(Sorry it has been a while since I last posted. I’ve been busy being a non-crazy Mom and focused Home Maker)
Here’s the update on us and our diets: We eat about 30% vegan, 68% vegetarian, 2% meat (reserved for when we are invited to friends houses. We try to not be difficult.) The reason we added some dairy and eggs back into our diet is because The Hubby and I lost SO much weight (me 2 dress sizes and him 4 inches) in about a 6-week span, that I didn’t want us dropping any more.
Since adding in dairy again, I’m finding my food budget envelope emptying faster than when we ate strictly vegan, because I’ve added those expensive things, like $15/month on cheddar cheese (Tillamook is the only way to go. And I’m not even getting paid to say that!), among other dairy products.
So, what is a gal supposed to do when she’s got 8 days left before her next payday and only $35 in her food budget?
She get’s creative! (and makes a list. The gal ALWAYS makes a list.)
- Be Flexible
- Shop Wisely
Here is what I have on hand:
Fruit/Veggies 7 apples 1 Roma Tomato 2 Avocados Strawberries Frozen Raspberries 1 English Cucumber 5 Red Bell Peppers 1 Green Bell Pepper 2 Red onion 2 Yellow Onion 1 Swiss Chard Bunch 1 Zucchini Butter Nut Squash Carrots 1 Eggplant Cilantro Broccoli 6 Red potatoes Dairy 3 eggs Rice milk Almond Milk 8oz Ricotta 24oz Sour Cream Pepperjack Italian Shreds 8oz Feta 10oz Jack Cheese Fresh Parm Beans/Legumes Kidney Beans Garbanzo Beans Green Split Peas Lentils 3 cans of Black Beans Grains Whole Wheat Bread Whole Wheat White Bread Tortillas Israeli CousCous Quinoa Amaranth Lasagna Noodles Penne Cannelloni Angel Hair Oatmeal Vital Wheat Gluten Canned/Jarred Salsa Whole peeled tomatoes Artichoke hearts Raw cashews Pasta Sauce Water Chestnuts Misc. Nori sheets Spring Roll Wrappers Panko
Terms like “Budget Meals” are your best friend (I narrow it down by using the terms “Vegan budget meals” and “Vegetarian budget meals”). When scouring the interwebs for budget meals, I look for meals that fulfill the following criteria:
Most of the ingredients should be things I have on hand, and those that I need to buy should be CHEAP ones. This is usually a produce or grain. If you are missing a cheese, just a hint, that’s not the way to stay in your teeny tiny budget. Chose a different recipe.
Does your recipe call for Italian Seasoning, but you don’t have any? Sub oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, and onion for it!
Does your recipe call for Yellow or Orange bell peppers (which are expensive!!) but you only have red? Use red. Duh.
Do you only have rice when a recipe calls for potatoes? Use the rice!
I’ve been shopping at Sprouts, and I LOVE it. I’ve come to find out that Wednesdays are double ad days, which means I get to shop the sales from both the previous week and the current week. Love it. So, check out when your store has the best deals! Safeway, for example, has their $5 specials each weekend. Pair some of those specials with a manufacturer’s coupon, and BOOM, great deal.
But shopping on Wednesdays only means I have to find 2 meals out of what I have on hand since today is Monday and it’s pretty frowned upon by well, everyone, to only feed your kids every three days. (I know there are people, kids included, going hungry out there. But if you, my reader are one of those people, may I be so blunt as to ask you why internet access is more important than feeding your family?)
Stay tuned for my first quick and easy meal that I’ll be making!