I'm in! Well, kinda. I'm trying to train myself to eat more fruit and veggies, so I don't want to skimp on those. I'm giving us NZ$200 for the month to buy groceries, which hopefully will be mostly carrots and things. We don't drink milk and I use powdered in baking, so that's okay. We do buy yoghurt packets fairly often, DH takes yoghurt and honey to work every morning for breakfast. We don't eat much meat. My main foible is buying little gourmet things like pesto, hummus, feta and fancy cheese--this should put a stop to that!
Assets: DH went shopping last night for potatoes, onions etc, and all the food we'll need for our visitors tomorrow. Drat, except celery. Well, the recipe doesn't actually say celery, but I like it. Hmm.
Anyway. I went on holiday recently and left DH with a bunch of frozen meals; many of them are still in the freezer. So if we're craving something meaty, we can eat the devilled sausages or mince; and I think the other meals include Boston baked beans, honey baked lentils and some frozen vichyssoise.
My garden has tons of herbs, leeks, lettuce and rhubarb. It would be nice if we got some tomatoes and snow peas by the end of November, but we shall see.
I also get 'free' eggs from the chickens, although the darned critters aren't laying right now. Chicken food will just have to come out of the grocery money... maybe I'll feed them porridge a few days a week, and get more creative about giving them kitchen scraps!
I have tons of nori, for some reason. Also plenty of dried beans, some of which I've never cooked with before (haricot, navy, pinto). And lots of rice--arborio, white and brown. I have nearly-full packets of wholemeal linguine and wholemeal fusilli (pasta spirals), which can make some quick-and-dirty meals if necessary.
The final asset is that we live in NZ, so no Thanksgiving to worry about!
My difficult-to-get-rid-of ingredients are green lentils (they won't sprout, must have been heat-treated, and I don't like to eat them the same way as brown lentils; I might have to get over that) and canned creamed corn. I bought it ages ago because we made tuna casserole with it growing up, but DH doesn't like tuna casserole. What else can I do with it? A chowder, maybe?
I do a lot of baking to sell in the tearoom at DH's work, which will require extra ingredients. I figure if I need more flour, sugar etc for the baking, I'll buy it out of the cash I make, and it won't count as part of the $200. The profit I make by the 25th, which is DH's and my first wedding anniversary, we can splurge on whatever celebration we desire. A night in a hotel would be lovely, but it depends how many cupcakes I sell--good motivation!
I also cook gluten-, dairy-, soy- and apple-free frozen dinners for a friend. Same deal; if I need to buy meat or whatever, it comes out of the money I earn for it rather than the $200. I won't use that profit for the anniversary though, we'll save it for Christmas presents or whatever.
Now to decide what to make for dinner!