I'm pretty sure the girl behind the counter thought I was crazy while checking out at the grocery store last week. As she scanned my little pile of food, I stared at the screen itemizing my purchases...probably with a crazed look. I told her I've been on this $30 a week grocery budget goal. She said that was impossible. Then my total came out to $35.92. I sighed with a little disappointment but still walked away feeling positive. $35 in groceries for the week is still pretty impressive. And that batch of groceries lasted me 8 days.
It is safe to say that my $30 grocery budget challenge has become something I look forward to every week now. I have found meal planning to be super fun; it takes a few hours to plan out, but the rest of the week is great because I never worry about what's for dinner! I could not be happier that I started doing this and have no plans of stopping.
The Plan for Week 4
I still do not consider myself a pro at meal planning, but by week 4 I should have known better than to go into the grocery store without some sort of list. For some reason, last week I really struggled making a meal plan. The first week I bought chicken, the second I bought pork, the third chicken...what was I to do for week 4? I wanted something different and that really threw me off. My plan was to just go into the store and buy things on sale to make dinners. Yeah...I don't suggest you do this. Always meal plan! As a result of this lack-of-meal-planning, we ended up eating a lot of Mexican-inspired dishes...which are really easy and affordable if you have the basic ingredients like tortillas, avocados, and limes!
Chicken thighs and legs were ridiculously cheap (0.99 a pound!) so I bought two packs and threw them right in the freezer. We actually only had chicken for 2 nights this week, everything else was vegetarian. I also "splurged" on the first night and bought shrimp for $3.29. On a $30 budget we haven't bought any seafood but it was on sale so...splurge!
Week 4 Menu
Day 1: Shrimp Scampi (inspiration here)
Day 2: Mexican-Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
Day 3: Chicken Thighs with Ranch (I just used my own seasonings, not a ranch packet) and Mashed Potatoes
Day 4: Mac and Cheese (recipe coming soon)
Day 5: Black Bean Tacos (inspiration here)
Day 6: Avocado Chicken Soup (it was sooooo good)
Day 7: Mac and Cheese Leftovers
Day 8: Mexican Rice Skillet
Extras I made: Peanut Butter Ice Cream (check out my chocolate stout and peanut butter float post!)
Lunches: I made a big batch of this orzo, cucumber, and tomato salad
- Elbow Macaroni $1.00
- Black beans (2) $1.38
- Cheddar Cheese $2.99
- Whipping Cream $2.29
- Eggs $2.19
- Milk $2.89
- Avocados (4) $3.16
- Limes (4) $1.00
- Bananas $1.10
- Bread $1.50
- Frozen Broccoli $1.00
- Frozen Peas and Carrots $2.00
- Chicken Thighs $4.46
- Chicken Drumsticks $3.42
- Cucumber $0.99
- Carrots $0.33
- Tomatoes $1.34
- Cilantro $0.59
- Shrimp $3.29
Total Spent: $35.92
To see inspirations from the first 3 weeks, here are the links!
Let me know if you're following along with my $30/week grocery budget goal! And since I have no plans of stopping, I could always use more recipes. If you have any budget friendly meals you've made that you recommend, I'd love to read them! Comment below!
Happy Budgeting :)