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How Last Week Went

January 31, 2013

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Recently I shared about our $50 grocery budget that worked so well over the summer, and how we are working hard to get back that same budget, or as close as possible. One caveat: reduce the budget but not reduce the quality of food that we eat. I’m all for cutting corners where possible and yes, once in awhile there’s more “cheap food” in my kitchen than I prefer, but I’d like for that to be the exception around here, not the norm.

Last week I tracked things pretty carefully. We did not purchase meat, because we have quite a bit in the freezer. We eat pizza once a week – last week it was a few take-and-bakes from Walmart, which cost $17.00. There was a small trip to Cub Foods where we spent $8.65 (but I lost the receipt), $37.45 of the Aldi trip was on groceries, as was $21.05 at Walmart. So — just under $80 for groceries last week. One other note – school lunch is not included in the grocery budget.

Focusing on eating up what we already had in the pantry, fridge and freezer, so nothing went to waste, I think we did pretty well! Everyone grabs their own breakfast here — Rob has a protein bar, I have a protein shake, and the kids have whatever sounds good to them that particular morning. We had a few cereals in the cupboard, homemade granola and Greek yogurt ready to go, and a big batch of whole wheat waffles that I made at the beginning of the week for easy reheating. Lunch for the kids is eaten at school, and Rob and I generally have leftovers for lunch (when I’m at work, though, I eat for next-to-nothing, so I eat Macy’s food :) )

Here’s a rundown of what we made last week:

Monday – Roast turkey breast with mashed potatoes, salad, roasted brussel sprouts

Tuesday – Pioneer Woman’s braised short ribs (I actually used country style ribs that I’d found hiding in my freezer) with  polenta, assorted veggies

Wednesday – Baked mac and cheese (I use the store brand of Barilla plus pasta if I’m not going to be eating it, otherwise I use Tinkyada gluten free pasta and sub cornstarch for the flour in my sauce) and cut up fresh veggies

Thursday – pizza

Friday – leftovers

Saturday – nachos with taco meat from the freezer

Some things I made ahead and froze:

Black bean chili

Whole wheat/whey waffles (using whey that was leftover from the Greek yogurt I made the previous week!)

Brown rice

Bone broth (from Monday’s turkey bones)

Tomato and roasted red pepper soup

I heard from quite a few people last week that they were inspired to start eating down what is in their freezer, and minimizing the food waste and getting a better handle on their food budget.  Good for you! Good for us!  How is your week going so far?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2013 10:59 am

    Good planning, and great for creating less waste!

  2. March 11, 2013 4:30 pm

    Just curious….does your $50 include household products like toilet paper, or just food? I’m trying to cut our budget down as well, but I’m looking for a reasonable amount that won’t starve us! :-)
    Thanks!

    • bonnyclark permalink*
      March 12, 2013 8:53 am

      Hi Jennifer – that does not include household products! I have struggled to get to $50/week again, for a variety of reasons: 1. no gardening right now, 2. not planning as well and 3. not getting to the grocery store right away in the morning when the meat gets marked down (last summer I hit it right several times, where the meat that was close to the sell date was $1 off per package. That made a huge difference in my grocery budget!). Right now I’m sitting at approximately $80ish/week – food only.

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