Meals this week

Very little shopping this time around. I spent the weekend with my parents and was sent home with a bunch of food which ended up being the basis for most of what I ate.

Before I get into what I did eat though, a quick mention of what I didn’t eat — or more specifically, what I bought that went to waste. Last week I picked up a couple of greenhouse tomatoes ($4.96) with the idea of eating them in sandwiches as a special treat. The first one was disappointingly mealy and I ended up neglecting the other one, and by the time I noticed it in the middle of the week it had molded. It feels bad to waste money on ingredients this close to the beginning of the program, especially when they’re comparatively expensive. Going forward I’ll try to be more careful of the perishable goods I buy; both in making good selections and also being proactive about using them up, even if it’s for a purpose that I didn’t originally intend.

The first of my two big meal preps this week was a hearty soup I made with a roast ham my mom gave me. The key ingredients in this were a can of red beans ($1.19), about half of the napa cabbage I bought the first week ($1.70), plus some assorted vegetables and miscellaneous stuff from the pantry like pearl barley. The other meal was a rice casserole with mushrooms and chicken breast, for which nearly every ingredient was either from my mom or had been languishing in the freezer. Between these two meals I was basically set for the rest of the week and then some.

I had a couple of other random meals here and there, again made mostly with existing ingredients. Dinner one night was a grilled chicken wrap and the next was Japanese white stew (made by my sister with ingredients she bought). As a result I was able to freeze more of my prepared food than usual, which is another nice investment in future weeks.

I did a small shopping in the middle of the week which came out to just over $40. Most of this was bulk goods that I’ll be using in the coming weeks (canned tomatoes, brown sugar) as well as some fresh produce from the bargain shelf and a large carton of eggs.

I finished off the huevos rancheros add-ins that I had made for oatmeal the week before, and alternated between sweet (brown sugar and yogurt) and savory (goat cheese and chicken sausage) throughout the rest of the week.