Weekly Grocery Budget & Meal Plan for Feb 12-18

I am feeling back on track and excited for my budget planning this week!  It has been so eye-opening to truly keep track of my meal planning and shopping for the past few weeks.  I was going through the motions before, but not giving myself a chance to sit down and assess my shopping and planning each week.  I can already tell that posting my weekly updates here are helping me!  In order to stick to the budget, I have started writing the cost of each item on my shopping list as I go, so I can keep a running total to stay under budget.  Well, this week, I realized that doing this means I am also starting to gather information to make a general cost list by store–so I know the general price of items and I can snag a deal (or avoid a more costly purchase).  For example: I now know that limes are $0.25 a piece at Aldi, so, unless I find them cheaper, I know to wait to purchase the limes there.

This was so helpful for this week, because I went to our local Asian grocery store before Aldi.  We needed a few ingredients that I suspected that I could get cheaper there, even cheaper than Aldi.  I was able to go back through my shopping lists and have general costs for the items that I knew I wanted from Aldi (I’ve found that dairy, especially, is more expensive at our Asian grocery store) and have the costs for items that I wanted to get at the Asian grocery store.  So as I walked into the store, I knew that I should aim to have around $20 left to spend at Aldi and I had prices for almost every individual item, so I could compare the prices to Aldi’s on the fly.

It was a great system!  By doing a little math ahead of time and some more while I was in the store, I knew when I had an extra $2 so that I could, say, choose a larger jar of curry paste.  This investment will last us through probably 8-10 dishes, so the investment now will definitely pay off later!

M and I decided that we are not going to go out for Valentine’s Day this year.  I still have to work a little late, and both of us just don’t feel like dealing with the crowds and reservations.  So, I made a little compromise on our budget this week.  M insisted that he would be in charge of dinner while I handled dessert, so, while I worked my dessert ingredients into our budget, we will be spending more money for Tuesday’s dinner ingredients (even though we’ve hit our weekly budget).  But, as long as we stay well under what we would have spent going out to dinner (not so hard, when you add in a drink each and tip!), we can comfortably cover this splurge.

grocery-receipts-2-12

So, here is the breakdown for this week:

  • Hungry Harvest Produce Box: $15
  • Lotte Asian Grocery Store: $14.11
  • Aldi: $19.38
  • Total: $48.49

Hmm…looking at that total, I now realize that I would have been able to get fresh raspberries for my dessert.  I made do with black berries, as they were about $0.50 cheaper.  I suppose that totaling is one more step to add into my math when I shop at multiple stores!  Ah well, you live and you learn, huh?

This week’s groceries:

groceries-2-12

Hungry Harvest Produce Box: green onions, kale, 2 bell peppers, 2 plums, 2 seckel pears (my favorite!), eggplant, acorn squash, cucumber, (1 lonely little) parsnip, 1 lb red grapes

Lotte Asian Grocery Store: corn tortillas, 1 lemon, red curry paste, nori, cilantro, 2 limes, mushrooms, 2 cans coconut milk

Aldi: blackberries, butter, 1 lb. pork sausage, cheddar cheese, chocolate chips, eggs, deli-style roast beef, milk, gluten-free bread

The corn tortillas and nori will last far past this week, as will some of the cheese, coconut milk, milk, butter, curry paste, and acorn squash.  I found a super intriguing recipe for acorn squash roasted with onions and served with yogurt.  I’m thinking that I will pair that with last week’s frozen spinach for an Indian-inspired dinner next week!  I’ll be roasting those red peppers, to keep them longer as well, since I’m only just getting to last week’s pair of green peppers.

Here is what we are eating this week:

Sunday: Swedish Meatballs, Pasta, & Kale Salad I’ll use up some of last week’s sour cream and half-n-half.  I’ll also split one of my quarts of bone broth between this gravy and Friday’s soup.

MondayTeriyaki Salmon, Cucumber Sushi Rolls, & Sesame Broccoli The salmon is from a few weeks back, and the broccoli is from the freezer.  The sushi will be a tasty use of the cucumber without loading up on starch and will be easy leftovers for lunch the next day (where as the salmon wouldn’t be…)

Tuesday: Valentine’s Day Dinner (M’s choice) with Flourless Chocolate Cake with Blackberries  Yup.  Throwing it waaaaay back for dessert.  But this cake is so simple, yet so decadent!

Wednesday: Leftovers/Omelet  M will be out and I have class until late evening.  I’ll make whatever is quick and simple for myself when I get home.

Thursday: Chicken Fajitas With last week’s chicken, peppers, and sour cream, plus we have some salsa stashed in the fridge and the fresh cilantro.  Salsa are a great option for adding flavor to a dish, and is an ingredient that will keep for quite some time in the fridge!

Friday: Tom Kha Gai Soup with Rice Here’s where the mushrooms, curry paste, coconut milk, and more cilantro will go!  Flexible enough that I can either throw the broth in the crockpot in the morning or heat it up fairly quickly when I get home from work.  Creamy, coconut-y, spicy goodness!

Saturday: Spaghetti Squash with Red Sauce and Sausage Because yes, we still haven’t actually gotten to it.  Good thing the sauce and sausage are frozen and squashes keep forever. 🙂

Breakfasts will be yogurt and fruit, eggs and toast, or oatmeal.  Lunches will be leftovers or sandwiches paired with fruit!  If I can get my act together, I’ll make the eggplant into roasted eggplant dip/spread for lunches.  If not, then I’ll incorporate it somewhere next week!

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