Thursday, July 10, 2014

$75.00 weekly food budget

At our local Fresh Market they have a fantastic deal on Tuesday's, antibiotic free chicken breasts for $2.99lb and ground chuck for $2.99lb so I took advantage of that this week with my challenge to spend no more than $75.00 on a weekly grocery plan plus a few necessities. That's right, $75.00. It's a fun challenge but also a necessity at this point due to the fact that we recently acquired a new dog. That makes four. This one was pretty sick. I found her with a large mammary tumor hanging from her tummy and it was an open wound. After some back and forth with the "owner," he said she'd just appeared, he verbally relinquished her to us and we had the surgery on the 26th I believe and removed a two pound tumor! It appears that the cancer hasn't spread to any other part of her at all and now we just get to fatten her up (easy enough since corgi #1 is overweight and on a diet!). Oh and I didn't mention she's a CORGI! Seriously and the best part is that she's about 8 or 9 and corgi 1 is 8. Needless to say a surgery plus an extended stay while we were on vacation has resulted in vet bills. So we're scaling way back to the tune of $75.00 weekly budget for everything with maybe a little wiggle room in there for emergencies. So like I said a fun, but necessary challenge! Oh and last night one dog started coughing and was doing so all night about every hour. So he went to the vet this morning with a suspected and now confirmed case of Kennel Cough - very contagious. He's now spending the next week(!) quarantined in our downstairs bathroom since the new corgi absolutely cannot get sick. Did I mention he's a squealer?! Oh boy.

Here's my meal plan for the week:

Wednesday (since I shopped on Tuesday this week): Slap Yo Mama It's So Good Vegetable Beef Soup  (this recipe is a staple in our household these days - you get vegetables, it's hearty and filling and the price is right! This time I used canned carrots, the small cans for I think .75c each, and I always used canned green beans but I add a second since we love green beans. I can never find strained and jarred tomatoes so I used a large can of Muir Glen Organic Crushed Tomatoes for about $2.50. Muir Glen Organic is a BPA Free can which is super duper important to me and I'm working on finding those alternatives in other canned goods and eventually canning my own. (My mother is coming up at the end of the month and is going to teach me canning!) I had a can of beef broth on hand (always try to keep chicken/beef broth), as well as the onion and the celery from a tray of vegetables we bought on our vacation that I brought home. But I'd imagine you can omit the celery if you like. I don't much care for it but in this dish I cannot taste it or the tomatoes or onions and that suits me perfectly. The boy LOVES this and devours it heartily but I do have to be careful of the diaper rash it will cause with all the tomatoes. We can eat on this for days and by days I mean 3-4 days for lunch and dinner.

So depending on how much is left or how sick of it I am is when the next meal will be planned and by doing this I should have food into the next week.

I'm going to attempt a recipe I found on Pinterest for Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos. To save on the cost I cut out the green onions and the pepper jack cheese since I already have a Mexican blend of cheese in my refrigerator. I have rice that I can add for this and that's something the boy can eat too (if you didn't know my son has food allergies) but I can also cook him a chicken breast or give him part of the chicken breast I will use for this and just decrease my consumption. Not a terrible thing. (It's helped me loose 30lbs!)

For lunches I'm doing peanut butter and jelly on a low-carb bread (or leftovers) and for breakfasts I do a serving of Simply Potatoes with an egg. I've actually eaten this breakfast since January and haven't gotten sick of it. A HUGE surprise. But it's got everything I need for a filling breakfast and the boy gets a side of potatoes as well.

Part of my budget was spent on a few personal care items at Walgreens for $35.00 so I only had $40.00 to work with and then when I buy the boy's milk (Almond Milk Plus Protein and Fiber) that's nearly $8.00 for two. Chicken and beef and eggs were on sale at Fresh Market so that took $10.00 away, leaving $30.00 and I came in under budget with $5.00 to spare and that's a safety if I need another milk for the boy. (He guzzles it!) I realize that there are no more real "planned" meals but I actually have chicken from two weeks before in my freezer so it's a back up but this week I wanted to try and eat on these two meals.

I'm already thinking of next week's plan because I have to buy some of the boy's shampoo/body wash which isn't cheap so that will need to be adjusted to my overall budget.

Any questions?

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