Monday, October 6, 2014

SNAP Challenge: Week 2

Groceries for week 2 of the SNAP challenge
Week one of the SNAP Challenge went as planned. I feel like I lucked out having pesto and tofu on hand to use so I didn't have to make very many sacrifices in order to come in a little under budget. Will I be so lucky during week two?

Let's see how I did at the grocery store:

Safeway: $22.65 (saved $6.57 by shopping sales and using coupons loaded to my loyalty card from Safeway's website)

Cash back from JingIt, Checkout51, and Snap apps: -$.90 (two were for bananas and one was for mozzarella)

Total grocery spend: $21.75

I came in under budget again this week, this time by $9.75! Even I was surprised by how well I did this week considering two things:
  • As you can see, I made up for my pasta shortage and bought two boxes of pasta this week. I'm not planning on using either one this week, but I was able to get them for $.64 a box and I couldn't pass up such a good price.
  • I'm going to be trying something new for breakfasts and I actually bought enough ingredients to last me for two weeks. I thought for sure this would push me to end of my budget, but that clearly wasn't the case.

Before I go over my meal plan for week two, let me tell you about what I ate over the weekend.

  • I finished up my muffins for breakfast on Saturday and ate egg in the hole on Sunday.
  • I finished up my broccoli rice casserole and had salad for lunch on Saturday. On Sunday, I finished up the salad and I wound up cutting a fake chicken patty in half to fit it onto the last hoagie roll I had left over from my tofu subs to make a fake chicken parm sub. Gotta make do with what you have, folks!:

  • For dinners, I finished up the last of the tofu for a tofu parm sub on Saturday and kept it simple with a grilled cheese and frozen veggie mix on Sunday.

So, what will I be eating during week two? So glad you asked:

Breakfasts: I've been wanting to make frozen breakfast burritos for quite awhile now and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try them out. I'm loosely using The Simple Dollar's guide, but on a smaller scale. I'll be making 10 burritos with 10 eggs, some shredded Mexican cheese blend, green bell pepper, onion, black beans, and enchilada sauce. The enchilada sauce has been sitting in my fridge for awhile, so I'll be glad to finally use that up. I've been getting into the habit of making a big batch of black beans from dry beans instead of buying cans of black beans and then freezing what I don't need right away. I've come to the end of my frozen reserves and so I'll need to make another batch for these burritos. Like I said before, these burritos will last me two weeks, so I better like them! :-)

Lunches: Dal Nirvana, granola bars, and bananas. This lentil recipe is one of my all time favorites. It's one of those great pantry cleaning recipes since I almost always have most of the ingredients on hand. In this case, I only needed to buy the cream (I chose half and half instead of heavy cream because it was cheaper). Because the recipe is based on staple ingredients, it is very inexpensive to make. I'm going to be making quinoa (that I already had) to go with it.

Dinners: Pizza! I still have lots of pasta sauce to use up, so I figured I would make some pizza dough (I'll be using Money Saving Mom's recipe), get some mozzarella, and top it with whatever I had on hand. So, broccoli and spinach pizza it is!

Snack: air popped popcorn with butter, salt, and nutritional yeast

I think the reason I was able to do so well budget-wise for week two is because I only needed one ingredient for my lunch dish. I'm afraid I'm finally running out of pantry staples and will need to get a little more creative to make it through two more weeks. I will almost certainly be making a pasta dish next week and I'll have breakfast covered, but I'll need to do some more brainstorming to come up with another good, cheap dish.

Check out how I did:
Week 1
Week 3
Week 4

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