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Week 2: Feeding the Family for $50 a week!

So here we are at week 2! Week 1 was a success, I spent less than $26 on groceries and every meal was a slam dunk with the family. In order to keep the budget in check my goal was to make as much “from scratch” and homemade as possible so preparing meals definitely took more time than usual but the evidence of my hard work was in the flavors. I was originally stumped on what I would be making for Independence Day but by day 3 there were smatterings of leftovers from each meal still hanging out in the fridge and between that and what was in the pantry I was able to get a really good celebratory meal together for lunch and dinner. For lunch I made ball park hot dogs (from scratch, recipe is in Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food), with baked beans, steamed broccoli, leftover skillet fried corn and sliced cantaloupe. For dinner we had BBQ Tofu (using the Hickory Maple BBQ Sauce recipe from Quick & Easy Vegan Celebrations ) that I paired with steamed green beans from the garden, brown rice and left over gravy from the chik’n fried steak I made earlier in the week. Then I capped it all off with some homemade strawberry ice cream made of cashews, frozen strawberries and agave nectar (so simple!)

Now, it’s time to turn our attention to this week’s menu. You guys have been rockstars on Facebook and I love following everyone’s journey to try to eat on a budget. For Independence Day one of my Facebook friends, Kim, suggested I make a sesame peanut noodle salad. I got all inspired and ready to make it and then I suddenly realized I had a full menu so that little nugget is getting added to this week’s menu.

This week I did half my shopping at Whole Foods and half at Publix. Whole Foods is my weakness. I can walk down those aisles for hours just looking at all the great food and, undoubtedly, 1/2 of it will end up in my shopping cart. But this time I stuck to my list, aside from the Green Lemonade my daughter loves (how can you resist a toddler asking for green juice?!) For the first time ever my Whole Foods grocery bill was only $21.24 (I used about $5 worth of coupons). A few items from my pantry were destroyed when a glass bottle filled with fermenting kombucha exploded so I had to buy a few more items than I originally planned. But all in all my Publix grocery bill was $36.69. So my total for this week is $57.93. Which means, for my 2 week running total I have spent $83.49 which still puts me about $16 under budget and that is with a couple splurge items added to the list like fresh pressed vegetable juice. Oh! And I bought more organic items this week as well since I saw I had more room in the budget.

So here goes nothing, my menu for the week

Monday July 8th

Breakfast: Whole Wheat Pancakes, Breakfast Sausage, Green Pina Colada (fresh pineapple, So Delicious Coconut Milk, baby collard greens and salad greens from the garden all blended together)
Lunch: Whatever leftovers are in the fridge
Dinner: Sesame Peanut Salad with Agave Roasted Carrots (from the garden) and Roasted Tofu

Tuesday July 9th (My 7 Year Vegan-anniversary!)
Breakfast: Breakfast Biscuit – biscuit, vegan egg patty (I’m trying out a new recipe, if all goes well I’ll post it), cheese sauce (not sure which one I’m using but I think the queso sauce from Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food)
Lunch: A wrap made out of whatever I have leftover in the fridge/freezer and likely some Caesar dressing (recipe from Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food)
Dinner: Black Bean Soup from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food with steamed veggies tossed in flax oil and homemade dinner rolls

Wednesday July 10th
Breakfast: Breakfast Biscuit and Kombucha
Lunch: Leftover Black Bean Soup and Salad (same southwest salad I made last week)
Dinner: Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta with Alfredo Sauce (recipe from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food topped with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil (from the garden)

Thursday July 11th
Breakfast: Breakfast Biscuit and Kombucha
Lunch: Leftovers from Monday – Wednesday (probably something rolled up into a wrap)
Dinner: Leftovers from Monday – Wednesday

Friday, July 12th
Breakfast: Vegetable & Cheese Omelette (I have some daiya cheese hanging around in the freezer somewhere, and I’m using the recipe from Vegan Richa for the omelette – all the greens and veggies will come from the garden)
Lunch: More wraps made out of a hodge podge of leftovers
Dinner: Gumbo with Andouille Sausage over brown rice (using the recipe from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food but adding okra since I have some frozen okra that’s been sitting in the freezer for months)

Saturday, July 13th
Breakfast: Whole Wheat Pancakes, Fruit and Naked Tofu Scramble
Lunch and Dinner: Leftovers and whatever I can scrounge up in the freezer and pantr

Sunday, July 14th
Breakfast: Oatmeal & Quinoa (I mix the two together usually with a little cinnamon, brown sugar and hemp seeds), fruit
Lunch and Dinner: Leftovers

Whew! That’s it. I like to experiment with recipes so I usually only cook out of my own cookbooks once or twice a week but experimenting means that something might not come out just right and with this new budget I can’t afford to waste any food or time on a cooking experiment gone wrong so I’m using tried and true recipes. I’m probably going to start working on a new project sometime this month so we’ll see how that affects the budget when I’m working on new recipes. I guess it is more incentive to make it perfect the first time!

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