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What’s for Dinner? January 19

Psst, I make money on some of the links in this post at no cost to you. It keeps the lights on around here. Amazon links are affiliate links. 

Phew! This felt like the week that wouldn’t end, y’all. It got bitterly cold here this week and all the roads iced over. I have to admit that it’s tough to wake up in the morning when it’s chilly and your bed is oh-so-warm.

Laziness aside, we had an okay week on the food front. Our grocery costs were higher than usual and we grabbed takeout more than we should have. D’oh!

See what we ate this week and how much it cost. Did you try a cool new recipe this week? Share in the comments! 

P.S. Be sure to check out The Picky Pinchers Cookbook! 


Breakfast: Blueberry avocado smoothies.

I’m trying to be better about making new smoothie recipes each week. This week I tried this tasty recipe for a blueberry banana avocado smoothie. The photos in the recipe show a luxuriously purple smoothie.

Um, mine was gray. Hence there is no photo evidence of said smoothie.

We were both a little scared to drink it at first, but it really and truly tasted good! It kept me full all morning too, which is a huge plus.

I bought several large bags of frozen spinach on sale at the grocery store a few weeks ago and they’re great for these smoothies. I tend to prefer fresh produce, but in this case frozen is easier and cheaper.

Lunch: Leftover beef tenderloin and orzo.

Hom nom nom! We treated ourselves to a super fancy Dinner on Sunday evening of blue cheese-stuffed beef tenderloin with a side of orzo.

I wasn’t crazy about the orzo, but dang was this tenderloin amazing. But uh, at $20 for two pounds, this will need to be more of a special occasion ingredient. Maybe for Valentine’s Day.

Dinner: Butternut squash noodles with pesto and sundried tomato chicken.

Our meals usually need to contain a protein component for our resident meat-lover, Mr. Picky Pincher. I decided to make a sundried tomato chicken to go on top of the pasta.
I wasn’t thinking with my noodle here and realized that I basically made two sauces to go on our pasta. 
But persevered we did! By golly I ate the pasta with both pesto and sundried tomato cream sauce. And you know what? It was freakin’ delicious. In hindsight it probably didn’t need the pesto, but it was still tasty. I’d definitely cook this again! 


Breakfast: Tacos! Breakfast tacos are our go-to filling breakfast ’round these parts. I just pile some of Mr. Picky Pincher’s homemade beans on a tortilla with cheese and hot sauce. Mmmm.

As a frugal bonus, the hubs stores our beans in the freezer so I simply defrost a container whenever I want beans. 

Lunch: Leftover butternut squash.

We got a surprise this morning, y’all! A blanket of ice covered several areas of Texas.

Everybody lost their damn minds. Roads shut down, schools closed, and businesses closed their doors for the day. The work-related event I’d spent months laboring over was canceled due to the weather (ugh), but I was happy it meant I didn’t have to travel. 

Mr. Picky Pincher’s office closed for the day, so that lucky duck got to stay home from work! That’s one of the downsides of being a remote worker, I guess; you don’t get snow days.

Everything was covered in a fine sheet of ice. I can’t remember the last time I saw icicles in South Texas! Mr. Picky Pincher and I broke off a few and had a little sword fight.

Dinner: Burgers ‘n’ tots.

Frigid temps means it’s time to grill, right???

Yeah, when we made the menu, we assumed I would be out of town for work. We adjusted a bit and had grilled hamburgers with tater tots for dinner. Poor Mr. Picky Pincher braved the cold to grill. The smokiness of a burger was the perfect way to combat the chill. I topped mine with the remnants of blue cheese leftover from the stuffed tenderloin. 


Breakfast: Mozzarella bacon muffins.

I baked these muffins a few weekends ago and froze them. I love the idea of nibbling on savory muffins for breakfast; they’re so easy to grab and go in the mornings, too. The original recipe called for parmesan and prosciutto.


I’ve got prosciutto tastes but a bacon budget, y’all. I switched up the recipe to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand.

Psh, prosciutto in a muffin. Shakin’ my damn head.

Lunch: Leftover burgers.

Dinner: Meatball marinara spaghetti squash. This was another attempt at having pasta without actually having pasta. 

This dish wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. The culprit was my dry-as-hell meatballs that I made weeks ago and froze. I’m just not a master meatball maker, I guess.

The dish was dry and needed more of our homemade marinara sauce. Overall it was kinda ‘meh’ and we didn’t eat much of it.

The one big win for this meal was the fancy Olive Garden knockoff salad I threw together. Mr. Picky Pincher went on a run before dinner, so I had some extra time to jazz up our side salads.

I dug through the fridge and found onion, tomato, preserved cherry peppers, olives, and Parmesan. I threw it all together in our salads and made a close knockoff to the salad we like at Olive Garden. I even threw OG dressing on there for full effect. 

Full disclosure: we were hungry after this meal, thanks to my poor meatball cookery.

We sold our bikes on Craigslist today for $100, so we decided to grab big bowls of ice cream after dinner at Baskin Robbins. They had a special on sundaes on Wednesdays, so it was the perfect excuse to be a little bad.

Fun fact: when I was little my mom worked at Baskin Robbins. When she couldn’t get a babysitter, she would take me with her to work. I had to sit behind the counter and be silent as a church mouse. In exchange, she bribed me with endless ice cream all day. I’m shocked I didn’t turn into rainbow sherbet with the amount I ate of that stuff.


Breakfast: Oatmeal day! Nothing’s more exciting than oatmeal!

Just kidding, oatmeal is really boring, and we all know it. I always put “OATMEAL DAY HIP HIP HOORAY” in caps on our menu board to get us excited to eat it.

It doesn’t work.

I piled my oatmeal with homemade dried strawberries and toasted sweet coconut. Yum!

Lunch: Leftover pizza from the depths of the freezer.

I really didn’t want dry, leftover spaghetti squash. I dug around in the freezer and found two lonesome slices of pizza calling my name. I happily ate them with pepperoncinis on top.

Dinner: Subway.

Oops. We were supposed to have poblano chicken bisque with Southwest grilled cheese sandwiches. But Mr. Picky Pincher wasn’t having any of that business after a tough day at work. I dug through my collection of takeout coupons and found a meal deal for Subway sandwiches.

For $10 we each got a 6″ meal with the coupon. As an upside here, we paid cash from our Craigslist sale. 


Breakfast: English muffin sammies.

Argh! We were supposed to have English muffin breakfast sandwiches with egg, sausage, bacon, cheese, avocado, and peppers. I couldn’t find the sausage patties (they had mysteriously disappeared), so the whole plan was shot. 

For my breakfast I toasted two muffins, slathered them with cashew butter, and topped them with a sliced banana. I couldn’t finish them all in one sitting, so I saved them for snacking.

Lunch: Yogurt bowls.

We don’t have leftovers from Subway, so I’m sure it’ll be a “rummaging around” kind of lunch. For myself, I think a big bowl of homemade yogurt will be divine with some raspberries and nuts.

Dinner: Chicken fried rice.

Mr. Picky Pincher is taking poor Zap to the vet this afternoon to treat an ear infection. But after that, he’ll whip up his famous chicken stir fry! Hom nom nom.

Grocery Costs

Let’s see what we spent this week!

On sale: $3.06

Coupons: $18.19 (woohoo!)

Total: $136.33

Goals for next week

Damn, a lot just didn’t go our way this week. But hey, we still managed to stay fed and happy, even when things went awry.

Our grocery bill was certainly higher than I like to see it, but I know what the culprits were. First of all, we spent $20 on one cut of meat. Ouch! Second, our grocery store was running a 20% off sale on healthy living items. We stocked up on a lot of high end protein bars for hubster during the promotion. I also snagged some ingredients to make butterbeer last weekend.

I’m planning to make next week’s grocery trip sting a bit less by planning meals more carefully. I’m also hoping we can stick to the menu and not rely on takeout food so much. I like that we’re finding healthy meals that work for us, so hopefully next week we can continue that trend.

Also, If you’re interested in our grocery shopping system, I go over it in depth in this eBook.

We want to know: How did you save or spend money this week?

The post What’s for Dinner? January 19 appeared first on Picky Pinchers.

This post first appeared on Picky Pinchers | A FRUGALITY AND LIFESTYLE, please read the originial post: here

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What’s for Dinner? January 19


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