Dec 5: Meat Pie and Sausage Roll; Family Dinner


The first thing these ex-pat travelers want when back in Australia is a meat pie and sausage roll, so that’s what we had while dining with our mother and a friend of hers.

Being a coffee shop and not a take-out, the meal was more expensive than expected for such simple fare at Au$8.50 for the combination, or US$6.20.


Tonight’s meal was the first time Foodie Philip’s extended family was together for a meal. Ever. In the time the Foodies have been living in the US Foodie Philip’s brother remarried and we gained another branch to the family tree, and it was the first time Foodie Greg met many of the extended family.

Dinner tonight was an excellent eye fillet with boiled whole potatoes and a garden salad, all of which were very good.

Dec 4: Fish and Chips; Roast Chicken and Salad


The Foodies had a very late lunch after arriving in Sydney at 9am, going through immigration, baggage claim and customs and then catching a train to Newcastle. It was 2pm before we were able to get a bite to eat: fish and chips from a local store.

The fish was perfectly cooked in a good batter while the chips* were creamy on the inside and crisp on the outside, just as they should be.

*Australian chips are more like US steak fries: somewhat larger.

Lunch today cost Au$5.50 or $4.05 US.


Dinner was with our mother/mother-in-law who had purchased a roast chicken and prepared salad vegetables – iceberg, tomato, avocado and mango – to go with it.

Mother paid for dinner tonight.

Dec 3: Airline Dinner


Because of the peculiarities of the International Date Line, Saturday Dec 3 didn’t really exist for the Foodies. We left Los Angeles close to midnight on Dec 2 and arrived in the morning of Dec 4.

During the flight we had a ‘dinner’ of Thai Chicken Curry with rice and ‘roasted vegetables’, which was serviceable.

The meal was included in the air fare so there’s no isolated cost.


Also included in the air fare was breakfast of a ham, egg and cheese sandwich, which was also serviceable. Food out of LAX is rarely very good.

Dec 2: Pulled Pork Roll; TGIF


Since we were about to leave for an Australian trip, we needed to use up the last of the pulled pork.

  • Six par baked rustic rolls were $3.29 or 55c per serve.
  • The pulled pork cost $1.47
  • Add 20c for some Sriracha Garlic BBQ sauce

Lunch today cost $2.22.


After traveling to Los Angeles International Airport and checking in, we ended up at TGIF nearby for dinner when our original plans fell through.

The meal at TGIF cost approximately $21.70 per serve with tax and tip. To be honest the food at TGIF is, at best, average. About the level that Gordon Biersch was five years ago before they got serious about improving their food. Between those two chains Gordon Biersch has the best food by a big margin.

Dec 1: Pulled Pork ‘Quesadilla’; Gordon Biersch


With pulled pork left over we added it to our version of a quesadilla made with flatbread.

  • The pulled pork cost $1.47
  • One flatbread (half of two) costs 50c a serve
  • Half a can of refried beans, shared across two halves: 26c
  • 2 oz of cheddar split between two is 50c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.73 per serve.


A final opportunity to socialize before we head for Australia saw us at Gordon Biersch for dinner tonight.

Foodie Philips’ Brewer’s steak was a perfect rare and very tender. It’s clear that Gordon Biersch have upped their food game from a few years back when the food was very average ‘pub food’.

Dinner tonight averaged at $25.15 per serve, with tax and tip.

November Summary and Observations

While we spent most of the month at home, the results are influenced by a quick trip to Barcelona for a presentation which meant that some meals were included in an air fare, some paid for by the conference organizers and some extra eaten outside the home.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.76 ($2.12 in October)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $7.42 ($9.05)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $5.14 ($5.31)
  • Dinner eaten out: $5.00 ($26.32)

Our most expensive meal was lunch sat The Country Deli at $21.00 per serve.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $222.60 per person in November. We actually spent $46.85 for lunches at home plus $59.36 for lunches purchased or eaten out: $106.21.

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $150.00 based on last night’s pizza, so not exactly a typical meal because it is subsidized by being part of a group. We actually spent $138.75 for dinners at home and $5.00 for dinners out: $143.75.

We saved $116.40 by preparing and eating most meals at home although eating subsided pizza every night isn’t exactly an option.

Nov 30: Yeros Wrap; Pizza


A repeat of yeros wraps.

  • 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 the last LACPUG meeting of the year, followed by pizza, as it our tradition. Each person contributes $5.00.

Dinner tonight cost $5.00 per serve.

Nov 29: Burrito; Pulled Pork with Kale and Broccoli Salad


Our morning was taken up (mostly) waiting for an interview with CIS, so we grabbed a burrito from our favorite Mexican place on the way home.

Burritos are $5.50 each.


Since we had another Boston Butt in freezer from our Prather Ranch delivery, we decided to have pulled pork again, because why not? The ability to prepare a slow cooked meal like this is a side benefit of working from home.

Paired with a semi-prepared kale and broccoli salad from Trader Joes we had a great meal for three, with enough leftover pulled pork for another two meals.

  • The pork but was $20.53 or $4.10 per serve
  • Chicken stock adds about 14c per serve
  • Onion and garlic adds about 15c per serve
  • The kale and broccoli salad was $2.49 or 84c per serve

Dinner tonight was, again, excellent for just $5.23 per serve.

Nov 28: In and Out; Chipotle, Bacon and Black Bean Soup


An almost normal Burbank Monday schedule had Foodie Philip back at In and Out Burger for his Double Double Animal Style.

Lunch today was $4.03 per serve with tax.


Although it was a favorite last winter, and the winter before that, this is the first time we’ve had the Chipotle Bean Soup with Bacon Recipe this year.

  • Bacon ends cost $4.99 for the container, but this recipe used about 1/2 of that, or 50c per serve
  • Onion and garlic – about 5c a serve
  • Spices – about 12c a serve
  • The beans were 99c a can, or 99c a serve
  • The adobo chipotle adds 50c per serve
  • The avocado cost $1.29 or 65c per serve
  • Sour cream cost $3.99 but we used 1/8 on tonight’s meal, or 25c per serve.

All up dinner cost us $2.56 for a very filling serve.

Nov 27: Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs on an Onion Bagel; Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup


An indulgent Sunday lunch: wild caught smoked salmon in soft scrambled eggs on an onion bagel. The technique that leads to great scrambled eggs is to stop before you think they’re ready. If you finish cooking in the pan, the eggs will overcook during service because the heat keeps carrying on cooking the eggs.

  • Smoked salmon is $5.99 or $3.00 a serve
  • The onion bagel is 50c a serve
  • Our organic eggs are 50c each, and we had two for $1 per serve.

Lunch today cost $4.50 per serve and was really good and is today’s featured image.


The Lemon Chicken Orzo soup had sufficient leftovers that we got another two serves for tonight’s meal, and enough left over for Foodie Greg’s Monday lunch.aop

  • Carrots cost 25c or 7c per serve
  • Celery, thyme, oil and garlic adds 15c per serve
  • Chicken broth cost 40c per serve
  • The store-bought rotisserie chicken breast is $2.25 each leg and thigh and we used the other 2/3 of a breast, or $1.50 per serve
  • The orzo is $1.42 for a 1 lb box, but only half was used for our four serves, or 18c per serve
  • Add in 12 c for the other seasonings, etc.
  • Six par baked rustic rolls were $3.29 or 55c per serve

Dinner tonight cost $4.07 per serve!