We've been chasing a lower grocery bill, specifically one that amounts to only $50, for years. We've been told by many people that our goal is absolutely impossible. And, in a way, they have been right. More than ever, though, we need to stick to our guns and lean out unnecessary items. So, we're sharing our progress with you as it happens.
To help, we've set a weekly budget of $100 for entertainment and groceries -- combined. And, as you might expect, we typically end up spending a good chunk of the entertainment funds on food. That's fine by us, as we view time in the kitchen together, often while we bounce our crying baby, as all the fun we need. The meals we make with our "special ingredients" are reward enough for a week of hard work. Plus, we usually sneak in a drink out or movie, too.
Anyway, I'll try to write more about how the weekend funds factor in sometime soon. But today I'd like to focus solely on what we buy each week for our weekday eats. This involves a lot of meal planning on our part. On $50, we eat well and shop whole, healthy ingredients. However, part of meeting our goal involves, as you might expect, sacrifice. A bit a repetition, as you'll see below. But at the end of the day, our stomachs are full. No complaints.
Here's the kind of stuff we used to buy. Fancy nut butters. Multiple containers of Greek yogurt. Coconut water. I'd say this shop was likely a bit over $100:
Here's our most recent grocery haul, complete with prices. Not nearly as sexy:
I've had trouble knowing how to best share this information because if you look at this list alone, you're probably thinking: "Where are all the vegetables?!" The answer is: In our freezer. We have a winter CSA share that we receive once a month and supplement it with onions and other items. I know that means our weekly grocery bill was actually a bit higher with the CSA dues. But we are getting there!
Here are the meals we planned out for the week. Nothing terribly exciting here. But if you're dedicated to lowering your bills like we are, this kind of plan could work for you, too!
- Most weekdays we eat oatmeal or dry cereal with a Greek yogurt smoothie.
- Weekends? We sometimes go out to a cafe or make pancakes/etc.
- Sunday: Hummus wrap with Parmesan
- Monday: Warm salad with potatoes, veggies, etc.
- Tuesday: Warm salad with potatoes, veggies, etc.
- Wednesday: Hummus wrap with Parmesan
- Thursday: Hummus wrap with Parmesan
- Friday: More of the same . . .
- Saturday: Leftovers from Friday dinner
- Carrots. Apples, bananas, etc. with peanut butter. Misc. stuff I bake, like granola bars.
- Sunday: Homemade pizza with pumpkin dough, homemade sauce, and cheese
- Monday: Quesadillas with olives, cheese, and beans with side of frozen vegetables
- Tuesday: Baked tofu with vegetables and brown rice
- Wednesday: Pasta with homemade tomato sauce and side of vegetables
- Thursday: Quesadillas with olives, cheese, and beans with side of frozen vegetables
- Friday: Meal made with weekend funds
- Saturday: Homemade pizza with no-knead dough, homemade sauce, and cheese
I think my next challenge is doing more with what we can afford -- and that's exactly what the recipes on this blog are going to be all about.
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