Week #2

This week, my goal was to be WAYYYY below even my stretch goal; ideally $30 for the week. Between a birthday, a going away happy hour, a poorly planned/last minute trip to the beach and being on a three week pay period with reimbursements coming in the next paycheck, I was really feeling the pressure. I was able to get produce

On the babe’s week shopping, I found produce to be better and cheaper at Wegman’s. In fact, the Family Pack chicken cost half as much as regular chicken by the pound, so we obviously got the family pack chicken. Additionally, we crossed wires on a few recipes, so we wound up with some extra produce.

With all this in mind, I created the following for our meal plan:

  • Laundry Pizza (delicious pizza across the street from our laundromat; $5 medium cheese if you pick it up)
  • Chicken Nuggets (homemade)
  • Stir Fry with Leftover Produce
  • Pesto and Pasta
  • Beans and Rice

So this week’s meal plan is quite a cheat — I’m taking leftover vegetables that in a perfect meal planned world, we wouldn’t have, canned and dry goods that wouldn’t usually be around, and I’m including take out in the meal. We had leftover Parmesan cheese to make more pesto and leftover pasta. In a way, this is a higher level version of what I want, to have a pantry with food that I can use and add to as needed. One day this will happen intentionally.

I could also legitimately cut cost on yogurt; I accidentally got plain instead of vanilla and by attempting to eat it, I’ve slowed down my consumption of yogurt, so I didn’t have to buy another one this week. On a dietary note, the granola I mix in is actually sweet enough to tone down the tang of plain vanilla. Not everyone has this problem of mine, but I can’t be the only one.

Edit 1: When I assumed we had rice, I was wrong. We have bulgur. We’re cooking the bulgur like the Southwest Skillet, but using the sauces and seasonings of the stir fry (e.g. rice wine, soy sauce and sesame seed oil). We have diced tomatoes and black beans, so we’ll probably do a pared down southwest skillet later in the week.

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Week #1

My receipt from this week has my under $60 budget by $.66, thanks to $2.58 in savings from my membership rewards card. One of the meals on the menu for this week would have put me way over my budget, but since I splurged for the ingredients before, I had some leftover to contribute this week.

This Week’s Menu:

I came across a Men’s Health “Shop Once, Eat for a Week” meal planning guide that had two recipes I stole and modified (read: I can’t handle hot food, so I abstained from jalepeƱos). The guide fits what I generally would like to acheive — a meal plan for the week that uses the same ingredients without just being leftovers. The grocery total for their plan is right in stride with my ultimate goal, but I don’t want to by frozen meals if I can avoid it.

I love the Summer Vegetable Paella because it’s delicious hot out of the oven or cold out of the refrigerator and it makes MUCH more than 4 servings, so we can eat from it for a while. It’s the first paella recipe I’ve ever tried, and since I was getting shrimp anyway, I decided to try adding shrimp to the equation.

On my partner human’s week to shop/cook, we made an amazing stir fry that I want to eat all the time. I used the marinade from the recipe I linked to and threw in a bunch of left over produce to keep the dish from being to heavy (and avoid wasting food…)

If I hadn’t gotten the shrimp, I would have been about $5 under my stretch goal of $50, but it was an integral part of two dishes. I also think I might have a better source of seafood on my radar.