout and Avocado toasted sandwich.

  • The smoked trout is $3.49 per can or $1.75 per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Two avocados were $1.98 but we shared one, or 50c per serve
  • Add 30c for butter.

A good sandwich for $2.87 per serve.


Since it’s “Fishy Friday” we had Mussels in a Coconut Red Curry. We bought a packet of pre-cooked mussels from our local Ralph’s (Kroger). These are obviously a “packaged for retail” version of a food service product. We made half the recipe.

  • The mussels were $2.99 or $1.50 per serve
  • The bell pepper was $1.02 or 51c per serve
  • Coconut milk was $1.29 or 65c per serve
  • Three shallots were 99c and we shared one, or 17c per serve
  • Add 55c per serve for fish sauce, garlic, ginger and seasoning
  • A rustic panini roll was 63c.

We both enjoyed this meal a lot. Quite simple with a lot of warming spices that didn’t dominate the mussels. A tasty and enjoyable meal for $4.01 per serve.

January 2019 Summary and Observations

For just under half the month we were in Australia where we had some excellent food, particularly while in Tasmania, and especially at The Taste of Tassie. Back in Newcastle Foodie Greg cooked dinner for his parents for the first time!

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.24 ($2.77 in December)
    Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $9.24 ($8.13)
    Dinner eaten at home: $5.29 ($5.13)
    Dinner eaten out: $21.00 ($22.39).

Our lunches at home average in a fairly narrow band and this month is only a few cents per serve down from last month. Lunches prepared outside the home are up a little because of the travel.

Our most expensive meal for the month was in a high end steak house in Hobart at $44.80 per person.

Our most expensive at home meal was our Dry Aged Rib Eye with Spinach, Pear, Pomegranate and Blue Cheese meal on January 24th for $10.85 per serve. This month’s meals at home are slightly under our long term averages.

Lunches at home cost 24% of the cost of eating food prepared outside the home, while dinners at home cost 25% the average of dinner out this month.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $286.44 per person in January. We actually spent $40.26 for lunches at home plus $83.12 for lunches purchased or eaten out:  $123.38 in total.

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $651.00 per person. We actually spent $105.78 for dinners at home and $167.98 for dinners out: $273.76  in total.

We saved $540.30 by preparing and eating most meals at home, plus we have better control over what we eat.

Over the month we prepared 18 different recipes for evening meals.

Jan 31: Panini Rolls with Egg Salad & Watercress; Rib Eye with Farro, Pickled Beats and Feta Salad


We needed to use the watercress before it ran out, and a cold day made putting on the oven quite attractive.

  • The panini roll is 63c per serve
  • The egg salad is $3.69 for 10 oz and we used 2 oz per serve, or 92c per serve
  • The watercress cost $1.96 and we shared about ¼ or 25c per serve.

We enjoyed this roll a lot for $1.80 per serve.


This “Thursday Night Steak Night” was a grilled rib eye with a farro, pickled beets and Feta salad inspired by a salad we had at Taste of Tassie.

  • At 10 oz the rib eye is $8.10 per serve
  • The farro was $1.79 for the pack, but we shared ⅓ or 30c per serve
  • The feta was $6.49 and we used half or $1.63 per serve
  • Beets in vinaigrette were $1.69 and we used 1/3, or 28c per serve.

We really liked this salad because the farro is a toothsome base for the tart pickled beets and the creamy feta. It paired well with the perfectly cooked (for us) dry aged rib eye for $10.31 per serve.

Jan 30: Turkey Breast & Apple Bacon Slaw in a Panini Roll; Bacon and Black Bean Chili


Since we had some of the Apple Bacon Slaw left over, we finished baking some panini rolls and stuffed them with sliced turkey breast and the remaining Apple Bacon Slaw.

  • The panini roll is 63c per serve
  • The turkey breast is $2.99 for 8 oz and two went on the sandwich, or 76c per serve
  • The salad was $1.49 per serve.

A pretty decent roll for $2.88 per serve


Since the weather was taking a cold turn, our attention turned to our favorite chili: Bacon and Black bean! We will get four serves from this batch.

  • 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.