One thing I’ve been trying to think really practically about is what our fall schedule will look like with me working, in school and completing my internship. Each of those things requires about 20-24 hours of my time each week. Which frankly makes me feel a little panicked when I think of it that way! I’m really talking to myself about the reality re: the grocery budget, cooking and convenience foods. I decided to just go ahead and update the grocery budget to $300, with room to grow if necessary. We’re eating a ton of fresh foods and I find that when we do that our volume consumption goes up, requiring that we buy more. I’m also trying out now a few different convenience foods that we both like, that are reasonably healthy and reasonably affordable (so…not ready-made stuff from Whole Foods! 😉 ). So far we’ve determined that we really enjoy:
- Wellsley Farms Spanakopita (BJs)
- Morning Star Farms Spicy Black Bean Burgers
- Morning Star Farms Chik Patties (this is more Michael than me, but that works too)
- Morning Star Farms Veggie Corn Dogs (the health factor here is somewhat questionable, but they are tasty and satisfy a hot dog craving for me)
- Tyson pre-cooked chicken breast–both fillets and strips (I feel somewhat guilty about these, but they really do save me a lot of time. Also we’ve been steady eating down the chicken from Zaycon. Basically we eat a lot of chicken.)
- California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza (we like other frozen pizza too, calories-wise, though, this one was pretty friendly)
- Refrigerated or frozen ravioli (seem more substantial than just pasta w/sauce; so easy to make)
This month we’re also trying out some frozen lean turkey breakfast sausage from BJs. If we like it I’ll add it to the regular list. And I have been intentional about keeping a variety of frozen fruit and veggies on hand.
I also have been thinking about food prep/meal prep — I am not super into having a months worth of freezer meals on hand, partly because I don’t really love a lot of them. And I also don’t want to spend a ton of time each weekend working on food prep, when I know that time will be at a premium. But there are a few things that don’t take a ton of time but yield good results:
- hard boiled eggs
- egg muffins/quiche
- salad base (romaine, red & green cabbage, carrots, scallions)
- yogurt cups (somehow portioning the yogurt into single serve containers makes it easier to eat — why is that?)
And probably a soup or a grain/bean salad, too.
Are there convenience foods that you really like to have on hand? Or easy to prep foods that I should know about?