What would you do if you happen to have been restricted to a $50 grocery finances per week?
According to the USDA, the typical month-to-month value of meals for one particular person is $250, or round $62 per week. However, grocery retailer costs fluctuate across the nation. My LA-based mates and I sometimes spend over $100 weekly on groceries—and that doesn’t embody eating out with mates. Yikes!
My $50 Grocery Budget Challenge
Team HUM challenged me to spend solely $50 for per week’s value of meals. A number of notes earlier than diving in:
- I didn’t clear all current gadgets in my fridge and cabinets. But I did vow to make use of solely the necessities I already had, corresponding to spices, salt, pepper, olive oil, and so forth.
- For this problem, I spent round three hours looking totally different grocery shops searching for offers. It was time-consuming, however paid in financial savings! For occasion, I discovered avocados on sale at Sprouts for 88 cents apiece, whereas they have been $1.59 at Trader Joe’s. However, for others trying this, I like to recommend saving time by researching offers on-line beforehand.
- Full disclosure: There have been one or two meals all through the week that I bought free of charge from occasions! Let’s name it the perks of working with meals for a residing…
Unseasoned Roasted Chicken, $7.99
Dave’s Killer Whole Grain Bread, $four.99
Unsweetened Almond Milk, $1.79
Red Split Lentils, $1.69
2 Green Bell Peppers, $1.38
Garlic Bulbs, $zero.98
Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth, $1.99
Old-Fashioned Oatmeal, $2.69
Unsalted Crunchy Peanut Butter, $1.99
Brown Rice Medley, $1.99
Tomato Paste, $zero.89
2 lb. Rave Apples, $three.99
2 lb. Sweet Potatoes, $1.99
Organic Coleslaw, $1.99
1 lb. Lemons, $1.59
2 Sweet Jumbo Onions, $1.18
Head of Cauliflower, $1.79
6 Bananas, $1.14
Collard Greens $zero.99
Fresh Cilantro $zero.99
2 Pumpkin Seed Snack Packs, $1.98
Total Spent: $50.71
Daily Food Diary
For breakfast, I made a cup of oats with half a banana, one heaping tablespoon of peanut butter, and cinnamon. To be trustworthy, it was fairly bland so I’m going to attempt a unique recipe tomorrow.
For lunch, I minimize some rotisserie rooster, made purple lentils cooked in water with onion salt, and blended a number of the cabbage mix with do-it-yourself dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, a garlic clove, and cilantro. It was scrumptious in addition to the right quantity of meals.
Since I used to be working from residence, I knew I’d put together a big dinner with further parts to save lots of for later. I discovered and cooked a scrumptious (and fairly priced) West African vegan peanut stew recipe. I had one serving with a half cup of cooked rice medley, each of which I ready in bulk. The two vegan choices are excessive in fiber and plant-based protein, making an ideal pairing for filling, wholesome consuming on a finances. On prime of that, I made it by day one with no snacks!
I upgraded yesterday’s breakfast by mixing a half banana, half cup of almond milk, a big scoop of peanut butter, and cinnamon in my Vitamix. I then poured it onto cooked oatmeal. It tasted a lot better this time round!
Lunch was leftover peanut stew with the rice medley and an apple for dessert. I’m craving sweets, however they didn’t match into this finances. Thankfully, these cravings aren’t intense, in all probability as a result of I’m consuming sufficient starchy carbohydrates to maintain my blood sugar extra leveled than regular.
For dinner, I had some extra rotisserie rooster, lentils, and cabbage slaw with do-it-yourself dressing.
I made a decision to modify issues up this morning. I toasted two items of Dave’s Killer Bread, then added two tablespoons of peanut butter, apple slices, and cinnamon. Delicious!
For lunch, I had the remainder of the coleslaw and dressing, rotisserie rooster, and lentils.
Before going to a live performance, I ate a fast dinner of rice medley; sautéed inexperienced peppers and collard greens in avocado oil, salt, and pepper; and two scrambled eggs with two tablespoons of salsa. It was truly extra filling than I anticipated, however wholesome fat like avocado are likely to preserve me happy. I used to be feeling snacky as soon as I bought residence, so I ate an apple and some tablespoons of peanut butter. Note to self: I believe this peanut butter will save my life.
Day 4 was tremendous busy! I needed to be at a piece operate downtown very early, so I deliberate forward and made in a single day oats. I used oats, almond milk, cinnamon, a scoop of peanut butter, and a chopped banana.
I didn’t pack any snacks, which isn’t like me, so I used to be ravenous by the point I bought residence. I had extra of my peanut stew, including to it some shreds of rotisserie rooster.
In the night, I attended a dietitian networking occasion. While I caught to my finances by not spending something, there was free pizza, so I willingly had a slice. When I bought residence, I stuffed up on extra peanut stew and collard greens.
By day 5, I lastly grew bored with consuming the identical issues, so I appeared to create new meals. I made a two-egg omelet with salsa, plus a bit of toast with smashed avocado and Everything however the Bagel seasoning.
For lunch, I had extra rotisserie rooster, some rice medley, and chopped sautéed bell peppers with the remainder of my do-it-yourself dressing. Later, I ate an apple and a snack pack of pumpkin seeds.
Dinner included the final of the rotisserie rooster with candy potato fries cooked in my air fryer. I additionally roasted a head of cauliflower in olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. It was a big head, so I snacked on extra of it post-dinner.
This morning, I made a fast breakfast: one poached egg over lentils, 1 / 4 of an avocado, and the final of the roasted cauliflower.
Later, I went to a cooking class the place we made crispy-skin salmon and roasted root greens. (Since I’d already paid for the category, I used to be clearly going to eat the meals I cooked!)
For dinner, I went out with my boyfriend. Now that it’s the weekend, the meals I’ve for my problem form of flies out the window. However, I do suppose that if I adopted this finances frequently, it’d be a traditional incidence to dine out on weekends and put together most of my meals at residence throughout the week.
In sum, I do suppose that adhering to a weekly $50 grocery finances for one particular person is each possible and potential to do healthily. Being on a finances doesn’t imply it’s a must to restrict your self to purchasing processed meals. You can nonetheless be wholesome by getting artistic and cooking for your self. Thinking forward and making sufficient meals to final for a couple of meals undoubtedly helps. Also, sure—you could have to look a bit tougher to search out offers. But if you happen to care about meals (and your pockets), it’s value the additional effort.
Nutritionally talking, whereas I like greens and usually discover them satiating, for this problem I discovered myself reaching for extra high-fiber advanced carbohydrates and protein. Additionally, this week I spotted that I’m spoiled and doubtless spend an excessive amount of on snacks. But I additionally acknowledged that apples and peanut butter are wholesome alternate options and might be simply as satisfying as a $6 bag of almond-flour crackers.