Right after I made my first post in this category, I went off to the store to get a batch of groceries to set things in motion. The total came out to just over $67, which is slightly over my ideal weekly budget ($3 per meal x 3 meals per day x 7 days = $63). However, this also included a big bag of brown rice which will probably last me the rest of the month, as well a bunch of canned goods that I’ll be using across the next couple of weeks. I could have held off on buying them but I figured I might as well save a trip if possible.
This shopping trip also didn’t include much in the way of fresh vegetables. I did buy a cabbage and carrots to make salad with, but I do have a decent stock of frozen veggies to work with already, plus some onions and potatoes remaining in the pantry. These kinds of irregularities will stabilize over the weeks of course, but the goal isn’t to hit some magical number, just to be efficient and frugal, and using what you’ve got is a key.
My first big meal this week was a butter-chicken-inspired chickpea and turkey curry. I basically winged the recipe but I had previously made a similar by Adam Ragusea so I had a rough idea of what to go for. Eyeballing it, I probably made about six servings. Not including the spices and vegetables I had on hand at home, the price breakdown per serving is something like:
- Canned chickpeas ($0.41)
- Canned tomato ($0.20)
- Ground turkey ($0.46)
- Brown rice ($0.10)
- Greek yogurt ($0.20)
$1.37 per meal for the rest of the week, for a total of $8.22 for all my dinners. Not bad at all.
I ate oatmeal for breakfast throughout the week (I bought a container of quick oats that seems to be listed wrong on my receipt, but the result will be that I get 30 meals for about $0.07 each). I don’t like to eat sweets very often so oatmeal has never been a very appealing choice, but I suddenly remembered Oat Shop, a restaurant near me that had a wide variety of savory oatmeal on the menu (now sadly closed). I fried myself a couple of eggs ($0.33 each), mixed some soy sauce and vinegar with my oats, gave it a dash of hot sauce and away we went. The next day I was feeling like something sweet and mixed in a spoonful each of greek yogurt and brown sugar. The standout of the week was pretty decadent, with some goat cheese mixed into the oatmeal and fried eggs and some bulgogi beef from the freezer on top.
For lunches, I made stir-fry with vegetables and meat I had cluttering up the freezer, along with some cajun red beans I had previously made and frozen in individual portions. My lunch today was fisherman’s eggs, featuring one full can of tuna and two eggs for a total of about $1.91 and a major chunk of my protein for the day, doubling up on eggs because I forgot to eat them yesterday. Dinner will also have a nice cabbage salad on the side.
Next week I’ll still have some of my chickpea curry left over for dinners and I’ll still be working my way through freezer stuff. Haven’t decided what to prep for dinners but I probably won’t have to go shopping at all.