Days 24, 25, 26, 27… Almost there!

I really truly have been trying to keep my diet varied this month, partially to show that vegans have a lot of choices, but mostly because 31 consecutive, identical posts would be pretty freaking boring. Unfortunately, a certain co-worker of mine is forever ordering pizza which makes refraining from eating pizza very difficult! I want it. Also, as I have repeatedly mentioned, Rochester has a new All Vegan (!!!) restaurant. This simply does not happen and the timing could not have been worse for this budget. So, in case you haven’t noticed, we have an ongoing pizza/The Red Fern theme in our food lately.


Days 24, 25, 26, 27:

Starting Cash:     $71.97

Spent:     $15.06

Ending Cash:     $56.91



fresh broccoli @$2.50, 1 head cauliflower @2.99, mushrooms @$2.00, 1 bag shredded lettuce @1.50, Arnold whole wheat pita pockets @$1.99, 1 bag whole grain flat breads @$3.69, Pillsbury whole grain pizza dough @$2.89, 2 cans black olives @$2.58, 1 lg can crushed tomatoes @$0.99, Follow Your Heart Mozzarella @$4.99, Wegmans Don’t Be a Piggy sausage crumbles @$3.99

all divided by 2… because if I didn’t have to share with my hubs it would last twice as long (in case you forgot the logic there).




What breakfast? Coffee sometimes. Candy mostly. It’s Halloween. Leamealone.



So, I may have gotten a $30 tip from a customer that I might have pretended was free money to spend and I could have bought lunch at The Red Fern for a co-worker and myself on Thursday, but I’m not sure if that really happened. If you consider that cheating that I must have dreamt that. It was a really good dream though.

Friday was the stuffing, potato and Tofurkey leftovers meant for Thursday.

Yesterday was pitas stuffed with hummus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and black olives. We each had 2.




…and today was flat bread pizzas with mushrooms and soysauge.


x 2.5



Thursday was pizza with soysage, mushrooms, onions, and black olives. This is why I started this post with a warning. We will try to be more creative for the next few days. Promise.

It is never a good idea to try to make food look pretty when you’re drunk. Also, never stir the cheese into the sauce on a pizza you’re intending to photograph. Lessons learned.


Who wants to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street?


Friday’s dinner was mock duck (from the Asian market) sauteed with onions and Wegmans Buffalo sauce, served on top of buttered corn with seasoning salt. I’m drooling thinking about it. This is not diet food.


*drooly face*


Last night we were pretty full from the 2 huge stuffed pitas for lunch. I wasn’t planning on making anything for diner, but then hubs started getting hungry later at night. We have a ton of cauliflower left, and about half a bag of white potatoes, so I winged a meal and it turned out really good! It was so good that we (mostly he) scarfed it before I thought to take a pic. *sad face*




This Particular Cauliflower and Potato Recipe (tasted better than the name implies)

Preheat oven to 425. Melt margarine in a big pan over med heat (I used a wok). Add ground cumin, coriander, cilantro, a splash or 2 of vinegar, and some curry powder. Throw in 4 or 5 c chopped cauliflower and stir to coat and cook in the flavor for 4-5 min. Dump the cauli onto a baking pan and roast for 45 min or so.

In the meantime, boil water and add 4 chopped medium white potatoes. Boil 15 min or until tender. Drain.

Once the cauli is finished, heat a little marg in the wok to med-high heat. Add potatoes and let them get a little crunchy. Add cauliflower and stir well so seasoning gets on the potatoes. Salt everything and serve.

Today we will likely still be full from the pizza lunch, so I’m just planning on making a big salad with all the leftover veg and shredded lettuce for dinner.


Day 11: $160 Challenge

Day 11:

Beginning Cash:     $123.71

Spent:     $3.78

Ending Cash:     $119.93



Split groceries with the hubs:

1 block firm tofu @$1.79, 1 quart Wegmans rice milk @$1.69, 1 can chickpeas @$0.59, 1 jar peanut butter @$1.69, 1 bunch bananas @$1.08, 8oz. sliced mushrooms @$2.00, fresh broccoli @$1.98, 1 lb carrots @$1.29

minus money from recyclables returned for deposit (keepin’ it classy)…

all divided by 2.



  • black coffee
  • a banana


  • 2 waffles
  • the rest of the bag of Gardein seven grain crispy tenders in the fridge at work


  • tofu scramble
  • toast



Not the most photogenic of foods

This Particular Tofu Scramble (tasted better than the name implies).

Heat oil in a skillet. Add a rinsed and drained block of firm tofu to the hot pan. Chop tofu with a spatula and evenly spread it out in the pan like an omelet. Raise heat to high. Cover the surface of the tofu with garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, nooch, and black salt. Let the bottom of the tofu brown before stirring. Push tofu to the edges of the pan so there is a hole in the center of the pan. Dump a chopped onion, 1 shredded carrot, and a couple of handfuls chopped mushroom into the center of the pan. Press everything down so the bottom will brown. Once the veggies start to sweat, lower heat to med-high. Stir veg together with scramble. Press everything down into pan and wait while it browns more. At this point we stirred in some Vegg, but I think it would have tasted better without.



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. 😉

Day 4: $160 Challenge


At work every year for Halloween I fill a big bowl with candy, fresh fruit, and granola bars to feed unsuspecting customers some vegan goodness. Today, I had to ask my boss if I could take money out of the drawer to buy candy. She said yes. This budget is definitely good for me! …although, I did end up eating candy for lunch… and a slice of pizza that an evil co-worker offered. So, I guess “good for me” could be, maybe, possibly, just a matter of perspective.

I must say, I am pretty lucky to work with not 1, but 2 vegans! And one is my boss! We actually have the non-vegans out-numbered now. I think that is pretty darn sweet.


Day 4

Starting Cash:     $146.22

Spent:     $4.76

Ending Cash: 141.46



12 Taco Shells @1.49, 2 cans Pinto Beans @$0.98, 1 packet Taco Seasoning @$0.79, 1 bag shredded lettuce @$1.50

I should have opted for the 18 shells for $1.99. It’s funny how $0.50 feels like gold these days. Goya beans are on sale at Wegmans for $0.49! If it weren’t for this budget our canned good situation could now have us prepared for the end of the world. Oh good lord, please just lemme shop! It’s a matter of survival!

*deep breath*




I forgot about ma frozen bananas. I was almost late to work…

Instead I just finished up the rice bev with some coffee.


Didn’t we go over this already.

I had candy… and a slice o’ cheeseless veggie pizza.


In case you weren’t paying attention, we had tacos.

We normally use TVP (and seasoning) for the filling, but we’re out, and that stuff is waaaaay too expensive for my current restraints. Instead, I cooked the seasoning into a couple cans of beans that had been dumped into a hot pan filled with sauteed onions and garlic. We are lucky in that we still had leftover salsa and the other package of the 2-pk of Wholly Guacamole that we had used for nachos last week.

day 4

I was starving by dinnertime and ate 6 tacos… one didn’t make the pic.


Keep in mind, my budget is feeding 2 grown adults. If I didn’t have to share with a 30-something, 190 lb, 6’2, and somehow still growing man-boy, these shopping “sprees” could feed me twice the meals.

On the other hand, HIS budget is feeding my booze habit, so we’re kinda even. mmm booze.