We ate OK this week. Again, nothing jumps out at me where I could have cut a corner. Used a few staples up and some pantry items. That may come back to bite me the last week of the challenge. The freezer is staying clean and uncluttered. More veggies in there than proteins. I had put away 12 quarts of chicken stock in the last month and that has come in handy. Central Market brand stock goes for $2, so I’m ahead. Scored a piece of corned beef for $7.15 for St. Paddy’s Day next week- sticker shock for a protein but the accompanying rutabagas and cabbage are cheep, cheep, cheep. I bought a Guiness to braise it in-$1.79. Splurging yes, but must have authentic Irish fare while watching a “Ballykissangel” marathon-except on that show all they eat are ham sandwiches.
Spent $57.50 (I wanted less than $60- just barely made it) last week bringing my 3 week total to $184.50. My budget is $70/week, bringing me in under budget by $25.50. Next week is the corned beef and some shrimp—looks like more pantry items are going to be used. Ouch.
Menu this week…starting over from first week
Monday- oven fried catfish poboys, oven-fried green tomatoes, salad
Tuesday- bacon wrapped chicken thighs, zucchini, Greek salad
Wednesday- broccoli/pasta Alfredo, green salad
Thursday- balsamic glazed chicken breast, leftover Alfredo
Friday- shrimp veggie stir fry with angel hair pasta
Saturday- maple glazed pork ribs, slow cooked mixed greens
Sunday- corned beef, colcannon (cabbage and rutabagas)
Did well with dinners, having three cheapie ones- lentil soup, leftover chicken soup and Swai. I can honestly say that I like the Swai. Mine was very mild. I topped it with capers, chopped tomatoes and green olives and baked it packet style.
Nothing jumps out at me on the menu- we liked everything and there was enough everyday that DH could take to work to eat. I ate green salads, egg salad or had an avocado smoothie for lunch. Steel cut oat meal or breakfast burritos (homemade at about .69 each, some with meat, some without). The toddler (AKA Miss Thang) was making her way through Annies organics, grilled cheese on whole wheat, bananas and strawberries. Finding a juice for her is frustrating. I get the organic juice and mix with Gerber’s. I downloaded the app Fooducate (grades foods A thru F) and ran by her regular grape juice—just give that crap an “F”. I bought an “A” organic juice and mixed it with “F” so I guess the grade on her new juice is a “C”. Enough juice to last at least two weeks. At any rate, paying way more attention to what I’m putting in her lil’ body. Also, bought some basics and spent $42 at the store, adding in my proteins and coming up with with about $69 for the week which is only OK. Looking at pantry and in a bit better shape than last week. Hope to come in under $60 next week.
Impulse buy o’ the week- Premium Saltine Crackers, unsalted tops, ROUND. Woo hoo! Only $1.88.
Monday- cheese/ bean chalupas, loaded salad
Tuesday- crock pot ribs, braised greens
Thursday- navy bean soup with ham hock or bacon
Friday- fish tacos
Saturday- turkey meatloaf, mashed cauliflower, steamed broccoli
Sunday- pork and hominy stew, salad
Finished first week of the 2013 Lenten Challenge. Things didn’t go according to plan, but hope to get a better grip this week. After having gotten sticker shock at Costco last week, I realized I needed to retool and retrench the challenge. We have a part time toddler so had to redo the weekly shopping list and go back to the chart and add more $ for her. If I’m reading it right, I should add about $30 (1/4 allowance of $123.95) for the month. That should keep her in organic juice and bananas for a while. She eats breakfast and lunch here 4-5 times a week. So this brings my target to about $70 a week for the two and 1/2 of us. I hope to beat that mark by $10 a week, but given the high price of food as compared to the last 2 years, this will be a challenge like no others.
Came in at a little over $12 under the allowance- about $58 was spent BUT used quite a few pantry items I can’t really measure worth. Am paying way closer attention this week. Fingers crossed.
Menu this week :
Monday- lentil chili, zucchini fritters
Tuesday-baked turkey/ricotta meatballs, rotini, baked spinach
Wednesday-baked Swai* provencal, stuffed zucchini boats
Thursday- whole baked chicken, baked sweet potato , green beans
Friday-oven-fried catfish poboys with oven-fried pickles, cole slaw
Saturday- chicken noodle soup
Sunday- skirt steak fajitas with onions, peppers and flour tortillas
Sorry no links this time. Laptop in shop. Working on mobile. All items/recipes can be easily googled.
*found this cheapie fish on sale at Kroger for $2.99 per lb. i have never had it so I read up on it and its similar to catfish and is also known as Basa, not endangered and not from China. They sell it at Whole Foods. Reserving judgement. Will keep you posted.
It’s that time of year again. Time to sit down and plan our “food stamp” challenge for the Lenten season. Food Stamps aren’t actually called that anymore, they are called SNAP-Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, and usage in this country is at a record high. Nearly 47 million people are enrolled in the program. A lot of people think you can’t eat well or really healthy on a SNAP allotment. They are wrong. If you shop and plan well wisely you can eat very well and nutritiously at the same time. What is the point of the challenge? Well 1) Being good stewards of the earth, mindful of wasting food, a precious resource 2) Being mindful of the money spent and wasted on unhealthy food 3) Being able to save money to put aside for those less fortunate than ourselves and those dependent on the SNAP program for sustenance 4) Having faith that God will provide *”He gives food to every living thing. His faithful love endures forever” (Psalm 136:25, NLT)*
Food prices are shooting up. It’s only smart for all of us to give a thought and a prayer towards where our food comes from, how it gets to us and how it is distributed. Let’s cut to the chase-the money you save by eating a healthy diet can be put towards your local food pantry or homeless shelter. No, you don’t have to eat ramen noodles, peanut butter and cat food three times a day. Here’s a sample menu my husband and I will be using this year. Keep in mind for the last two years we have come in considerably UNDER the allotment. There are only two in our household but we have a part-time toddler during the week and her nutritional needs will be accounted for in our budget too. This particular week we have shrimp, ribs, steak- all bought the week before Super Bowl and greatly discounted. Shop those sales.
We will eat 2-3 meatless meals a week. M-W-F works for us.
Typical breakfasts for John- breakfast burrito (homemade and some will be meatless-egg/bean/cheese), cereal, oatmeal
Typical lunches for John- leftovers or soup and crackers
Typical breakfasts for me- yogurt and fruit, oatmeal, eggs with tortilla
Typical lunches for me- leftovers or protein shake
Monday- almond crusted talapia, cole slaw
Tuesday- Bacon wrapped chicken tenders, Brown rice Greek salad
Wednesday- Eggplant parmagiana stacks, salad
Thursday- maple glazed chicken breast, sweet potato fries, oven- roasted broccoli
Friday- Cajun shrimp pasta, massaged kale salad
Saturday- pork ribs, Asian slaw
Sunday-rib eyes or steak, steamed spinach, baked rutabaga fries
Rules? You want rules? This isn’t rocket science. Do whats best for your family, but here are a few guidelines……..(thanks dumbsainthood blog)
- Using the SNAP table find the state you live in. That is what your food budget allowance will be per person. The table is representative of a monthly allowance. Divide by 4 to get your weekly amount.Use that amount per person to find your weekly budget. My target is $60-65 per week.
- You can run your challenge as long as you like, with a minimum of one week. Our household will follow 1st Monday of Lent until Good Friday. Do just a week or a whole month. It’s up to you.
- The budget allotment is for food only. This also includes any dining out or coffee shop stops.
- To make it easy, purchase a pre-paid debit or gift card for the exact amount of the budget you’re working with. Use it as a SNAP recipient would their EBT (Electronic Benefits Card). I love, love, love this idea and will probably use it.
- You can use any items you had previous to the challenge already in your pantry.
- If you have a garden, by all means use the vegetables.
- Use coupons if you want to.
- Shop only one day a week. Make a list and STICK TO IT!