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What a week!
Last week I was feeling lethargic and it was difficult to muster the energy for home-cooked meals. This week, however, I’ve felt more energized and motivated, so our meals were a little more on point.
Not to say that we didn’t have our share of fails.
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!
Kept it real today with oatmeal topped with toasted coconut, a little honey, and sliced organic strawberries. The downside to organic produce is that it’s much more expensive. Conventional strawberries go for $2/carton, but these li’l suckers go for $5 or more.
I’m trying to be selective about what produce we buy organic to save more money. After all, not all produce needs to be organic. If you’re interested, I’m using this “Dirty Dozen” report from EWG to decide what to buy organic.
I like to buy a bag of shredded coconut and toast it myself. It stays good stored in a Ziploc for several months and adds a lot of zing to oatmeal!
Lunch: Leftover ramen.
We put together this tasty veggie-heavy meal for Sunday Dinner. Here’s the recipe.
The recipe is for a cashew Chicken dish, but last time we ate it, we found that the chicken didn’t add much to it. This time around we made the dish without chicken and doubled up on the veggies.
It was mighty tasty! I love the slight crunch of the cashews and the sauce is perfectly balanced. Of course, I like smothering my ramen with Sriracha for a kick of spice.
This dish is actually pretty cheap to make since its base is the .20 ramen noodle packs at the grocery store. We made it even cheaper by skipping the meat.
Dinner: Mediterranean chicken paninis. We kept it nice and simple with these tasty paninis for dinner. Here’s the recipe I used.
I seasoned chicken breast with a variety of Italian spices and seared it for a crust in our cast iron pan. I chopped the chicken and made a pea puree, which is SURPRISINGLY delectable. Seriously, this stuff rivals hummus for its snackability.
I also threw in some flame-roasted bell peppers for extra flavor and some cheese. We don’t have a panini press, so I make do. I heat up a nonstick pan and sear the sandwiches on both sides, flattening them with a pie dish.
It’s not a perfect panini, but they still get thin and crispy, so that’s a win in my book. And it means one less appliance to have around the house.
Breakfast: Breakfast meatloaf with scrambled eggs. I made breakfast meatloaf a few weeks ago and froze it in vac-seal bags.
I have to admit, y’all, I thought this was going to be another, “What the hell did I just cook?” moments. But it wasn’t! This breakfast meatloaf (made with breakfast sausage instead of ground beef) is a delightful breakfast item.
I microwaved the meatloaf to defrost it and paired it with fluffy scrambled eggs.
Lunch: Leftover paninis.
Dinner: Chicken bacon apple farro salad. We got this recipe from a cookbook a few months ago.
There was chicken leftover from the paninis, so I used that in our salad. I topped the salad with farro (a filling, meaty grain), bacon, apples, feta, onions, red wine vinegar, and green leaf lettuce.
I normally love this acidic meal, but something was off. I think I added too much salt somewhere along the way, and this got way too salty for my liking. I couldn’t finish mine and instead made a bowl of homemade yogurt and a banana.
Breakfast: Green chile quesadilla. I know we all have opinions about the Pioneer Woman at Picky Pinchers, but I do like her idea of making breakfast quesadillas.
I scramble eggs and put them in between two tortillas sprinkled with cheese and green chiles.
I sear them in the cast iron until they’re crunchy, and then they’re ready to eat. Hom nom nom.
I also like that you can munch on these while driving, if you have to.
Lunch: Leftover salad. I think I actually made another yogurt bowl today; I wasn’t into the salad.
Dinner: Italian sausage polenta ragu. This has easily become one of my favorite meals. It’s so comforting, easy to cook, and cheap. Hell, I think the most expensive ingredient is the Italian sausage. Fun fact: I found Italian sausage deep, deep in our freezer last week. Knowing what’s in my freezer prevented me from spending unnecessary money on more sausage.
Here’s the recipe.
I also love that this meal makes large portions, so we end up with a few freezer meals.
Breakfast: English muffin breakfast sandwich.
This is one of our favorite breakfasts. I love how fast it comes together and Mr. Picky Pincher loves how meaty they are.
I used to make my own English muffins, but I’ve fallen off the wagon there. Oops!
I topped the sandwiches with sausage patties, which I pre-cooked and froze last weekend. They also had bacon (also pre-cooked and frozen), avocado, cheese, and more fire-roasted bell pepper.
Lunch: Leftover ragu. Actually, I forgot to eat lunch today! I’ve been expanding my freelance presence and was working on a few projects during my lunch hour. Before I knew it, it was 3 pm and I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast. Oops!
Chicken paella. Cane’s.
I really don’t have a good reason for eating out today, y’all. I simply didn’t feel like cooking chicken paella, even though it’s a really tasty and easy meal to put together. We had busy days at work and were craving junk food, so we went to Cane’s and got chicken strips.
It was so, so good.
I don’t like that we ate out, but I do think I savored it more than usual.
Breakfast: I messed up today, y’all! I was supposed to pre-cook potatoes to make chorizo potato bowls for breakfast today. Well, guess what I didn’t do?
I woke up and was in a tizzy after realizing we didn’t have anything cooked. But hey, no biggie, we scrounged around for breakfast instead. I used up the last English muffin and topped it with cashew butter and a banana. Simple and filling.
Lunch: Scrounging / leftover Cane’s. Mr. Picky Pincher got enough Cane’s to have lunch today. I like Cane’s, but I don’t like fried food leftovers. I’ll instead eat the ragu leftovers that I didn’t eat on Thursday.
Dinner: Pulled pork mac ‘n’ cheese casserole. Yeehaw! Tonight we’re making an old favorite. I cooked pulled pork last weekend and hubs froze it in portioned vac-seal bags. I’ll defrost a pack tonight and pair it with my mac ‘n’ cheese casserole (recipe is in the Picky Pincher Cookbook).
Let’s see what we spent this week!
On sale: $1.43
Goals for next week
This is more than I cared to spend, but it makes sense. We stocked up on a big cut of pork for the pulled pork. We started buying organic produce. I bought four packs of breakfast sausage for bulk pre-cooking.
I know it cost more upfront, but buying cuts of meat to cook and eat for the next few months is a great way to save long-term. I’m also committed to eating more organic produce, so that’s an extra expense I’m not willing to budge on.
I shoot for an $80 total each week, which we rarely meet. But I like shooting for the stars! We can always do better.
I wish I could say I’d like a lower grocery bill for next week, but I know that’s not happening. We’re barbecuing with family this weekend and snagged brisket, along with all the fixin’s, so an $80 bill ain’t happenin’.
I’m excited because I’m trying our grocery store’s curbside delivery service for free. I’ve already paid our bill, so we just need to pick it all up tomorrow morning. I’ve already saved more money with this option, since I’m more aware of prices and better able to find coupons. But once the free promotion ends? Eh, we probably won’t use it.
Also, If you’re interested in our grocery shopping system, I go over it in depth in this eBook.
This week’s video
This is a new section for our What’s for Dinner? post! I’ve started putting out new videos on the Picky Pinchers YouTube channel every Wednesday (you’re subscribed, right?).
Check out this week’s video!
We want to know: How did you save or spend money this week?
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