I will be traveling for a long weekend starting later this week, so I had a shorter week to cook for. I decided to make my friend MK's "Thai-ish salad" that involves chicken, lots of veggies, and egg noodles. I made enough for an army and have been happily eating it this week.
I also had the inspiration from one of my Cooking Light magazines to try a new banana bread recipe. Usually banana bread is one the easiest (and probably cheapest) things you can make. HOWEVER, if you have none of the baking staples (sugar, flour, spices, etc.) it can get a lot more expensive.
Because I had very few baking ingredients in my stash, I had to purchase them, which meant over-spending what I would have liked my food allotment to be for the week. So as it turns out, I spent nearly $20 on the baking supplies needed for banana bread - a rather expensive loaf, I'll admit, but now I've got all the supplies to make it again and again and again... and those loaves will not set me back nearly so much in my budgeting.
So my total (food and toilet paper) spending for this week was $71.32, but if you take out the baking supplies and tp (since that's a cost split among roommates), it's back down closer to last week's food budget at about $44.61.
I've set a budget for my trip, but my plan is to try to spend less than I've budgeted. I'll report back on the flip side...