One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Week 4: Feeding the Family for $50 A Week!

Week 4 is here!!!! I have to admit, the level of planning and preparation it takes to go to the grocery store these days is starting to wear on me. I always thought I planned out my meals ahead of time and stuck to my list but in reality I made a very rough plan of the meals I wanted to eat, never based on what was actually already in my pantry and I never stuck to my list. Now I find myself scrambling to put together a weekly menu on Saturday nights in preparation for Sunday grocery shopping. As I eluded to last week this week I'm starting to work out recipes for a new project I'm working on so I can't just rely on what is in the pantry and growing in the garden to help get me by and keep me under budget. But, that doesn't mean that all plans go out the door. I just have to be smart about the ingredients I use and make sure I make the most out of every dollar I spend. So here goes nothing.

I ended up having to make a couple more purchases than I planned on, I accidentally bought my daughter crackers that had been made in the same facility as peanuts. She doesn't have a peanut allergy but they are her snacks for school and we can't take the chance so I had to re-buy her snacks plus we seem to be doing through almond milk at a frantic pace around here so I had to double up. Out of the blue my daughter who hates all other types of milk besides breastmilk suddenly decided that she likes coconut milk after watching me make a smoothie with it last week so I ended up buying So Delicious Coconut Milk as well, which was not originally on my list. We also ended up picking up this beet/green juice that my daughter loves. Can you see a pattern in why I ended up spending more money than I anticipated this week?!

This weeks' menu:
Homemade Bacon
Buttermilk Biscuits
Smoothies - just throwing together whatever is in the fridge and freezer
Fresh Fruit - watermelon, grapes, apples, blueberries from the garden

A lot of leftovers. I have a lot of different types of lettuce growing in the garden so I'm making wraps quite a bit these days. I made some beer battered tofu Sunday night that will probably make it's way into the wraps. Caesar dressing is my favorite in wraps I'll be using the recipe from Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food.

BBQ Seitan with Dirty Rice and steamed cauliflower
Fried "Pork" Chops with Au Gratin Potatoes and steamed Brussels Sprouts
"Crab" Cakes with fresh baked dinner rolls or farro and Green beans from the garden

All in all I ended up spending $72.13 this week. After going 3 weeks of being under-budget I have managed to go over-budget by $12.38. But there is still one week left to redeem myself and bring myself back within the constraints of my budget for the month. So just in case you're keeping track July has 5 weeks so my monthly budget is $250 ($50/week) I'm currently at $212.38 so next week I'm going to be pulling every cheap trick I have out of my hat to get back on track! We'll see how it goes!!!


  1. Where did you find the Beet/Green Juice? What is the brand?

    1. It's from a local company called Arden's Garden. Our Whole Foods has also started bottling the fresh juices they make but they're about $2 more than the Arden's Garden juices which are typically $2.99


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