Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Menu & Grocery Shopping For Poor People. (aka: another reason I rock)

(Side Note: GIVEAWAY. Sign up or be a loser. Nobody wants to be the sissy kid picked last at kickball. If you don't sign up- you are that sissy kid. And I'm aiming for you sucker.)

So lamb whores and goat sluts a lot of you who follow me on Facebook (do you STILL not follow me? I can only help the slow learners so much, yall) or have ready previous entries have seen the hints at my fabulous ability to spend almost nothing on food. It has taken me four years to hone this skill which became totally necessary because Matt and I are young, are mostly broke, and have two kids. And a myriad of other bills.

When we moved in together we had to put groceries on a credit card. Every two weeks for YEARS. We just had no money. We were barely paying rent. And I remember the EXACT moment when I paid cash for groceries. And I cried. I cried like a little bitch getting slapped with a wet noodle because finally- my OCD organizing skills had FINALLY paid off. Granted, I had no gas money that week but that's beside the point.

How do I do it? Yes, I know I am a picky eater. But I cook normal food and try to eat some of it. I'm a really decent cook, I enjoy cooking, so this is all win win because Matt and Jackson will eat anything I put in front of them. And Jackson sometimes claps for me.

So here is my menu for the next two weeks. (Breakfast is always a cereal and/or toast for everyone except me who is still rocking her palmful of chocolateless almonds. Ew. Lunch is sandwiches or left overs.)

M: Chicken & Rice Pacifica (this was fucking AWESOME)
T: Tuna Helper (my own tuna helper- not the box of MSG with a side of tuna)
W: Chicken & Long Grain Wild Rice w/mixed veggies
Th: Tacos
F: Rice Oriental (like the hamburger helper back in the day. I have a recipe for it. To.die.for)
Sa: Spaghetti (I make EXCELLENT spaghetti)
Su: BBQ Beef Sandwiches
M: BBQ Chicken with mashed potatoes, corn on cob
T: Pepper Steak with Au Gratin potatoes and green beans
W: Eating out for my bday
Th: Home made pizza (two kinds)
F: In Chicago
Sa:In Chicago

OK. So I cook every single day. I utilize my crockpot like it's my bitch on a leash. (By the way- if you want any of these recipes- leave me a comment with your email and I will email it off to you.)

So when I grocery shop I ONLY buy what is on my list. And on that list is ONLY the ingredients to make these things. No snacks. No soda. No candy. No frivolous shit. I usually will buy grapes and apples for the kids' snack but aside from that- NO EXTRAS.

My shopping expense for these meals + breakfasts + lunch meat/cheese for lunches = $61.09

(Now would be a good time to be all oooh....aahh...)

Yes. This is $61 for two weeks of food for 4 people. (Matt and Jackson eat a TON whereas Olivia and I are average) Every meal I make serves a lot so I can usually freeze half for later on which is nice when you two week bill is under $40. OR it makes fabulous left overs. Even though we are technically eating out for 3 days my money spent would not be more because my beef sandwiches and bbq chicken are huge batches to those would have been frozen to serve one of those other days. BUT, I'm still going to freeze it for probably the week after. Also- I clip coupons. Not a ton and only for things that are on my list. Once I get my chest freezer installed (long story) I will be able to buy more in bulk which will be easier and cheaper in the long run for me.

So yeah. Are you stuck? Do you need meal ideas? Email me. :) slinkies_r_us@hotmail.com


Juliana said...

You freaking do rock!!! I am going to be taking some tips from you my dear! I almost got into a cat fight at the grocery store today--apparently this lady never had kids. It will make great blog material though! I think that sooo many people could learn from you right now though!!!

Danielle said...

WOW! You freakin go girlfriend! Thats amazing! $61 for two weeks of food for four people! iNSANE!!! You deserve an award for that! :)

Anonymous said...

$61 for two weeks for four people?! you're amazing! unless my math is super bad (which it might be) that's like $7.50 a week per person. i can barely live on $7.50 a day, but then again, i'm just not nearly as awesome as you are.

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Have I mentioned that I love you and you are my queen? Just sayin'.

TheBigShowAtUD said...

wow, that's a talent. i spend way more than that on myself, and i still don't eat out very often. O.o

and crock pots rule. dinner is done by the time i get home from work. score.

Steph said...

If I were more artsy and technology savvy I'd whip you up your very own award!

Sara Strand said...

@Juliana- write that up and post a link in the comments section! :)

@Danielle&ego- crockpots are your friend.

@krysten- I make killer lasagna too. Recipe coming soon (with pics)!

@Steph- HAHA! If you could help "save the drought and make it rain" that'd be better. LOL!!

@BigShow- I love my crockpot. I love it even though it's ugly as shit cream with ghetto "country" flowers on it. Whatever. It's my bitch on a leash and that's all that counts.

Natalie said...

That is super impressive! Props to you for reminding people how feasible it is to cook delicious, healthy meals at home on a budget. By the way, I'm coming to dinner next week. Kay thanks. ;)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I suck at the whole food shopping thing. First, I HATE IT....second, I am not the cook in the family....third, I am an impulse buyer. So my bill is usually about $75 a week for just two people, plus we eat out almost ALL lunches and at least twice a week for dinner. I am vowing now...right HERE and NOW to become a better shopper. You have inspired me to be better and smarter when food shopping. Hell, I may give you another shout out on my blog because your shopping thriftiness is blog contagious - but I would ALWAYS give you the credit for inspiration.


Deidre said...

That is seriously impressive - I live off that a week for just me....(but I have food allergies and gluten free food is like 4 times as expensive as normal gluten-y food)

Anonymous said...

Amazing. I'm always up for trying new recipes (especially good ones) so send 'em my way.

I'm curious: What do you do for your kids' breakfast?

Sam said...

My mouth waters when I read your menu, I havent had a home cooked meal in ages, between work and school, im lucky if I get 2 meals of fast food. Im just waiting for my metabolism to kick in and I turn into the 500 lb woman. Also, thats an amazing budget, I wouldnt be able to do it, im slightly jealous of your money management skills. I have none, that would explain the being completely broke by Wednesdays. :) Technically its now 7 days till your birthday!!

Angela said...

Please come grocery shopping for my boyfriend and I? I don't even want to admit what our grocery bill is, for only two people.

Can I have the recipe for the Rice Pacifica? Sounds interesting...

P.S. My crock pot and I are best friends.

The Insatiable Host said...

$61 US = $80 CDN Are you stealing groceries from people? Picking your own produce from a near by farm? Do you happen to live on a farm where you slaughter your own animals??? HOw the helz to you do this?

In this house of foodies, chefs and 3 critters with a pussy with 4 legs, we would not get through groceries alone for a week at this amount. I spend avg $115 per week (not including the doods pullups & wipes). The recipies sound yumerific and I would likey too please.



Sara Strand said...

@Amber- yes, we used to eat out a lot for lunches & dinner when it was just Matt and I and we had no business doing that as broke as we were. But we just can't now.

@Deidre- I would die without gluten.

@Elena- Send me your email addy! For the kids' breakfast they either have cereal (both like it dry- weird) or they have toast with some kind of fruit. Or yogurt. They aren't big breakfast eaters.

@Sam- you just can't wait for me to be older. LOL!

@angela- email with that recipe is on it's way!

@Host- no, I haven't resorted to taking people's food out of their carts. ;) But I will say that my budget for household stuff is different. On that I spend about $50/week on diapers, wipes, paper towel, toilet paper, cleaners, toothpaste/brushes, etc. But I also clip as many coupons as I can for that and often use generic whenever I can. So much cheaper. ;)

Sara said...

I'm in awe. Great job! I stopped last Friday and spent $83 on food for two weeks. Now that I think about it, I'm wondering what the hell I bought. Anyway, I know I tossed a few extras in the cart, like socks, rabbit food, and shampoo.

As I was checking out the older couple behind me kept commenting on every item I put on the belt. It was weird. Love Walmart.

Chicken said...

Ok, here is the plan. I fly you and the kids to Portland. You can become my Organization Coordinator (fancy title). Your job will be to tackle my closet, write my blog, nanny my (future)children, and do my grocery shopping. Hell I'll even let you bring your kids! We'll have to talk salary after you arrive...I assume that paying you in smelling lotions will be ok?

Gini said...

Holy BALLS! How the hell do you do that?? I also make a menu list and *usually* buy only the exact items I need, and for two people we are usually looking at $90+. I only buy extras (crackers, diet Sunkist bc we are fiends for it) bc my husband bitches if he doesn't have something to snack on. And we live in Omaha, Nebraska. Shit is NOT expensive here. WTF am I doing wrong!

Toulee said...

Wow this is such a great idea. Planning out your meals for a period of time, this would probably save me tons of money as I eat out like every single day. However, my menu items are gonna be much different than yours!

Mr O said...

Taco Thursday!!!

Sara Strand said...

@Sara- Walmart scares me. I feel dirty when I leave.

@Chicken- girl...I'd move in with you in an instant! I don't know if your hubs will appreciate the trouble I'd get you into.

@Gini-- um, because I'm fabulous? in every way?

@Toulee- don't diss the menu, yo. I can cook. Believe that.

@MrO- TACO!! Yes! Someone got my taco reference! THIS is why you are my blog bestie.

Kyla said...

I just stumbled upon this and you are great!! I was wondering if I could have all the recipes on that list? I'm really trying to cook more but I'm a terrible cook :S I have faith in myself though and keep trying! I love your recipe ideas and want to do the same thing for myself. Cook everything at home. I hate how much money I waste on lunch and dinner.