The first week of the $20 challenge went just fine, but I already know that getting the recommended servings of fruits and veggies every day will be a challenge for the rest of the month, since we used up a lot of our frozen and store-able produce (frozen peas, squash, potatoes, etc.) last week and the previous week (where we didn’t buy groceries at all – what strange challenge seekers we are!). The good news is, we still have lots of black beans left from last week, plus plenty of rice, and that ground beef, all of which can be incorporated into this week’s meal planning. That should give us some extra money this week for fruit and veggies. My goal is to incorporate 2 servings of fruits or veggies into each dinner/dessert, at least one serving into both breakfast and lunch, and have some extra “freggies” for a snack or two during the day. I spent some of this week’s grocery money during the middle of last week so we could buy milk for drinking and for making yogurt. We still have some of that yogurt (and I plan to make more this week), so we bought fruit and juice and can now add smoothies to the list of breakfast options.
My grocery list for this week:
- 1 dozen eggs ($1.59)
- 1 gallon milk (freezing half for next week) ($2.50)
- 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt ($1.00)
- 5 pounds of potatoes ($2.97)
- 1 lemon ($0.48)
- 1 bunch of kale ($0.68)
- ~3 pounds of bananas ($1.43)
- Frozen stir fry veggies ($1.00)
- 1 pound of frozen strawberries ($2.48)
- Orange juice concentrate ($1.53)
- 1 package of Mellocreme pumpkins, on Halloween clearance ($0.75)
- 1 gallon of apple cider ($2.99)
Our total for this week came to $19.40. Thanks to a few sales at Kroger (10/$10 sale, post-holiday clearance, and a Thanksgiving “open house” where apple cider was almost half off) I was able to save enough money to buy fun extras, like cider and a sweet snack. Once the frozen meat that we bought in bulk last month runs out, we won’t be able to do that, but for now it’s nice to get things that are “wants”, instead of just what we need.
- Monday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, frozen mixed veggies (from a couple weeks ago)
- Tuesay: Leftover meatloaf and fixings
- Wednesday: Cold teriyaki noodle/veggie/chicken salad
- Thursday: Spice-rubbed pork (with some frozen pork loin from a Sam’s club pack we bought last month), roasted potatoes, applesauce
- Friday: Global InterVarsity
- Saturday: Lentil and brown rice pilaf, roasted carrots, kale
- Sunday: Chicken Piccata, kale (with frozen chicken also from Sam’s club…we’re nearing the bottom of the frozen-meat stockpile).
Lunches this week will be leftovers of the noodle salad and the pork, plus quesadillas made with leftover black beans and cheese from last week. We are both fortunate to have jobs where we get free lunch 2 days a week, so lunch isn’t much to worry about. For breakfasts, we have toast and peanut butter/jelly, a few eggs, steel-cut oatmeal that I bought in bulk several months ago, yogurt, and smoothies (which feel strangely like an indulgence. It was nice to have the money to buy ingredients for them!)
My sister is doing this challenge, too. Check out her budget and meal plans here!