Thursday, March 27, 2014

The (cooking out of the) Cabinet Challenge

Husband and I moved to Germany for two reasons; international work experience AND to see as much as Europe as possible. Even though we see more of the office then we do of the continent, every other month or so we try to take a trip someplace new. To keep the expenses in check, we spend many weekends that we are not traveling low key and on a budget. You might have heard me mention before that we only eat out once a weekend if that... Back in Texas we were eating out at least three times a week. (OH, and we gained weight doing that)

In three weeks we will be taking one of our big trips of the year. During Easter break (we get a week off), Husband and I are making a whirlwind roadtrip of Italy.We are planning to spend a few days in Pisa, Rome, Sorrento, and Florence. Mama Mia! (Must find my stretch pants....) With the anticipated costs of museums, dinners on the coast, and 8 nights of hotel stays right now we are living stricter than normal.
Easter 2013 in Venice

While Husband is a bit more self disciplined when it comes to spending than I am, this past weekend I had a great idea. Each Saturday we spend anywhere from 40-80 Euros at the grocery store. That is about $60-$120 a week in food. You might think this is an okay amount but I knew we could do better. So I came up with..."The (cooking out of the) Cabinet Challenge".

In the States most households have an entire pantry the size of a closet dedicated to food space. Here, our kitchen has a tiny cabinet above the oven that holds our dry items. The cabinet is a small, yet deep space that seems to have a black hole where food items get forgotten when pushed too far into the back. Climbing up on a chair, I decided to take inventory of our cabinet.

Here is what I found deep inside the dark depths of the cabinet:
-green beans
-Rudy's BBQ sauce
-Fritos (horded from January's flight out of Washington D.C.)
Now you can see how items get "lost" in our cabinet.

Inside the refrigerator and beyond I came across:
-bell peppers

I realized we had so much food already! Then I decided we should eat what we have instead of spending another 80 Euros on unnecessary groceries. To see what items Husband and I could use this week during our dinners, I came up with this menu:

With this menu, Husband only had to buy 4 items at the grocery store to last us the entire week! He bought ground beef, chicken, tomato sauce, and milk. Our grand total for food this week was...

6 Euros!

Remember when I said Husband is more disciplined with spending than I am? Well, this is the perfect example. Less than 24 hours after Husband's 6 Euro grocery bill we went out to eat... Let's face it, who can resist good friends and Sunday brunch?

Ruffini's is a Co-Op restaurant in Munich with amazing coffee and cakes!

Make Life Beautiful,

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