HEALTHY EATING ON A BUDGET – WEEK 6

healthy eating on a budget: week 6 // cait's plate

This week was kind of crazy.  I didn’t have time to go grocery shopping until mid-week so I relied only on those things that I had in my pantry and my freezer.  Surprisingly, I actually made it through okay until about Wednesday!  By then, I felt I had a little more time/ability to go grocery shopping but at that point I decided just to pick up a few essential items I needed (a carton of mixed greens, greek yogurt and some peanut butter) and made the rest of the week a challenge to really use what I had on-hand.

After our great apple picking adventure, I had all the fruit I could ever imagine needing for a week and I had some frozen veggies in the freezer plus a couple of frozen protein items.  More than anything, this week was a good exercise in realizing how much I NEED versus how much I just WANT (which I touched upon a bit in the last budget post).  Since it was a goal of mine to work on in the last post, I figured what better week to do it than one where I had enough food for the most part, but would just need to get a little creative about making formal meals out of it all.

Previous Weeks:

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 1

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 2

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 3

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 4

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 5:

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 6:

Day One:

Breakfast #1: Peanut butter apple chia seed oats with coffee and soymilk.

Lunch #1: Whole wheat bagel with 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced pear and carrot sticks

Dinner #1: Whole wheat penne topped with spicy arrabiata sauce that I loaded with sautéed mixed veggies and a chipotle chicken sausage.

Day Two:

Breakfast #2: Homemade pumpkin pie spiced whole wheat waffles topped with sunflower seed butter and a diced orchard apple

Lunch #2: Roasted brussel sprouts and a Trader Joe’s sausageless italian sausage over qunioa topped with hummus and served with an orange.

Dinner #2: Whole wheat shells and cheese made with plain greek yogurt and mixed with steamed broccoli and edamame.

Day Three

Breakfast #3: Bowl of plain greek yogurt mixed with chia seeds and topped with diced apple, peanut butter and a crumbled homemade apple pie spiced whole wheat drop muffin.

Lunch #3: Open-face hummus and veggie on a whole wheat bagel with an orchard apple.

Dinner #3: Whole wheat penne topped with spicy arrabiata sauce mixed with sautéed veggies and topped with shredded mozzarella plus a side salad.

Day Four

Breakfast #4: Bowl of autumn harvest cereal with a spoonful of peanut butter and an orchard apple.

Lunch #4: Bowl of Amy’s light in sodium lentil & vegetable soup with a toasted whole wheat roll topped with olive oil and an orange.

Dinner #4: Quinoa, black bean and corn burrito bowl topped with plain greek yogurt, guacamole and chipotle hot sauce. blue corn chips and guacamole on the side.

Day Five:

Breakfast #5: Apple chia seed oats in a nearly empty peanut butter jar plus coffee with soymilk.

Lunch #5: Big bowl of roasted sweet potato, brussel sprouts and apple with black beans

Dinner #5: Treated to pizza by Chad with my nieces during our sleepover!

The one thing I didn’t love about this week was I was forced to rely a little more heavily on processed foods.  One of my goals is to do a week where I literally do not use or buy one boxed/pre-prepared item (which means most of my shopping will take place in the perimeter of the grocery store).  I just have to make sure it’s a week where I have a little more time to put in in the kitchen!

disclaimer: i share these meals for inspiration and because i’m often asked for the recipes on instagram.  please note that i do not share these meals with the intention of them being prescriptive or because you should eat exactly what i eat.  everyone is different and requires different calories and nutrition.  if you’re seeking an individualized plan for you, consult a dietitian in your area.

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Comments

    • Oh I’m so happy to hear that! It’s a win-win because it keeps me inspired as well to get creative. And yes – definitely try the roasted apples, potatoes and brussels…it was SO good!

  1. eggs and soups help me stay on budget. Which are perfect for fall! love the pizza with the nieces. so worth the processed ingredients.. hehe once in a while

    • Agreed! Eggs and beans are such lifesavers and soups as well! Inexpensive, filling and nutritious!

      And haha completely worth it – it was my nieces’ request and I was more than happy to oblige 🙂

  2. I always surprise myself when I realize I’m learning to live more on what I need versus what I want and that I always FEEL better (physically and mentally) when I don’t have an overflowing pantry. Does that even make sense? I think it comes down to knowing I’m eating less processed foods and more REAL, healthy meals. At the same time, it is nice to have some shelf stable items on hand for those days when you’re low on foods in the fridge but can’t get to the store.

    • It totally makes sense. I get anxious if I feel I’ve way over-bought for a week! I HATE wasting food!

      And agreed – it’s definitely a balance of making sure you’re cooking with whole, unprocessed foods the majority of the time and not being too tempted to just always rely on those pantry items. I definitely use them much more as my “emergency fund” than staples!

  3. I always love reading your weekly budget updates! It is fun to see how other people shop for one and save money too! I always see that you made chia seeds oats, and was wondering how you cooked them! I want to give them a try. I love how thick chia seeds can make something! Thanks!!

    • I’m so glad you like them! I usually add 1 tbsp. chia seeds to my oats before cooking them as I always do – makes them super thick and delicious! 🙂

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! I have been in quite the food rut as of late. My breakfast rotation was all of two options, my lunch was starting to always look the same and temptation for less healthy options was looming. After checking out your posts I have renewed inspiration and excitement about menu planning!

  5. As always, these posts help me reflect on my own budget and shopping! I went to Whole Foods last night and did a great job being present and aware of what I was buying.. a good tip is to always buy their loose leaf lettuce there because it is so cheap! I also indulged in two 4 oz pieces of salmon that were on sale, and will use those to top salads for 2 meals. Gotta live a little : )

    • That makes me so happy to hear! They definitely have helped me be more aware and I’m so glad that it’s helping others! But I totally agree – a little splurge is not a bad thing at all! 🙂

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