it only looks expensive

Two and a half days into the Eat on $30 Challenge and we are doing just fine.

Perhaps it’s the fact that we haven’t been eating from the Mastering the Art of French Cooking Book.  Perhaps it’s because I have been beyond sick.  Perhaps it’s because we really don’t spend that much money on food anymore.  I think it’s a combination of all three…but mostly, I really believe that the July Experiment of living on $100 with the Penny Pinching Pantry Raid has made me a very frugal person.  I really can’t cut back much more than I already do, which I guess is a good thing.

Monday was Day One.  Luckily, Jon had made a huge amount of Pork Barbeque on Sunday.  Juicy, tender, full of flavor, and best of all – on SALE.  He cooked us about 6 pounds, and the cost? $5.00.  With the seasonings, vinegars, etc – I am guesstimating $7.00 total.  So on Monday, we both ate it for lunch & dinner.  Seven had yogurt and grapes for breakfast (35 cents for the yogurt, 25 cents for the grapes).  I had a Diet GingerAle (25 cents) and Sev had some KoolAid (10 cents).  At dinner, we added a box of Velveeta Shells & Cheese ($1.50) and a can of Green beans (60 cents).  So, very little money spent on Monday.  I’m going to go ahead and count the entire PorkFest on Monday, but we ate it on Tuesday as well.  Tuesday was a bit unusual – I was too sick to really eat. Jon ate leftover pork for lunch & dinner.  Yep, just pork.  Seven had yogurt again for breakfast, plus whatever Mom fed him while she was keeping him.  For dinner, he had Totinos Pizza Rolls (about a bucks worth) and some grapes and string cheese. He also had milk both days (est. $1.00 total).

Total for the first two days:

About $12.60, give or take, plus the dessert I am about to introduce you to, which brings the total to around $15.90.

  For dessert on Monday, because I was trying to be budget conscious as well as creative, I made Puff Pastry filled with Nutella Mousse and Homemade Chocolate Syrup.  Perhaps there is someone reading this that has yet to use Puff Pastry (which was ME until about a year ago, it isn’t impossible!) and needs to be enlightened.  YOU MUST HAVE PUFF PASTRY ON HAND.  At all times.  Trust me.  Just buy a few boxes, put them in the freezer, and whenever you are short on time but needing something divine, grab it.


I let one sheet thaw ($1.75) then cut it into little rectangles before baking.  While it baked, I made the Nutella Mousse.  I used about a cup of Whipping Cream (75 cents), 2 tablespoons of Nutella (30 cents) and a quarter cup of powdered sugar (15 cents).  I whipped that together until it was nice and fluffy (whip the cream first, then add in the Nutella and sugar, it will do much better) and once the pastry was cool, I sandwiched the mousse in between two pieces.  When I was ready to serve it, I simply poured a little homemade syrup (30 cents) over it.  It was delish!  And so easy!  Newbies – give it a shot – you’ll like it!  Tomorrow I’ll be posting the recipe for the chocolate syrup, so stay tuned!


image On another note, I have just started writing for The Examiner as the Roanoke Food Examiner. It’s a fun gig, and I am happy to have it!  Check out my first post there?  Subscribe?  I’ll be posting a few times a week, so I would appreciate the feedback.  Anything you’d like to see?  A special recipe? Something related to the holidays?  Say the word, I’m open to suggestions!



Secondly, I opened my Etsy Store today, and already had a sale!  Open for all of 10 minutes, and I get a hit!  I am going to be adding aprons along with my custom cookies, but if you can think of something else that would go over well, I’d LOVE to know!

See you tomorrow with the recipe for Chocolate Syrup!


  1. Sue Sparks says:

    I can't believe what a BUSY person you are!!! Type A maybe? :) I'll have to check out your etsy shop…BTW, I have some homemade puff pastry in the freezer, leftover from the DB challenge and your Nutella mousse sounds so good, maybe I'll defrost it and try it out:)

  2. Future Grown-Up says:

    Congrats on your first sale…here's hoping there's many many more.

    You've inspired me to be more frugal with your posts these last few days…I know there is a lot of room for improvement in my shopping too.

    How on earth did you ever manage on 100 for an entire month?

  3. maybelle's mom says:

    I am impressed that you managed dessert. and your sous chef is adorable. But, I am amazed about doing $100 for an entire month. Amazing.

  4. Congrats on your Etsy shop and your new writing gig. Also, that dessert looks amazing.

  5. Congratulations on your Etsy Store and your sale ! (I will bookmark you).

    (awaiting the chocolate syrup recipe…)

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