How to spend $10.38 on food for a week

[spoiler: it requires already having a bunch of stuff on hand]

A few weeks ago, I was trying to figure out how to solve my slush $ problem, and trying to get to the end of February without going over the number I’d set for the month ($199) even though I only had about $15 left. Heroically, I pulled it together! It’s been a while since I wrote a food post so I figured I’d share the recipes I used. There’s nothing too revolutionary in here; I basically used mostly what I had on hand and just supplemented with milk, fruit, and a couple of canned goods I didn’t have.

Breakfast: granola and yogurt. I usually buy a few large tubs of plain yogurt at a time and I had one still in the fridge. I also had all the granola ingredients, so I threw that together. Here’s the recipe I use: 400 g oats, 60 g large coconut flakes, 170 g nuts (I mostly use walnuts), 5 tbsp butter, 1/2 c maple syrup. Melt the butter, mix the dry ingredients with the butter and maple syrup and a bit of salt, bake at 325 for about 40-45 min (stirring and flipping once), then stir in a few handfuls of dried fruit (I mostly use raisins, but sometimes mix it up with cranberries or apricots.)

Coffee — I bought milk for $2.39 to go in my morning coffee.

Lunch: Chickpeas and greens braised in coconut milk, along with brown rice. I had most of the ingredients for this on hand; I bought a can each of chickpeas and coconut milk, and harvested some gigantic handfuls of kale and chard and cilantro from a friend’s garden. Here’s the recipe:

  1. Dice an onion, 4 cloves of garlic, and some fresh ginger, and chop about 1/2 c sundried tomatoes.
  2. Saute the onion with some olive oil for a few minutes, then add the rest of those ingredients and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in a drained can of chickpeas and cook on high heat for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until the chickpeas are golden.
  3. Add lots of greens (I sliced mine into ribbons). Put the lid on and let them wilt over low heat until they’ve mostly collapsed. I like the sturdier kale and chard, but some people might prefer spinach, which would collapse even more.
  4. Add a can of coconut milk, 1 tsp each of salt and ground ginger, and 2 or 3 tsp of lemon juice. I also usually add some Aleppo pepper at this point and you could too if you like a bit of heat. Let it cook over low heat for 10 minutes or so and check for seasoning.
  5. I cooked some brown rice (from the pantry) and will eat the braise with that and some chopped cilantro for lunch all week. I’ve also eaten this with roasted sweet potatoes before and it’s delicious, but harder to transport to work.

Dinner: Squash and farro salad with curried brown butter

I really cheated on this one! I was going to make it the previous week and never got around to it so I’d bought all the groceries already 🙂 This is the recipe I followed: https://food52.com/recipes/75544-roasted-butternut-squash-toasted-farro-salad-with-curried-brown-butter

It’s good, but another time I’d at least double the curry powder. The taste doesn’t come through strongly enough for me.

I also bought some tangerines to have for snacks/dessert. And that’s how I got through the last week of February and just barely made it under the line on my slush budget. The end.

3 thoughts on “How to spend $10.38 on food for a week

  1. giulia says:

    interesting tips, thanks for sharing, easy meal cooked at home is always best deal (for healt and for wallet too):D

  2. Sarah says:

    Nice! 🙂 I am also a big coconut fan — I eat it literally every day on my breakfast oatmeal. I actually have never tried the big flakes though and don’t even know where to buy them. Do you get them in bulk? I also eat greens and chickpeas (with quinoa or linguini) almost every day but never thought to cook them in coconut milk. I should try it sometime!

  3. Chonce says:

    I love when my pantry is so stocked that I don’t have to spend so much on groceries. I’ve never had chickpeas in coconut milk, I think I’m going to give that a try!

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