HEALTHY EATING ON A BUDGET – WEEK 9

healthy eating on a budget: week 9 // cait's plate

Okay guys, it’s officially back to school and time to get serious about planning, budgeting and eating well!

Since this series was such a hit last year, I decided to bring it back for another round.  If you’re still loving it, I’ll keep it as a regular thing in the rotation!  It only benefits me as it keeps me creative in the kitchen on my limited grad student budget 🙂

My personal goal is to stay under $60 a week (which is less than $10 a day…a feat that can be hard to achieve for a single meal let alone a full day when eating out in the city I live in).  This is what I’ve personally budgeted for and what works for me though I recognize that many people need to subsist on much less.  I feel incredibly grateful that I’m fortunate enough to know where my next meal is coming from as I know that’s not the case for everyone.

That said, I’m definitely not opposed to trying lower budget ranges if anyone is interested so feel free to speak up! If there are things you’d like to see that I’m not doing, please let me know!

Total Spent: $48.93

Groceries Purchased:

healthy eating on a budget - week 8 grocery list // cait's plate

THINGS I HAD ON HAND:

  • Oatmeal (add $1.99, purchased at Wegman’s)
  • Farro (8 oz – add $2.99, purchased at Wegman’s)
  • Raspberry preserves/jam (add $2.69, purchased at Wegman’s)
  • Natural, unsalted peanut butter (add $2.79, purchased at Trader Joe’s)
  • Coffee (add $2.79, purchased at Wegman’s)
  • Frozen asparagus (add $2.99, purchased at Trader Joe’s)
  • Wegman’s Fitness Crunch (add $2.99, purchased as Wegman’s, you could also get Trader Joe’s 9-grain cereal or Kashi Go Lean Crunch for similar substitutes)
  • Chia seeds (1 lb bag, add $9.99, purchased at Wegman’s)*
    *Trader Joe’s also sells a smaller bag for $4.99 but these are also a great thing to get out of the bulk bins!

Healthy Eating on a Budget Series

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

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 7

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 8

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 9:

Day One:

Breakfast #1: Plain greek yogurt with chia seeds, a diced doughnut peach, sliced strawberries, peanut butter and wegman’s fitness crunch cereal plus coffee with plain, unsweetened soymilk

breakfast #1 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Lunch #1: Turkey sandwich on whole wheat with avocado and mixed greens, sliced carrots & cucumbers with hummus and an apple

lunch #1 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Snack #1: Slice of my whole grain chocolate chip banana yogurt skillet cake (other than the bananas which are included in my grocery list, I had all other ingredients on hand)

$RADUVKF

Dinner #1: Whole wheat three cheese tortellini with pesto and summer vegetables topped with shredded parmesan and romano cheese

dinner #1 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Day Two:

Breakfast #2: Apple peanut butter chia seed oatmeal and coffee with soymilk

breakfast #2 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2/3 cup water or milk of choice
  • 1 small apple, chopped
  • Spoonful natural peanut butter

Directions:

  • Combine oatmeal, chia seeds and liquid of choice in a microwave-safe bowl and let sit while you chop the apple
  • Microwave oatmeal mixture on high for 2 minutes
  • Mix apples into bowl then microwave again for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • Put spoonful of peanut butter directly into the center so it melts

Lunch #2: Gigantic salad (mixed green, cucumbers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, avocado, feta, walnuts, pepitas, almonds and dried cranberries topped with olive oil and red wine vinegar) and a nectarine

lunch #2 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Snack #2: 1 slice of whole wheat bread with 1 tbsp. peanut butter and 2 tsp. raspberry preserves

snack #2 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Dinner #2: Leftovers of my whole wheat three cheese tortellini with pesto and summer vegetables topped with shredded parmesan and romano cheese

dinner #2 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Day Three:

Breakfast #3: Two slices of whole wheat bread topped with sunflower seed butter, plain greek yogurt and strawberries plus coffee with soymilk

breakfast #3 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Lunch #3: Two slices of whole wheat bread toasted and topped with hummus, feta, mixed greens, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and shredded carrots plus an apple

lunch #3 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Snack #3: Wegman’s antioxidant trail mix (from the bulk bins…bulk bins are my life when eating on a budget!)

snack #3 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

 

Dinner #3: Pan-seared tofu, roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus all over farro with hummus for dipping

dinner #3 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Recipe (serves 2):

  • 1 cup farro, prepared according to instructions
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed and cubed
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cubed
  • 15 asparagus spears
  • 2 tbsp. hummus
  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • Sea salt, to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
  • Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with canola oil cooking spray
  • Place cubed sweet potato and asparagus spears on the pan, spray with a bit more canola oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes on each side or until just browned (the asparagus may cook faster than the potato so you may want to leave it out for the first half of cooking as it can get pretty crispy)
  • Meanwhile, spray a non-stick skillet with canola oil cooking spray and place drained, pressed and cubed tofu in it over medium-high heat, turning every few minutes to brown all sides.  Once all sides are browned, remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a bowl or on a plate, lay down half the prepared farro (I usually just boil it in water for 10-12 minutes) then top with half the pan-seared tofu, asparagus and sweet potatoes.
  • Finish off by topping with hummus
  • Store the remaining half in tupperware for a later meal.

Day Four:

Breakfast #4: Bowl of frosted shredded wheats with strawberries and plain unsweetened soymilk plus coffee with plain unsweetened soymilk

breakfast #4 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Lunch #4: Two slices of whole wheat bread with hummus, mixed greens and turkey plus carrots, cucumbers and an apple

lunch #4 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Snack #4: 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt topped with strawberries and wegman’s fitness crunch cereal (unpictured because I had to eat it in class!)

Dinner #4: Leftovers!  This meal served me very well this week!

dinner #4 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Day Five:

Breakfast #5:  6 oz. plain greek yogurt mixed with 1 tbsp. chia seeds topped with sliced strawberries and wegman’s fitness crunch cereal plus coffee with soymilk

breakfast #5 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Lunch #5: Leftovers from dinner the other night – pan-seared tofu over farro with roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus and hummus + an unpictured apple

lunch #5 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Snack #5: 1 slice of whole wheat bread with 1 tbsp. peanut butter and 2 tsp. raspberry preserves

snack #5 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

Dinner #5: 2 scrambled eggs with feta and the last of my cherry tomatoes on 2 slices of whole wheat bread with mixed greens and an orange

dinner #5 - healthy eating on a budget week 8 // cait's plate

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 registered dietitian in your area.

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Comments

    • Yeah – I’m lucky to live near both a Wegman’s and a Trader Joe’s, both of which offer incredibly good deals (although free range eggs can definitely get up there in price over here too!). And I definitely do have to give up some of the buying luxuries I enjoyed while I was employed! While I’d love to be able to buy free-range eggs (and hope to do so again once I have an income) it’s just not feasible right now so I just get the ones that are the best bargain 🙂

  1. I love this series! Such great ideas and beautiful pictures. I’m curious, do you choose soy milk due to flavor preference or some other benefits? I’m always confused if I should be drinking cow’s dairy or something different. How does one choose?

    • So glad you like the series!

      As for the soy vs. cow’s milk: I started drinking soy milk years ago when I went through a period where cow’s milk was upsetting my stomach. Now I just prefer it after years of drinking it! If you can drink cow’s milk definitely go for it! If you choose to go with a dairy alternative, make sure it’s fortified with calcium so you’re not missing out on that 🙂

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