what's for dinner? june 16
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What’s for Dinner? June 16

Psst, I make money on some of the links in this post at no cost to you. It keeps the lights on around here.

Man, oh man, what a week. We played it pretty safe with a lot of our dinners since I was out at a training for most of the week. We were a liiiiiittle naughty and ate out a few times (ack!), but we’re still on target with our food goals.

See what was on the table at the Picky Palace and how much it cost us!

P.S. I use MyFreezEasy to get a lot of these freezer meal ideas!

Breakfast: Kolaches… was the plan. We had leftover kolaches from visiting my folks last weekend. There’s an uh-mazing kolache shop on the drive to my Dad’s and we always make a pit stop there. The problem is we always buy way too many kolaches (goodbye self-control and hello heavenly meat parcels), so we had extras.

I heated up these bad boys in the oven and … they got crunchy instead of fluffy. Apparently kolaches need to be heated in the microwave, not the oven. They weren’t even edible. Ugh!

So I made a simple breakfast of grapes and cottage cheese. If I could eat my weight in cottage cheese and not die, I would do it in a heartbeat.

grapes with cottage cheese

Lunch: Subway. Ooops. I picked up Subway today because it was the first day of a training and I wasn’t sure what the food situation would be. Sometimes they feed us and sometimes it’s every woman for herself. This was a “do whatever you want” sort of place, but they didn’t have a break room for heating up homemade lunches.

Anyhoo, I went to Subway for lunch. I got a hot Italian sandwich with chips, a drink, and a cookie for, like, $7. I had no idea it would be so cheap! Although eating a homemade lunch would be cheaper, of course.

And I’m very proud to announce that I ate LETTUCE on my sandwich and thought it was GOOD.

I’m a lifelong lettuce hater so this is a big accomplishment. πŸ™‚

get the free 30 day frugal cleanse

Dinner: Pizza. Nothin’s easier than pizza night, y’all. We used premade pizza crusts and topped them with our homemade marinara, cheese, pepperoni, Italian sausage, and olives and mushrooms (on Mr. Picky Pincher’s).

Unfortunately Subway gave me the grumbly guts so this pizza added insult to injury. I won’t be having pizza for a while! Or Subway, for that matter.

homemade pizza


Breakfast: Grits. We whipped up some grits and stirred in leftover Rotel we had in the fridge. We topped them with bacon for a good crunch.

Lunch: Leftover burgers. Mr. Picky Pincher grilled burgers for Sunday dinner last week and we had a few patties left over. I ate a burger instead of the pizza since it was a little too greasy for me. But don’t worry! I froze the pizza for a rainy day. πŸ™‚

Dinner: Spaghetti. Another simple meal. I made a bolognese sauce with our homemade marinara and rosemary from our yard. I realized we were woefully lacking in bread, so I was forced to make garlic bread from an inferior loaf of bread I made a while back. It tastes oddly sweet and isn’t a good pair with garlic-cheese bread.

Oops! I’ll bake a fresh loaf of ciabatta to freeze for these occasions.


Breakfast: Goat cheese and leek muffins. I cooked these muffins a few weeks ago and froze them. They reheat beautifully in the microwave and the big chunks of goat cheese are basically my heaven.

Lunch: Leftover spaghetti. Sans the “sweet” garlic bread this time. πŸ˜‰

Dinner: Stuffed bell peppers. We got a recipe for stuffed bell peppers from Picky Nikki. It called for rice, but instead I used a mixture of barley and farro since we had those in our pantry. The result was a meaty, full-flavored filling. Bellisima!

As it turns out, stuffed peppers aren’t really my thing (I think it’s a texture issue), so in the future I’ll eat the filling tossed with broccoli or cauliflower and chopped peppers.

stuffed bell peppers

Β Thursday

Breakfast: Omelet / very berry crepes. This was one of those mornings where Mr. Picky Pincher and I wanted different stuff for breakfast. And this, my friends, is why pre-cooking is so important! I was able to whip up two different dishes in about 15 minutes because all the components were already cooked. Aw yeah!

I cooked the crepes on Wednesday night and frozen them. I tried a new recipe that I don’t like, so I’ll go back to my old one after these are gone. I also made the whipped cream from scratch and lightly sweetened it with honey.

Mr. Picky Pincher’s omelet had mushrooms, bell pepper, onions, cheese, and bacon in it. Yum!

omelet and very berry crepes

Also, I made one of the crepes too thick, so I only ate one of them.

Lunch:Β Leftover stuffed peppers.

Dinner: Soooo we were REALLY bad today. We were supposed to have asopao de pollo (a Puerto Rican version of paella), but as it turns out, it’s more of a stew that needs to go all day. We were SOL, hungry, and ready to party.

And that means Taco Bell, of course. We didn’t have a good reason for eating out, honestly, because we had freezer meals. It was just one of those “I wanna!” moments of weakness. I do eat exclusively from the dollar menu there, so our total was a cool $8 for two people to eat dinner.

Afterwards we were up for an adventure. We saw a small snack shack by Taco Bell and decided to try it out. And it was awesome! The owner was adorable and so nice. It was funny because he spoke Spanglish; I’ve never seen it really in action before. “Oh si aqui tenemos shaved ice and it’s muy bien.”

Mr. Picky Pincher got a mangonada (mango ice cream topped with chile limon powder) and I played it safe with a chocolate ice cream and coconut shaved ice monstrosity. I couldn’t finish mine, but I froze it for later.



Breakfast: Tacos! Of course.

Lunch: Raising Cane’s. Mkay, so here’s the deal, fam. I had to get blood drawn for my life insurance application today. I am utterly petrified of anything to do with needles. Like, I’ll throw up, pee myself, shriek, and/or faint if someone wants to stick me. So getting this done was a BIG DEAL. It went by without incident, but I was freaked out and dizzy. And that means chicken strips. Again, not a good excuse, but that was my reasoning. Oops!

Dinner: Chicky chickpea curry. I bought a gigantic bag of chickpeas at the store, so it seemed like a great occasion to make a crapton of chickpea curry as both a freezer meal and dinner. We have a LOT of cilantro growing in our garden now, too, so I didn’t have to buy anything except chickpeas to make this. πŸ™‚

We have pre-cooked chicken defrosted and will toss the chickpeas with it. I prefer to serve the chickpeas over rice to make it ultra-filling. We serve it with a side of homemade pita bread. Yummo!


Let’s see what we spent this week!

On sale: $0

Coupons: $0

TOTAL: $56.46



I mean, I know for a fact that we ate out more this week than we should have. I know next week will be much easier, so we shouldn’t have the need to eat out (although I do keep saying that…). I’d also like to have more fresh veggies in our dinners. I have a habit of shoveling meat and bread into my mouth for meals without remembering the good ol’ veggies.

We want to know: How did you save money this week?

36 comments on “What’s for Dinner? June 16

  1. Meat kolache? Color me intrigued. I was picturing the kolache we make with my great-grandma’s recipe from Czechoslovakia but with breakfast sausage instead of fruit.

    I just looked it up and got disappointed. It’s not kolache, but klobΓ‘snΓ­k. Turns out some parts of Texas call them kolache instead.

    So much less exciting than I had hoped. Probably just how you felt after hearing them.

    So now we need to invent a breakfast with meat with kolache dough. πŸ˜‹ I bet we could make a bundle.

    1. Oh gosh, you’re right! It’s a klobasnik, but the bakeries call them kolaches for some reason (I guess customers couldn’t tell the difference).

  2. Nice low total! And at least the eating out was all cheapπŸ˜€. We had our first taste of Raising Cane’s last weekend and looooved it! Didn’t go out for a fancy anniversary dinner so hey, it’s okay to spend a little out with the family. Ugh, since moving we have been at the store practically every day. Often it’s for other household items and not just groceries, but man, it’s adding up! Hope to get on track with meal plans and stick to weekly grocery trips. Have a great weekend 😎

    1. I adore Raising Cane’s! For me it’s a close tie between them and Chikfila. πŸ™‚ Ugh! I hate how topsy turvy everything is during moving. Ughhhh. Hopefully y’all will get settled soon and find your normal. πŸ™‚

  3. I’m naughty because I don’t eat green stuff in my food very much, just on the side. πŸ˜›

    And we are going to have a HEAT WAVE. Dx 110-111 degree weather for 4-5 days. Dx;;; I’m staying indoors. : x My town rivals the Sierra Nevada Desert’s temperatures and was also known as ‘Poverty Flats’ once, so yeah. :C

    As for being frugal, I have been watching my mom’s house for two days and can’t go anywhere, so no money spent. Although, I did use a 50% Michaels coupon this week and bought some sparkly washi tape. <3 I needed some since I use a lot of that type of tape on cards. Won't be running out now! x3 It was $20 bucks at first, but the coupon knocked it down to $10 bucks. πŸ™‚ Not bad. πŸ™‚

    Have a beautiful weekend! ^ o^

    1. I know, I feel guilty about not having more veggies! But identifying the problem is the first step to fixing it. πŸ™‚ Great job this week!

  4. I had Paella for the first time last weekend (my vegan friend and I split lunches) and I cannot believe how much I’ve been missing out!! Good stuff πŸ˜€

    Also, your MyFreezeasy page is missing πŸ™ the link doesn’t work on this page, or the last ‘Whats for Dinner’

  5. My husband and I have been going to Brother’s Bar and Grill for dinner on Tuesdays. They have a $2.00 cheeseburger special that night, that includes a beer. It is only a dollar more to add fries. The bill came after the two of us had a delicious cheeseburger, fries and a beer each and it was only $12.46 or something ridiculous like that. When we were figuring the 20% tip, it was so small that I kept thinking we had done the math wrong.

          1. You’re telling me! I wish my groceries could look like yours!

            But we have beaches… pretty much anywhere (in the capital cities) you’re within half an hour drive of a beach. And even in early winter it’s nice to go. So I guess we win in some respects :p

  6. For all the eating out you did, you sure spent little for food costs this week! I don’t think you should feel bad about that. We ended up eating out one night because Mr. Beach Life didn’t put the crock pot on early enough. Luckily, kid wasn’t with us so the meal out was a more reasonable $44 (with tip). I wish that I could convince Mr. Beach Life to frequent less expensive eateries!

    1. Oh, to be fair, this total is only for our grocery bill. I guess I need to start including takeout totals too! Wowza, that $44 hurts! Mr. Picky Pincher has discerning tastes too, but I’ve worn him down enough to eat at Taco Bell lol.

    1. I have! I used to eat the hell out of pineapple and cottage cheese. The grapes/cottage cheese mixture was a happy accident from one day when I wanted a snack, and now I prefer it!

    1. Man, I thought about it! The lady wasn’t super accommodating, but in the future I think I’ll need a butterfly needle. My veins are ~delicate~, so maybe that would prevent bruising.

  7. I’m with ya on the needle thing! I turn so white they usually find some place for me to lie down. I always feel like a freak so glad to know I’m not alone.

    1. Don’t feel like a freak! There have been times in my life where I would have rather died than get a shot/needle of ANY kind. It’s taken a lot of work, but I’m very proud that I was able to get this done. πŸ™‚ You can do it too. πŸ™‚

  8. Great food for not a lot of money! Great post. I have recently gotten into making fish tacos. Buying fish and shrimp in bulk and then being able to eat great food 5x more often. The good you make looks amazing.

    1. That’s a great idea with the fish tacos! If I ate fish, I’d be all over it lol. πŸ˜‰ But that’s fantastic that you can make them at home and not pay $10.99 for a meal.

  9. Recently I’ve been cutting down on the meat and protein. Maybe it’s just me getting older. But when I eat as much meat as I used to (1lb per day), my mouth is getting ridiculously dry.

    1. Oh gosh, 1 lb a meat a day is a bit much for me personally! Are you cutting down all protein or opting for more veggie-based protein?

  10. When you make individual portions of freezer meals, how do you freeze/store them? I’m picturing quart sized freezer ziplocs, but I’m curious if you’ve figured out a better way.

    1. Great question! I need to do a post just on how we freeze our food. We used to do Ziplocs for everything, but we didn’t like the cost or the waste (and it was kinda hard to get the food out). Now we buy Tupperware specifically for freezing our food. Technically they’re the single-use Tupperware, but we reuse them since they’re rarely exposed to heat. We store things like beans, chickpeas, soups, and other pre-cooked meals in these. For stuff like crepes or breads, I will put those in a big Ziploc with parchment paper in between the slices (there’s just no better way to do it). I always wait for our food to cool down before I store it in either a Ziploc or the Tupperware. If I want to eat a Tupperware freezer meal, I defrost it slowly at room temp the day before and store it in the fridge until I’m ready to eat it. πŸ™‚

  11. My mom blanches her peppers before stuffing them, but I do not. All my filling is pre-cooked, so really I’m just getting the cheese melty in the peppers, so cooking time is super variable, 20 min? or you could leave it in there longer to get the peppers soft. A lot of my cooking techniques started from wanting to be able to walk away, and not stare at the stove or have flexibility for when I got home, vs when my boyfriend at the time did.
    I cooked for a camping event at a YMCA camp & made 85 peppers (plus 6 for my brother’s girlfriend who is vegan). The recipe has flexibility so I could do beef, turkey, veg, and no cheese. The basic recipe is gluten free to start with too. I served salad and chips & salsa on the side. πŸ™‚

    Sounds like a good week! I’ve learned I need the flex option to eat out, even if I don’t take it.

    1. The peppers and the filling were fully cooked, but I think my issue is that the chunks of peppers were too big. I’d have zero problem with the meal if it were cubed peppers I think I’ll do that next time. πŸ™‚ Holy cow, 85 stuffed peppers! That’s a hefty load! Go you. πŸ™‚

      1. My friend loves stuffed peppers but hates faffing around with them, so she chops the peppers up and throws them in casserole dish with all the other ingredients and calls it “Deconstructed stuffed peppers.” They don’t look as nice but they taste the same!

  12. I’m going to try out the chickpea curry again this week! Only this time, I’m going to try to make it with the pressure cooker!

    It’ll be my first time using a pressure cooker, so wish me luck!

    1. Oh dang, good luck with the pressure cooker! Mr. Picky Pincher uses ours all the time and it’s a life-saver for cooking things quickly. Also makes the most tender pork chops I’ve ever had!

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