Extra-cheap Grocery Week!

Last week, we had almost no money for groceries. (Thank-you Christmas and Summer Holidays!) This is when you “Shop the pantry”,  “Shop the garden”, and “Shop for whatever is in season and there is a glut of,” . This is our weeks menu. I hope you like corn and courgettes!  We’re not vegetarians as you can see by the bacon, but I do find that if we need to live really cheaply that eating veges, especially the home-grown variety is lot more economic!

  1. Corn on the Cob – my husband found 5 corn cobs for NZD$5.00. Nice one. Neither of us was particularly hungry because we’d had a late lunch, so he ate 3 and I ate one, and a piece of bread and butter. Butter is an outrageous price in NZ right now, so it’s spread thin. Still, it was delicious and filling enough. This was a meal my mother used to give us when we were children. Now I know why!
  2. Kumara and Corn Fritters with Bacon and Maple Syrup –This is my go-to recipe for Corn Fritters. We love it.  I wrote about it in another blogpost here. Made completely with things already in the pantry and fridge.
  3. Courgette, Parmesan and Garlic Tart with Green Olive Dressing – This recipe is not for the faint-hearted or those who are time poor. However, it IS delicious! However, by the time you make the pastry, grill the courgettes, roast the pine-nuts, make the herb pesto, and the green-olive dressing it does keep you busy for an hour or two!  I had almost everything for this either in the garden, fridge or freezer, and only had to purchase the Green Olives for about NZD$2.15 and a packet of Pine Nuts. NZD$5.50.  (Used half the packet.)  We ate 2/3 of it for dinner, and the rest for lunch the next day. I made my favourite cheap and easy Pastry Recipe and while it’s not as flakey as bought Flakey Pastry it was still delicious. I prefer pesto without too much oil, so reduced the olive oil amount in the pesto by half. It was really good, especially with all my freshly picked herbs from my own herb garden. I used chives, lemon balm, flat-leaf parsley and mint. Served with garden salad.

4. Sweet Potato, Corn and Black-Bean Hash – For this, the only thing that I had to buy, was a tin (can) of Black Beans. NZD $1.80 It made enough for a lunch as well. I micro-waved a some poppadoms I had in the pantry to eat with it, which made a nice texture change, but some people like it with Tacos, Sour Cream and Chives. I’ll make this again. I halved the amount of cumin, and didn’t put the Jalapenos in because I can’t eat hot and spicy. I might put a bit more cumin in another time, as I couldn’t really taste it with only half.

5. Pesto Pasta – I’d only used half the Pesto I made for the Courgette Tart, and it smelled so delicious, I boiled up some dried Fettucine from in the pantry, and stirred the Pesto through. I added a bit of Olive Oil to make it a bit juicier, and used the last of my grated Parmesan from in the freezer. I served it with salad from the garden. Very tasty!

Another day, a kind neighbour gave us a fish he had caught. Fresh snapper yum, yum!

Day 7, we were helping out/attending a wedding for a lovely couple, who invited us to lunch, so we had a long three-course lunch, and had absolutely no need for dinner that day!

Phew! So we made it through. Did you add up what we paid out for dinners? (and a couple of lunches.)


It takes a bit of time looking through the pantry and checking what you have already, and then looking for recipes which include those things. I was really delighted with our meals and we felt well fed, and healthy afterwards!

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