So at the end of September I determined that October would be the month to finally implement a grocery budget. When I lived by myself I was pretty frugal. I didn’t ever use a clear cut budget, because I was just super cheap. For real. Now that I’ve got Ivan to shop for too, our food bill has been all over the place.
We buy more snacks, more ice cream, more meat and just more in general. Our grocery bills keep climbing and the funny thing is, we eat out pretty regularly too. It’s really getting out of hand.
That’s why I’ve decided to create a weekly meal plan and budget. I’ll be recapping what I bought, what I spent and what we ate for on a weekly basis.
I’ve decided to allot $60 for our weekly budget. Thats $240 for the month or $120 a person. This is only for groceries – toiletries and home supplies will not be included. I think this is feasible. Ivan doesn’t always eat lunch at home and I’m notorious for skipping breakfast. The only true constant we’ve got is dinner.
Total Spent on Groceries this week: $52.47
What I Bought: boneless/skinless Chicken Breasts, Lo Mein Noodles, 2 pounds of boneless pork chops, whole wheat flour, bottle of fish sauce, ginger root, peanuts, bag of spinach, jar of honey, green onions, 2 boxes of Carroll Shelby’s white chicken chili mix, a bottle of diet dr. pepper, 2 green peppers, 1 bunch of cilantro, box of low sodium chicken broth, 2 lbs of grapes, apple cider vinegar, chili paste, white beans, 2 boxes buffalo canned chicken,
Main: Spicy Szechuan Noodles courtesy of Good Housekeeping
Verdict: I forgot to snap a picture of the completed meal, but here is the turkey, sauce and spinach cooking down. We both really enjoyed this one and will probably keep it as a “fallback” plan. We generally have all the ingredients on hand and it comes together really quickly.
Main: Honey Mustard Pork Chops courtesy of Budget Bytes
Side: Matzo Ball Soup (Streits Boxed Mix) & Salad
Verdict: Well, once again, I didn’t snap a picture. I’ll get better about this, I promise. The Pork Chops were fantastic. I’ve actually never cooked pork before (weird, I know) but this was fantastic. The marinade is made from common ingredients and it’s easy to throw together. I used boneless pork chops because they were cheaper and it worked out great. Just watch them in the oven to make sure they don’t overcook. I also added carrots, celery and onion to the matzo ball soup.
Main: Turkey, Squash & Black Bean Chili courtesy of MyRecipes
Verdict: Well, I’m not sure about this one. I’ve been on a big butternut squash kick lately but this chili was missing something. It needed a little kick. I try not to dump hot sauce on everything like Ivan does, but this chili definitely benefited from some hot sauce.
Main: Turkey Pad Thai courtesy of Melissa D’Arabian
Verdict: This was a HUGE hit. Ivan couldn’t stop talking about it and I gobbled it right up. This will definitely be making it into our normal meal rotations. It was hot enough for me as it was, but Ivan added more sriracha on his.
Main: Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash, Banana Pancakes, Eggs & Turkey Bacon
Verdict: The original plan was to have breakfast Hash for dinner on Friday. But… I ended up going to this free event that included dinner, so that got scratched. Ivan had leftover Pad Thai and we ended up eating the Hash for breakfast on Saturday. We also had a friend crash with us Friday night, so I whipped up some pancakes and eggs to stretch it out. The hash is something I make all the time. It’s one of my standard go-to meals because I always have stuff for a quick breakfast hash on hand. I used turkey bacon, sweet potatoes, green peppers, onions, spinach and eggs to top.
Main: Yellow Rice Chicken Skillet courtesy of Budget Bytes
Verdict: I just don’t know about this one. I’ve always loved Beth’s dishes, but this wasn’t a magical one for me. I think that if I make it again, I’d add more spices in. It was kind of bland for me. Ivan loved it though.
English Muffins courtesy of Budget Bytes
Banana Banana Bread courtesy of AllRecipes *tweaked – replaced half of butter with applesauce and 1/2 of flour with whole wheat flour
Homemade Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream courtesy of Fork Knife Swoon *tweaked replaced heavy cream with half & half
I had some ground turkey to use up this week, so I’ll use up the chicken breasts I bought this week for next week. Does that make sense? I always try to buy meat in bulk and freeze the leftovers, so I don’t always have to buy meat every week. Hopefully I’ll be able to make the chicken and leftover turkey sausage that I froze last through next week so that I can stock up on some more fresh fruits and veggies.