Meal Plan: August 5 – 11

Meals July 30 _ Aug 4

I did not end up following the meal plan much last week; in the middle of the week we realized that the freezer was not cooling appropriately and had to call in for a repair. Luckily we didn’t end up losing any food, but a ham and a gallon of cider needed to be removed from the freezer and used immediately. I also ended up a bit under the weather with a several day migraine. In the end I made the following (clockwise starting with top left photo):

  • Jalapeno Honey Steaks, Steamed Green Beans, Sweet & Spicy Roasted Carrots
  • Roast Ham, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Peas, Popovers
  • Steak Sandwiches, Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad
  • Cajun Tilapia, Green Beans w/Shallots & Garlic, Yellow Rice

We also ended up getting take out once and we each had lunch out one day. Looking ahead to next week, I have pretty simple meals planned that mostly take advantage of food we have on hand. We’ll be out of town for a week starting next Saturday and I’d really like to have my fridge pretty well cleaned out. Right now that looks like we’ll be eating the following:

  • Meatball Subs, Salad
  • Ham, White Bean & Kale Soup
  • Spaghetti & Meatballs, Broccoli
  • Chicken w/Mushroom Pan Sauce, Roasted Potatoes, Salad
  • Homemade Pizza

Do you have anything exciting planned for your meals this week?

Five Frugal Things

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  1. I made banana bread to use up some of the endless overripe bananas in my freezer.
  2. I used my Kohl’s Yes2You rewards on a pair of shorts that were already on clearance, so my total out-of-pocket was $2.40
  3. I went through all of the clothes in my closet and came up with a late summer and fall wardrobe for school and my internship. There are a few pieces I need to pick up to round everything out, but overall I made space so that I can SEE what I have and am much less inclined to run out and just buy what I think I need — which would have been too much and probably not the correct items.
  4. We caught on early to a problem that was causing our large freezer to not freeze properly and were able to get someone out to repair the problem within 24 hrs. Although this was not inexpensive, it was frugal because we were able to repair the appliance and we didn’t lose any items in our freezer, either.
  5. I renewed my library items so as not to incur an overdue fine. You’d think I’d be on top of this as a former librarian, but sadly that is often not the case!

Groceries: 7/30 – 8/4

This week is the start of a new monthly budget for me; since I log things on Friday, I pick up the tail end of the previous month sometimes. It all evens out. Last month I was right on target with my $300 budget; this month I hope to be under as I want to focus on using up what we have and we’ll be gone for a bit, too. However, I do also want to prep some meals/meal components next week so that I have some really simple options ready to go once the semester starts. So it might not be quite as low a budget as I’m thinking now.

This week I went to Winn-Dixie and Publix. My semester ended on Tuesday (hooray!! hooray!! hooray!!) and I crashed for a couple of days — I was tired and then a migraine descended. Ugh. Anyway, I was in no shape to do a more extensive day of shopping or even make the trip to Aldi — it’s close, but not nearly so close as Publix and Winn-Dixie.

Winn-Dixie 7_31_17

I went to Winn-Dixie last weekend primarily to pick up ribeye steaks when they were a part of their weekend sale. I picked up a few other ingredients for a recipe I planned to try out, but that was it. The steaks were supposed to be in a value pack, but since I couldn’t find any, they gave me the sale price on the smaller packs.

  • Boneless ribeye steaks, 4.4 lbs @ $5.99/lb
  • Limes, 2 @ $.25/ea
  • Jalapeno peppers, $.60
  • Cilantro, $1.00
  • Grape tomatoes, $1.99
  • Bananas, 2.07 lbs @ $.68/lb
  • Freezer paper, $4.19

My total was $35.99. We made one pack of steaks over the weekend and I froze the other two packs.

Publix & Walgreens 7_31_17

I remembered that the coffee filters I prefer were on BOGO sale at Publix and ran in while I was shopping at Kohl’s one evening. I also picked up some candy at Walgreens in anticipation of our trip. Between both places I spent $5.91.

Publix 8_4_17

Finally, this evening I ran into Publix. Mainly to pick up a few things to make steak sandwiches using the leftover steak. Of course, I forgot to get the green pepper, but happily I have lots of frozen pepper slices on hand. I think that green peppers taste more authentic in this recipe, but others are obviously just fine. 😉 I also picked up a kale salad mix and, shamefully, I have been craving strawberry pop tarts for a while now and finally succumbed. These don’t really qualify as a food item in my mind, but I will enjoy them!

  • Kale salad, $3.99 (I think this is kind of a rip-off, but I was hungry and tired, so…)
  • Shredded Italian-style cheese blends, $4.39 BOGO
  • Hoagie rolls, 4pk @ $1.99
  • Stonefire mini naan, $2.99 – $1/1 coupon, so $1.99
  • Organic naan, $2.99 BOGO
  • Talenti gelato, $3.34 – $2/1 digital coupon, so $1.34
  • Publix strawberry pop tarts, $2.59
  • Peaches, 2.94 lbs @ $1.99/lb
  • Lance sandwich crackers, $3.25 BOGO – $1/2 coupon, so $2.25 for both

My total was $27.62. I also was able to submit a couple of items to Ibotta and Checkout51 for a grand total of $1.50 in rebates, although I don’t count those here (since I don’t get the money until I redeem it).

My weekly total is $69.52, which leaves me $230.48 for the month. Any exciting finds on your groceries this week?

Pasta w/Corn, Zucchini, & Tomatoes

corn, tomato and squash pasta

Last week I tried a new recipe from the Skinnytaste website: Summer Cavatelli w/Corn, Tomatoes, & Zucchini. I was on the fence about the use of sweet corn, but this was phenomenal! I will definitely be making this again. It worked up very quickly, too, so it will be a good weeknight meal once things get crazy this semester. Since this was just posted on that website, I am not going to rewrite it out here. But I will note where I made some changes, below.

  • I used pasta that I had on hand, rather than buying homemade cavatelli. Actually I used a random mixture of three different boxes that had a small amount left in each, so this was rather eclectic looking. I reduced the amount to 8oz, since I was using dried pasta, rather than the fresh called for in the recipe.
  • I chopped the zucchini in rather aggressive chunks rather than dicing it, and just used all of a medium zucchini I had on hand, rather than measuring out 1 1/4 cups.
  • I used frozen sweet corn instead of fresh.
  • And I rounded out my marinara (I didn’t have quite enough) with a blob of tomato paste, which is why I think my dish is so much redder than the original.

This was a really good dish to use up random leftovers and calls for items I tend to have on hand, so I can really see it becoming a staple pasta dish for us.