Sunday, September 30, 2012

{Hail to the Farmer's Market and Menu for the Week}

I am lucky to live in a state that has a very active agriculture community.  The Raleigh Farmer's Market is a part of the NC Department of Agriculture and runs year-round.  

I have to be honest and say that I haven't been to the Farmer's Market in a while....It is quite far from our home and just isn't as easy.  Well, that all changed yesterday....  I am now a reformed Farmer's Market shopper.  I got $40 out of the ATM when I arrived and I was prepared with my list.  Here's my haul:  

  • (3) Sweet Potatoes
  • (1) Butternut Squash
  • (1) Spaghetti Squash
  • (1) HUGE Sweet Onion
  • (1) Head of Cabbage
  • (2) Summer Squash
  • (3) Bell Peppers - red, green, and yellow
  • A bunch of okra
  • (1/2 peck) Honey Crisp apples

I came home with $14.  Of the $26 that I spent, $12 was on the Honey Crisp apples.  I hadn't planned to get the apples, but I have an unrealistic craving/love/obsession with Honey Crisp apples.  I'd say that spending $14 to get all those veggies was a steal - definitely cheaper than Trader Joe's and Harris Teeter!  Will I be able to do all of my produce shopping at the Farmer's Market - yes and no.  If I were more disciplined about planning around what is available and if I were willing to plan after purchasing produce, I would probably be able to do all my shopping there.  Unfortunately, that isn't always realistic and planning needs to be done ahead of time.  Either way, a bargain for fresh, local produce!

Each Wednesday or Thursday, I email Jason a menu plan for the week.  We go back 'n forth some, moving things around, changing side dishes, etc.  Once we have the menu for the week, I make our grocery list.  I try to only purchase the items on our list in an effort to save money and not waste food.  The menu plan generally only includes our evening meals.  Jason pretty much takes the same types of things for lunch every day - deli meat "roll ups", a fruit or vegetable, and crackers or a sweet item.  I usually eat leftovers from our dinner the evening before or from my freezer stash of different soups.

Here's our menu for this week:
Saturday:  Chicken and Sausage from The Meat House; Roasted Broccoli and Carrots; Farfalle and Spinach (sauteed spinach for me) (Our friends Mary and Brian had dinner with us)
Sunday:  Grilled Chicken Breast; Hash Browns 
Wednesday:  Pepper Steak; Brown Rice for the hubs/Yam Noodles for me
Thursday:  Grilled Pork; Roasted Sweet Potatoes; Sauteed Spinach

This will be the first time we have prepared the Hash Browns, Beaufort Stew, Chicken Curry, and Pepper Steak.  LOTS of recipe reviews coming this week!

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