$25/Week Grocery Challenge: Week 2

I am now five weeks into my $25/week grocery challenge. I have been photographing what I buy each week. I’ll try to recall what I made each week, but my memory won’t be perfect.

Week 2:
Week 2

Note: You can click on the photo to enlarge it.
Pictured: 1 gallon of milk, 2 cans of potatoes, 2 cans cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, 2 lbs organic onions, 2 lbs smoked pork shoulder, 1 lb ground beef, 2 packets au jus mix, 1 acorn squash, English muffins, 1 large bunch of kale

What I spent: $25.36. I was not the closest without going over. Still, $25.36 is a heckuva lot closer to $25 than my non-challenge grocery budget.

What I made: This totally, horrifyingly junkfoody, slow-cooker salisbury steak recipe. It has almost no redeeming nutritional value but it is so delicious. I made beans ‘n greens with the smoked pork butt. Usually, I make it vegan but I was going for a “New Year’s Eve good luck foods trifecta.” My good luck food is black-eyed peas; my partner’s is pork and cabbage. Mission accomplished. I also made a cream of parsnip soup that was better than either of us expected and turkey soup with rice.

This week’s recipe I’m sharing: Au Jus Gravy Mix
Maybe a need for an au jus mix recipe will never come up for you. It only comes up for us when I make that salisbury steak recipe (my mouth salivates just writing the words “salisbury steak recipe”). But that stuff is $1.39/packet. When I make that recipe I make “double gravy” so I use 2 packets. After Week 2, I thought: This is the future. If someone has cracked the secret recipe for Ecto Cooler, certainly I can find the hidden secrets to the proportions of common ingredients in that over-priced packet. And, I did:

Makes about 1/3 cup mix (each packet is 1 ounce, so weigh out 1 ounce for each packet you need)

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated beef bouillon
2 teaspoons granulated onion bouillon
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch


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