Weekly Recap 12/2 – 12/9

by Beth - Budget Bytes
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Bet you thought I forgot to do my weekly recap, didn’t you? Nahhh, I’ve just been busy battling the most horrific cold of the century. But now I’m on the upswing, I can think clearly, and I’m ready to rehash my week in food from 12/2 to 12/9.

Just as a reminder, I took the week after Thanksgiving as an “off” week, where I didn’t blog about my groceries. Thanksgiving leftovers and not wanting to shop on or just before Thanksgiving threw off my schedule. I DID eat, however, so this week includes a few leftover items from my “off” week.

Oh! And I’m also beginning the $40/week to accommodate shared meals with my boyfriend. I came in at $35 for my initial grocery run and left myself the $5 wiggle room in case I needed to hit the store later in the week (which I never did).

Weekly Recap 12/2 to 12/9 - BudgetBytes.com

What Did I Buy?

My grocery list this week was pretty long because I needed to restock on quite a few staples: butter, chili powder, Parmesan, milk, and tortillas.

Shopping List 12-2

Some of you are going to be VERY happy that I finally figured out how to turn on the checklist option on my notes app. :P Turns out, the option for checklist doesn’t show up if you’re in the notes folder under your email address. You have to be in the notes folder under “on my iphone”. I didn’t even know that option existed. Anyway. Let’s hope this forever prevents me from forgetting ingredients. Parsley isn’t checked off, but that’s just because I decided not to buy it. The only reason I wanted it was to garnish photos, and I decided that wasn’t worth $0.89. Moving on.

Whole Foods Receipt 12/2 Rouse's Receipt 12/2

I stopped by Whole Foods first and got great deals on apples, butter, and almonds. The Parmesan, milk, lime, and lemon were all about the same prices as they are at my usual store, so I just got them at WFM instead. I goofed on the cilantro, though. I thought the sign said $0.99, but I didn’t notice until I was writing up my recipe post that it actually cost almost twice that. Broccoli was only $2.49/lb. at Whole Foods and I took a chance thinking it would be less expensive at the regular grocery store, but it ended up being more expensive ($2.79/lb.), so I was kind of bummed about that. But sometimes you have to take a gamble.

Here’s what the groceries looked like (because admit it, you LOVE looking in other peoples’ grocery carts!)

Rouse's Groceries 12-2 WFM Groceries 12-2

What Did I Eat?

It’s important to mention at this point that I impulse bought an Instant Pot on Black Friday (Merry Christmas to me!). It came on Monday and because I wanted to try it out immediately, I found some leftover dry black beans in the back of my pantry and cooked them just for “fun” (yes, I cook beans for fun). I didn’t want the beans to go to waste, so I ended up turning them into a really fast Black Bean Soup:

Quick Black Bean Soup

I didn’t post this black bean soup recipe because I literally made it by the seat of my pants one evening. I just sautéed a couple cloves of garlic in oil, then added the equivalent of two 15oz. cans of black beans (drained), 3 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup of leftover salsa, and a half teaspoon or so of cumin to a pot, then simmered it until the beans were super soft. Once soft I just blended it all until the soup was mostly smooth. The end! Super fast soup! Oh, and as you can see in the photo, I made a quick batch of Everyday Cornbread to go along with it. This was a small batch of soup, so it was gone in a couple days between the two of us.

As for my planned recipes, this Eggplant Parmesan Pasta was my main meal for the week. I can’t lie. I love pasta through and through. It’s always satisfying to me and I could eat it day after day with no complaints. The Parmesan breaded eggplant was a nice way to change up (and bulk up) what would have otherwise been a plain meal of pasta and sauce.

Quick Garlic Parmesan Broccoli - BudgetBytes.com

Because I NEED to have green in my life, I made this super Quick Garlic Parmesan Broccoli to serve along side the Eggplant Parmesan Pasta. It might seem like a lot of Parmesan, but there is really only 1 Tbsp in this whole broccoli dish, so it didn’t seem like Parmesan overload (is that even possible?).

30 Minute Posole - BudgetBytes.com

Later in the week I took some leftover pulled pork from my “off” week that I had stashed in the freezer and made this AH-MAZ-ING 30 Minute Posole. I LOVE this soup. There is so much flavor packed into that little bowl and it was SO easy to make. This was my first time eating hominy (in that form) and I loved it. I need to find it dry so I can cook it myself in my Instant Pot!

Yogurt and Granola

You know what else I made in my Instant Pot? YOGURT! I’ve made yogurt in my slow cooker before, but this thing has a preset program that make the whole process easier and actually worth it for me. I made abatch using a 1/2 gallon of milk ($2.49) and a small container of Fage plain yogurt ($1.57). So in total I made a half gallon of yogurt for about the same price that it usually costs me to buy a quart. There’s not really a recipe for this, I just followed the instructions in the booklet that came with my Instant Pot.

There is also granola in that picture with the yogurt. If you follow along, you know I’ve wanted to make gingersnap granola for a couple of weeks, but couldn’t fit the ingredients into my budget. I was able to get the ingredients this week (molasses and almonds) and I made a batch, but the recipe still needs some tweaking before I post it. It was still edible, though, so I ate the granola and my homemade yogurt for breakfast every morning. :)

We went out to eat only one time this week. We picked up Greek food from a restaurant the gives HUGE portions, so that ended up serving me for two meals. They also gave us an insane amount of pita bread, so the leftovers of that are actually still going in my fridge today!

Oh yeah, and I may have snacked on an All-Edge Spiced Brownie here or there… (I stashed them in the freezer!)

What Didn’t I Eat?

For some reason I didn’t eat my apples. Well, I think I ate one. Luckily they stay good for quite a while in the fridge, so I’m trying to make a more conscious effort to eat them this week. I guess I just never really crave sweet things like fruit, so it takes effort. Despite preferring to eat them refrigerated, I might try the old “bowl of fruit on the table” trick to keep them in view and remind me to eat them.


And that’s about it! A fairly successful week. I found that making a few recipes in smaller quantities kind of helps when you’re feeding more than one person. While I don’t mind eating the same thing for five days in a row, my guy doesn’t seem as into it. He’s way more likely to eat what’s in my fridge than go buy food if there’s a little more variety. On about the third day of the same recipe I can see him hemming and hawing like, “Hmmm, I don’t know if I’m in the mood for that…” Ha! Cooking for more than just yourself is a lot more complicated. :)

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  1. To Inaya:

    There are no ‘leftovers’, there are only pre-cooked ingredients.

    Dress it up a bit different, serve it a day later, voila: it’s not leftovers anymore, it’s a different dish with some of the same ingredients you had two days before:)

    I hate this kind of waste, especially since there is no good reason for it; it’s all just in the mind of the eater, so why not direct their mind in a different direction?

  2. My apples keep much longer if I keep them out of the fridge. I store them in a bin on a low shelf, away from light. They’ll keep for a month or more. They get a little grainy by the end, but then it’s applesauce time. If I keep them in the fridge they dry out and shrivel after just two weeks.

  3. I feel your pain on the complications of cooking for 2. My husband doesn’t even eat leftovers, which often means I’m eating leftovers solo, but still cooking something new each night. Which creates even more leftovers. Needless to say, we throw out a TON of leftovers because I just can’t eat them all on my own. I feel awful, but not sure how to handle it. I’ve started cooking less and forcing hubs to fend for himself while I eat the leftovers. But then he just eats Kraft Mac & Cheese. At least when I cook, I can get SOME (albeit not much, since doesn’t like veggies or fruits) nutrition into him.

    I also desperately want an Instant Pot, but not a sale in sight! It’s like the angels saw my 500 ft. apartment and the clouds opened up and the Instant Pot was made.

  4. You can make a sugar free apple sauce with the apples warm over something would be great freeze it if you know you just aren’t into it now or can it. I think you can can in that thing right?

  5. I can’ tell you how much I love your weekly recaps! Your recipes are staples in our household but there’s something about these recaps that I look forward to every single week!!

  6. I am SO GRATEFUL for your tip in the Notes app. This might change my life!!! I enjoy your posts all the time (truly, I’ve made so many of your meals and often share them with friends and my mom!) but man. That tip about Notes. Best tip ever haha