I am so proud of how well we did on Project: Food Budget for this week!
Weekly Budget – $75.00
Actual Spending – $69.70
This week, we are enjoying:
Monday (01/16) – Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken
Tuesday (01/17) – Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken (never got to it last week), served with carrots & peas and Rice-a-roni (oo fancy)
Wednesday (01/18) – Chinese Pork & Vegetable Hot Pot with Carolina Rice
Thursday (01/19) – Out with brother- and sister-in-law to Bonefish Grill, woo hoo!
Friday (01/20) – Crock Pot Minestrone Soup (this one’s a favorite)
Saturday (01/21) - Shepherd’s Pie
Sunday (01/22) – Spinach Lasagna Rolls with salad
There are a couple recipes we were supposed to have had last week but we never got around to eating them because we had something else. Since there were two meals I already had the ingredients on hand for (the Chinese Hot Pot and Baked Parm Garlic Chicken), that freed us up to replenish our pantry’s canned goods, pastas, oils, etc…which was great! We ended up saving $9.92 with coupons and the Kroger plus card. We even had the chance to splurge on a few organic items I had been missing lately, namely Vanilla Almond Milk – yum!
I also again attempted to make Alex some easy breakfast and lunch options for work this week. One of my goals for using recipes has been to use my brain while using them. I know that sounds completely weird, but a lot of the time I just read the ingredient list of a recipe and don’t question it and just buy exactly as specified. Then, when making the recipe, I inevitably regret the choice of some ingredient and swap it out for something else. This leads to waste a lot of the time. I really enjoy tweaking and personalizing recipes so I just needed to stop taking recipes at face value and realize I am a pretty good, creative cook that is capable of taking a recipe as a basic foundation on how to approach something.
With that in mind, I once again attempted to make a breakfast hot pocket type of thing for Alex except I was way, way smarter about it this time.
I bought a pound of ground turkey and divided it in half – half for Alex the other half for the shepherd’s pie recipe (which actually calls for ground beef but we don’t eat beef). I purchased a yellow pepper and some Mexican whole wheat tortillas, as well. I browned the meat, added the chopped up pepper, tossed in 3 lightly beaten eggs and tons of spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, and red cayenne pepper). Once the egg was set and the pepper was softened, I put the mixture on a plate and let it cool. When it was completely cool, I divided it up into 5 tortillas, topped it with some shredded sharp cheddar and wrapped each tortilla in wax paper. I put all five bundles in a ziploc in the freezer. Now, Alex has an easy, grab-and-go solution for breakfast that took me just about 20 minutes to make.
We so enjoyed this recipe for Chickpea Hummus Burgers that I decided to double it and freeze the burgers for Alex’s lunches. So now we have a freezer with eight burgers, each individually wrapped in wax paper, that he can pop in the microwave and eat plain or on some bread with cheese or whatever. I made these burgers at the same time as the breakfast stuff, the night we got home from grocery shopping. Both dishes took about 30 minutes total, but it was worth it because we will save so much money plus I can rest easy knowing Alex is eating something healthy for breakfast and lunch.
As for me, breakfast is cereal, smoothies or oatmeal and lunch is leftovers from dinner (although I did steal one of Alex’s burgers, haha!).
I really hope to keep this up – making things for Alex to take to work – and eating leftovers myself during the week and I think as long as I stick with healthy recipes everything should keep going according to plan. And that means the next big thing I need to work on to get our budget under control food-wise is my spending at coffee shops.
I just love coffee. Now that I’m pregnant, I drink decaffeinated versions, but I still love it. And if I don’t drink coffee, I’m drinking chai. And while there is nothing wrong with these drinks… I just spend way too much money. So I’m going to start holding myself accountable to that spending by putting it on here as well. I don’t expect to go cold turkey so I’ll set a weekly budget of $15.00 (which is about 3 drinks). Let’s see how I do!
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