The countdown to my new job has begun and we have officially started pinching every penny we possibly can! In preparation for the upcoming month with 1/2 our income, I have attempted to budget for the next month (more details coming on that) but I’ve also spent a great deal of time searching for the best cheap recipes, tips for cheaper grocery trips, etc. I even found myself watching YouTube videos for Great Depression recipes . Now, our situation is by no means of Great Depression proportions, but our piggy bank is certainly looking a
little lot lean these days, so it couldn’t hurt, right? That being said, I thought it might be useful to provide y’all with my grocery list and meals for each day of the last week along with some of the better frugal eating blogs I’ve found! That being said…
Chicken & rice- This consisted of chicken breasts (which I baked with olive oil, garlic and onion powder, and sea salt that I already had on hand), brown rice, and cream of mushroom soup (generic, of course).
Chicken noodle soup- Not from a can! I boiled chicken breasts in chicken broth with carrots and celery, then added egg noodles. There was enough for supper and leftovers for lunch the next day!
Wednesday & Thursday
Chili- It’s October! Why the hell not?! Also, growing up, my mom would make enough chili to feed a village and as an adult, I understand why. It’s cheap, it’s delicious and perfect for Fall, and you only have to use one pot for like 4+ meals. Ground chuck (we will not be eating a lot of beef during this lean month, I nearly had to give the grocery store a kidney to pay for that mess), 2 cans of kidney beans drained and rinsed, 2 cans of chili beans, 1 can of Rotel (only because I had it on hand from a bulk pack I bought at Sam’s), tomato paste, and a mixture of chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. Apparently, everyone wanted to make chili because there wasn’t a single packet of seasoning anywhere in the store so I had no choice but to buy the individual, healthier ingredients. Le sigh.
Chicken & veggie stirfry w/ fried rice- Mr. Cooper was not a fan, but I was! I baked chicken in terriyaki sauce for about 30 minutes while I cooked Japanese style frozen veggies in my wok with wok oil, onion & garlic powder, and a little soy sauce. Meanwhile, I made some brown rice and later tossed it in a frying pan with a scrambled egg and some butter. About 35 minutes later, voila! Semi-Asian style veggies for a little of nothing.
Pizza quesadillas- I found a recipe for this on Pinterest a long time ago, but it’s been a favorite in our house ever since! Basically, you can throw anything in a tortilla and it’s cheap and delicious. Obviously, Saturday is not here yet, but I meal plan so I can tell y’all what this weekend will consist of food wise! For this meal, you’ll need tortillas, pepperoni (or whatever topping you prefer on your pizza), Italian blend shredded cheese, and some garlic powder. I make this exactly like a quesadilla and then we cut them into triangles and dip them in the sauce. You won’t be disappointed and it takes no time to make them!
Tuna casserole- Some of you may be snarling your nose at this, but I’m looking forward to it! It’s a comfort food, kind of like meatloaf or mashed potatoes. Anyway, 1 can of tuna, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, frozen peas and carrots, shredded cheese, and egg noodles. Cook the noodles, throw it all together and bake it. Boom! tuna casserole.
Lunch: For this week, we either took leftovers from the night before or pb&j sandwiches and some chips (because the chips were on sale for .88 a bag!)
Breakfast: I love oatmeal more than the average bear, so I gobbled that up all week. For Mr. Cooper, I made some breakfast burritos (whole wheat fajita style tortillas, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns that I grated myself, and some shredded cheese) and froze them. I do this a lot because he’s usually in a hurry, so this way he still gets a decent breakfast that doesn’t come in a shiny foil wrapper, and he can pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes while he gets dressed. I also found a recipe for homemade snickerdoodle coffee creamer so I used that in my coffee in the mornings.
Snacks: Mr. Cooper makes protein smoothies using honey, mixed berries, Greek yogurt, and bananas.
Now for the grocery list! I think total, I spent around $97, but that was because we also needed things like face wash, kitty litter, feminine products, etc. We don’t have a separate part of our budget for things like that, it’s all included in one lump sum (did I just sound like an attorney commercial?). Keep in mind, this list only consists of the things we needed because I already had some of the ingredients on hand.
Pinto beans (dry)
Tuna (3 cans)
Cream of chicken soup
Cream of mushroom soup
(2) Egg noodles
1 lb ground chuck
Shredded cheese (mozzarella & cheddar)
(2) Greek yogurt
(3) mixed berries
Japanese style veggies
I hope this helps! I’ve made out my list for the coming week, and my goal is to spend less than $50 on food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Fingers crossed! This time next week, you can expect another grocery post, but before then I’ll compile a list of the blogs I’ve found most helpful.