May 17, 2015

$50/Week and Eating Well?

Well, we're back on $50 a week for groceries until my husband starts getting a regular paycheck. Prices pretty much everywhere have gone up since the last time we did this so it's even more of a challenge.

These posts are inspired by's $50 Meal Plans. They are veterans at this and must have one massive freezer. 

The first step is planning: I plan to shop for produce at the farmers market and everything else at our discount store. While I work in a grocery store, it is considered a "luxury" shopping location and is very expensive. I've always bought meat here but the prices have become unreasonable - $4/lbs. for just about anything except whole chickens. I've had to negotiate with my husband about the meat issue.

I also utilize a weekly menu and meal prep for my planning. The discount store I shop at doesn't take coupons so I've cut those out (no pun intended!) for the most part. Every once in a while I catch a deal on worth stocking up on.

Additionally, our garden is just getting started and our rabbits are not old enough for slaughter yet. In later weeks you'll see 

This week we bought: Boneless skinless chicken breast (4 lbs.), ground turkey (2lbs.), mushroom-chicken sausage (1lbs.), beef ramen, coffee creamer, kale, lettuce, green onions, asparagus, bananas, 3lbs. bag of onions, yogurt, 2 boxes of cereal, french bread, and 1 jar of pasta sauce.

Total: $46.00

Meal-share Benefits with Family: 1 whole turkey and 3 goose eggs.

From the Garden (and some Foraging): Morel mushrooms and dandelion greens.

This hasn't been the healthiest week for us. I've been working late nights so when I come home dinner is the last thing I want to do, and I can't prep it in the morning because I'm doing homework in the mornings.  I overspent on some things though - like french bread and jarred sauce - and as a result we ran out of bananas, coconut milk and eggs. Learning to overcome impulse shopping, sticking to your meal plan, making a meal plan you can stick to, etc. are all necessary lessons.

I've always stuck to a tight food budget but this is only my 3rd month of meal planning.

This Week's Meal Plan

Breakfast options:
Yogurt and granola
Frogs in a hole

Lunch options:
Vegan chili verde
Turkey wraps
Sausage pasta with spinach

Saturday - Chicken curry with brown rice
Sunday - Enchiladas
Monday - Turkey and kale soup
Tuesday - Ground beef ramen and salad
Wedensday - Turkey gravy over potatoes
Thursday - Steak, garlic creamed pasta and asparagus
Friday - Turkey meatballs with marinara and fresh bread

Pickled eggs
Granola bars
Fresh fruit
Crunchy roasted chickpeas
Green salad

How do you feed your family?

March 20, 2015

Meal prep: breakfast jars

Hi everyone!

Its been crazy lately. Working, going to school, getting the garden set up and eeady for rabbits, etc. So I've been making use of meal prep these days. I dont do big batches - I dont have blocks of time that big. But when i make breakfast for example I make double - set the rest aside for tomorrow or later. If you dont mind eating the same thing a lot you could make a whole week of breakfasts with just one morning and one recipe.

Below are two of my favorites, husband approved!

Peaches and cream oatmeal
(Makes 4)
1 29oz can peaches (i use canned in syrup, if you don't you might need to add more sweetener) - use the juices too
2 cups of heavy cream or cashew milk
2 cups of rolled oats
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger (fresh or ground)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey or 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp butter or coconut oil

You'll notice there's a lot of choices on the ingredients. You can make these clean and vegan or cheap and wholesome. Or just make use of what you have on hand.

In a saucepan bring milk and a pinch of salt to a quick boil. Toss in oats immediately and remove from heat.

In a small saucepan pour whole can of peaches, juices and all, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and butter. Cook on medium high until it starts to form a sweet, thick syrup. Taste - it should be a little bit too sweet and strong. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked oats and vanilla extract.

Separate into four jars while still hot. Let cool and then refrigerate until ready to eat.

Blueberry Banana Parfaits
(Makes 4)
24oz blueberry yogurt
1 cup cranberry almond granola
1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
2 bananas

Layer ingredients equally among 4 jars. I suggest starting with a granola layer but that's just me. Refrigerate until ready to eat.