Happy December! Let’s welcome it by spending all our money, planning out all the end-of-year stuff and think about how fast the past 365 days went. Or, we could talk about food and the happy things in life. Enter the “budget meal.”
Even outside of the fact that December means Christmas, the cost of living at this time of year rises. All the good, organic food is harder to find and more expensive. I swear it costs more to heat the house in the winter than it does to cool it in the summer.
John and I decided to trim our food costs by planning dinners that didn’t require too many ingredients we didn’t have and wouldn’t be too expensive. We didn’t set a price limit this time because we wanted to see how well we did picking out budget meals without a budget, ideally telling us whether what we think of as budget really is “budget.”
First up? Sirloin steaks in a mushroom and onion sauce with a baked potato.
It sounds really easy, but steak is one of those meats that makes the plate feel a little upscale, even if it’s not a fancy cut. Since I was planning on eating the potato plain, I decided to utilize the juices of the steak from cooking it in the cast iron skillet and saute some mushrooms and onions with it. The sauce would accompany the potato well and keep it from tasting too dry.
I say I, in that I came up with idea. John gets full credit for cooking this one.
One other thing to consider is that we cooked this dinner on Sunday, when we knew we’d be home long enough to cook a baked potato and not feel like we’re starving while we wait one hour for it to be done. Because that happens.
Sirloin steaks with mushroom and onion sauce and baked potatoes
- Sirloin steak, divided into three pieces – $6.13
- Salt and pepper
- Button mushrooms, sliced – $1.68/container but only used half, so $0.84
- Quarter of a yellow onion, sliced – $0.88 divided by 4, $0.22
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (already had, would consider a pantry item)
- 2 Russet potatoes, $1.34
- Butter (pantry)