BudgetPaleo

This Week’s Menu

Monday

Breakfast: Green smoothie

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Spicy beef tacos with avocado crema, paleo tortillas & chipotle lime broccolini

Tuesday

Breakfast: Green smoothie

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: I had planned on making The Lady And Pups’ Xi’an Style Smushed Lamb Burgers (or a riff on that, anyways), but the meat gods weren’t smiling at me in the grocery store, and the DH ended up working anyways – I improvised instead, and ate leftover spicy beef with avocado crema + sautéed some mushrooms in butter. Dinner didn’t really “go together”, but it was delicious and I got to eat all the mushrooms I wanted (the DH is not a fan).

Wednesday

Breakfast: Green smoothie

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: A riff on PaleoOMG’s spaghetti pie, only with butternut instead of spaghetti squash.

Thursday

Breakfast: Green smoothie

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Dinner was supposed to be simple grilled chicken & green beans with TJ’s sriracha garlic bbq sauce. Green beans straight on the grill = fail. We ended up having just chicken (which was delicious) and snacks.

Friday

Breakfast: Green smoothie

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Ate out

Sunday

Breakfast: Out

Lunch: Out

Dinner: Out

 

This Week’s Grocery List

Eggs ($2.99 @ Trader Joe’s)
Tomato paste (tube) ($1.29 @ Trader Joe’s)
Italian sausage ($4.76 @ Trader Joe’s)
Basil ($2.99 @ Trader Joe’s)
Tri tip roast ($29.12 @ Trader Joe’s)
Broccolini ($2.79 @ Trader Joe’s)
Ground turkey ($3.79 @ Trader Joe’s)
Sugar snap peas ($2.99 @ Trader Joe’s)
Ready cut butternut squash ($2.29 @ Trader Joe’s)
Black pepper grinder ($2.29 @ Trader Joe’s)
Russet potato ($0.49 @ Trader Joe’s)
Onions (3) ($2.37 @ Trader Joe’s)
Garlic ($1.49 @ Trader Joe’s)
Cilantro ($1.79 @ Trader Joe’s)
Bell pepper ($0.99 @ Trader Joe’s)

Smoothie Supplies

Ginger ($1.39 @ Trader Joe’s)
5 Apples ($3.95 at Trader Joe’s)
1 lb. limes ($2.69 at Trader Joe’s)
4 Avocados (1 extra needed for dinners) ($5.56 at Trader Joe’s)
Bagged kale ($2.2 at Trader Joe’s)

Impulse Buys

Pizza sauce ($2.49 @ Trader Joe’s) plus
Cheese tortellini ($2.29 @ Trader Joe’s) for Sunday’s dinner (DH)
Can crab ($1.99 @ Trader Joe’s) plus
Red bell pepper ($0.99 @ Trader Joe’s) for Sunday’s dinner (me)
Brooklyn Bangers sausages ($5.99 @ Trader Joe’s)
Sriracha BBQ sauce ($2.99 @ Trader Joe’s)
Bulgogi beef strips ($6.74 @ Trader Joe’s)
Cruciferous Crunch ($2.29 @ Trader Joe’s)

 

Budget Breakout

This week, I spent $104.28; $0.00 over/under budget. HaHaHa – I need to stop shopping while hungry; I impulse buy too much meat. Which is better than chips health-wise, but more expensive. I’m calling this week dead on budget, since I bought dinner for the night for both my DH and I while shopping, and those $4 would have had me under for the week.

I also had to think on my feet again this week – TJ’s did not have the ground pork and lamb I wanted to make this crazy Xi’an Style Smushed Lamb Burgers – I’ll do what I can with turkey. They also did not have spaghetti squash – I had planned on making a pizza casserole, but will have to cobble something together with the butternut squash instead. I did manage to grab everything else on my list – plus, I found out after shopping that the DH won’t be home one night for dinner – so this week will be full of substitutions.

 

Leftovers From This Week

At the end of the week, I have burgers, korean beef, ground turkey, some pretty old serrano chiles, various and sundry cooked meats, a couple lonely scallions, a hand full of carrots, green beans, snap peas, a bell pepper, and some stock bones I need to attend to left over. I need to incorporate these items into my menu for next week. Next week also starts this year’s CSA – whoo hoo!

Think eating healthfully is too expensive for you? Think again. According to the USDA, to ensure a nutritious diet as of December 2014, a family of two aged 19-59 years should spend between $388.90 and $776.10 on food per month, or $89.80 – $179.30 per week. Source 

For my family of two adults, I spend roughly $400 a month on groceries or $100 a week – and we eat well. Not caviar and lobster well, but I do manage to serve a predominately paleo diet with little to no processed foods, and I get to throw in a few luxuries here and there (like expensive snacks for the hubbs and the occasional ridiculously expensive bag of coffee). We even manage to buy “good” meat (grass fed beef and free-range chicken) most of the time – and I make this budget work even on the weeks we pay for convenience by getting delivery groceries. I make: 10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 10 dinners a week – plus enough snacks to satisfy and fuel two active adults.

I’m hoping that this series will help shed a little light on the day-to-day things a “paleo” person really eats — and how that way of eating can work on a budget. I want to nudge anyone sitting on the fence right over the edge by showing that it *can* be done and that you don’t just eat meat, meat, meat and more meat.