Budget Update & Meal Plan for August 6-12

We are most of the way through summer camp (just one weeks left!) and I’m glad to say that I’ve managed to stick very close to our $50 weekly budget.  A few weeks have gone up to $60, but I eat more during camp.  I eat breakfast several hours earlier than normal; we have a scheduled snack and lunch with the students; and I usually need something to snack on when I get home, well before I cook dinner.  Camp is a marathon, and my eating adjusts with it.

This summer, I took a lot of the guess work out of my mornings by sticking strictly to one smoothie recipe.   I knew exactly what I would make each morning, which has saved my a lot of time.  I put in one handful of frozen, chopped greens (almost all of it has been Swiss chard from our garden–the plants are still going strong) and a cup of almond milk, along with a scoop of protein powder.  I let this blend for a minute or so.  By blending just the greens first, it allows the leaves to really breakdown.  I wait until the liquid has turned green and the flecks of leaves are very, very small.  Then, I add half of a frozen banana, a handful of frozen berries, a 1/2 teaspoon of chia or flax seeds, and a small scoop of peanut butter.  Every morning.  It has worked out wonderfully except for the one day that I managed to spill it all over me.  The greens and the berries come together to make a rather unappetizing grayish-purple drink.  But I know whats in there and I know its tastes good, so it doesn’t bother me very much!

Anyway, M was in New Orleans with some friends this weekend, so I’ve been a bit lax about actual meals.  Plus, I spent most of this weekend with my mom, since our birthday is on Monday.  We saw a special showing of Newsies (the musical), did a little shopping, and had dinner on Saturday.  I have to say, Silver Diner (for you locals) has really upped their game.  M and I had gone with friends about a year ago, sampling their gluten-free breakfast offerings (tasty pancakes and AMAZING coconut-crusted French toast–both GF), but Silver Diner’s seasonal menu. totally blew me away.  I had lamb meatballs with spinach, tomato sauce, feta, and pomegranate-quinoa.  It was delicious!  I really am shocked, because I hated going there even when I could eat gluten.  I am very impressed with this revamp.

On Sunday, we had brunch at Jackson’s, where we both had filet mignon + hollandaise + the best scrambled eggs that I’ve ever had in me life.  Then we window-shopped for a while and I came home to get some prep work done for the week.

For this final week of camp, there is a little less pressure, since I am not a primary teacher.  We have performances this weekend, but the week itself should be a tad slower.  M is driving home tonight/tomorrow, so my birthday evening is still up in the air, pending his arrival.  Otherwise, for this week’s meals, I’m using a lot from the freezer and leaning on some favorite meals.

Here is what I spent this week:

groceries 8.5

Hungry Harvest Produce Box: $15.00

Farmers’ Market: $5.00

Aldi: $19.89

Trader Joe’s: $9.69

Total: $49.58

I’m using a lot of proteins from the freezer this week, which made this week’s shopping easier.  Also, as seen below, we have half a dozen tomatoes + a pint of cherry tomatoes from our garden.  With more ripening daily!

Here’s what we got:

food 8.5

HH Box: green leaf lettuce, 1 lb carrots, 2 nectarines, 2 apples, 4 sweet potatoes, 1 bell pepper, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, 6 oz blueberries

Farmers’ Market: 1 canary melon, 1/2 lb green beans, 2 onions

Our garden: 6 med-large tomatoes, 1 pint cherry tomatoes

Aldi: mozzarella cheese, sour cream, yogurt, 2 bags GF pasta, frozen blueberries, margarine, 2.25 lb ground beef, garlic

Trader Joe’s: balsamic vinegar, 2 lemons, dijon mustard, GF bread

And here is what we are eating:

Sunday: Leftover/Clean out the fridge dinner  I made myself eggs, toast, caprese salad, and other vegetable odds and ends.  I knew I had the leftover meatballs for lunch on Monday.

Monday: M made me jambalaya and bananas foster!  While he used a few things, like the green pepper, most of his food was not included in our weekly budget, but neither would whatever money we spent on a dinner out at a restaurant, instead.  We do have some extras (bananas, andouille sausages, etc) that will go into the freezer/pantry stash for later weeks.

Tuesday: Swedish Meatballs with gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans. I’ll use half of the beef, plus some broth from the freezer along with the sour cream for the gravy.  I have a ton of potatoes in the pantry that I’m trying to get through before they spoil.

Wednesday: Chicken Tikka, Carrot Salad, Raita, Flatbreads. I have some pre-made flatbreads leftover from a potluck.  I’ll marinate chicken from the freezer in yogurt and spices, and use the last bit of last week’s cucumber in the raita.  Carrot salad is simply grated carrots, with a light dressing and some tasty additions: cranberries or pine nuts or almonds, really whatever we have in the pantry.

Thursday: Sausage Pasta. A meal entirely from the pantry/freezer.  I’ll probably do a salad alongside, from the green leaf lettuce.

Friday: We are out at my coworker’s for cocktails.  Depending on the snacks, we can make a quick sweet potato hash and eggs, if we are still hungry when we get home.

Saturday:  I’ll be at work and will be fed.  M can have free reign for his meals.

Breakfasts will continue to be my usual smoothie–we still have all the ingredients, or eggs on slower mornings.  Lunches will be leftovers, caprese salad, and/or BLT’s.   I also used the blueberries to make some bar cookies for my coworkers yesterday.  I’m really happy to have stocked up on a few crucial condiments this week as well.

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