July 2021: Summary and Observations

After may and June’s travel, we had a very quiet month at home.

Our evening meals continue to be about 20% down on last year, with a wider variety of protein! 

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.26 ($2.26 in Jun)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $12.58 ($12.58)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $4.95 ($4.95)
  • Dinner prepared in a restaurant $20.15 ($20.15)

The variation is small month to month.

Our most expensive meal of the month was our modified Bento Box with Tataki Tuna for $20.93 per serve.

This month, lunches at home cost 24% of the cost of eating lunches prepared outside the home. Our evening meals prepared in the home are 28% of the cost take-out meals.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $314.34 per person in June. We actually spent $50.26 for lunches at home plus $91.28 for lunches purchased or eaten out:  $141.54 per person in total.

If every evening meal cost us the same as our one this month, it would be $549.63. We actually spent $128.83 for dinners at home and $53.16 for six dinners out, or $181.99 per person in total.

Without the travel we’re back to our typical meal costs, within normal variation. While our meals prepared outside the home is up because of the travel, we still saved about $540 per person by preparing most of our meals at home and we have a lot more control over what we eat.

Jul 31: Spanish Mussels with Chorizo and Tomato-wine Sauce


We reheated some of the remaining Soutzoukakia while heating some par-baked Panini Rolls. With a little lettuce it was an excellent meal.

  • The Soutzoukakia is $3.23 per full serve, or $1.62 per lunch serve
  • The Panini Roll is 63c
  • Add 10c for Lettuce.

A very tasty sandwich for $2.35 per serve.


We explored a new Mussels recipe today: Spanish Mussels with Chorizo and Tomato-wine Sauce. We dropped the Heavy Cream from the recipe and it was not missed.

  • The pre-cooked Mussels were $2.29 or $1.15 per serve
  • White Wine adds 40c per serve
  • The Chorizo was $5.11 after all discounts, or $2.56 per serve
  • Add 85c for other ingredients
  • The Italian Bread loaf is $2.19 and we used about , or 28c per serve.

A very tasty meal, and our new favorite Mussel dish for $4.84 per serve.

Jul 30: Tahitian Poisson Cru


For lunch we had some simple Ham and Coleslaw sandwiches.

  • Dave’s Killer Bread is 74c per serve
  • Deli Ham is 66c per serve
  • The Coleslaw adds 70c per serve.

A decent sandwich for $2.10 per serve.


As Ahi Tuna was on our meal rotation for this week’s Fishy Friday we decided to on Tahitian Poisson Cru, or marinated raw Tuna, again.

  • 12 oz Ahi Tuna was $5.19, or $2.60 per serve
  • Cucumber adds 40c per serve
  • Bell Peppers add 32c per serve
  • The container of Grape Tomatoes was $3.49 and we used about 1/5, or 35c per serve
  • Add 60c for Limes, Pickled Onion and other ingredients.

We find the Coconut Milk to be a little thin to properly dress the vegetables and Tuna, so next time we’ll try Coconut Cream. This time we remembered to add Pickled Onion, which was an improvement. A very good meal for $4.27 per serve

Jul 28: Pork Saltimbocca with Cauliflower Gnocchi Marinara


Our monthly Bevmo trip leads to Mr Fish & Chips for Scallops, Fries and Coleslaw for $7.27 per serve with tax and tip.


As we still had two Pork Chops we once again enjoyed Saltimbocca, tonight served with Cauliflower Gnocchi Marinara.

  • The Cauliflower Gnocchi in a Marinara Sauce was $3.99 or $2.00 per serve
  • Four Pork Chops were $10.24 net of all discounts or $2.56 for a very generous serve
  • The Prosciutto was $5.39 or $1.35 per serve
  • The Sage was from our garden.

An excellent meal for $5.91 per serve.

Jul 28: Chipotle Turkey Bacon Meatloaf with Black Beans and Coleslaw


For lunch we had a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich on toasted Italian Bread.

  • Bacon was $5.99 and we used three pieces, or 64c per serve
  • The Italian Bread loaf is $2.19 and we used about ¼, or 28c per serve
  • An Avocado is 89c or 45c per serve
  • Half a Tomato adds 26c per serve
  • Add 30c for Lettuce.

A very tasty sandwich for $1.93 per serve.


Dinner was a direct repeat of the Chipotle Turkey Bacon Meatloaf with Black Beans and Coleslaw for $4.39 per serve.

Jul 27: Lamb Loin Chops with Watermelon Salad


We toasted some more of the Italian Bread, topped with Giant Baked Beans, and melted Smokey Cheddar on top.

  • The Italian Bread loaf is $2.19 and we used about ⅓, or 37c per serve
  • The Smokey Cheddar adds 68c per serve
  • The Giant Baked Beans are $1.99 or $1.00 per serve.

A tasty lunch for $2.05 per serve.


We grilled our Lamb Loin Chops and served with a scaled down Watermelon Salad.

  • The Lamb Loin Chops were $9.59, or $4.80 per serve
  • The Watermelon was $3.99 and we used half, or $2.00 per serve
  • Feta adds about 35c per serve
  • Mint adds 50c per serve.

An excellent meal for $7.65 per serve.

Jul 26: Japanese Fried Rice topped with a Fried Egg


We cooked up some Shin Ramen, but disposed of the broth after the noodles were cooked, and finished with butter.

  • A pack of four Shin Noodle Bowl was $3.69 or 93c per serve
  • Butter adds 40c per serve
  • Coleslaw Mix adds 40c per serve.

There’s enough heat left to make it interesting, without blowing our heads off, for $1.73 per serve.


A simple Meatless Monday of frozen Japanese Fried Rice and one, or two, fried Eggs.

  • Japanese Style Fried rice comes from Trader Joe’s and is $3.29 or $1.65 per very generous serve
  • Shelled edamame was $1.29 or 33c per serve.
  • Pastured Eggs average 57c per serve.

A generous and reasonably tasty meal for $2.56 per serve.

Jul 25: Chipotle Turkey Bacon Meatloaf with Black Beans and Coleslaw


A miscalculation required a trip to Home Depot, wo we added a trip to New York Chicken and Gyro, stock pick up a Lamb Gyros for $8.17 with tax and tip.


Even though we had lunches from our last Chipotle Turkey Bacon Meatloaf since returning from our mini vacation, it was before that trip that we last had it for dinner. We will get four serves from this meatloaf.

  • Ground turkey cost $6.39 or $1.60 per serve
  • Bacon adds 60c per serve
  • A can of chipotle is $1.50 and we used half, or 38c per serve
  • Add 65c for onion, breadcrumbs and seasonings
  • The Black Beans add 26c per serve
  • The Coleslaw Mix was $1.99 and we used half, or 50c per serve
  • We made our own Dressing from Mayonnaise and Apple Cider Vinegar for 40c per serve.

The Meatloaf had a very light texture and great flavor, although even amping up the Chipotle left it a little lacking. Still, a great Meatloaf for $4.39 per serve.

Jul 24: Soutzoukakia with Tomato, Olive, Feta Salad


Without a doubt, Skewers’ Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich is our favorite lunch for $8.75 per serve, with a shared Fries.


A return to a favorite: Soutzoukakia with Australian Lamb, tonight served with a Feta, Olive and Tomato Salad

  • Ground lamb was $3.79 at Amazon Fresh or 95c per serve
  • An egg is 38c or 10c per serve
  • 8 oz Panko breadcrumbs are $2.99 and we used half, or 38c per serve
  • Parmesan is $3.99 for 8oz and we shared 2 oz or 25c per serve
  • 1/4 cup and a tablespoon of red wine is 17c per serve
  • Parsley was $1.49 for the bunch, but we only used ¼ or 13c per serve
  • Fresh mint came from our garden
  • The Valpresso feta was $9.99 for the tin, but we used 1/6, or 55c per serve
  • The jar of green olives is $4.49 and we used about half, or $1.13 per serve
  • The cherry tomatoes were $2.99 and we used half or 75c per serve
  • Add 20c for balsamic vinegar.

The texture tonight was particularly soft and moussey, with great flavor for $4.61, thanks to the Amazon Fresh Lamb.

Jul 23: Cod in Tikka Masala Sauce


We greatly enjoyed our Delice de Bourgogne and Apple on freshly toasted Italian Bread, eaten down at the picnic table, of course.

  • The Italian Bread loaf is $2.19 and we used about ⅓, or 37c per serve
  • The Delice de Bourgogne was $5.38 and we shared ½, or $1.35 per serve
  • Apple adds 20c per serve.

An excellent open faced sandwich for $1.92 per serve.


A simple meal of Frozen Cod cooked in a Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce. (Technically it should be Tikka Cod in Masala Sauce.)

  • The Masala Simmer Sauce was $2.25 or $1.13 per serve
  • Two Cod Fillets are $2.17 per serve
  • Brown rice adds 33c per serve
  • Frozen peas are $1.29 per pack and we used half, or 33c per serve.

We thought the Aldi-sourced Masala Sauce was better than the Korma, and quite tasty, making a decent meal for $3.96 per serve.