The $68 Grocery Bag: 4 Dinners, 8 Dishes, No Waste

by Cindi Sutter, Founder of The Spirited Table® - recipes and shopping list from epicurious.com

We set out to design a shopping list that would provide four nights of dinners and leave nothing—not even a leaf of greens—leftover. The bonus? It all costs less than 70 bucks.

It happens to the best of us: we buy all of the ingredients to make a particular dish—a carton of cream because we need just a splash, a bunch of tarragon because the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon. And as the week progresses, we watch the cream sour and the tarragon wilt. We begrudgingly throw them in the trash, and tell ourselves we’ll be better next time.

The ingredients that go unused each week—not to mention the guilt—aren't good for our wallets, the planet, or our psyche. That’s where this shopping list and corresponding recipes come in. The recipes add up to four delicious weeknight dinners (each one feeding a family of four), and use up every last ingredient in your grocery bag. And because every ingredient is used in multiple ways through the week, the whole shebang costs less than $68.

The $68 budget doesn't include some basics that we assume every household has, such as cooking oil, vinegar, salt, sugar, and common spices like black pepper. That said, we priced out the list below at a few grocery stores and came in closer to $62—which means that, if necessary, you can pick up some oil and still stay within budget. Check it out:

THE $68 GROCERY LIST
6 ounces walnuts $3.69
2 medium onions $.79
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 12 ounces) $2.49
1 head garlic $.50
2 bunches medium beets (with greens) $4.00
Red pepper flakes $1.19
2 (15-ounce) cans white beans $2.18
Capers in brine $1.67
Dijion mustard $1.89
8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds) $6.36
2 lemons $1.50
1 bunch parsley $1.99
2 pounds carrots (with fronds) $2.58
Fennel seeds $2.99
1 bunch radishes (about 1/2 pound) $1.79
4 ounces parmesan cheese $3.99
4 ounces oil-packed tuna $1.59
1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth $2.34
1 pound arborio rice $2.99
1 half-pint heavy cream $2.39
4 ounces fresh goat cheese $3.19
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound) $3.99
3/4 pound fettucine $1.25
12 eggs $2.69
1/2 pound ground pork $1.99
TOTAL $62.02
That's the list. Now here's what to make with it.

  PHOTO BY CHELSEA KYLE, PROP AND FOOD STYLING BY ALI NARDI    

PHOTO BY CHELSEA KYLE, PROP AND FOOD STYLING BY ALI NARDI

 

For all the details behind the dinners and more go to epicurious.com