Feb 9: Sushi; Popeye’s chicken with home-made Red Beans and Rice

Lunch

Convenience won out again, and sushi was purchased during a supermarket trip. Combined the two packs cost $12.78 or $6.39 a serve.

Dinner

Time to use up the final serves of Popeye’s fried chicken from Saturday. This time Greg cooked up a batch of home-made red beans and rice to go with it.

  • Chicken is $2.50 a serve
  • Onion, oil and garlic and seasonings about 15c per serve
  • Each can of organic beans was 99c and we used three, or 50c per serve
  • Instead of andouille sausage, we used a Kroger Simple Truth Lightly Smoked Sausage for $2.99 or 50c a serve
  • Chicken broth $2.29 or 38c a serve
  • And the rice: 33c a serve

Dinner tonight cost us $3.98 per serve. The best part of the meal was definitely the red beans!

Tip: When reheating fried foods, use a hot and dry oven. When reheating pastry product like a meat pie, place a bowl of boiling water in the over during reheating to avoid the pastry drying out.

Feb 8: Avocado and sardines; Dinner out

Lunch

We returned to a lunch that we had a lot when Philip was trying to lose weight. Alton Brown claims it was instrumental in him losing weight (intentionally).

Our iteration featured Trader Joe’s Lightly Smoked Sardines, on an English Muffin with hass avocado. The slight smokiness makes the sardines a little more interesting.

  • The sardines cost $1.69 or 85c per serve
  • An English Muffin is 50c per serve
  • The avocado was 48c or 24c a serve.

Lunch today cost $1.59 per serve.

Dinner

It was our night for our monthly get together with a friend, so we ate at Gordon Birsch again. Because we weren’t on camera, we ordered a burger again. The Gastro Pub burger is a great burger so we had it again this time.

The burger is $12.25 but with tax and tip about $15.80.

Feb 7: It’s a big game party

Lunch

Pacing ourselves as we were heading out for a ‘big game’ party we had half a muffin with a fried egg on top ahead of the party.

  • One half of an English Muffin – 25c
  • Organic egg – 50c

Lunch today cost 75c per serve, but it was more of a snack than lunch.

Dinner

It was a party. Lots of delicious party foods, catered by our excellent hosts. We contributed wine, so let’s say $4 a head today.

Feb 6: Take out fried chicken; Sous vidé pork chop and waldorf salad

Lunch

An occasional treat is Popeyes fried chicken (dark and spicy please). Red Beans and rice on the side, although Greg’s home made is better.

Fried chicken is the only ‘fast food’ we indulge in. It’s not something we would make at home, because of the deep frying required.

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. In total, lunch was $4.50 a serve.

Dinner

Our 25th Anniversary dinner is a repeat of January 16th’s evening meal: Sous vide heritage pork chop with waldorf salad.

Pricing is pretty much the same as on January 16:

  • $9.50 for a generous 10oz (after bone taken out) of heritage pork chop
  • $2.55 for the salad.

That makes tonight’s anniversary dinner, a very reasonable $12.05 each. As we noted in January, this is the best pork chop we’ve ever had. It is significantly better than any we’ve had in a restaurant, and a whole lot cheaper!

Feb 5: Sushi; Beef and broccoli stir fry

Lunch

Since it there was a supermarket trip anyway, we choose Sushi again. $12.78 or $6.39 a serve.

Dinner

The Stir Fried Beef and Broccoli we were going to have last night got moved to tonight. Good thing it’s quick because we were back late from having the flooring finished at our new house. The slowest part was cooking the sprouted brown rice. On the table 35 minutes after arriving home.

We used slightly less meat than the recipe calls for and added mushroom to recipe to compensate.

  • Stir fry beef $10.49 or $5.25 per serve
  • The broccoli was $3.79 or $1.90 per serve
  • Ginger 28c or 14c per serve
  • Sprouted rice is 92c per serve
  • Other ingredients add up to around 20c per serve.

Tonights meal cost $8.41 per serve. It could be less with more conventionally grown protein, but we are happy to pay a little more for the quality of life of the animal.

Feb 4: Lunch out; Quick Snack!

Lunch

We were recording another Lunch with Philip and Greg so we ate out for the second day running. Today we recorded in Gordon Biesch and we both had the Beer Battered Fish and Chips. That’s their picture featured above.

Atlantic cod dipped in märzen batter and fried, with tartar sauce, apple cider slaw and salt & pepper fries

The batter was appropriately crispy, the fries (regular) are always good, and our coleslaw was served in another small bowl, preventing fries or batter from becoming soggy.

On the menu for $16.75 the reality is much closer to $22 with tax and tip. It’s a huge serve and, although we didn’t finish everything on the plate, we both felt over filled afterward.

One reason we chose the dish was because it’s not something we’d ever cook at home. Maintaining oil for frying, and safe conditions to fry in, is more effort than most fried food is worth. So, it’s an eat out/take out treat for us.

Dinner

That stuffed-full-of-food feeling didn’t go away, despite burning up some energy at our new home. So we postponed the planned dinner until tomorrow night.

We ultimately had a ‘Quesadilla’ of flatbread, refried beans, salsa and cheddar. We last did this for lunch on Jan 20th where it cost $1.49 per serve.

Feb 3: Chicken Pot Pie; Quinoa Chowder (repeat)

Lunch

We were recording an episode of Lunch with Philip and Greg today, so we ate out. Two of three had the chicken pot pie at $6 each, or close to $8 with tax and tip.

Dinner

Because we were uncertain what time we’d be back today after lunch and some meetings, so we planned on leftovers: Quinoa Chowder from two nights ago.

As it did on Feb 1, tonight’s soup cost us $2.72 a serve plus 20c for a slice of toast to dip in the egg yolk.

Feb 2: Quesadilla; Chicken adobo with rice and steamed bok choi

Lunch

We did this quesadilla pretty regularly. Today’s version has no eggs, and we just used cheddar.

  • One flatbread (half of two) costs 50c a serve
  • Half a can of refried beans, shared across two halves: 33c
  • Fontera salsa is expensive (and tasty) at $4.69 a jar, but it breaks down to 16c a serve
  • 2 oz of cheddar split between two is 50c per serve

Lunch today cost $1.49 per serve and came together in about 10 minutes. Frying in bacon fat is recommended.

Dinner

Greg has long been a pressure cooker fan, so tonight Philippino classic dish is a quick pressure cook: Pressure Cooker Chicken Adobo.

We cut back to six thighs and reduced proportions to half on everything else. The six thighs made three serves. We also dropped the brown sugar to keep sweetness under control.

  • Six chicken thighs cost $5.98 or $2 a serve
  • Coconut oil and pepper – 5c a serve
  • One onion – 20c a serve
  • Garlic – 5c a serve
  • Soy, rice wine vinegar and rice vinegar – 45c
  • The bok choy came from a friend’s CSA box (as she was heading overseas) but would typically be $1 a serve
  • The sprouted brown rice is 66c a serve

Tonight’s dinner cost us $4.41 a serve.

February Summary and Observations

Compared to last month we’ve eaten a lot more lunches out of home, largely because we were in the process of moving during the month.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $1.98 ($3.17 in January)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $8.16 ($10.08)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $4.83 ($5.59)
  • Dinner eaten out: $18.70 ($12.00)

Our most expensive meal was Commonwealth Restaurant at $47.00 a serve, but absolutely worth it for food that we would never cook ourselves. Eight of our home cooked meals this month I would consider ‘restaurant quality’ with most expensive being the NY Strip steak on February 18.

We ate dinner in a restaurant four times in February, but lunch was at home only 11 days in the month, half what it was in January. Again, attributable to moving to a new location 25 miles away.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $236 per person in February. We actually spent $21.79 for lunches at home plus $138.72 for lunches purchased or eaten out: $160.51. So, although we ate more lunches out our overall spend in February was less than January. I suspect because fewer lunches were at the Country Deli!

Had we purchased every dinner out at the same average it would be $542.30 each, compared with $115.81 for meals prepared at home and $74.80 for meals out, or the $190.61 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.