Author Topic: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)  (Read 1079 times)

Radagast

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Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« on: January 27, 2019, 08:33:54 PM »
I recently saw it stated in this forum that two adults with full time jobs would not be able to both cook their own food and also get it without using a car, and anyone who thought otherwise should try it for a month. I accepted the challenge. My goal is to cook every meal and also walk to get the food to cook it, no matter what the weather does. I will also track costs and take photos. I am starting a little early even though the challenge says February. Feel free to join in if you want.

I work a full time ordinary day job 8:00-5:00 (I try to arrive a little early and leave a little late), and walk 1.7 miles each way to get there, though I slack off a lot on that and drive the vehicle when it is available and the weather is bad or I didn't sleep well. Dear Wife works a full time night shift job of 3 X 12 hours, with occasional extra shifts, in addition to being a student working on the final two years of her BSN degree. Obviously she is the busier and tireder one.

I am fortunate to live within a mile of three grocery stores: a discount grocer which is about 0.8 miles away as my primary store, a Mexican store ("carniceria") that has limited selection and higher prices but is only two minutes away, and a perfectly OK chain that appeals to people who want the image of themselves as people who shop there which so far I have only been to once and that was by driving. My neighborhood would best be described as "working class" and is about half Hispanic.  Last week I saw a family with children walking with bags of groceries in hand along my route. Today I saw a couple with a stroller, and a 6-7 year old kid checked out a bag of Ruffles by himself behind me and a few minutes later whizzed past me on a scooter with a backpack, so I think I should be able to handle this.

Radagast

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2019, 08:45:39 PM »
Here are the first two trips. I forgot an ingredient and the carniceria didn’t have it so I had to make the trip twice.

I am already liking this walking thing, I think it will improve my food efficiency. Before I guess about half my trips to the store were on foot but they only counted for 10% of diet because we could always get the big items by car. Already I have seen that the prospect of carrying things home in bags will cut out unneeded items and keep me focused on reducing food waste. It will be especially good at killing things like alcohol and canned flavored water.

Oops second receipt came out wrong It had butter 3.99 and canned tomatoes 1.99.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 08:49:19 PM by Radagast »

Radagast

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2019, 08:56:47 PM »
This is what I made first
https://www.budgetbytes.com/can-eat-cabbage-soup/
My version has lots of changes based on availability and so that I could use all the ingredients. I also toasted cheese on bread (whole wheat, $0.99/loaf, no sugar). Oh and I added dried red chili peppers. We rarely eat a meal that is not mildly through insanely spicy.
If that seems just a little too... I am not sure what word I am looking for... like a platitude... I completely agree. Usually our cooking has been less stereo-typically "mustachian." I made it for the first time last week and it sorta kicked ass. DW agrees we need more vegetables in our diet and this week's batched was pretty amazing as well, so I now have a mandate to make it every week. Score!

My trick and reason for making this in the first place is an $0.99 per 14 oz bag of shredded cabbage and carrots. It would be a lot of work to chop cabbage otherwise. I had been looking at those bags whenever I went shopping for weeks thinking "is there something I could do with that? This batch made a lot and this meal will be repeated for a few days unless otherwise noted.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 09:04:10 PM by Radagast »

Tass

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2019, 09:26:03 PM »
Congrats on your undertaking!

I intend to eat at restaurants 1-2 times in February, so I can't say that I'm taking the challenge, but we are two adults with full-time jobs who cook 98% of our own meals and exclusively walk to the grocery store (0.4 miles away, with occasional long trips to Trader Joe's). I mean, this is generously counting occasional quesadillas or granola in yogurt as cooked meals, but at least we didn't pay someone else to prepare them. For added complexity, we share a kitchen with another couple who work full time and do a fair bit of cooking.

My partner does drive to work, so we haven't reached Peak Mustachian. But regardless, this is definitely doable!

Radagast

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2019, 10:04:34 PM »
Congrats on your undertaking!

I intend to eat at restaurants 1-2 times in February, so I can't say that I'm taking the challenge, but we are two adults with full-time jobs who cook 98% of our own meals and exclusively walk to the grocery store (0.4 miles away, with occasional long trips to Trader Joe's). I mean, this is generously counting occasional quesadillas or granola in yogurt as cooked meals, but at least we didn't pay someone else to prepare them. For added complexity, we share a kitchen with another couple who work full time and do a fair bit of cooking.

My partner does drive to work, so we haven't reached Peak Mustachian. But regardless, this is definitely doable!
I fully expect to fail at this challenge at least once ;) Maybe a restaurant, maybe DW insists on stopping at the store in the car, maybe both. And quesadillas absolutely count as cooking. As far as I concerned whole apples eaten straight count. As you say it is more like “do all your own food preparation or lack thereof.”

Severian

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2019, 10:28:01 PM »
I recently saw it stated in this forum that two adults with full time jobs would not be able to both cook their own food and also get it without using a car, and anyone who thought otherwise should try it for a month. I accepted the challenge. My goal is to cook every meal and also walk to get the food to cook it, no matter what the weather does. I will also track costs and take photos. I am starting a little early even though the challenge says February. Feel free to join in if you want.

Hmm, I suppose it depends on where you live, and if you have children. But I cook all my own food and don't have a car, in an area where not having a car is quite unusual, but not impossible. It's worth noting that Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target will deliver all sorts of dry and canned goods, so all I really have to fit in my backpack is perishables. I only need to go to the grocery store once every week or two for those. I don't usually walk, because the grocery store is about 3 hilly miles from my house, but there's a bus that stops a bit less than a mile from my house. I'll join you in this challenge in the sense that I'll keep doing what I generally do ;).

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2019, 11:12:01 PM »
I'd normally be totally in for this challenge, as our two main grocery stores are about 1 mile from my house, and Walmart is 1 mile in the other direction...but we've had a nasty winter, and our sidewalk/street maintenance is terrible, so walking on ice packed sidewalks with bags of groceries is not practical during Jan/Feb. I am injured right now, or I'd bike like I normally do for groceries...I'll totally try this challenge when the sidewalks/streets are clear though!

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2019, 04:44:40 AM »
-50 tomorrow with wind chill so I will be more than willing to do this in another month or two! Will be following along though!

Gardo

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2019, 09:17:15 AM »
Ah heyl no!  I'd keep my health during Winter weather by driving.  But I do like the idea of cooking even if it means grilling in the back freezing every now and then. 
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 09:19:11 AM by Gardo »

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2019, 09:23:10 AM »
I like it.  And I'm super jealous that you have a tienda close by.  I rarely make specific trips for groceries (and by rarely I mean having to go because DH has eaten something that I bought specifically for a recipe).  I usually just swing by and pickup my order on my way home from work, which I pretty much have to have a car for anyway. 

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2019, 12:19:04 PM »
This is a big one for me. My food choices can be horrendous and I always cite busyness as the cause. Lately I've been doing well with healthy microwave meals (lost some pounds as well). But I can't keep doing microwave meals forever. They're a bit expensive and it's a lot of single use plastic. I need to switch to meal prep. So I'm in.

As for getting it myself: 3 supermarkets close by, 1/2 mile east (closest), 3/4 mile north (closest to my work commute) and 1 mile west (biggest + by the gym). In short: plenty of options. I do most of my shopping by bike anyway, unless I have multiple bulky things. Next month will be a good challenge to do everything by bike.

Radagast

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2019, 09:16:23 PM »
I recently saw it stated in this forum that two adults with full time jobs would not be able to both cook their own food and also get it without using a car, and anyone who thought otherwise should try it for a month. I accepted the challenge. My goal is to cook every meal and also walk to get the food to cook it, no matter what the weather does. I will also track costs and take photos. I am starting a little early even though the challenge says February. Feel free to join in if you want.

Hmm, I suppose it depends on where you live, and if you have children. But I cook all my own food and don't have a car, in an area where not having a car is quite unusual, but not impossible. It's worth noting that Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target will deliver all sorts of dry and canned goods, so all I really have to fit in my backpack is perishables. I only need to go to the grocery store once every week or two for those. I don't usually walk, because the grocery store is about 3 hilly miles from my house, but there's a bus that stops a bit less than a mile from my house. I'll join you in this challenge in the sense that I'll keep doing what I generally do ;).
I am pretty fortunate now to live in a location with warm weather (well, the locals call it cold, and it is, sorta...but not really ...) and nearly flat terrain between me and the store. That said I am feeling pretty motivated right now! Even my former colder hillier location couldn't stop me now.

Ah heyl no!  I'd keep my health during Winter weather by driving.  But I do like the idea of cooking even if it means grilling in the back freezing every now and then. 
Well half a challenge is better than no challenge ;)

Radagast

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2019, 09:20:21 PM »
I like it.  And I'm super jealous that you have a tienda close by.  I rarely make specific trips for groceries (and by rarely I mean having to go because DH has eaten something that I bought specifically for a recipe).  I usually just swing by and pickup my order on my way home from work, which I pretty much have to have a car for anyway.
Gotta be honest though its best two characteristics are convenience and flan.

If I had to drive to work anyhow I can see how it would be ridiculous to not stop at the store that I drive right past anyhow.

This is a big one for me. My food choices can be horrendous and I always cite busyness as the cause. Lately I've been doing well with healthy microwave meals (lost some pounds as well). But I can't keep doing microwave meals forever. They're a bit expensive and it's a lot of single use plastic. I need to switch to meal prep. So I'm in.

As for getting it myself: 3 supermarkets close by, 1/2 mile east (closest), 3/4 mile north (closest to my work commute) and 1 mile west (biggest + by the gym). In short: plenty of options. I do most of my shopping by bike anyway, unless I have multiple bulky things. Next month will be a good challenge to do everything by bike.
Nice, welcome to the challenge! Are you from the Netherlands? And if so do miles hurt your head?

Radagast

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2019, 09:28:27 PM »
I just returned from the store with
3 lb apples $2.98
1 loaf bread $0.99
I was passed by a hardy looking dude on a bicycle with bags from some other establishment. And a couple other people on foot, but I usually just comment on one at a time. I eschewed a grocery bag and walked with the bread bag in one hand and the apple bag in the other.

Today we finished the cabbage soup.

For lunch I have been eating free terrible work coffee, free to me bulk whole leaf green tea, raw walnuts, and whatever food I come across in the office. On Monday that was sandwiches and cake, and on Friday I often score donuts. I skip breakfast unless otherwise mentioned. So if you do not see me mention those two meals that is why. I think DW often buys $2 soups and sometimes even breakfast burritos at work, but she is not a full participant in the challenge.

Radagast

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2019, 08:05:51 PM »
Finished soup two days ago. Now onto “things on toast”.

Yesterday:
Layer thin sausage slices, tomato slices, green chilies, (and mushrooms but I forgot them) on bread and cover with cheese slices. Bake at 350 for 30 min. Had to be fast.

Today: Mix drained tuna, dill pickle, chopped onion, mayonnaise and fill sandwiches, also put in slices tomato and cheese.  Butter both sides of sandwiches. Bake 12 minutes at 350, flip and bake 15 minutes. Fast and good.

Out of bread now.

Tass

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2019, 11:16:45 AM »
My favorite cookbook, Good and Cheap, has a whole section for Things On Toast. My favorite is peas, lemon, and parmesan.

Good and Cheap: https://cookbooks.leannebrown.com/good-and-cheap.pdf

Radagast

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2019, 07:00:40 PM »
My favorite cookbook, Good and Cheap, has a whole section for Things On Toast. My favorite is peas, lemon, and parmesan.

Good and Cheap: https://cookbooks.leannebrown.com/good-and-cheap.pdf
I did download that a while ago... that is probably where I subconsciously got the phrase from. I thought it came from a fiction book... The caramelized onions on toast looks best to be :)

Tass

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2019, 08:27:01 PM »
That one WAS excellent, but you should never believe anyone who tells you you can caramelize onions in 20 minutes... It takes 45 minutes minimum.

Radagast

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2019, 08:03:40 PM »
On Friday the first official day of the challenge my wife was beginning 6 days off and went shopping and did the cooking. I thought the challenge was over but was surprised to learn she walked to the Asian grocery store. I did not record the receipt. She made Bok Choy and noodles Friday, pork and celery yesterday, and tofu with Chinese chives this morning. Unfortunately on Saturday we also to the car to meet her friend at a restaurant where they did a homework assignment together, setting us back one soup and three drinks. I guess if it was easy it would not be a challenge....

She is not feeling well so now it is my turn tonight. I walked to the store in rain and sleet which is fine by me as I stay warm and have a rain jacket. But it was the first time I saw nobody else walking there.

That one WAS excellent, but you should never believe anyone who tells you you can caramelize onions in 20 minutes... It takes 45 minutes minimum.
Giving that one a try right now. It is definitely not a fast or hands off recipe I have been stirring a low and I am not sure the difference between caramelized and burned, my onions seem to be leaning towards the latter.

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2019, 08:45:24 PM »
That one WAS excellent, but you should never believe anyone who tells you you can caramelize onions in 20 minutes... It takes 45 minutes minimum.

Do you listen to The Splendid Table?  They had a segment about "lies perpetuated in the food industry" and the quick caramelized onion myth was one of the big ones....

Tass

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2019, 10:48:15 PM »
That one WAS excellent, but you should never believe anyone who tells you you can caramelize onions in 20 minutes... It takes 45 minutes minimum.

Do you listen to The Splendid Table?  They had a segment about "lies perpetuated in the food industry" and the quick caramelized onion myth was one of the big ones....

Nope... I just tried to caramelize onions in 20 minutes, googled why it wasn't working, and then discovered many articles on the same topic.

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2019, 08:53:43 AM »
That one WAS excellent, but you should never believe anyone who tells you you can caramelize onions in 20 minutes... It takes 45 minutes minimum.

Do you listen to The Splendid Table?  They had a segment about "lies perpetuated in the food industry" and the quick caramelized onion myth was one of the big ones....

Nope... I just tried to caramelize onions in 20 minutes, googled why it wasn't working, and then discovered many articles on the same topic.

You can caramelize onions in the slow cooker, I did that successfully in the past.

Nederstash

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2019, 04:39:01 AM »
This is a big one for me. My food choices can be horrendous and I always cite busyness as the cause. Lately I've been doing well with healthy microwave meals (lost some pounds as well). But I can't keep doing microwave meals forever. They're a bit expensive and it's a lot of single use plastic. I need to switch to meal prep. So I'm in.

As for getting it myself: 3 supermarkets close by, 1/2 mile east (closest), 3/4 mile north (closest to my work commute) and 1 mile west (biggest + by the gym). In short: plenty of options. I do most of my shopping by bike anyway, unless I have multiple bulky things. Next month will be a good challenge to do everything by bike.
Nice, welcome to the challenge! Are you from the Netherlands? And if so do miles hurt your head?

Lol, miles take a second to convert, yes. I am a Dutchie! But I've been in the US a few times so I'm familiar with using miles. Fahrenheit however... that's a pain in the butt. Thanks for the welcome btw! Can't wait to visit the US again (hopefully in October!).

The challenge has been going well I think. I pre-cut a bunch of veggies on Sunday, that's made cooking a lot easier. Also been clearing out my freezer. I was pretty much empty at the end of last year but stuff has accumulated again. Already looking forward to the infamous bell pepper soup that I've stored there. This is really easy to make and freezes well!
https://www.pickuplimes.com/single-post/2018/10/18/Creamy-Coconut-Paprika-Zucchini-Soup

Radagast

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2019, 11:14:54 PM »
That one WAS excellent, but you should never believe anyone who tells you you can caramelize onions in 20 minutes... It takes 45 minutes minimum.

Do you listen to The Splendid Table?  They had a segment about "lies perpetuated in the food industry" and the quick caramelized onion myth was one of the big ones....

Nope... I just tried to caramelize onions in 20 minutes, googled why it wasn't working, and then discovered many articles on the same topic.

You can caramelize onions in the slow cooker, I did that successfully in the past.
By whatever method, my carbonized onions need a lot of improvement, that is for certain.

Radagast

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2019, 11:23:27 PM »
I am pretty bad at keeping a thread going in an organized, interesting, and charismatic way. Once I say the first few things I often find other things to do.

That said, we are still going strong. Wifey bought tortillas and onion from the Mexican store on Monday, by foot because it would take way longer to drive there. No other grocery trips to report. Over the past few days she was cooking so we had tofu with onions, egg fried rice, and Chinese hotpot twice (tofu, mushrooms, greens, lamb, tofu, mushrooms, greens, and others dipped in boiling spices). Breakfast happened a few times with fried eggs and banana milk (which is exactly what it seems like).

Tonight it was my turn again and I went with tuna melt sandwiches again because I had all the ingredients and as usual an hour total including eating time. Tomorrow might be hard because I have no plan for if I need to cook again on short notice. I am sure we will eat at home, just might be odd. If I have a couple hours I have a plan though.

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2019, 08:53:48 PM »
Today DW called off work so I got to make an unplanned meal with plenty of time. I bought ingredients at the Carniceria. This is a family recipe, perhaps ironically.

Brown 1 lb pork cubes on high heat stirring sometimes in tasteless oil, I use canola
Add crumbled red peppers at the beginning
Frantically chop 1 onion and 1/2 garlic and add
Frantically chop 1 green pepper (bell or pasilla) and add
Add ample paprika
Cook a little
Add 8oz tomato sauce 16 oz picante sauce (pace or whatever)
Reduce heat to medium low and let ingredient meld
I made a double recipe
Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste
Serve on tortillas with optional refried  beans

Radagast

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Re: Cook Your Own Food February (and get it without a car)
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2019, 08:57:31 PM »
Oh and DW bought oranges and a cake at the store while there on another errand by car. But she is not officially part of the challenge and cake really? But good intentions so I need to like it.