Armed with both new cookbooks, I sat down this morning to plan out a week's worth of meals, utilizing the circulars from the grocery stores in my area to determine what I was going to make based on what was currently on sale.
In addition, Mike loves having a couple of my homemade cookies for lunch each day, and the "cookie jar" stockpile in the freezer was getting low, so I decided to restock by making two new batches. I also wanted to try my hand at making homemade bread and pizza dough since I had picked up some packaged yeast a couple of weeks back. I had almost all the ingredients I needed on hand, except whole wheat flour and molasses, both of which I added to my list.
When I finished, my grocery list was long, but most everything I needed was either a vegetable, fruit, grain, nut or bean, so I was optimistic that I'd be able to get everything, plus pick up a few loss leaders for future meals, and still be under my $100 weekly grocery budget.
So, without further ado, here is my grocery spend for the week, store by store, plus this week's menu:
|Fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, dried fruits, spices and cheese from Sprouts - $30.29|
|Loss Leader items from Ralphs, most of which were incorporated into my meal planning - $14.68|
|Loss Leader items from Stater Brothers, which will be stockpiled and used in future meals - $6.43|
|Staples from Trader Joe's, plus one impulse buy; Basil Gouda cheese . . . who could resist? - $20.58|
(Not shown: Coconut Juice Bars already put away for safe keeping in the freezer)
|Ingredients from Target to make homemade wheat bread, pizza dough and gingersnaps - $5.79|
And here's my menu for the week:
- Cereal with dried fruit, nuts, flaxseed and milk, or
- Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and flaxseed, or
- Steel cut oatmeal with walnuts and bananas, or
- Wheat sourdough bread topped with peanut butter and bananas
- Bean and cheese quesadilla with a side salad, or
- PB&J sandwich with an apple, or
- Leftovers from dinner
- Bean, cheese and green chile enchiladas, Mexican Caesar salad
- Vegetarian chili (leftovers from a prior dinner) over baked potato, mixed green salad
- Lentil minestrone soup, garlic bread
- Veggie burgers, spinach salad
- Mushroom pizza, Caesar salad, garlic bread
- Punjabi eggplant & potatoes, tomato cucumber & onion salad, naan bread
- Loaf of Brown Bread
- Pizza Dough
- Lemon squares
I'm sure the abundance of how well we'll be eating, compared to the relative pittance of our spend, speaks for itself, but I have to add that I continue to be amazed at how much bang we get for our buck when I cook from scratch and avoid convenience foods. Not to mention leftovers for days!
And I'll also add that although I really do enjoy spending time in the kitchen cooking as a creative outlet, the fact that my wonderful husband cleans up behind me, including doing the dishes, definitely makes it even more pleasant.
And why I'm only too happy to make sure the cookie jar remains full.