Hey, it’s that time again! And boy was this a fun week. I was pretty much like a kid in a candy store while doing my grocery shopping for this week. Why? Because for some magical reason, after I picked up everything on my list, I still had TEN DOLLARS left to spend. I’ve never been so excited about spending ten dollars in my life. LOL
I could barely decide on where I was going to go buck wild with that ten bucks…
I never really know how close I’ll be to my $30 weekly limit as I’m picking out my recipes and making my grocery list, I just know that it’s going to be “cheap”. This week I was surprised at just how cheap it was! I had three recipes planned, two of which used beans that I already had on hand. The rest of the ingredients, plus the few staples I needed for the week was just over $20 bucks. That made me feel like the champion of the world!
What Did I Buy?
Are you ready for this? I had to take THREE photos this week…
The only two staples I needed this week were milk and eggs, although maybe I should consider tomato paste a staple since it’s used in a lot of different things and I generally have some 1 Tbsp portions on hand in the freezer.
After I had collected everything I needed for the recipes, my “splurge” items were three bags of shredded cheese (because there was an INSANELY good sale, $1.25 each!), a sweet potato (to make more cornbread), peanut butter, and a pomegranate (also on sale, $1.50 each). I was so happy that I had some wiggle room in the budget this week and could take advantage of the cheese sale. I used one bag in a recipe this week and the other two went straight into the freezer.
I also used one can of white beans from my pantry, and about 1 can worth of black beans that I had frozen.
Here’s what the grocery list and receipt looked like:
So, I ended up going over $30 a bit. I must have made a calculation error as I was putting items into my grocery basket, but I wasn’t too far off and I figured I could make up for it in the coming weeks. If I HAD to stick strictly to $30, though, I could have put back either a bag of cheese, a can of tuna, or a can of green chiles because I had extras of each.
The stars by the items on my grocery list were things that I wanted to double check to see if I already had in my pantry or freezer, and of course the peanut butter has a question mark because that was only if I had extra room in my budget (which I did!).
What I Ate
Vegetable Enchilada Casserole was my main entrée this week. It was warm, comforting, and had TONS of flavor. I ended up cutting mine into 9 slightly smaller portions, which gave me three leftovers to freeze. I’ll be VERY happy about that later. ;)
While making my menu plan, I noticed I had a couple cans of white beans in my pantry (that had been there for-ev-er), and I remembered this Tuna & White Bean Salad. I had forgotten all about this one and was super excited to make it again once I remembered. It’s really delicious, light, and healthy. I had two cans of beans, so I bought two cans of tuna, but only ended up making one batch. That means I already have the goods to make another batch, practically for free, in the future!
Crackers cost WAY too much, IMHO, so I had to figure out how I was going to eat that Tuna & White Bean Salad. Sure, sometimes I just eat it with a fork, but I prefer some type of crunch-tastic carb vehicle. Then I remembered my leftover tortillas from the Enchilada Casserole and the lightbulb went off! I made these super tasty (and easy) Baked Tortilla Chips. #win
And lastly, I made this awesomely dreamy One Pot Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta. At this point I almost felt like I had too much food, so I think in the future I’ll space my recipes out a bit more. Instead of making them all near the beginning of the week, I’ll wait until the second half of the week when my portions are dwindling, to make my second option.
I kept day dreaming about that Sweet Potato Cornbread, so I made a second batch, but this time in muffin form (oops, already deleted the photo off my phone). Surprisingly, it took the same amount of time to bake (for me) as it did in the cast iron skillet. I suspect that’s because I had let the skillet heat up in the oven, while the muffin tin was room temperature. Anyway, I ate a few of those and the rest went into the freezer. I’ve been taking one out at a time and reheating in the microwave for 30 seconds–perfect!
One of my splurges this week was this pomegranate. I LOVE pomegranates, so when they’re on sale for $1.50, you bet I’m going to snatch that up! They’re so insanely beautiful (and delicious).
I removed the seeds, kept them in this bowl in the fridge (covered), and then just a few spoonfuls every day. I love the burst of cold juice and crunchy center. Seriously the best thing ever. I love that I’m still getting a lot of variety in my food intake week to week, even if there’s not a lot of variety within the week. I suspect that variety from week to week is just as valuable, nutritionally speaking.
I also bought some satsumas because they were really cheap. They are bigger than the free satsumas I got a week ago, but not nearly as sweet. Still good, though!
For a little variety, I dove into the freezer and ate a bowl of Bacon, Bean, and Potato Soup this week. It was just as delicious as I remember!
Oh, and I ate out once this week… A slightly disappointing bowl of ramen. But ramen, in any form, is hard to resist! :)
Here’s what went into the freezer this week: 3 portions of the Vegetable Enchilada Casserole, about 8 Sweet Potato Corn Muffins, and leftover tomato paste.
I had one leftover can of tuna, one leftover can of green chiles, and 1/2 lb. fettuccine, all of which is shelf stable and will wait in my pantry until I call upon them some day in the future. ;)
The only thing that went into the garbage was a couple small scoopfuls of Tuna & White Bean Salad that I didn’t finish. Not bad!
I think I almost had too much food this week. I didn’t finish all my satsumas (they’ll be good till next week) and I was just really full a couple of days. If I had spread out when I prepared my recipes, I think I would have been a bit better and finishing them off and having a fresh supply of food, rather than having a TON of stuff in the beginning of the week and a bare fridge by the end. New lessons learned every week! :)