Eating on a Budget, My Stockpile, and Upcoming Meal Plan

We are in a time of survival and saving money.  I grocery shopped for the first time since being out of rehab and I was impressed with myself!  I spent $88 and will still need to spend another $50 max… so that’s a total of $138 for 2 weeks.  Not bad!

How am I spending so little on groceries?

  • Mostly store brand
  • Cheap meats
  • Inexpensive meals
  • Bulk snacks vs pre-packed
  • I bake my own bread and most breakfast foods
  • I stock up over time so I don’t have to buy much at once (this is a BIG one… it’s how I make things work!)
  • The kids eat breakfasts and lunches at school for free (but they’ll be home this week!)

A few things that I bought that are NOT “whole foods” but are time and money savers (or they are things we just enjoy!):

  • Pop tarts (mainly for when during the week when the kids eat breakfast at school but need a little something before they get to school… so something I wouldn’t have bought until recently)
  • White cheddar Cheez-its (keeps me from buying snacks in town, and we all love them)
  • Generic saltines (cheap, easy snack for the kids after school)
  • Taco seasoning
  • Ranch packets
  • Onion soup mix

Other things that ARE whole foods that I just bought the cheap versions:

  • Chuck roast
  • Ground beef (2 lbs)
  • Cheese (shredded)
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Spring mix
  • Triscuits (somewhat processed but made with only 3 ingredients!)
  • Canned diced tomatoes (4 cans)
  • Rotel (3 cans generic)
  • Enchilada sauce (made with just a few ingredients)
  • Salsa (I bought Picante Sauce this time)
  • Canned beans (black and pinto)
  • Canned corn (2 cans)
  • Tortilla chips (somewhat processed, but only a few ingredients)

I also bought things like bar soap for Robert, conditioner, some Christmas lights, etc.

The foods that I will still have to buy (in the next 2 weeks):

  • Frozen mixed veggies and broccoli
  • Fresh produce: bananas, grapes, lunch veggies (broccoli, carrots, cucumbers), avocados, celery
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Cage free eggs
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • More Coke Zero

My Stockpile/Foods I Already Had:

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Baking Items, Oils, Sweeteners

Breakfasts

  • Organic toasted O’s
  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Puffins
  • Pumpkin steel cut oatmeal (in the refrigerator)
  • Breakfast cookies (almost out… then to make some more!)
  • Organic steel cut oats
  • Organic rolled oats
  • Organic quick oats

Dairy

  • Organic whole milk
  • Half and half
  • Sliced provolone
  • String cheese
  • Tillamook mild cheddar block
  • Sour cream
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Triple zero yogurt (stevia and chicory root sweetened)
  • Laughing cow cheese

Meats and Eggs

  • Chicken thighs
  • Flounder
  • Salmon
  • Link sausage
  • Pork chops
  • Round steak (I make something call onion steak with this!)
  • New York strip steaks (2)
  • Smoked turkey (Greenburg!)
  • Natural Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage
  • Hormel natural lunch meat
  • Cage free eggs
  • Canned tuna

Beverages

  • Bai drinks
  • La Croix sparkling water (berry, peach/pear, and cranberry raspberry)
  • Teas of all kinds (cold brew and hot teas)
  • Coffee (different types… Texas pecan, classic 8 o’clock, and hazelnut water processed decaf)
  • Almond milk

Breads

  • Sprouted bread (Trader Joe’s and Central Market brand… frozen)
  • Homemade whole wheat bread
  • Joseph’s pitas and Lavash bread
  • Corn tortillas
  • Mixed corn/flour tortillas
  • Low carb whole wheat tortillas

Produce

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots

Pantry Items/Canned Goods/Snacks

  • Dry pinto beans and black beans
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Dried herbs and spices
  • Hot sauces (Sriracha and Franks)
  • Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus
  • Ramen (we bought it for backpacking but we like it now and then)
  • Organic mac n cheese (3)
  • Canned green beans (2)
  • Organic canned tomato sauce and paste
  • Black bean pasta
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Bragg’s Nutritional yeast (we like it on stove-popped popcorn)
  • Goldfish
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Wasa crackers
  • Organic apple sauce
  • Apple cider vinegar (Braggs!)
  • Amazing balsamic vinegar (made in Santa Fe, NM)
  • Garbanzo beans (canned)
  • THM Protein powder
  • THM peanut flour
  • THM integral collagen
  • Skippy natural peanut butter
  • Stevia Kitchen jellies
  • Polaner jelly
  • Organic canned pumpkin
  • Organic coconut milk (canned)

Frozen

  • Frozen fruit
  • Frozen stir fry veggies with sauce

Etc

  • Condiments (Creole mustard, yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, olive oil mayo)
  • Dressings

Vitamins/Fish Oil (I already have these on hand… I will only buy them as I can afford it… probably not again until I’m not driving to town every day):

  • Garden of Life Vitamin Code raw whole foods vitamins with probiotics and enzymes (I only take 2 capsules instead of 4 to make them last longer… they’re expensive!)

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The meals that I have planned for the next few weeks:

Breakfasts

Lunches

  • Sandwiches on homemade bread
  • Wraps
  • Organic mac n cheese (for kids)
  • Finger foods (lunch meat, cheese, veggies, and sliced fruit)
  • Leftovers

Dinners

  • Roast with potatoes, onions, and carrots (crockpot)
  • Grilled chicken thighs and veggies
  • Burrito bowls (brown rice, pinto beans, tomatoes, cheese, avocados, and sour cream)
  • Stir fry (sliced pork chops, frozen stir fry veggies and sauce)
  • Onion steak and frozen veggies
  • Baked potato bar
  • Cheese enchilada stacks, beans, and rice
  • Southwestern soup (basically a taco soup with black beans)
  • Smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, and broccoli
  • Turkey pot pie
  • Turkey noodle soup
  • Thanksgiving meal with family
  • Grilled steaks (when the kids are at my parents’)
  • Leftovers!

At this point, I am happy with the balance that I have found.  In the coming months I hope to stop drinking Coke Zero and so much sugar in my coffee… but I’ll get there.  At the moment I’m just surviving!

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