Days 16, 17, 18, 19… Oops!

So I kind of fell off the map there for a sec… sorry bout that. I’m going to do my best to sum up the last few days, which shouldn’t be that difficult since I haven’t been eating very well anyway, and all of my purchases have been grocery trips split with the hubs.

Please note: We are still on the budget!

I just hadn’t been sufficiently inspired enough to post, until yesterday when my boss bought us The Red Fern for lunch (!!) It was everything a vegan in Rochester could ask for, but I am getting ahead of myself.



Days 16, 17, 18, 19:

Starting cash:     $105.01

Spent:     $11.40

Ending Cash:     $93.61



1 lb carrots @$1.29, 2 bags coleslaw stye cabbage mix @$3.00, 5 lb white potatoes @$1.99, 1 bag sweet Mayan onions @$1.99, 5 oz fresh shitake mushrooms @$3.79, celery hearts @$3.79, yellow mustard @$0.99, 1 box saltines @$1.99, 1 pkg Tofurky beer brats @$2.99, 1 can Manwich Sloppy Joe @$0.99

all divided by 2…


Days 16, 17, 18

Breakfasts & Lunches

Consisted of coffee and leftovers; Exciting Stuff. I will leave yesterday’s lunch for last. After all, we save the best for last, right?? I learned this when I was like 4, so I’m stickin’ with it.



10/16:  Let’s call this:

The Po’ Man’s Not Clams Nor Chowder


Heat oil in a stock pot. Add 1 chopped onion, Tbs dry parsley, 1/4 tsp pepper, salt, old bay seasoning (for a fish-haters “fishiness”, or add nori for fish-lovers fishiness), and tsp celery seed, until onion is translucent. Add 1 bunch chopped celery, 5 oz chopped fresh shitakes, 4 med chopped white potatoes, and 6 c broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cook 10-15 min until potatoes are tender. Remove 1/2 c water, whisk in 1 1/2 Tbs corn starch, pour back in simmering soup. Add 3 c spinach, 2 Tbs ketchup, and 2 Tbs lemon juice. Cook 5-10 more min to allow flavors to meld. Serve with saltines.

This was inspired by Isa’s new recipe/video:


10/17:     Sloppy Joes


So effing good.


1 clove garlic

2 carrots

1 onion

2 stalks celery

1 tsp salt

1 can Manwich sauce

1 cup beef flavored TVP

1 cup water



Saute garlic, carrots, onion, celery, salt for 10 minutes. Add Manwich sauce, TVP, water. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the mixture is thick/not watery. Serve on a bed of coleslaw on broiled buttered toast.
half a bag of shredded cabbage/carrots
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Vegenaise
1 tsp salt
blend cabbage/carrots into small bits. Mix with remaining ingredients. Chill before serving.


10/18 and 10/19:     Tofurky Beer Brats, Fried Cabbage and Potatoes



eh, figure it out yourself. It’s worth it!

10/19 for Lunch!

The Red Fern!

I had:


Chicken Salad with Sweet Potato Salad. Yums.

… and my boss had:


Sausage Quesadillas



a steak compost plate.

You.Must.Go.Here. We also had the mint oreo cookie cake. It was hands down the best cake I have ever had in my entire life. I didn’t get a pic because I couldn’t stop eating it! Go! Now! Here’s the menu! Place your orders!

redfernmenu redfernmenu2


Day 12: New Vegan Stuff in Rochester!

First off, in case you haven’t heard, there is a new ALL VEGAN restaurant in town called The Red Fern! I haven’t been there yet, but I have heard the food is amazing. The website is still under construction at this point. I have a feeling we will be there on November 1st once this food budget is done!

The second awesome announcement is about fast food! Mighty Taco in Henrietta knows what vegan means and they want our money! The word Vegan is on their menus! Have you ever seen such a thing?? How cool would it be if other restaurants, like maybe Taco Bell, would follow suit? I’m sure you’ve heard the overly publicized news that Chipotle is working on de-bacon-fatting their refried beans in all locations, too… exciting stuff!


Check it out!

Top: in-store menu, green box, top right

Bottom Left: drive-thru menu, green box, left center

bottom Right:  close-up of drive-thru menu, last item “Garden Burrito” with the word vegan next to it!


Do you see?!?

So yeah. Today was a terrible day for saving. Sure, I could have had a burrito and walked away, but I wanted to know if the guacamole was vegan, you know, for research purposes. So, after asking the cashier to see the ingredients list I had to order chips and a drink. It all sounded perfectly logical at the time, until my bill came to $7.14.


My friends have been here a few times and loved this stuff. Maybe we just had a crappy burrito-artist today, but ours was just okay. The chips were fine for prepackaged chips, but the guacamole was slimy and gross. My advice is to save your money and stick with just the burrito… or go to Taco Bell…. or make your own. I don’t know… the tortilla wrap itself was pretty good. Maybe it will be better the next go round.

Trying out a new restaurant was fun either way. We don’t normally do the whole fast food thing, and it was pretty funny to be standing in front of the drive-thru speaker snapping pics.

As much fun as that was, it’s Saturday. The weather is beautiful and we all know this is not going to last much longer. I wanted to do moooore. We tried doing outdoorsy things… took the foster dog out for a walk at Ellison and tried to whore him out to the highest bidder… no luck. So, what is there for a cash-strapped couple to to do on a Saturday in Rochester, NY? Why, Movies 10 of course!

As I’m sure everyone is aware, Movies 10 only charges $2/ticket max to see second-run movies. Second-run movies are basically first-run movies these days, so this is a steal. We saw This Is The End. It was thoroughly entertaining… totally worth $2 and then some.


Day 12:

Starting Cash:     $119.93

Spent:     $9.14*  (ouch)

Ending Cash:     $110.79

*It looks like we’ll be eating our creativity the rest of the week.



1 Garden Burrito, Chip Strips, Guac, and a Cherry Pepsi @$7.14, 1 Movies 10 ticket @$2.00



  • black coffee


  • Burrito, Chips, Drink (couldn’t eat the guac)


  • MorningStar Chik’n Griller on Ezekiel toast with onions and bbq sauce
  • Steamed broccoli with hot sauce

day 12

Day 10: $160 Challenge

Day 10:

Beginning Cash:     $129.50

Spent:     $5.79

Ending Cash:     $123.71



1 box Blueberry Waffles @$1.79, Split 1/2 tip @$4



coffee with rice milk.


4 waffles.


We used those gift cards for The Olive Garden. The waitress assured us there was no egg or dairy in the bread sticks, salad, or pasta. The vegetarian minestrone does not contain cheese, but still somehow comes with a dairy allergy warning, as does the Italian dressing. I got the unlimited salad and bread sticks with plain oil and vinegar and specially made plain bread sticks. Hubs got the Capellini Pomodoro (plain pasta with marinara) and salad. The food was nothing special, but it was fine; the experience was pleasant. We probably won’t go back, only because Rochester has so many more exciting options! We split the $8 tip. Dinner was free with gift cards.

day 11

Day 9: $160 Challenge =(a day behind)=

So yeah. I have been slacking on the blog a bit. This blog post is  for yesterday. I have also seriously been slacking on schoolwork this term. My entire day off Tuesday was spent burning Halloween music for work… for fun. I was determined to be productive yesterday. The library opened at 9AM and I was there, slacking off, all day. But first, in trying to avoid losing morning momentum, I opted for Starbucks drive-thru over using the espresso maker at home. I thought I still had money on my card. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough to cover it… so, I also bought 2 Luna bars.


Day 9:

Starting Cash:     $132.95

Spent:     $3.45

Ending Cash:     $129.50

I’m up $16.03. Not bad! That should at least cover the gas for an outing.



1 Venti Blonde Roast, $1.47 after prepaid card was applied, 1 Caramel Nut Brownie Luna bar @$0.99, 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Luna bar @$0.99


v— I’m sure you can guess what I had for:


Hint: it was everything mentioned so far in this post.

I think I’m over the whole Luna bar thing now. *tummy ache*


  • leftover couscous and this particular chili.


The Bearded Lady on Food Face plates!

  • Chickpea Cutlets (Can you tell I am a big fan of the Veganomicon?)
  • Roasted Vanilla Carrots


Roasted Vanilla Carrots


2 large carrots (this is all we had left; adjust recipe as needed)

1 Tbs vegan margarine

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. maple syrup

sprinkle o’ salt


Preheat oven to 400. Wash carrots. Mix vanilla and maple in a small bowl. Spread margarine on carrots and place in a small bread pan and sprinkle with salt. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and pour vanilla maple on carrots. Bake another 20 minutes, turning carrots every 10 minutes to evenly coat.

Her beard is maple mustard. Her hair is BBQ sauce. Ain’t she purdy?

day 10

Day 8: $160 Challenge

$0 spent! Easy to do when ya don’t leave the house. High five?

We actually had a lot of food choices here. I could have had oatmeal with my bananas and rice milk. I could have had beans on toast. I could have had chickpea salad, noodle soup, or made cutlets with the 1/4 box or so left of vital wheat gluten.


I had 2 plain Boca chicken patties and a Lara bar that was stowed in the fridge a few weeks ago after the Buffalo Dirty Girl Mud Run.

I did make a healthy dinner, though. 😀





Couscous is by far my favorite pasta. We topped this with a hybrid of something like chili and a Mediterranean lima bean dish from the Veganomicon. I’m going to call it… Chili! Clever, right?

Oh yeah, remember how I said we were out of TVP? I was wrong. Clearly, we need to clean out the pantry.


This Particular Chili (tasted better than the name implies).


2 med onions, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 lg can whole tomatoes, manually crushed and/or chopped

1 regular sized can each black and kidney beans (or whatever beans you like)

1/2 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp oregano,

1/2 tsp thyme, salt, pepper

2 Tbs chili powder

1 Rapunzel bouillon

1/2 c TVP (we used beef style)

… and these last 3 ingredients make this chili special …

pinch nutmeg

2 Tbs red wine vinegar

1 Tbs maple syrup


Saute onions in oil in soup pot. Add everything. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cover for 40 minutes. Serve on couscous.


Day 7: $160 Challenge

I fell asleep at 9:30 last night before I had a chance to blog. It was a long day…

Anyway, I have realized that I will need to start saving my pennies if I’m actually going to do anything fun this month. We have $45 worth of gift cards to Olive Garden and some steakhouse restaurant… yeah. We’ve had those for awhile… not the most exciting choice for a vegan, but it’s an option. I’m not going to lie. It is a little fun to be creative in finding menu items in non-vegan restaurants, but after the tip we won’t have really saved much by using these gift cards anyway.

My goal is to save enough to go wine tasting. It has kind of become a Halloween tradition. The tasting fees can add up, but it is relatively inexpensive. The hardest part is tasting and leaving without making a larger purchase. I can feel the person behind the bar watching us as we walk away and imagine them muttering something along the lines of “cheap bastards.” I know it’s all in my head, but still maybe we’ll aim for larger establishments…


Day 7:

Starting Cash:     $136.43

Spent:     $3.48   I can do better than this.

Ending Cash:     $132.95



1 Luna Bar @$0.99, 1 Amy’s Black Bean Burrito @$2.49


  • Peanut butter banana smoothie

and that was the last of the peanut butter. 😦


  • Luna Bar
  • Burrito
  • Candy


  • Pasta with Gardein meatballs and marinara sauce with a sprinkle of nooch.


The meatballs were from my boss. She didn’t like them. I thought they tasted like liquorice… maybe too much anise or fennel? I like that they are nice and big [resist urge to make childish joke], but prefer Nate’s or Gimme Lean.

The marinara sauce was just a basic sauce made from 1 large can crushed tomatoes; garlic powder; dried oregano, basil, thyme, and crushed red pepper; salt & pepper.

The pasta was Wegmans Foglie di Ulivo. I’m not really a big pasta eater. This stuff has been sitting in the pantry for months. I have this habit of buying things like jams, and nail polish, and then never eat, or wear, them. I like pretty things. This pasta is pretty. Don’t judge me.


Day 6: $160 Challenge


My poor dogs hated the stormy weather we had this morning, but our household was officially out of any kind of non-pickled vegetable. Shopping today could not be avoided. We peeled off the stage-five clingers and pooled our resources. I think we did a stupendous job if I do say so myself. *pats back*


Day 6:

Starting Cash:     $141.46

Spent:     $5.01     $5.03

Ending Cash:     $136.45     $136.43



This is tricky. We put $10.06 worth of food in our basket and split it into 2 $5 piles at check out. Well, my pile came to $5.01. Call me a cheater all you want, but I only get to eat half of that food… okay, fine. I’ll give hubs 2 cents. There, I just edited the “Spent” amount for the day. Happy?

We bought:

2 russet potatoes @$1.34, 2 lbs onions @$1.99, 1 lb carrots @$1.29, 1 quart vanilla rice beverage @$1.69, 1 can chickpeas @$0.59, 1 can kidney beans @$0.59, 1 can black beans @$0.59, 2 lg cans tomatoes @$1.98.

All divided by 2.



  • Black coffee and
  • a smoothie (!!! The crowd goes wild! In my head…) made from 1 frozen banana, 2 c Wegmans organic rice beverage, and 2 Tbsp peanut butter… totally worth the wait.


I could just say:

  • mock duck

But, you know you want the long version. If not, skip the next paragraph.

Probably every 2-3 weeks or so my husband decides to chop up and saute a can of mock duck for lunch the next day. It’s always mock duck and it’s always really late at night. Hey, we all have our quirks. A few nights ago during one of these quirks, he made me a small container of mock duck and onions to bring for work the next day. Unfortunately, there was too much candy and pizza to eat that day and the duck has been in the fridge waiting for consumption ever since… until today.


  • Vegetable-Burger Soup
  • Ezekiel toast with earth balance and a sprinkle of garlic powder.

day6day 6


Vegetable-Burger Soup


1 tsp garlic powder

2 med onions, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

2 russet potatoes, chopped

2 cubes Rapunzel bouillon

2 original vegan Boca burgers, chopped

parsley, thyme, s&p to taste


In a soup pot, saute garlic powder (we ran out of garlic) and onion in a little oil over med heat. Add carrots, potatoes, bouillon, herbs, s&p, and 5 c water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally for 20 minutes. Once the veggies are tender, stir in Boca burgers. Cook 2 minutes, then serve.


*I should have mentioned before now that I am not very good at recipes. Knowing this information makes it obvious why I am a terrible baker. I am much better at the taste-and-go method. This soup also ended up with bits and pieces of liquid smoke, jarred jalapeno juice, smoked paprika, dried rosemary, cooking sherry, bread crumbs, bac’n bits, and old bay seasoning. 


Of course, it turned out delicious. 😉

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