Eating on a Budget: The $30 Grocery Budget Goal Week 3

Week 3 was a total winner in my book--we spent $31.50 on groceries and managed to get 8 days of food before going back to the grocery store!

If you missed it, Andrew and I have gone on a super-mega-raging-budget in attempts to save as much money for a down payment on a house. After moving and getting married this spring (and going on an awesome--but expensive--honeymoon), we realized its time to buckle down for our next project: stop renting and get a place of our own by next March.

The $30 a week budget has been difficult, but I must say it is overall turning into an awesome routine. After week 3, I am feeling confident and content with limiting my grocery bill to only the necessary purchases. Gone are the days of buying fancy cheese "just because I feel like it" or a ridiculous amount of veggies that would go bad before being used. With a plan for the week's meals, I've eliminated all unnecessary purchases. It feels great!

Something I have learned, however, is to not punish yourself if you don't need to. If you are as extreme as we are being by not going out to eat AT ALL, go ahead and buy yourself that fancy steak for a Saturday night in. Its a lot cheaper than if you had gone out to a restaurant. That's actually what we're having tonight...and I'll be doing a special blog post about it!

This Week's Menu

This week I purchased a pork tenderloin and slow cooked it with minimal seasonings. Then we shredded the meat and used it to cover 3 meals! Plus, we froze an additional 4 servings allowing for 2 future meals. Thanks to having some chicken thighs from last week and pork chops from week 1 in the freezer, we covered 3 additional meals. Finally, eggplant was on sale for $1 each this week so I made a delicious eggplant Parmesan which fed us twice more. The result was 8 dinners before going back to the grocery store. All for $31.52!

Day 1: Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Cole Slaw

Day 2: Lemon-Ginger Chicken Thighs

Day 3: Pork Fried Rice

Day 4: Pulled Pork Quesadillas (for inspiration, click here)

Day 5: Eggplant Parmesan (recipe coming soon!)

Day 6: Eggplant Parmesan Leftovers

Day 7: Chicken Thighs Leftovers

Day 8: Seasoned Pork Chops and Cumin Rice

Notes for Week 3

  • Andrew only has a coffee for breakfast and I get by with yogurt and granola. I buy the yogurt in bulk and make the granola to cut down on weekly costs. No expenses were towards breakfast this week.
  • For lunches I made these easy bean and cheese burritos. Luckily I had all the ingredients so did not need to add anything to the grocery bill.

What I Bought

  • Milk $2.89
  • Butter $2.99 (I didn't buy the expensive stuff! I'm using this for cooking, and keeping the good stuff for eating)
  • Frozen Peas $1.00
  • Fresh Mozzarella $2.99
  • Fresh Parmesan $3.50
  • Pork Tenderloin $8.52
  • Lettuce $0.99
  • Eggplant (2) $1.98
  • Onions $2.29
  • Corn (4) $1.98
  • Garlic $1.39
  • Buns $1.00

Total: $31.52

I hope this post is inspirational for you to plan your meals and save money! When we first started this I thought we would have to eat beans and rice four times a week...but we haven't had to do that once yet.

For more inspiration on what you can do with pulled pork, here's a great article I used from buzzfeed. And if you missed week's 1 and 2 of our budget, here they are! Week 1 and Week 2.

Happy Budgeting!