October Week 1: Amateur Mistakes

Week one of my normal life and I make a rookie mistake of not taking stock of my pantry before going to the store, and I didn’t take the half an hour of google magic to plan my week’s menu. Thus while I spent a good ten dollars more than I have in the past few weeks, I have very few dishes that pop to mind. It’s not a complete wash, because I was able to get some things that will be part of some incredibly taste meals in the future. Perhaps the answer is to separate regular groceries from pantry re-stocking?

My major splurge this week was $7.47 I spent on a basil plant, a sage plant, and thyme. I was really into sage butter a month or two ago, and the sage never really recovered. I think one of the biggest headaches is that my balcony is incredibly windy and even after a just few days, the new basil looks rumpled and bedraggled even though the soil is damp.

At Trader Joe’s I purchased:

  • 3 fresh plants for me to murder in the following weeks
  • 2 cans of coconut milk, so I will never have to wait again for Thai noodle soup
  • 1 can of pumpkin, but unfortunately no pumpkin spice for copycat pumpkin spice lattes
  • 1 bag of tortillas
  • 1 brick of part skim mozzarella
  • 1 jar of pineapple salsa
  • 1 jar of olive tapenade
  • 1 box of croissants (I ended up returning the croissants because they didn’t rise and tasted sour. TJ’s customer service is great and I was in and out of the store within five minutes.)

Total: 30.89 26.40groceries

At the farmer’s market, I got
Stall 1:
3 pluots
2 plums
1 peach
Total: 4.50

Stall 2:
1 head of broccoli (in retrospect, that was expensive broccoli)
1 bunch of beets
Total: 3.50

3 zucchini
1 8-ball (round zucchini)
Total: 2.30
Grand Total: 41.19 36.70


This is the first time in a few weeks when I didn’t plan out my menus and I’m already regretting it. A week of quesadillas isn’t appetizing, and I’m a few ingredients short of burritos. What am I supposed to do with that much zucchini? For Saturday’s, I had a chicken quesadilla and chicken breast holds up surprisingly well in the freezer.

What can I make with the ingredients on hand? I’m not currently in the mood for Thai Noodle soup, but I’ll probably change my mind if it rains. I do have some pizza dough in the freezer so I can make zucchini spinach pizza with olive tapenade as the sauce. But I had pizza twice last week. Can one freeze zucchini?

Checking the fridge, I still have loads miso eggplant, most of a bag of spinach, some miscellaneous Chinese veggies from my mom, and the crowning glory: four salted eggs. They are incredibly delicious in rice porridge with fermented tofu and pickles, of which I have neither. Though I’m fairly sure that possessing fermented tofu would not endear me to my roommate.

I have made some amateur mistakes in buying too many veggies (that’s a first) and not having a solid menu in the works. Let’s see how the rest of the week unfurls.


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