Jan 4: Popeyes & Salad; 15 Bean Soup with Chorizo


We reheated the remaining Popeye’s Chicken and served with a Sesame Crunch Salad kit.

  • A nine piece special was $3.40 per serve with tax
  • The Salad Kit is $3.99 or $1.00 per serve.

A fun lunch for $4.40 per serve.


A ham bone had come our way, without the ham, so we made stock from it. Rather than Split Pea Soup, which is our go to with Ham Stock, we did 15 Bean Soup and added the remaining Chorizo Sausage from New Year’s Eve. We will get eight serves from this recipe.

  • The 15 Bean mix was $6.99 or 88c per serve
  • Crushed Tomatoes are $1.99 or 40c per serve
  • The Spinach was $1.99 and we used 1/2, or 13c per serve
  • Carrots were $1.99 but we only used half, or 13c per serve
  • We used stock instead of water, but it was free
  • Add 25c per serve for other ingredients.

Surprisingly good for $1.79 per serve.

Jan 3: Shredded Lamb Salad in a Panini Roll with Tabouli; Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs on Florentine Toast


As we still had some of the Shredded Lamb Salad left, we heated it and packed it in a hot Panini Roll with Tabouli.

  • The Panini Roll is 63c
  • The Tabouli was $2.69 and we used about half, or 67c per serve
  • The Shredded Lamb has already been accounted for.

An excellent way to finish the last of the Lamb for $1.30 per serve.


For tonight’s Fishy Friday we wilted some Spinach in butter, and placed it on toast and left it to warm in the oven, while we scrambled eggs with Smoked Salmon.

  • A slice of Dave’s Killer Bread is 33c
  • Eggs are 51c or $1.02 per serve
  • The Smoked Salmon was $9.99 or $5.00 per serve
  • Add 30c for butter.

The Smoked Salmon permeated the Scrambled Eggs, while the spinach gave it a taste variation and the toast, a texture variation. Great meal for $6.65 per serve.

Jan 2: Popeye’s Fried Chicken; Shredded Lamb Salad with Mint, Pomegranate and Halloumi Bake


For lunch the Foodies enjoyed some Popeye’s Fried Chicken.

  • A nine piece special was $3.40 per serve with tax
  • Red Beans and Rice is $2.19 with tax.

We always enjoy this guilty pleasure for $5.59 per serve.


Tonight we did a complete do-over of the Lamb Salad with Mint, Pomegranate and Halloumi Bake for $6.41 per serve.

Jan 1: Skirt Steak Rolls with Caramelized Onion Cheddar and Kumato; Pot Roast over Egg Noodles


For lunch the Foodies heated some Panini Rolls and stuffed them with reheated Skirt Steak from yesterday, Caramelized Onion Cheddar and Kumato.

  • The Panini Roll is 63c
  • Five Kumato were $3.49 and we shared one, or 35c per serve
  • The Caramelized Onion Cheddar is $4.67 and we used about ⅓ or 78c per serve
  • The Skirt Steak is included in yesterday’s lunch.

The Steak was excellent and made a great lunch sandwich for $1.76 per serve.


We took the remaining two serves of Pot Roast and Vegetables and extended it with some egg noodles to make three serves.

  • The Pot Roast was $7.22 per serve, but we split two serves three ways, or $4.81 per serve
  • The Egg Noodles were $3.50 and we used half, or 58c per serve.

The meal turned out better than expected for $5.39 per serve.

December 2019: Summary and Observations

While the Foodies had an overnight trip to San Diego, our host bought dinner, so this month we didn’t buy a single evening meal prepared outside the home.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $3.04 ($2.51 in November)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $10.73 ($10.94)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $5.49 ($5.43)
  • Dinner eaten out: $0 ($6.73).

Our lunches at home average in a fairly narrow band and this month’s average is up a little from from last month.

We again twelve meals prepared outside the home (mostly lunch). 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 lunch at The Country Deli on New Year’s Eve at $25.15 per serve. (Although in fairness, we got a major contribution to two more meals as well.)

This month, lunches at home cost 28% of the cost of eating lunches prepared outside the home. Using last month’s dinners out as a reference, dinners at home cost 33% of those prepared outside the home.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $332.63 per person in December. We actually spent $54.68 for lunches at home plus $118.02 for lunches purchased or eaten out:  $172.70 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 $159.33 for dinners at home and nothing for dinners out, or $159.33 in total.

This month’s savings from preparing most of our food at home is $502.50 and we had a lot more control over what we eat.

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

Dec 31: The Country Deli; Warm Shredded Lamb Salad with Mint, Pomegranate and Halloumi Bake


For lunch the Foodies collected a friend from the train, and headed for The Country Deli for lunch. The average for lunch today was $25.15 with tax and tip.


The Foodies finished out the year with a dish that was a big hit with our family in Australia last January: Warm Shredded Lamb Salad with Mint and Pomegranate. We’ll get five serves from this recipe

  • Two large Lamb Shanks were $18.62 or $3.72 per serve
  • The Pomegranate was $2.99 or 60c per serve
  • The mint was $1.79 or 36c per serve
  • The Sweet Potato Halloumi Bake is $1.34 per serve
  • Shallots were $1.96 or 39c per serve.

As always this turns out very well, particularly if you use the juice of the Pomegranate. A really great end-of-year meal for $6.41 per serve.

Dec 30: Cheddar & Turkey; French Onion Soup with Panini Roll


For lunch the Foodies had a Cheddar and Turkey Toasted Sandwich.

  • Dave’s Killer Bread is 66c per serve
  • The turkey is $3.49 and we shared 1/6 or 29c per serve
  • The Old Crock cheddar was $5.45 or 68c per serve
  • Add 20c for Garlic Spread.

A decent sandwich for $1.83 per serve.


For tonight’s Meatless Monday we heated some of the remaining French Onion Soup and served it with a hot Panini Roll.

  • The French Onion Soup is $1.38 per serve
  • The Panini Roll is 63c per serve.

A warming dinner for $2.01 per serve.

Dec 29: Pot Roast with Swede, Parsnip and Carrot


Due to some stressful circumstances the Foodies skipped lunch, going straight to a Pot Roast with Swede, Parsnip and Carrot.

We had a 2 lb Chuck Roast in our meat box we decided to try the recipe we really enjoyed last time: Bruce Aidells’ Pot-Roasted Grass-Fed Beef Chuck with Winter Root Vegetables.

  • The roast was $20.48 or $5.12 per serve
  • Bacon is $4.99 for the pack and we used 40%, or 50c per serve
  • Red wine adds $1.00 or 25c per serve
  • Onions and garlic add 15c per serve
  • Parsnips were $1.29 or 33c per serve
  • Rutabaga were $1.48 or 37c per serve
  • Carrots were $1.99 but we only used half, or 50c per serve.

This is a very flavorsome pot roast for $7.22 per serve.

Dec 28: French Onion Soup with Cheese Toastie; Stir-fried Pork and Greens with Noodles


We reheated some of the left over French Onion Soup and served it with a Toasted Cheese Sandwich.

  • French onion soup is $2.25 for a lunch serve
  • Dave’s Killer Bread is 66c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 34c per serve.

A good, warming lunch for $3.25 per serve.


Foodie Greg took Pork Cutlets from our Keller Crafted meat box and sliced them for a stir fry.

  • The pork was $10.85 or $5.43 per serve
  • Bik Choy was $1.27 or 64c per serve
  • The Udon Noodles were $3.29, but we used ⅓ or 55c per serve.
  • Jalapeno was 16c or 8c per serve
  • Add 20c for a little Fish Sauce to enhance the flavor.

The pork was indeed very tender and the stir fry tasted okay for $6.90 per serve.

Dec 27: Bahn Mi; Cod à la Nage


For lunch the Foodies had their favorite sandwich – Bahn Mi – for $9.27 per serve with tax and tip.


We like the Thai Style Cod à la Nage enough to have it again.

  • 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

The poached cod was tender and flakey, with a very flavorsome broth that wasn’t overly spicy for $4.12 per serve.