stephmodo: Recession Gourmet

Recession Gourmet

• 15 July 2008

Each month I attempt to record my expenses in an Excel spreadsheet. "Attempt" being the key word here :) I'm usually good at doing it until about the 13th or 14th and then lose steam before starting up again next month. And so the cycle goes. Although I am now at the "losing steam" point of the month, I've traced my expenses for the past two weeks and I am freaking out at how much I've spent on groceries. Time to re-think some of the meals I'd like to prepare and opt for simpler fare. For this week's menu I'm going to use a lot of pantry items already on hand and supplement with healthy doses of fresh produce, a little meat and herbs from my {very small} garden.

Bottom Line: These days I am thinking a lot about how to continue to eat well and still keep our food expenses within certain parameters.

I guess I'm not the only one pondering this issue...Time magazine appears to be fairly concerned as well. Today's issue arrived featuring an article entitled "Recession Gourmet". My curiosity was piqued by the header alone. Basically, the staff challenged acclaimed chef Tom Colicchio to create a gourmet meal for 4 people for around $10. He came close...$11.88 for Fennel Pork Loin and Pasta Vegetarienne, which ended up feeding 5 :)

You can read more about it here and view several recipes within these parameters here. Fantastic ideas!


  1. I did a pantry challenge on my blog not long ago for the very same reason. I used as many of my pantry items up before I went shopping again. We definitely are spending way too much on food lately...the price of everything is crazy!

  2. Sounds like it is time for coupon clipping. There are some great blogs out there that organize everything for you. My favorite is . .

  3. excellent post. this has been at top of mind for me too to eat well on a major budget.

  4. This is so true! I'm trying to be more creative also as I realize how easy it is to go overboard on food. And too easy to justify at the time of purchase.

  5. i have been obsessing about this very topic! in our family less meat and taking out processed snacks seems to make a difference (when I actually sit down to make a menu, and follow through... harder to actually do than say!)

  6. Grocery splurging is my biggest problem when it comes to money. I would so much rather spend money on some good dutch-process cocoa than on a pair of shoes.

  7. I too am in the same quandary. Cooking has always been my therapy of sorts ~ I was able to relax and my family benefited with a happy mom/wife and yummy menus.

    While I use coupon to help off set the grocery cost, I’ve begun shopping the flyers and basing my weekly menus on the sales. I’ve been successful so far but its summer and there are a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables on sale. I also try to bake and freeze items so that I always have them on hand for snacks and such.

  8. thanks for the link to the article, and the post! love your blog.


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