$35 Weekly Grocery Budget Challenge

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 0 Comments


So I started this Challenge on a Saturday and the goal was for this to last a full 7 days until anything else was purchased. 99% of my purchases were made at Sprouts Farmer's Market and a few things were picked up at Safeway. Everything came to a total of $35 for the entire week. I decided to get to work as soon as I got home and started to prepare my meals. I started with my pot of rice and my whole chicken. I made about a pound and a half of rice that I knew would last me through a lot of meals. I seasoned my chicken and popped it in the oven to roast. While all of this was going on I started to prepare my other meals. As soon as one was finished and cooled down enough I put them into my large tupperware containers and in the fridge or freezer until they were needed.

Things went pretty smoothly and there were only a few times I had to really control myself when I wanted to get seconds. Towards the end of the week I was really tempted to give up as I began having  cravings. But I kept telling myself why this was important and that I needed to do this right or not at all.

Girl by Thursday night the food was looking scarce! I was like omg... how is this going to work. But I gave myself a reality check and reminded myself that if there are people out there feeding their families on this then I sure as hell can feed two people with this.

I'm making this post for a two person household as most households consist of more than one person. I did my shopping for the week Saturday morning.

Ok so let's get to it.

Shopping list:
- rice (1)
- oatmeal (1)
- meat on sale* (1)
- ground meat on sale (1)
- bell peppers (4)
- onion (1 pack or just 2 single onions)
- eggs (12)
- can diced tomatoes (1)
- garlic (3)
- pasta (2 packs)
- tomato sauce/soup (2)
- canned beans (2)
- frozen mixed veggies (1)
- avocado (on sale 2/$1)

* I suggest a whole chicken as it's very versatile and probably your cheapest option.

Things you should already have (and if you don't you can get at the dollar tree):
-sugar
-black pepper
-salt
-cooking oil
-soy sauce
-spices


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Meals:

We're not big on breakfast. I'll mostly have some oatmeal in the morning with a little cinnamon or just some hot tea. But we don't usually eat until noon and then again around 8 or 9 after we've gotten home, gone to the gym or training and started to prepare our actual dinner.


Ground meat chili

1 pack ground meat
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp ketchup
1.5 tbsp cooking oil
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup frozen mixed veggies

Directions:
cut up onion, bell peppers and garlic.
put oil in pan and heat on medium. add onions, bell peppers and garlic and stir fry until onions are a little slightly see-through. add ground meat and break up and cook until well done. Add spices, frozen veggies and ketchup. mix together and let it cook a little longer on medium to low heat. taste and adjust spices as needed.

Pasta with ground meat

1 pack pasta
1/2 cup tomato sauce/soup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp ketchup
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 onion
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/4 cup of ground chili

Directions:
bring one pot of water to a boil. add salt and a little oil. Add in pasta and let cook until almost ready. in a pan add oil and let it warm up on medium heat. then add chopped veggies (onions, bell peppers, garlic). cook until onions are slightly translucent. add in your tomato sauce/soup and ketchup. add in meat chili. then add your spices and mix all together. let it cook for about 1 minute on low to medium heat. lastly, add your pasta and mix all together. taste and adjust spices as needed.

Roasted chicken

1 whole chicken
1 tbsp cooking oil
1tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1.5 tsp thyme

Directions:
measure out spices and oil. add to chicken and be sure to rub all over and under the skin. preheat your over to 350 degrees and set your timer to cook for 1-1.5 hours. place chicken in oven safe pan and let cook. when it's finished let it sit for a good 15 minutes. be sure to conserve the breasts and thighs as you'll need this for future meals. taste and adjust spices as needed.

Rice (depends on how much you want - I made a lot and had a really big pot)

1 1/2 lbs rice
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
1tsp pepper

Directions:
Bring your water to a rolling boil. add salt, pepper and thyme. slowly add in your rice and stir for the first 2 minutes to make sure nothing sticks. Let rice boil for another 10 minutes. the water level should start to recede. when water level is level with top of rice, cover pot and put heat on lowest level. after 2 minutes turn off the heat but keep the lid on the pot (DO NOT REMOVE THE LID! STEAM IS NEEDED TO COOK THE RICE). after about 15 minutes you can remove the lid, fluff the rice and serve. If rice is not fully cooked, take out what you need, add a few teaspoons of water and microwave for 1.5 minutes.

Vegan chili

1 can black or red bean
1 can tomatos
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1.5 tsp thyme
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 onion

Directions:
add oil to your pan and heat on medium. add in your chopped onions, bell peppers and garlic. stir fry until onions are slightly translucent. add in your canned tomatoes and the juice as well. stir together and simmer a bit. add in beans (you can rinse of the liquid as that makes you a bit gassy lol). stir and simmer again. add in spices and ketchup and simmer for 10 minutes. taste and adjust spices as needed.

Chicken fried rice

1.5 - 2 cups cold rice
1/2 cup frozen veggie
1 chicken breast
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 egg (optional)

Directions:
scoop out about 1-2 cups of cold, cooked rice. put oil in your pan and let it heat up on medium. add garlic, onion (optional) and frozen veggies to pan. You can also add your egg at this point and scramble (optional). stir fry for about 3 minutes or until egg is fully scrambled. add in your rice and mix together. now add your spices, and soy sauce. turn up the heat to medium high and stir for about 5-6 minutes. add in your chicken and stir. let is cook a bit on low heat for about 4 minutes. taste and adjust spices as needed.

Chicken chili

1 can red or black beans
1 chicken breast
1/4 bell pepper
1/2 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup tomato sauce/soup
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup mixed veggies

Directions:
add oil to pan and heat on medium. add chopped bell peppers, onion and garlic to pan. stir-fry until onions are slightly translucent. add tomato sauce/soup and mix other. add spices and ketchup and let everything simmer for about 2 minutes. add you beans (you can wash off the liquid that comes in the can if you want). now add your shredded chicken and mixed veggies. let cook for another 10 minutes. taste and adjust spices as needed.

Chicken pasta

1/2 cup shredded Chicken (or what ever is left)
1/2 cup tomato soup/sauce
1 pack pasta
1/4 bell pepper
1/2 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/4 cup mixed veggies

Directions:
bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. add a dash of salt and a bit of oil. place pasta in and bring to a boil until pasta is nearly cooked (al dente). turn off heat and drain water. in pan add oil and heat on medium heat. add chopped onions, garlic and bell peppers. cook until onions are almost translucent. add tomato sauce/soup. add spices and stir together. let that simmer for about 4 minutes. now add your shredded chicken and veggies and mix in. add your pasta and gently fold over into the sauce making sure to mix all the vegetables in as well.

Oatmeal

oatmeal
water
cinnamon
1 tsp sugar (optional)

Directions:
take about 1/4 dried oatmeal and add hot water. stir well and let sit for about 10 minutes. stir again and add some cinnamon and sugar. enjoy!

Egg sandwiches

egg
1 tsp cooking oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 slices of bread

Directions:
place oil in a pan and heat on medium. crack one or two eggs on the side of pan or with a utensil. be careful not to let any pieces of shell fall into pan. pour egg into pan and let cook for 2 minutes. sprinkle with dash of salt and pepper. carefully flip egg over and apply same amount of seasoning.
you can toast your bread if you'd like but you don't have to.

Veggie soup

If you find that you have run out by Saturday just make some veggie soup with whatever you have left. You also can fry up some more rice and have that with beans. If you have any eggs left, stir fry that in for some extra protein as well.

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I wanted to do this challenge because I thought it was so important to bring awareness to the fact that there are people living and feeding their families on even less that this. I wanted to show others that they could prepare healthy and filling meals for their families on just a few ingredients. Hopefully this will help someone out there who is struggling with this. My advice is to always appreciate what you have and never take anything for granted. I urge you to try this challenge as it will help you to really appreciate every meal and will keep you mindful of how much food you waste on a daily basis.

Love,
Ruseberry

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