Let’s start with the idea that most people have some food in their cupboards. My pantry has five pounds of flour, basic baking ingredients, coffee, two half-empty boxes of raisins (regular and golden); an unopened box of Cheerios, a bar of semi-sweet baking chocolate (purchased on sale a few weeks back). Other items: three cans of fruit; three tins of fish; two cans of pureed pumpkin; two boxes of dried pasta, a large container of plain oatmeal; a nearly empty container of honey (need to look for some on sale); corn meal, olive oil and assorted spices.
Some of those items can be used for meals over the next week.
My latest purchase includes one gallon of milk; one pound of unsweetened butter; two dozen eggs; 32 ounces of plain yogurt; five oranges; two pints of blackberries; six mini-bananas; four cucumbers; a handful of yellow squash; and a bag of limes. Total cost $18.80 — aided by most of the fruit being marked down for quick sale.
Focusing mainly on the latest purchase, here are my plans:
1: Fruit salad with some of the mini bananas, two oranges, some blackberries & 1/2 to 3/4 cup yogurt for protein, a dash of powdered ginger.
2: Scrambled eggs, using a tablespoon of milk and some diced zucchini, seasoned to taste.
3: Salad: hardboiled and diced eggs with lettuce, cucumber, zucchini (Enough for 4 servings without using up every ingredient).
5: Lime curd (can be used to flavor & sweeten the plain yogurt or in the fruit salad or on toast. It’s yummy!)
6: Low-sugar Limeade OR will use a plain slice or two to perk up my daily 32 ounces of tap water. Maybe both options, having quite a few limes.
7: Blackberry jam. A very small batch, since I’m using just two of the four half pints purchased.
8. Egg salad — I don’t have any mayo (so expensive!), but I do have the eggs and in the cupboard, oil, vinegar and dry mustard. Homemade tastes better and takes 10 minutes.
9. Sourdough French toast. I have some leftover slices of bread from last week’s groceries, enough to make several meals’ worth of French toast. Whatever I don’t use in the next day or so will go into the freezer for some lazy Sunday morning.
Remaining fruit will be used for snacking, as breakfast garnishes or mixed with 1/2 to 3/4 cup plain yogurt & whatever spices I want (ginger or cinnamon or nutmeg, etc.).
Why a whole gallon of milk? I like to put some milk in my morning coffee and usually drink a glass of milk at lunch and bedtime — partly for the Vitamin D & calcium, but mostly because milk tastes good.