Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lettuce, Turnip, and Pea

Recently, Husband and I decided to get strict with our monthly budget. We are not extravagant with our expenditures, but since student loans are in our lives, we decided that we should tighten up our budget where possible. The grocery budget is ALWAYS where I look first. We decided to go cash only on our groceries, and that the budget would be $200/month or $50/week.

This week marks the end of our first month of cash only. It also marks the end of our first month of regularly buying meat again. I am amazed and excited about how far I have stretched that money (FYI: I stopped couponing over a year ago because it just took too much energy). I was actually $7.18 under budget. A big portion of this success is thanks to Fresh & Easy for their excellent prices, weekly coupons, and reward points system. And thanks to Superstition Ranch Market for excellent prices on produce.

I'm, also, pretty happy to report that we have actually eaten better than usual. This can be attributed to reading It Starts With Food that changed my views of our meal plan (read: put more emphasis on protein, veggies, and fruit, and less on fillers like rice and bread).

Here are pictures of some of my favorite meals from this month so far:

 Salmon Cakes with Asparagus and Bell Peppers

 Banana Pancakes (packed with protein) and Strawberries

Egg Drop Soup with Whole Wheat Potstickers*

Another really great thing about this week is that the Boy helped cook a few meals, which resulted in pride in his accomplishment and more enjoyment eating his meals. Every night he asks what dinner will be and when told, he exclaims "Yes!!! I love (insert food name)!!!"

He sauteed those bell peppers and asparagus amazingly well.

The pride in his efforts for this omelet can be seen in his Awkward Family Photos smile/pose.

He was super excited about the corn bread he helped make, so much so that he inhaled 3 slices in a blink of an eye. 

*I realize this meal was lacking in the veggie department. Can't be winning all the time.


Anonymous said...

I love this! Couponing has always overwhelmed me and I think people get way too out of control with it. Haha. I've never bothered with it, because I am pretty good at being frugal and finding grocery deals on my own, I figure it's not worth my time. I am glad to know that you share that sentiment and that you still manage to keep a low grocery ticket! Also, I LOVE Fresh & Easy!!! Someone told me they are closing down all locations. I refuse to believe it.

Flying Princess said...

I love your dinnerware. ;)

dusanabotswana said...

This is awesome Lydia!! I've been eating more protein/veggies/fruit for the past 2 yrs and can say although tougher on our budget at first, it just takes a bit getting used to and has made a huge impact on my health! esp after going gluten free. Sounds like you did an awesome job w/ the budget though & all these meals look amazing! so cute the little guy's helping w/ dinners now too. always good to have kids helping out around the house at a young age : )

katilda said...

All of these meals look awesome and delicious, seriously.