When I wrote about our new car, I mentioned that our monthly payments ended up being just a smidge higher than expected. To compensate for that extra expense, we are going to spend a little less on groceries. We decided that for the month of July, we would try to be as cheap as possible and try to figure out the lowest we could spend to eat relatively healthy meals.
So, we did some brainstorming and came up with some meatless meals with cheap ingredients, like:
- Plain ol' spaghetti. Just noodles and sauce. This is a weekly staple.
- Homemade cheese pizza. Another weekly staple.
- Tortilla soup. Just diced tomatoes, black beans and corn.
- Lentil soup. A surprisingly tasty combo of lentils, onion and carrots.
- Quiche. Or eggs, cheese, spinach and turkey bacon thrown in a pie crust.
- Scrambled eggs. Same ingredients as above, but with a fresh biscuit on the side.
- Quesadillas and enchiladas. Tortillas, cheese and black beans in two equally delicious forms.
- Fried Rice. Whatever we feel like throwing together. Brown rice, eggs, peanuts, pineapple, broccoli, carrots. With a liberal splash of soy sauce, of course.
- Pierogies. For when I really don't feel like cooking.
We also bought oatmeal for breakfast, pb & j for lunch, plenty of produce and lots of ice cream. And, since this month of cheapness coincided with my "green" kick, everything was organic.
We spent $200 for the month, or $50 per week, on groceries for the two of us.
Not bad, right? Of course, we missed meat. We only had it while we were in Florida for the family reunion and when we went to Chick-fil-A twice. So, we'll definitely be adding more meat back into our diet. But it's nice to know that it's possible to be both cheap and healthy. Well, healthy-ish. I wouldn't disclose how much ice cream we consumed this month!
P.S. A tip I picked up about fried rice - use leftover rice or cook the rice a day ahead. If the rice isn't the super fluffy, just cooked stuff, it will have a much more restaurant-style consistency.