Over the weekend, I made pound cake that turned out quite nice. I set aside 1/3 for a friend, 1/3 in the freezer, and 1/3 in the fridge…so nothing will be wasted. I went grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and bought enough food for 2 weeks. So far, the challenge is manageable, but I have to keep reminding myself that it’s easier to feed one person than an entire family of 4 on this type of budget. Still, at least I know that I fare well on my own.
Groceries for the Third and Fourth Weeks
Here’s the list:
- 3 lb bag of Russet potatoes -6 potatoes ($1.69)
- 2 shallots ($1.49)
- 2 lb bag of Gala apples – 8 apples ($2.49)
- 1 dozen large eggs ($1.49)
- 2 large organic red bell peppers (2.99)
- Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon – .97 lb at $10.99/lb ($10.66)
Total Amount Spent: $20.81
Amount Remaining: $5.20
The plan is to use up my remaining ingredients from last week and combine it with this week’s supply so I can have a variety of meals and still be healthy. The salmon was the most expensive purchase because I wanted it wild, which tastes a million times better than farmed salmon and it has a deeper color to it as well. I separated it into 3 pieces (2 in freezer, 1 in fridge) to make sure I don’t waste it.
With the remaining money, I’m thinking of getting yogurt, milk, and ginger. I’m not quite sure I want to use up everything in case I need something later…but we’ll see how things go.
A new year, a new challenge.
For January, I’m starting the Food Stamp Challenge again. I wrote about the conditions for this exercise already, so I won’t repeat, but I hopefully I’ll keep up the weekly updates.
Groceries for the First Week
For the first week, I hoped to spend $20 in groceries in preparation for the challenge. Luckily, I have most of my necessities on hand before heading to the store, so I didn’t need to pick up much. It’s going to be eggplant week to kick off this Food Stamp Challenge (FSC) and what better way than with a vitamin packed fruit.
Here’s the list of this week’s groceries from Trader Joe’s:
- Sweet crisp canned corn ($ 0.89)
- Light Coconut Milk -canned ($0.99)
- 1 large eggplant ($1.39)
- 1 dozen large white eggs ($1.49)
- 8 bananas – $0.19 each ($1.52)
- White mushrooms – 8 oz. carton ($1.69)
- Baby Spinach – ($1.99)
- Blood Oranges – 2 lb bag ($1.99)
- Organic Multigrain Oatmeal ($2.29)
Total Amount Spent: $14.24
Amount Remaining: $35.76
Hopefully I planned this week well so I won’t have to waste any food and it will last me all week and perhaps next week as well. I’m starting this challenge officially on January 4th since I was visiting my family previously. Also, I will do my best to keep all my meals and snacks balanced and healthy. There will no MSG and no overly processed foods this month unless specified. I’m hoping that through this challenge, I will demonstrate that healthy eating is not expensive and it’s not complicated either.
I don’t clip coupons and I don’t read the weekly grocery ads. I just plan out the entire month, but I’m flexible with my menu based on the items at the store and what appeals to me. This isn’t the only way to be healthy and cheap, but this is my way of eating healthy for the new year.
What’s on this weeks’ dinner menu?
- Eggplant Parmesan with Pasta
- Modified Ratatouille or Confit Byaldi with Pasta
- Eggplant Stew with Harvest Blend (Couscous, beans, barley, quinoa)
Since this was the first month on the Food Stamp Challenge, I didn’t know what to expect. I had a couple things spoil during the month, I ran out of veggies and fruit by the end of the 3rd week, and I definitely ate out too much (10 times!) Next month, I need to break up my grocery shopping to twice a month to prevent spoilage and to plan my meals better, especially breakfast and lunch. After a while, I got bored eating the same food for the week.
Overall, for April, I spent $54.54 on groceries and $201.99 on eating out. In total, I’ve spent $256.53 on food for the entire month, which is lower than I usually spend, but still quite high.
So, for May, eating out is limited to 5 days out of the entire month. The grocery budget is $60, which is about $2 a day, which is ok since I get to plan this better. And this will encompass breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I must buy more vegetables and fruit. It’s a good start, but I think I should make this a more permanent challenge and see how things will go. I’m pretty sure I can do this challenge and still be healthy.