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Wowee wow wow! Another great, if not trying, week is under our belts. Mr. Picky Pincher survived the first week at his brand-new, squeaky-shiny job. I dealt with the perilous juggling act of full-time work, blogging, freelancing, and keeping everyone alive.
It wasn’t our best week for food, but it wasn’t the worst. I think I’ve fallen into a bit of a rut with what I’ve been cooking. Hopefully next week, if not next month, will be more motivating. Here’s what we ate this week!
Did you try a new recipe this week? Let us know in the comments!
P.S. Be sure to check out The Picky Pinchers Cookbook!
Breakfast: Starbucks sandwich
I steeled away to Starbucks over the weekend to do a blitz of freelance writing work. I got ahead of myself and ordered two Breakfast sandwiches, which is one sandwich too many. I ate the extra sandwich today for breakfast, which was heavenly. Yum!
Snack: Matcha balls. Recipe here.
Lunch: Leftover turkey Dinner.
On Sunday Mr. Picky Pincher roasted a turkey. We bought this suckah when turkeys were on fire sale after Thanksgiving. I totally flubbed making the sides, so we ended up having turkey and old rolls. Sorry honey!
For what it’s worth, the turkey was tasty.
Dinner: Coconut chicken with sweet ‘n’ spicy sauce and cauliflower tots.
I used this Budget Bytes recipe to make the coconut chicken. The recipe tells you to fry it, but I baked mine instead. Frying probably would have made it even more amazing.
And I know how you guys were curious about the cauliflower tots! I cooked both cauliflower and potato tots to compare them. By a landslide margin, the cauliflower tots are the clear winner. They have an amazing flavor! The only downside is, if you’re baking them, they have to bake at a higher heat for a longer time to get a decent crunch.
… Or you could fry them.
I also pulled together a last minute sweet ‘n’ spicy sauce. This was my homemade yogurt with lots of Sriracha, salt, pepper, lime, garlic powder, and a touch of honey from the neighbor.
Breakfast: Breakfast cookies.
I cooked these carrot cake breakfast cookies a few weeks ago. Spoiler alert: they don’t taste like carrot cake, but they are tasty. I froze them and pull a couple out whenever I need them.
Snack: Salami and cheese. I like to have charcuterie and cheese on hand at all times. It’s not “good” for you, but I guess it’s more filling than chips, right?
Lunch: Leftover chicken ‘n’ tots
Dinner: Chicken salad ciabatta flatbreads.
This was so tasty! Picky Nikki gave me this recipe for the roasted garlic red pepper chicken salad last year. I served it cold on top of a broiled piece of homemade ciabatta, which I thinly sliced like a flatbread.
Breakfast: Yogurt bowl.
I love yogurt bowls at breakfast time.
I topped my homemade yogurt with a mini mandarin orange, almonds, raspberries, and honey. I didn’t plan on buying raspberries this week, but we found a container marked down 50%. They were a nice, cheap treat.
Snack: Almond butter and celery.
Almond butter is SO good.
Lunch: Leftover chicken salad.
Dinner: Steak with blue cheese, corn, and salad
Y’all have probably noticed that we mostly eat chicken. We do this because a) I love eating chicken, and b) everything else we like is expensive. Occasionally I like to throw beef onto the menu to keep hubby from starting a kitchen mutiny.
Mr. Picky Pincher gets home earlier from work now, which is awesome! It means he can grill on weeknights. He grilled steak and I put together quick sides of corn (frozen) and salad.
I topped mine with blue cheese, because everything is better with cheese.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with bacon
I had two orphan strips of bacon after pre-cooking a huge batch of Costco bacon earlier this week. I fried ’em up in the skillet on top of a bed of fluffy scrambled eggs. And it wasn’t complete without salsa, of course.
Lunch: Leftover steak. Boo hoo, poor me.
Dinner: Chicken winter salad Taco Bell
Our new goal is to have one dinner salad per week. I was so excited to cook this meal, because it had pomegranates and chickpeas and all kinds of tasty things in it.
Well, imagine my annoyance when I realized I forgot to buy chickpeas and several other ingredients.
I was trying to think up a way to use the defrosted chicken breast, and sighed with relief when Mr. Picky Pincher said, “Can we just go get something?”
And that’s how we went to Taco Bell, friends. We had frozen pizzas and corn dogs on hand, but we wanted something else. I guess all the pre-cooked meals in the world can’t help you if you just want Taco Bell.
Anyway, I made sure to order their $5 meal deal. It comes with too much food for me to eat in one sitting, so it’s great for lunch leftovers. At $2.50 per serving, it’s surprisingly below our average cost per meal anyway.
If you do some quick math, you can find fast food options that are budget-friendly.
Breakfast: Raspberry oatmeal pancakes with pomegranate, pecans, and maple syrup
I love, love, love this recipe for oatmeal pancakes. I try to make it as often as I can. This is something that’s better cooked and eaten fresh, but even then, I love how easy it is to cook in the morning.
Today I used up a few more raspberries and stirred them into my pancake batter. I topped the pancakes with pomegranate arils (I have a pound of them to eat now, ugh), pecans, and maple syrup.
P.S. These look huge, but they’re on a small plate. These are silver dollar-sized pancakes.
Snack: Bell pepper slices
Lunch: Leftover Taco Bell.
I somewhat regret going to Taco Bell, because tonight we’re going out for Tex Mex. Mr. Picky Pincher’s mom is in town, so the fam is getting together for dinner at a taco joint.
Let’s see what we spent this week!
On sale: $1.04
Total budget remaining: $111.33
Goals for next week
Not too shabby, right?
Last week’s total was crazy-low, but I’m proud of how we managed costs this week, too. It seems to ebb and flow like that: some weeks we don’t need much, and the following week we stock up. It all balances out at the end of the month.
There were three culprits for the grocery bill. First was the whole pomegranate, which was $4. I’m going to price out the difference between a whole pomegranate and buying the boxes of arils. At $4 per pound, it was proportionally more expensive than the steak we bought!
Oh, and the second culprit was the steak, which went for $10. Third, I stocked up on Brazil nuts. I eat two Brazil nuts every morning (they’re supposed to provide selenium and help with thyroid function).
Sure, these food items were more high end treats, but we still bought them and stayed on budget.
As far as this month’s grocery budget, we can stay on track if we only spend $50 on our remaining two shopping trips. I think we can do it.
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 stay frugal this week?
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