My game plan was to buy really good deals at a veggie stand, then hit the grocery stores after catching the fliers.
Here is the initial produce purchase which came to $5.40 for Derek & I.
Spuds are good carbohydrates, even though folks are afraid of them. They have more protein than wheat or rice and would you believe it – they actually have vitamin C even though they grow underground. Carrots were 0.39 a pound! Garlic and a lemon seemed worth the cost – a little goes a long way and livens everything up which will be important without access to spices. But I still needed greens, and a couple of apples.
For the big shop I took an envelope with the remaining $46.60 to 2 different stores. Breakfast will be oatmeal, milk & sugar on 5 days, eggs and possibly pancakes on 2 days. I planned to bake bread. This meant buying a much bigger bag of flour than we actually needed (on sale: $3.99 for 2.5 kg). I know we won’t go hungry. Wheatbelly – maybe, but starvation, no.
We splurged on a big jug of milk, some yogurt, and an actual chicken! On the other hand we could only afford 20 tea bags and no coffee. Now we have 80 cents left.
Almost immediately I regretted getting the chicken for almost $7. This won’t provide many meals and we could have bought a lot more lentils and other proteins. Once you start doubting your judgement it doesn’t feel like a game anymore. The finality of having money leave the envelope really hit me. There is no flexibility to work within, no little cushion, no rainy day fund or possible windfall. There were some deals, but maybe we haven’t discovered yet what the best deal might be. And even the best deal might not be adequate.
Now that we have all this flour, we have to go ahead with the bread. Do it like the pioneers, I thought. Capture wild yeast on the kitchen counter and develop a sourdough culture. I think its within the guidelines since when you use the sourdough you replace what you take out with an equal amount of your flour supply, and water. I have never baked with sourdough before. The starter is amazingly vigorous and enthusiastic about growing – it can explode in the fridge if you’re not careful.
OK we got bread! The only ingredients are water, salt, starter, 8 cups flour including 1 cup for replacing starter and 1 cup for working with the dough. No kneading needed.
The only catch is…you have to have access to an oven. A hotplate will not do.