Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This week's Menu, and Navigating the Dual Economy

Much to our surprise, the South African (or at least the Cape Town area) cost of living is high. Housing is an exception, as compared to Boston, maybe not the most fair comparison.

As South Africans know, there is a very strong dual economy- one for the wealthy and one for the poor. Prices at malls and supermarkets are comparable to U.S. prices, and often more expensive. But if you look hard enough, there are cheaper options out there, particularly for things were quality is not as important (children's clothing, for example).

Food prices are similarly complex. Buying staples in bulk at Makro (Pasta, flour, rice) can save money and waste, provided you have places to store away from ants (we use our deep freeze). We noticed that eggs and fish can be purchased at less than 1/2 the supermarket price at a nearby store in Salt River. My take-home is that if something seems super expensive, wait and look for alternatives. I felt really stupid for buying frozen Hake at Pick 'N Pay and then seeing it fresh for less than half the price at an Observatory fish shop. The exception on the strategy of measured waiting is our Friday-fake-restaurant meal, where this week, I just went totally wild and bought BOTH tabasco sauce AND blue cheese dressing for chicken wings. Yes. Living on the wild side. Anyway, here's this week's menu:

Monday Fried Rice with Egg, mushroom and broccoli (we ended up having a meal with family on Sat)
Tuesday Pasta + South Africa (fake) parmesan + butter + basil
Wednesday Eritrean Lentils and pan fried potato
Thursday Cous cous with parmesan + tomato + basil + feta + green peppers
Friday Baked chicken wings and Potato chips
Saturday hake + vegetable on sale + mashed potato
Sunday soup + sourdough bread


Sourdough Bread/ naan
Pies (forgot to buy)

2 kiwis for Mr Noah

Shopping List
Pineapple or melon or mangoes
Apples X 6
2 kiwis
2 Peppers
cup-a-soup 4-pack
Cheap-ish nuts that would work in risotto (ended up being walnuts)
Milk X 3
1 bag potato chips
If small tabasco and ranch dressing equiv available, get chicken wings. If not, find something else good.
a little fish
(the below were postponed to next week, because I didn't make it to Makro)
Arborio rice (bulk, Makro)
Jasmine rice (bulk, Makro)
oats (bulk, Makro)
Cheese (cheese shop near Makro)

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