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Monday, March 23, 2015

Updates on my grocery spending for the month (and making a dozen eggs last for all of the cooking for a week)

My pantry and freezer are looking so clean these days. You can actually see the pantry floor again! And we can make ice in the freezer, once more, with the new-found freezer space.

Last week, I bought 4 heads of cabbage and 1 quart of soy milk. I had run through most of my soy milk. My thoughts were to just not buy more, but that would mean I'd be left out of any baked goods and no milk for my oatmeal and granola. I chose to buy 1 quart and make it last for the remaining days of March.

The cabbage will add to the carrots in the fridge, canned tomato products and pumpkin, frozen fruits and spinach, and fresh kale, watercress and herbs in the garden, for our produce needs.

The cabbage was 49 cents per pound, not as great a price as many areas were seeing for St. Patrick's Day, but an okay price for our area. I did make sure to choose heads whose outer leaves looked to be in good enough condition for eating, so I wouldn't have to throw those outer leaves out. (You know what I mean? Sometimes the outer leaves look bruised and discolored, not very appetizing.)

I have just a couple of dollars left in the budget for March. Which, while not awesome, is something. Even if I do go over, it won't be a substantial amount, as in previous months. I can see that I am catching up.

However . . .

I'm down to my last dozen eggs. I expect to find eggs on sale the week before Easter, likely at Walgreen's, as in past years. So, I just need to make these 12 eggs last through all the cooking of the next week.

Here's my basic egg-sparing plan:
  • use egg substitutes when baking (here's the basic guide that I follow for egg substitution)
  • change my own breakfast routine (having something other than eggs for breakfast)
  • prepare fewer family entrees that are egg heavy, such as frittatas and quiche, and have more bean-based vegetarian entrees this week (for our vegetarian nights)
  • skip the egg (as a binder) when making bean burgers this week
How's it working out?

On Friday, I had wanted to make waffles or pancakes for breakfast, but decided on oatmeal instead, saving eggs, milk and white flour (yes, low on white flour, too). I've been thinking about oatmeal all week anyway, so not a sacrifice to have that instead of pancakes or waffles.

Then on Saturday, I still wanted waffles, so I made a batch with 1 egg instead of 2, plus an egg substitute for the missing egg, and mostly whole wheat flour. I used 1/4 cup of pureed, cooked oatmeal in the batter, to add moisture, plus 1 teaspoon additional baking powder (actually, baking powder substitute). They were delicious, and it was completely unnoticeable that I used 1 egg when the recipe called for 2.

My daughters are making hot dog buns this weekend, wanting to use a recipe that called for an egg in the dough. They weren't happy, at first (but got over it quickly), but I nixed that recipe, and suggested one that didn't call for eggs.

It just seems to me, that when eggs are in short supply, baked goods and quick breads are the least effective way to use the eggs, when there are several egg substitutes available. It makes more sense to use the eggs where the eggs are noticed, such as egg salad, deviled eggs, topping for a potato salad, or boiled, pickled and sliced as a side dish on a dinner plate.

Just trying to hang in there with the eggs, until they go on sale, hopefully in a little over a week from now. I would just hate to spend $2 for a dozen eggs just a day or two before they go on sale, in order to use just 1 or 2 of a new carton of eggs.



  1. Good morning Lili!! You could sub mayo for eggs in your baked goods. I can't remember seeing mayo on your shopping lists, but it is just an idea!! Have a great week!!

    1. Hi Lona,
      Thanks for reminding me! I've used mayo before. It's a good moisture additive/substitute for eggs. About 1/4 cup for each egg. I usually add a little extra baking powder as the leaven, when using mayo. Right now, I'm out of mayo, so am using other substitutes off of my list.

      Hope your week is wonderful! Monday is off to a good start, here!

  2. I am completely out of eggs too, and refuse to pay more than the average $2 per dozen. Egg prices have creeped up recently, even at Costco, so we are choosing to do without. I read your blog post about egg substitutions and find it very informative and helpful. After all, why should we adhere to recipes so strictly...when I compare recipes for the same dish, the ingredients vary so widely, that just tells me I can put my own spin on recipes too. Now that we are semi retired, I have more time than money, and being creative in the kitchen is one of my goals. .
    This weekend I did not do the usual catch the sales routine. Not even to our neighborhood stores for a few sale items. I spent the usual couple hours reading the Sunday sales ads and printing coupons, then after all was done, I looked at my shopping list and talked myself out of going. Usually in the past, I would feel upset to have wasted my time, so end up going, but now I look at the bottom line monthly spend as the more important consideration. Thanks to your blog!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      I don't think it was a waste of time, at all. I see the time invested in checking ads/coupons as informational. You were gathering info on what you want to pay for specific items. And in this case, you decided that there was nothing you felt fell in your price range for those items.

      So often, we feel we need concrete results from our time invested in doing these frugal activities, such as a bag of groceries. But if these were all items you could do without, or buy at a lower price point at some time, then you just saved yourself money and time shopping.

      A good for instance/comparison. Let's say you were out shopping for a new car, hitting all the local car lots. And let's say you spent a good full day doing this. If, in the end, you surmised that your old car could last another 2-3 years, before replacing, with minimal repair costs, then your time spent going to car lots wasn't a waste of your time, but in the end a money-saver, as you could delay that new car purchase a few years. Your time spent looking around was information-gathering time.

      Large companies do this sort of thing all the time. If a corporation was in the business of acquiring properties, then they'd spend a lot of time in the investigation process. And they often choose not to make an acquisition, as it's not a good deal for that moment.

      I think you came to the same conclusion, as I'm illustrating, here. I'm just putting your situation into a couple of different scenarios, for perspective. :-)

      And for the eggs, especially when we are so close to finding eggs on sale right now, it seems silly to me to rush out and buy a dozen, when substitutes abound, and I can wait 1 little week to stock up on eggs, once more!

    2. Good points and very well reasoned. I had never thought of looking at sales ads as information gathering but you are right. Just that I take way too long organizing my coupons and looking at the ads. Coupling can be a huge time waster sometimes.


    3. Not coupling but couponing!! Sorry kindle fire one finger touchscreen typing.


  3. We are all in the same boat! I'm also out of eggs and holding out until a sale comes up. I do have quite a few egg whites that I'm using to limp along until a sale appears.

    1. Hi Ruthie,
      Maybe it isn't merely coincidence, but maybe egg-sale timing? The last I saw eggs on sale was in early/mid February. I bought 12 dozen eggs, I think. Maybe the length of time between eggs sales is longer than I think it will be. So I don't buy quite as many as I need, to get from one sale to the next.

      Anyways, there should be eggs on sale next week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter. Good luck stretching those egg whites!

  4. We are out of eggs also. We are going to the egg hatchary to get our eggs. Last time we had ungraded eggs for $5.50 / dozen that is Canadian dollar.
    It was a good deal. I am looking forward to peewee eggs coming the beginning of next month. At $0.79 / dozen a very good deal!

    1. Hi Deb,
      that sounds very interesting. How did you find out about your local hatchery? And how do you know about peewee eggs, in advance? Are peewee eggs similar to "small" eggs, as far as grading goes?

      I know of a couple of neighbors who keep hens. I suppose if I get desperate, I could ask to buy 1 or 2 eggs from one of these neighbors.

    2. Our home, formerly our cottage, went right by the hatchery. Luckily they have a store front, and we started buying eggs every time we went by. You can ask at the hatchery to find out when the peewees start. They are smaller than small and are one of the signs that summer is on the way. They don't last long and then they are gonge. Perhaps they are from the new rookie layers!?

    3. Thanks for the info, Deb. I'll start hunting around, here. This is very helpful information. Again, thanks!

  5. Is the entire world out of eggs and waiting for the Easter sales? I am down to 5 eggs so they are being treated like gold. I really hope the sales this week have eggs?

    1. Hi Anne,
      it sure does look that way, doesn't it? Hoping for eggs on sale near you soon!
      Gold is right! In our house, you need special permission to use an egg! LOL!

  6. You might even be able to barter. We only have one old hen left but sometimes with several hens you have more eggs than you can use.
    Really enjoy your blog.

    1. Hi Patti,
      that's an excellent idea, and one I'll try! Thanks!


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