My husband had our annual visit with the accountant last week. The good news is, he had a record year, income-wise. The bad news is, we owe Uncle Sam a ton of money. Thankfully we have most of it in savings, but this month he’s working extra hard to pay the difference.
I decided to do my part by, among other things, getting creative with the grocery budget. It’s good for me to challenge myself every once in a while to see how cheaply I can feed my family and still maintain a healthy, whole foods diet. Now I have the additional challenge of keeping myself “on plan”.
“E” meals tend to be less expensive than “S” meals. Fruits, grains, sweet potatoes – these foods cost less than meats, butter and cheese! So E meals are showing up more prominently this week (and for the rest of the month). I also plan on using up food from my freezer and pantry this month. By the end of it, my cupboards will be bare, but we will have saved a couple hundred bucks, so it’s worth it.
My BUDGET Trim Healthy Mama menu for the week:
Sunday: We had *Sweeties on Steroids for supper. I served it with brown rice and ground turkey for the protein. I wasn’t crazy about this recipe, so if I make it again I’ll tweak it somehow to make it “mine”. “E” meal
Monday: Roast chicken – since a whole chicken is almost always cheaper than cuts, I decided to roast a whole chicken and use some of the meat (and the bones for broth, bien sur) for other recipes. Sides: roasted Brussels sprouts, gingered carrots for the hubby and kids “S” meal
Tuesday: Salmon croquettes – these are a healthy, high-protein main dish that are very inexpensive, from canned salmon. Sides: green peas, broccoli. “S” meal
Wednesday: Taco Salad – a good way to stretch ground beef: serve it with beans, on top of lettuce, with cheese, sour cream and all the fixin’s. “S” meal
Thursday: *Bangin’ Ranch Drums – Drumsticks are super cheap at .89 a pound at ALDI. Side: cucumber salad “S” meal
Friday: Dirty Rice – the Coers website had this recipe. Looks good and very inexpensive. I’ll probably serve this with a dessert or muffin to increase the “wow” factor, since beans and rice dishes can be a bit boring. Maybe chocolate banana muffins, these are one of our family favorites. Or perhaps Briana Thomas’ new Apple Muffins. “E” meal
Saturday: *Sweet potato-oat soup. I made this last week and everyone loved it, which suprised me. A soup with oats in it sounds weird, but it had a lovely sweet and savory flavor. With *Swiss bread for a side. “E” meal
We usually eat a lot of eggs for breakfast, but this week we’ll have more oatmeal since it’s a more frugal option. Baked oatmeal seems to go over well with my kids. Adding egg whites makes it heartier. I’m also making a green-chile egg bake since I have a couple of cans of chiles in my pantry.
Recipes with an asterisk * come from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook.
Note: everything I bought for my menu this week came from ALDI. If you want to save money on groceries, I highly recommend checking out your local ALDI store!
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