Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 5:
Money Spent: $55.84
Not my best week but I was out of some of the more expensive things (like eggs, ground turkey and soymilk). I also bought a bag of frozen peaches that will last a little longer than just the week as is the case with the things like chia seeds, the 32oz. yogurt container, the cream cheese and the bag of bread crumbs.
The other main difference I’d say between this week and previous weeks was the amount of meat I bought. I got both deli turkey and ground turkey for the meatballs…it’s crazy how much that can add to the bill! Definitely something to keep in mind for next week.
Also important to keep in mind is the difference between “want” and “need.” I’m getting better at distinguishing the two but I think there are still a few items on my list that I could do without! Despite being under the maximum budget I try to stay within (which is usually $60/week) – I would ideally like to be in the $30-$40 range consistently.
Grains: Ball of fresh whole wheat pizza dough
Produce: Bag of spinach, 3 apples, 2 pears, 2 oranges, bag of carrots, red onion, bag of avocados, medium sweet potato
Frozen: Bag of frozen peaches
Protein: 1 lb. of ground turkey breast, package of smoked turkey breast deli meat, container of hummus, carton of eggs
Pantry Items: Bag of chia seeds, bag of bread crumbs, jar of tomato sauce, can of vegetarian chili
Dairy Items: 32 oz. container of plain greek yogurt, bag of shredded mozzarella, carton of soymilk, container of whipped cream cheese
Breakfast #1: peanut butter peach cobbler oats and coffee + soymilk in a mason jar – recipe for the oats: a little less than 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats mixed with 1 tbsp. chia seeds cooked with water according to directions with 1/4 diced frozen, thawed peaches thrown in for the last minute or so of cooking. add hot oats to the nearly-empty peanut butter jar (or just a spoonful of peanut butter) and topped with granola.
Lunch #1: turkey, spinach and hummus on homemade 100% whole wheat bread with carrot sticks and a pear
Dinner #1: Homemade easiest-ever turkey meatballs over whole wheat penne with shredded mozzarella and a spinach salad topped with olive oil & vinegar on the side
Breakfast #2: 6 oz. plain greek yogurt mixed with 1 tbsp. chia seeds then topped with diced apple, crumbled homemade whole grain pumpkin bread and a spoonful of peanut butter.
Lunch #2: Repurposed my homemade turkey meatballs by placing them on top of 2 slices of my 100% homemade whole wheat bread with sauce and shredded mozzarella for an open-face turkey meatball sandwich. on the side I had a spinach salad with carrots and red onion.
Dinner #2: Yet another use for my turkey meatballs! I used the last of some peppers from last week, diced them up and added crumbled turkey meatballs, tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella to about 1/4 of a ball of fresh whole wheat pizza dough to make a calzone (brush with a little oil and sprinkled with oregano before baking). I added another spinach side salad to round out the meal.
Breakfast #3: Bowl of frosted shredded wheat (leftover from last week) with soymilk, coffee and an orange.
Lunch #3: Hummus and veggie on 2 slices of homemade 100% whole wheat bread with an apple and carrot sticks.
Snack: This is the only day I snapped a photo of it, but I pretty much had this same snack every day this week – a slice of whole grain pumpkin bread with natural peanut butter
Dinner #3: Trader joe’s sausageless Italian sausage on a whole wheat bun with ketchup and mustard plus roasted brussel sprouts (leftover from last week) and sweet potato rounds on the side.
Breakfast #4: 1/2 cup oats with tbsp. chia seeds, diced frozen peaches (thawed and added in during the last minute or so of cooking) and a spoonful of sunflower seed butter. Coffee with soymilk on side.
Lunch #4: Obsessed with this lunch: turkey, hummus, red onion and spinach on toasted homemade 100% whole wheat bread plus an orange and a carrot.
Dinner #4: Homemade turkey meatballs over whole wheat penne with shredded mozzarella, a side salad and a glass of pinot nior.
Breakfast #5: 6 oz. plain greek yogurt mixed with chia seeds and topped with a diced apple, a crumbled piece of whole grain pumpkin bread and a drizzle of melted peanut butter
Lunch #5: 2 eggs scrambled with spinach and the last two slices of my 100% whole wheat bread topped with whipped cream cheese and an orange on the side.
Dinner #5: Veggie chili topped with plain greek yogurt, guacamole and blue corn chips with some more guacamole (which is really just mashed avocado with salt) for dipping.
I could’ve made my own pizza dough, but given that I’d made 2 batches of bread for the week, I decided to take the easy way out and buy the less than $2 pre-made ball.
Other than that, I felt I made pretty good use of the ingredients I bought as well as those I had on hand. And despite making good use of the turkey meatballs and both breads, I never felt bored of like I was repeating the same things over and over. The power of utilizing ingredients in unique ways!
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.8