Hey y’all! Welcome to the series Weekly Eating.
Here is where I’ll talk about the week’s meal plan versus reality, what we ate for the week, and how we did budget-wise. I hope it gives readers a behind-the-scenes look into our life through the lens of food, and it’s also a way to keep us on track with meal planning and grocery budgeting.
Feel free to share your wins and lessons in the comments below!
So, remember how we had five 20-year-olds at our house for St. Patrick’s Day? Turns out they are just as much old people as we are! They got in around 8pm, we played some games, and then everyone headed for bed around ten. They are welcome back anytime! 🙂
I made a big green breakfast spread for them, and they hit the road early so as to get home, presumably to sleep for 16 or so hours. What is it about sitting in a car for hours that just exhausts you?
Then on Sunday, I realized Monday was the next Bull City Food Swap! I had some pierogi in the freezer so I took those out, but I wanted another item too (you can never have too much to trade), and I had found a recipe for sweet potato biscuits I really wanted to try out. So I whipped up a batch and OH MAH LAWD Y’ALL…
Biscuits. Are. So. Good.
Fresh and hot out the oven, drizzled with butter and honey… swoon
So I packed up a few packages of biscuits to trade too, but kept a good batch for us to nom all week. I also prepped some overnight oats, since the steel cut kind is not my favorite to microwave.
Breakfast – Tried the overnight oats, with golden raisins, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds. I added what I thought was a “pinch” of salt but whoa boy, it was too much for even me, the die-hard salt lover. Good thing my office drawer still had a jar of my favorite breakfast. I split it in half and mixed in some non-salted oats and all was well.
Lunch – I made a much more successful batch of black beans over the weekend, and brought in a big container of beans & rice.
Snack – I was an unstoppable snacking machine today. I had some grapes and strawberries just before lunch.
Then a handful of pistachios in the afternoon.
And finally a granola bar on the drive home so I didn’t gnaw my arm off. What the heck?
Dinner – I tossed a bunch of cans into a slow cooker, and came home to Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup. Deeeeeeelish and soooooo easy.
The Bull City Food Swap was fun, even with me showing up almost an hour late! I got my times mixed up, thinking it started at 8 when really it was at 7. So I rush in at 7:45, just as the swapping part is wrapping up…
But, since I had high-value trades, I still made out like a bandit with 3 types of energy bars, granola, gingersnap cookies, chicken sausage, and homemade carrot cake. People went nuts over the pierogi… maybe 3 hours for a few dozen really is worth it?
Breakfast – More overnight oats, which does not make for exciting pictures, so I spared you 🙂
Lunch – Leftover refrigerator soup
Snack – A mixed berry pecan energy bar from the swap. They are sort of Larabar like, made mostly from dried fruit, nuts, and dates. And hot damn are they delicious…
Dinner – Since it was the first official day of spring, I made my Spring Green Creamy Gnocchi! With cut up chicken sausage added, because seriously, if I could put a scratch-and-sniff on this screen for you, I totally would. IT SMELLS SO GOOD.
Breakfast – Sweet potato biscuits with honey, & fresh pineapple. I love that pineapples have been on sale a lot lately.
Oh, and we woke up to a dusting of snow… happy Spring?
Lunch – Leftover gnocchi, and the rest of the beans and rice. For once I actually felt really full after lunch 🙂
Snack – I didn’t even want to snack until almost 4pm, when I cut up some mini cucumbers and had it with turmeric hummus.
Dinner – One pan salmon, asaparagus, and potato wedges. We gettin all fancy up in here. (By fancy, I mean lazy).
Dessert – We don’t often have dessert, unless popcorn and/or wine counts. But since we had high-quality carrot cake in the house, we split a piece, and totally inhaled it. Addictive, for sure. This is why I don’t keep it around!
Breakfast – Sweet potato biscuits and honey, and a protein shake
Lunch – Last of the tortilla soup
Snack – Berry/nut energy bar. These things are seriously so good. On my list of things to figure out how to make now.
Dinner – Split pea soup!
Super easy, nice and warm on a cold day, and totally delicious with some multigrain bread.
Breakfast – Sweet potato biscuits with honey. I almost forgot to take a picture I inhaled it so fast! And a bag of honeydew & pineapple.
Lunch – Leftover gnocchi, and the tiny bit of leftover salmon and potato wedges. Waste not, want not!
Dinner – I looked at my fridge and realized I had a batch of slow cooker pinto beans that needed used ASAP, and had a half a cabbage. Turns out there aren’t a ton of recipes using those two ingredients, but one with pasta sounded interesting, so I did an experiment.
It turned out decently too. I steamed the carrots and cabbage for about 20 minutes until soft, then added in the beans, about 1/3 lb of spaghetti noodles and 1 cup water, and simmered for 10 more minutes. Then I sprinkled on some garlic salt and cayenne, and it was actually pretty tasty! And super cheap.
This weekend I’ve a baby shower to attend, so I’ll spend a little bit on a gift for that. I think I’ve come up with the best way to contribute to the food at a low cost to me.
I have a white cake left over from my “3/3” party (I made Tres Leches cake, but the mix made enough for 2 so I froze one). I thawed it, and made my own cream cheese icing, to create cake pops! Then I decorated them with sprinkles, and they are totally adorable, and basically free (given I already had all ingredients paid for).
And I also have a girls’ night planned, which will include dinner at a local Thai place (SO EXCITED!) and probably a drink or two afterwards. I think it is so important to have friend groups to just hang out and relax with. Whatever the expenditure ends up being I consider worth it, and an investment in my health and happiness!
Food Total: $27.66
This week’s food total is something I am quite proud of! I based my meal plan havily around pantry staples, and with making my own bread products plus the trades from the Swap we ate like kings on very little cash. I needed to balance out last week’s spendiness.
|Vanilla frozen yogurt quart||3||Asparagus 1 lb||1.09|
|peppermint extract||4.49||Green grapes 1.5lb||3.04|
|Russet potato 8lb||2.79|
|Frozen peas & onion||1.98|
And this is even with factoring in the “splurges” to make Shamrock Shakes (frozen yogurt, peppermint extract) and green breakfast (honeydew, kiwi, grapes) on St. Patty’s Day.
I really need to incorporate more soups in the meal plans! It is unfortunate the boy is not a big fan, but I’m slowly bringing him around. The split pea soup was something I was nervous about (he HATES peas) but he actually said it was pretty good! Soups made with pantry staples and legumes are soooooooo cheap y’all. I’m going to shoot for a similarly low bill next week too.
It can also never be said enough, but eating leftovers is so important to saving money and being frugal! I ate tons of leftovers this week, which is basically like free meals. You’ve already paid for the ingredients, and cooked the meal, so re-eating it is free. Whereas if you don’t eat leftovers and trash them, you are contributing to food waste and throwing away dollar dollar bills. Just suck it up and eat the leftovers! The world and your wallet will thank you.