August will be here this week. And you know what that means?
School will be starting soon.
Allison doesn’t go back until after Labor Day, but it’s still crazy to think that there’s only less than a month of Summer vacation left. And then she’ll be a big girl that goes to school 5 mornings a week instead of 3. It’s getting hard to think about: My baby (Who’s almost 5) will be an almost-full time student, and then next year…. Kindergarten. My soul is crying right now.
This week I’ve realized that simple is definitely best when it comes to meals. Dinner doesn’t need a hundred ingredients to make it good and healthy, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot, either. I typically love to load up a salad with a lot of different kinds of veggies, but I also know that less can still be delicious.
I also now understand the importance of prioritizing what I buy. A box of granola bars, at $2.00, will last us less than a week. But a container of oats, at the same price, will last us a few weeks; and I can use the oats to make even more granola bars than I’d be able to buy with the same amount of money.
And eggs. Eggs are so cheap right now. I’ve been scrambling them for breakfast, eating them hard-boiled for snacks… I have no problem eating 3-4 a day. You’ll probably see a lot more eggs in our future, but I’ll try to use them in different ways to make things more interesting!
As usual, here’s a disclaimer about my $30 weekly menus:
- I’ve lowered our grocery budget by choice. We’ve chosen not to pursue food assistance from the government.
- My pantry contains essentials such as rice, pasta, peanut butter, and baking items, as well as a little meat in the freezer. You may not be able to recreate this menu for $30 as I’m not exactly starting from scratch every week.
- I’m buying whole foods as much as possible- I won’t be perfect, but I’ll do what I can with the money we have.
- My menu may have more vegetarian meals, or just less meat in general- But I still aim to keep my diet high-protein due to my workouts, which is why you’ll see lots of Greek yogurt, eggs, and cottage cheese.
Romaine hearts: $1.99
Bananas, 3.12 pounds: $1.26
Rolled oats: $2.39
Fresh broccoli: $1.59
2 cans crushed tomatoes: $.79 each
Tomato paste: $.39
Potatoes, 5-pound bag: $2.79
Whole wheat hamburger buns: $1.49
Yellow onions, 3-pound bag: $1.59
Carrots, 2-pound bag: $1.09
Cottage cheese: $1.79
2 dozen eggs: $.48 each
1 can of vegetable broth: $.59
Green lentils, 1-pound bag: $1.49
Kind bar: Free from Free Friday Download
Weekly Total: $29.64
Lunch is always leftovers. Items marked with an asterisk (*) were purchased in previous weeks.
Lentil Sloppy Joes, roasted broccoli and potatoes
Goulash, fruit- Using one pound of ground beef from the freezer and cooking it with onion and shredded zucchini/carrots to add bulk, and splitting it with the dinner below
Ground beef burrito bowls (Ground beef mixture*, rice*, lettuce, salsa*)
Broccoli and Cheese Baked Potatoes, fruit
Buffalo chicken salad (Chicken* cooked and shredded with buffalo sauce, lettuce, shredded carrots), homemade Italian loaf
Easy Egg and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Oatmeal with PBFit powder* and banana
What’s on your menu this week? Share in the comments below!
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.