Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget…

I should actually change that title to Disposable Diaper Taste on a Cloth Diaper Budget since I am pregnant and don’t drink beer or champagne right now 🙂 🙂

I am not a Coupon Mom, a Frugal Mom or a Super Mom (no link there because if this woman really exists…I DO NOT want to know :)).  I am just sooooo tired of exceeding my budget on food!  I love to eat out but more and more realize that is not in the budget so I looked up what the average family of four spends on groceries each week.  Mainly I discoverd that the Food Stamp allowance is $117.00/week.  My goal was to eat like I like to and feel like I was eating out once in awhile and eat sorta healthy and stay under that budget.  Noooooo not becuase we’ll be on food stamps soon 🙂 …but just for the challenge.  I did it!  Two weeks of meals for $197.17.  WOOT!  Here are the recipies/menu I plan to use.

I took the free ads that came in the mail and scoured for meal inspiration based on sale prices.  This can be dangerous for a pregnant woman.  I was “inspired” to make oven-baked chili dogs (using canned chili AKA dog food! Blech!!) last week.  That WILL NOT happen again.  Having said that.  READER BEWARE:   I AM PREGNANT, HORMONAL AND A LITTLE MENTAL RIGHT NOW 🙂 But you can rest assured I used allrecipies.com and Google for most recipes 🙂

Now…I thought I’d share my hour or so of work with you. Enjoy.

Day 1:

Dinner-Skillet Gnocchi with Chard and White Beans (I will use a bag of spinach instead of chard)

Day 2:

Dinner-Whole Chicken & Baked Beans

UPDATE: I FOLLOWED THE RECIPE EXCEPT I ADDED SOME GARLIC POWDER TO THE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE, AND 3 WHOLE GARLIC CLOVES TO THE INSIDE AND SPRINKLED THE OUTSIDE WITH HERBS de PROVENCE.  I USED BUTTER INSTEAD OF MARGARINE.  IT WAS AMAZING! SIMPLY AMAZING! p.s.  cook the chicken 20 min/lb.  she used a 3lb…I used a 5 so adjust according to your bird.

**I will keep the bones to make my stock/broth to use later**

**Keep the leftover chicken for an upcoming meal**

Day 3:

Dinner-Zucchini Rice Casserole

(Walmart price matches so browsing the ad’s I was able to price match & save on the onions, zucchini, Neufchatel and milk.  I already had brown rice and bell peppers. I will make my own stock/broth with the bones from yesterday’s meal)

Day 4:

Dinner- Southwest Chicken (using leftover chicken) Serve Guac and Tostitos Garlic and Black Bean chips with it!  We use avocado and mix them with a guac seasoning packet.  You can skip the packet and make your own to save another buck!  I price matched the avocados and saved!

I bought all generic cans (AT WALMART!! The generic brand at Walmart is stillllll usually cheaper than a generic or name brand at other stores-even with a coupon!)

Day 5:

Dinner-Chipotle Barbacoa Tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice and Beans

Hello, lover. 

Chuck Roast was on sale at Smith’s for $2.99/lb (reg. $4.99/lb).

I price matched the onion, tomatoes, and chipotle peppers in Adobo.  I buy my pre-washed pinto beans at Costco and have enough for moons!

**Hang on to the rest of the Chipotle peppers…

Day 6:

Dinner-Spaghetti w/Meatballs & Broccoli with French Bread and Carraba’s Oil Dipping Sauce  Save money here by making your own sauce.  I also bought a 10 pack of frozen french baguette loaves at Costco for $9.99 (they are $1.60 at the store) because we use it for french toast too!

Day 7:  Sirloin Steak with Chipotle Cilantro Butter, Chipotle salad and garlic mashed potatoes.  The steaks were buy one get TWO free at Albertson’s.  I got 3 1/2 lbs for $9.50.  I have some potatoes left from last week and use the rest of your chipotle peppers!!

Chipotle Salad is the best!!  Chop up romaine lettuce, dice a red bell pepper, avocado and tortilla strips.  Top with this salad dressing recipe:

1 bunch cilantro

5 cloves of garlic

1 oz. coarse salt

1/2 cup chipotle chili canned w/ adobo (this is the heat so take it easy)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1-1/2 cup olive oil

Put it all in a blender and…well, blend.

Day 8:

Dinner-Chicken Tortilla Soup (use more of your homemade stock, chicken breast is on sale at Smith’s.  Buy the generic Rotel (tomatoes and diced green chili) and hopefully you have all the other spices.

4 cups chicken broth

1 chicken bouillon dissolved in 2 cups boiling water

2 cloves of garlic-chopped

1 can Rotel (Original) generic brand

4oz. chopped red onion

1 tsp each: lemon pepper, cumin

½ tsp chili powder

4 oz. chopped cilantro

1-2 jalapenos (optional)

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cooked in shallow baking dish with a splash of water and worshetshire sauce.

The longer you simmer (stove top or crockpot) the better.  Serve topped with tortilla chips (leftover Tostitos) and cheese.

Day 9:

Pesto Pasta Sausage (Buy 2 packages of the Italian style ground turkey because you will use 1/2 of everything else and can make again)

Box of tri-colored garden rotini

jar of basil pesto sauce

1lb. of Italian Style Ground Turkey Breast

Cook the meat.  Cook half the box of pasta.  Mix together and stir in 1/2 the jar of pesto.  Top with parmesan cheese.

Day 10:

Dinner-Chili and Cornbread (Jiffy box)

Chili

1 lb lean hamburger meat

2 large white onion

2-15oz cans of pinto or kidney beans

45-60 oz. of diced crushed tomatoes

¼ cup chili powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

Cook meat and set aside.  Cook onion until soft.  Add meat and all other ingredients in a large pot and simmer.

Hunt’s canned tomatoes are price matched to save!

Day 11:  Apricot Chicken and Long Grain Wild Rice (Rice a Roni box)

4 chicken breast pieces

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tablespoons Veg. oil.

2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon of both salt and pepper

2/3 cup apricot jam

Whisk together soy, oil, vinegar, garlic, red pepper, s&p, and jam to make glaze.  Pour evenly over chicken.  Grill for appx. 6 min. on each side basting with marinade.  Serve with the rice.

Chicken breast is on sale at Smith’s.  (You can make the soup and the Apricot Chicken with their one large package)

Day 12:

Dinner-Leftovers…you’re gonna have some from one of these days.  Eat them up! Something we may do…Frito Pies.  You’ll have a ton of chili left over.  Throw it on a bowl of Frito’s and top with cheese and sour cream 🙂 and then purge 🙂

Day 13:

Dinner-Thai Fettucini and Mandarin Salad

1 cup salsa

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 Tablespoons orange Juice

2 Tablespoons Honey

1 tsp. soy sauce

8oz.  uncooked fettucini

1/2 red bell pepper julienned.

Cooked chicken breast (optional and I opt not)

cilantro to garnish

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a sauce pan.  Cook the bell pepper in a saute pan until tender.  Cook fettucini according to package directions.  Mix it all together and top with chopped cilantro.  MMM

SALAD:

Use a bag of spiniach (price matched) with a can of mandarin oranges (generic) and toast some slivered almonds in the oven.  Top with this fabulous dressing:

2 Tbs. sugar

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbs mustard

2/3 cup olive oil (or less)

2-3 tsp. poppy seeds (optional)

Day 14:

Dinner-Pesto Pasta Sausage.  Use the other half of your rotini and pesto sauce.

As for our breakfast…we will interchange oatmeal, eggs over easy on toast, frozen waffles (Kirtland brand at Costco will last us a month), pancakes (Betty Crocker mix is price matched), crepes filled with yogurt ( yogurt is price matched and FYI I do NOT refrigerate my crepe mix as instructed…who has the time?!?) and baked omelet.  Repeat next week.

Lunches will consist of bean and cheese burritos with left over beans.  Peanut butter and honey (or jelly) sandwiches with fruit, macaroni and cheese, juevos rancheros (with left over beans :)), tuna salad sandwiches, turkey/avocado/bacon sandwiches, grilled cheese, cheese pizza (box of 4 Kirtland Brand, all natural-$9.99 at Costco) and….repeat 🙂

MAKE YOUR OWN WHOLE WHEAT BREAD.  Seriously.  🙂

So here is a list of price matches that I used this week that you can take to Walmart if you want to follow this menu, too.

Avocado .25 each (@ Pro’s)

Zucchini (.50/lb @ Pro’s)

Oscar Meyer Lunch Meat-standard size $3.00 (@Smith’s)

Fresh Express Bag of Spinach $1.99 @ Albertson’s. Since Walmart didn’t carry Fresh Express-they price matched their Marketside brand.

Roma Tomatoes .50/lb (@ Pro’s)

32 oz Mountain High yogurt (you’ll have to get Great Value since they don’t carry M.H) $2.00 (@ Sunflower)

Dozen eggs $1.50 (@Smiths.  Same price at Costco if you prefer to get eggs there)

Neufachtel cheese $1.50 (generic price matched @Smith’s)

All Hunt’s large cans of tomatoes…diced, whole, with Italian seasoning…whatever…$1.00 (@Smith’s)

Canned Chipotle Peppers with Adobo $1.25 (@ Smith’s)

Del Monte canned corn $.79 (@Pro’s)

Barilla pasta $1.00 (@Smith’s)

Fuji apples $.69/lb. (@ Pro’s)

Red Bell Peppers $1.00 each (@Smith’s)

Minute Maid OJ Fresh/not from concentrate $2.99 (@Albertson’s)

Yellow onions .50/lb (@Sunflower)

Betty Crocker pancake mix $2.39 (@Pro’s)

Angel Soft 12 pack toilet paper $5.00 (Family Dollar)

Dawn Dishsoap 14 oz. $.90 (Family Dollar)

Milk $2.50 (Albertson’s)

**Walmart will not price match meat other than the lunch meat so you’ll have to go to these stores to get that at these prices**

I prefer not to buy my meat from Walmart anyway though. Speaking of…I should also say….I got my whole chicken at Smith’s for a rip-off 🙂

Bag of Tyson boneless Skinless Chicken breast 5.99 (@Smith’s)

Whole Chicken $.69/lb (@Pro’s)

Chuck Roast $2.99/lb (@Smith’s)

Petite Sirloin Steaks….Buy One Get TWO Free (at Albertson’s)

Boneless Skinless Chicken breast fresh value pack $1.79/lb (at Smith’s).

Fresh Ground Beef $1.89/lb. at (Pro’s).

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2 Comments on “Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget…”

  1. It sounds like you mad many tasty meals! I should take lessons from you on how to stretch out your food dollars!


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