Aug 4: Popeye’s Fried Chicken; Top Sirloin with Thai Salad


Finishing up in Burbank at lunch time, not far from Popeye’s led to the inevitable: fried chicken take out. It’s only 20 minutes home.

  • Eight pieces of chicken were $9.99, but that makes four serves in all, making each serve $2.50
  • The large Red beans and rice was $3.99 and we shared that for $2 a serve.

Lunch was $4.50 a serve.


Top sirloin with a Thai salad. Foodie Greg had been wanting to try this Thai  Sweet Chili Dressing, which we paired with a variation on Jamie Oliver’s Crunch Thai Salad. Mostly we just left stuff out of the salad, and even then it made four very generous serves, two of which are waiting to be eaten.

  • 0.8lb of Top Sirloin is $11.43 or $5.72 per serve. Because it is dry aged, we – once again – cooked to blue.
  • Sugar snap peas are $2.49 and we used half, or 63c per serve
  • Mint is $1.79 or 30c per serve
  • An organic bell pepper was $1.63 and we used half, or 41c per serve
  • Mung beans sprints are $1.49 and we used a tiny fraction, or 10c per serve
  • A Persian cucumber is 30c, or 15c per serve
  • Green onions cost 79c for the bunch and we used about 1/3 or 14c per serve
  • Add 45c for the dressing ingredients
  • We used about 1/4 of the $6.99 pack of Chili Lime Cashews, or $1.17 per serve.

Dinner tonight cost $8.47, and was way too much tasty food for us.

Aug 3: Chicken Wrap; Beef Massaman Curry


We still had one breast from this week’s chicken, although again we only used 2/3 of the breast because  this is a ‘colossal’ chicken. Because we were using up the leftover salad from last night, we swapped out the hummus for sour cream, which worked exceptionally well.

  • The $9.99 colossal (large) chicken is broken into quarters, and 2/3 of one breast used for the wraps, or 83c per serve.
  • The flatbread is 50c
  • Cultured sour cream is $3.29 for the container, or 33c per serve.
  • We used some of the lentil and barley salad from last night, or $1.17 per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.83.


Time to revisit a favorite: Beef Massaman Curry. This time we had a pound of “beef for stew meat” that was precut. This recipe made three good serves.

  • The cross rib steak was $10.70 or $3.56 per serve
  • The can of massaman curry mix is $4.30 or $1.43 per serve
  • Plain peanuts are in limited supply in this part of the world, with a jar costing $2.99, of which we used around 1/5, or 20c per serve
  • Three small potatoes each cost 55c per serve
  • Coconut cream is $1.49 per can, or 50c per serve
  • Rice adds another 50c per serve.

Dinner tonight cost $6.74 per serve.

Aug 2: Ham and Cheese Frittata; Chicken Thigh and Leg with Olivey French Lentil and Barley Salad


The left-over Ham and Cheese Frittata was calling, so we had that for lunch.

As it did three days ago, the frittata cost $1.92 per serve.


The thigh and legs from this week’s chicken formed the protein while an interesting Olivey French Lentil and Barley salad with an olive tapenade for flavor.

We slightly undercooked the barley, but otherwise the salad was flavorsome and a good balance to the chicken.

  • One quarter of the supermarket chicken was $2.50
  • The olive tapenade was $2.99 for the jar, but we used one tablespoon, which is about 1/10 of the jar, or 15c per serve
  • The lentils work out to 75c per serve
  • The pearl barley is $4.89 for a 28 oz bag, or 61c per serve
  • Onion and garlic add around 15c per serve
  • Chicken broth $2.29 or 38c a serve
  • Add 30c for the other ingredients.

Dinner tonight cost $4.84

July Summary and Observations

This month we  ate a lot of lunches prepared out of the home – 14 of the 31 days, or a bit more than most months. Notably we only ate out one night.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.54 ($2.84 in June)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $10.29 ($10.62)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $5.90 ($5.72)
  • Dinner eaten out: $5.00 ($12.50)

Our most expensive meal was at lunch at The Country Deli – four times this month and usually $20.00 per serve with tax and tip.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $318.99 per person in June. We actually spent $44.26 for lunches at home plus $144.11 for lunches purchased or eaten out: $188.37.

Since we only had one evening meal out, and it was a user group meeting where we all contribute to the pizza rather than paying for our own meals, it’s hard to base an average on that. We spent $177.02 for meals prepared at home and $5.00 for meals out, or the $182.02 total.

That’s just working on the average. Several of the meals we had would have been well over $30 a serve in a restaurant.

Jul 31:Chicken Wrap; Ham and Cheese Frittata with Bell Pepper and Parsley


Time for a supermarket roast chicken and that means wraps!

  • The $9.99 colossal (large) chicken is broken into quarters, and 2/3 of one breast used for the wraps, or 83c per serve.
  • The flatbread is 50c
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/6 or 33c per serve
  • The edamame salad is $3.28 for four serves, or 82c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.48.


Foodie Greg was in the mood for something “eggy” so a ham and cheese frittata with peppers and parsley was on the menu. The trick to a good frittata is to finish it under a grill.

The recipe makes four serves

  • 5 eggs in the dish is 1.25 eggs per serve or 63c per serve
  • A bell pepper is 99c or 25c per serve
  • A pint of half and half is $2.19 but only 4oz is used, or 14c per serve
  • Diced ham was $2.99 a pack, or 75c per serve
  • Add 15c for onion and parsley.

Dinner tonight cost $1.92 per serve.

Jul 30: Country Deli; Stir Fried Shanghai Noodles with Ground Pork and Napa Cabbage


For no other reason than we felt like it, we decided to have lunch at the Country Deli down the road in Chatsworth.

Lunch at the Country Deli is $20.00 per serve with tax and tip.


Since we had some ground pork left in the Prather Ranch delivery we decided to do a repeat of the Stir Fried Shanghai Noodles with Ground Pork and Cabbage, which makes four generous serves.

The mung bean sprouts add a nice crunch and a refreshing wetness.

  • The pork came from our Prather Ranch meat delivery – 1.08 lb of ground pork cost $9.60 or $2.40 per serve
  • The pre-cooked organic noodles retail for $3.19 or 80c per serve
  • The various seasonings add around 30c per serve
  • The mung bean sprouts are $1.49 and we used 1/3 or 50c per serve.
  • The napa cabbage cost 79c or 20 per serve.

Dinner tonight cost $4.20 per serve for a filling and very tasty dish.

Jul 29: Burrito/Chimichanga; Cobb Salad


Another visit to a recommended Mexican take-out in Chatsworth to explore their menu. We mixed it up by buying a carnitas burrito and carnitas chimichanga. Deep frying doesn’t add anything positive to the taste or texture!

Lunch today was $7.00 a serve with tax and tip.


On what we hope is the last night of this particular heat wave, a salad was definitely called for, and what better than a Cobb?

  • Blue cheese crumbles are $3.49 for the pack and we used about 1/3 or 58c per serve.
  • You can tell by the deep gold yolk that these are pastured eggs: 50c each -one per serve – but worth it for the taste.
  • Avocados are 65c per serve.
  • Bacon ends and pieces is $3.49 per pack. We used about 20% of the container or 35c per serve
  • The turkey breast is $5.99 a pack, and we used the second half, or $1.50 per serve
  • The organic baby plum tomatoes were $2.79 for the pack or $1.40 per serve.
  • Add 10c for the greens.

Tonight’s Cobb Salad cost $5.08 per serve.

Jul 28: Gyro Wrap; NY Strip Steak with Slow Cooked Broccoli


Another gyro meat wrap.

  • Each slide of the cooked gyro meat is $1.00 per serve.
  • The flatbread is 50c per serve
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/6 or 33c per serve
  • We served 1/4 of the tabouli salad or 67c per serve.

Lunch today cost $3.50.


New York strip steak from our Prather Ranch delivery, with slow cooked broccoli. The broccoli takes on an entirely different character when slow cooked with onion, and the feta added at the end adds a creamy overlay while the red pepper flakes give it an appealing heat.

You’ll notice the rash of feta-based recipes. Once the Valbreso tin is opened, it needs to be used before it goes off. That’s a possible downside of truly natural ingredients: they will spoil.

  • Dry aged NY Strip Steak is $20.47  or  $10.24 per serve
  • The broccoli was $1.50 or 75c per serve
  • Onion and red pepper flakes add about 10c per serve
  • The Valbreso feta is $9.99 for a 600g tin, of which we used 1/6, or 83c per serve.

Dinner tonight was a great balance and cost $11.92. You should give the slow cooked broccoli a try, even if you think you don’t like broccoli.

Jul 27: Gyro Wrap; Pizza out


Gyro meat was back on the shelves at Trader Joe’s so, since it’s tastier than chicken, that was our choice.

  • The fully cooked sliced gyro/yeros meat is $3.99 per 10oz pack. There are really four serves, so each serve is very slightly cheaper than the chicken, at $1.00 per serve.
  • The flatbread is 50c per serve
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/6 or 33c per serve
  • We served 1/4 of the tabouli salad or 67c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.50.


Tonight was LACPUG night which culminates with pizza at Palermo’s on Vermont in Los Feliz. Decent pizza, great company.

We each contribute $5 per person to cover pizza. This is our first, and probably only, evening meal out this month.