Budget Challenge Week #3


DSC01163.JPGThis week was my highest money spent so far. But with that being said I did buy more meat this week than I have in past, granted two of the four packages of meat are for the freezer and will be used in the coming weeks. We also were out of every and all fresh fruit and vegetable in the house. When I went grocery shopping the fridge had condiments and shredded cheese in it and that was it.

With the $101.54 I spent this week I bought:

5 greek yogurt cups, 1 cabbage, 1lb butter, egg whites, 2 gallons whole milk (both not shown as I grabbed skim and whole milk Friday night as we were out), 1 gallon skim milk, crunchy rice rolls, cucumber, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, 2 pouches of yogurt raisins, asparagus, 1 dozen eggs, celery, spring mix, romaine hearts, 6 roma tomatoes, 2 avocados, 3 zucchinis, 1 jar kalamatas, 2 limes, 3 cartons chicken stock, 4 cans tuna, 3lb beef, 8lbs chicken breasts, 1 package canadian bacon, snap peas, 1/2 lb green beans, 2 lemons, 2 grapefruits, 1 package sandwich thins


So these are this week’s Budget challenge week 3 meals. Sorry there are no recipes I am linking as its all things we make  by adding a pinch of this or that. I am normally a person in the kitchen who just creates a flavor as I cook. I also usually stick to just salt and pepper on any meat when I broil, bake, grill, saute as I would like to taste the meat and not an overpowering marinade.

For instance, when I roast my chicken breasts, I bake them at 400 degrees with just salt and pepper around 20 minutes or so (give or take some time due to the size of your chicken breasts. I like to bake them in my corningware, covered so they stay moist and do not dry out.

For tilapia, I place it onto a foil lined baking sheet and preheat my broiler. I salt and pepper the filet and broil 5-10 minutes depending upon the thickness of the filet.

My beef stir-fry I will take the thinly sliced beef and sear it quickly in the pan in sesame oil. I will set that aside and add the vegetables of choice from the fridge like mushrooms, snap peas, and carrots sauteing those until just tender. I will add a splash or two of rice wine vinegar, ginger, and garlic along with 1-2T of hoisin. We keep it very simple and if I do not have the vinegar or hoisin then its just garlic and ginger.

Same goes for when I roast our veggies, I personally add my empty, lightly oiled pan into the oven while I preheat it to 425. Meanwhile I cut my veggies – potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, etc Once the pan and the oven is hot I carefully add my veggies to the pan, you will hear a sizzle and some pops (PLEASE make sure you have dried your veggies well as a splatter of water on hot oil is not good) I will have added a small amount of oil, salt and pepper to my veggies tossing them prior to adding them to the hot sheet. I will then roast the vegetables until the bottoms are perfectly seared and the insides are creaming and delicious. Depending upon your veg it could take anywhere from 20-45 minutes. Also, I like to pre-boil my cubed potatoes in salted water until almost done to ensure the inside is a creamy texture while the outside is perfectly crisp.

As I promised in the previous post to give feedback on the recipes. Here were the meals I used recipes for last week and our reviews on it


First was the kielbasa, green bean parmesan pasta. Was a hit for everyone, while Eva won’t eat her pasta mixed she will eat it all separate so I prior to tossing it all together I pull out the all the ingredients and set them aside for her, separate of course.



Pizza pinwheels – Eva it was like pulling teeth to get her to get it. I even had marinara dip as she loves it with breadsticks but not with pinwheels. I think she possibly ate 1/3 of one. Someday she won’t be so picky, right? My parents and I really liked them, the boys had a huge breakfast so they did not eat as well as I had hoped but they tried and ate 2 each so I would take that as a win. I changed nothing on this recipe, we had nothing more than cheese on the inside due to no fun pizza toppings in the house.



Meatloaf and mashed potatoes, while Mark, my parents, and I thought they were yummy the kids did not eat anything. So I would not use this recipe again but will try again in about 3-4 years when they are not picky toddlers. I stayed true to the recipe except by adding garlic to the mix. I felt the mix-in was too much after doubling it and took out a full 1 cup prior to adding the beef or it would have been a sloppy mess.



Turkey sloppy joes – these surprised me. Isaac LOVED these as in he ate 2 full sloppy joe sandwiches bun and all. Wyatt and Eva did not like them. I added carrot rather than bell pepper. These were very delicious and the topping would be wonderful on a potato or stuffed in a bell pepper or zucchini.


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