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Oh man. I haven’t been this happy for a Friday in a long, long time. I’m not gonna lie, y’all: it was a shizzy week. But look, we made it! Now to enjoy the impending two days of fun and relaxation. πŸ™‚

Since it was a tough week, dinner was a little weird, but we made it work. I’m proud that we only ate out once (it was Taco Bell, of course), especially since cooking isn’t easy after hard days.

Here’s what we ate and spent this week.

P.S. If you want access to some of the recipes here, be sure to get on the email notification list for the Picky Pinchers Cookbook. It goes live on December 1 with the early bird price of just $4.99.


Breakfast: Avocado strawberry protein smoothies. I used our handy dandy Vitamix (Amazon link here) to blend up these tasty breakfast smoothies. I add one serving of vanilla protein powder for sweetness and for extra protein.

Hom nom nom.

The only downside is that I have to make gigantic smoothie and sip on it slowly for several hours. Otherwise I don’t stay full. I love the idea of breakfast smoothies, but I need to explore other ideas that will keep me full.

Lunch:Β Leftover Subway sandwich / One pan chicken tikka. For Sunday dinner we made a fantastic sheet pan chicken tikka for dinner (recipe here). There was only enough left over for one lunch, so I had half of a leftover Subway sandwich instead.

The chicken tikka was good, but I could have done a better job at evenly seasoning the vegetables. Oh well! I’d totally make this again though. πŸ™‚

one pan chicken tikka

Dinner: Chili cornbread bake. Today I started dealing with some personal shiz that was a total month-ruiner. I’ll write about it once I have more resolution. Anyway, the point is that I was not in a great mood. So that’s why I took this halfhearted sloppy picture of dinner, complete with a glass of my homemade plum wine.


The good thing is that this chili cornbread recipe makes dinner, lunch leftovers, and 1 – 2 freezer meals, too.Β 

chili cornbread bake


Breakfast: Breakfast bagels. I love me some breakfast bagels! They’re just sausage patties, egg patties (homemade of course), sometimes bacon, and cheese. It’s an easy breakfast that comes together quickly in the morning, especially if you pre-cook components, like the sausage patties.Β 

I cook my egg patties in Mason jar rings to get a perfect circle of eggy goodness.

breakfast bagel

Lunch: Leftover chili cornbread.

Dinner: Taco Beeeeell. We were supposed to eat honey mustard chicken with quinoa-chickpea salad. After dealing with today, I didn’t want to eat that at all. I wanted greasy, comforting food. We swung by Taco Bell to pick up a filling dinner on the cheap.

I’m kicking myself because I should have been better about planning this meal for leftovers. Oh well.


Breakfast: Granola bar. Today I was supposed to make “oatmeal EXTREME,” according to our menu. I put “EXTREME” in the title to make oatmeal sound more appealing. πŸ˜‰

Alas, that trick did not work. My appetite was shot anyway, so I just snacked on granola bars. The frugal thing is that I got these granola bars for free with a coupon. Win!

granola bar fun times

Nothin’ like the dry, disappointing goodness of Fiber One!

Lunch: Freezer meal. Mr. Picky Pincher’s office catered Jason’s Deli for them today. I scrounged in the fridge and ate some leftover chili cornbread bake.Β But in my head I pretended it was a juicy cheeseburger and a slab of cheesecake. A girl can dream!

Dinner: Bleu cheese-stuffed chicken with brussels sprouts and pears. This is a version of a recipe I found for stuffed pork chops. I hate most pork, and that includes pork chops, so I subbed the pork for chicken breast.

I cut a slit in the chicken and stuffed it full of bleu cheese, cooking it on high heat in the cast iron pan. I’m not gonna lie – it was tough to cook these! The cheese kept gushing out and burning. Oy, what a mess!

I have a few things to learn about cooking stuffed chicken breast.

I cooked the brussels sprouts on high heat in the cast iron pan and cooked down the thinly-sliced pears in butter. What’s funny is that I cooked the pears in a more savory style. The butter gave them a velvety, luscious smell and I seasoned them with simple salt and pepper. The bitterness of the brussels sprouts, sharpness of the bleu cheese, and light sweetness of the pears played very well together. I could have cooked it better, but the taste was all right!Β 

bleu cheese chicken with pears and brussels sprouts


Breakfast: Yogurt bowl. I made a quick yogurt bowl with homemade yogurt and butter pecan granola. I topped the granola with sliced bananas and strawberries. While it was tasty, it was way too sweet. I guess I need to stop adding honey to this!Β 

yogurt bowl

Lunch: Leftover chicken.

Dinner: Ragu with polenta.

Y’aaaaaall. This was another new meal this week and it was the crown gem. Here’s the recipe.Β 

This came together fairly quickly, although when I make it in the future, I’ll cook the ragu ahead of time. The ragu was made from chunky Italian sausage, onions, carrots, tomato sauce, and Italian herbs. The polenta (which is a fancy word for grits) came together in five minutes.

This dish was very hearty, but not too heavy. Perfect for the rainy days we’ve been having. πŸ™‚ As an added bonus, we got a few freezer meals out of it, too.

ragu with polenta


Breakfast: Tacos. I was supposed to make this really fancy, badass frittatta today. But you know what? I didn’t. I forgot to pre-cook some hashbrowns and then lost interest in the whole endeavor, so I made bean and cheese tacos.

Mr. Picky Pincher cooked more of his famous pinto beans last weekend and they were mighty tasty on a tortilla with cheese and salsa.

Lunch: Leftover ragu.

Dinner: Quesadillas. I’m gonna keep it simple tonight with some ground beef fajitas. I’ll sear peppers over our gas stove for a flame-roasted flavor and wrap everything together in a heavenly blanket of cheese. Easy peasy!

Grocery Costs

Let’s see what we spent this week!

On sale: $3.64

Coupons: $1.75

Total: $133.68

Goals for next week

Our total was a lot higher for a few reasons.

First, we bought a lot of meat this week because it was 25% off. We stocked up on Italian sausage and ground beef, which we froze for long-term use.

Second, our grocery store was participating in a drive for the Food Bank. We filled a bag with non-perishable food items, which did drive up the bill a bit. But it was worth feeding someone!

As far as next week’s goals … hm. I have a great menu put together and it’s my mission to stick to it as much as I can. It’d be nice to see a lower grocery bill but that won’t happen since we’re buying a few Thanksgiving turkeys!

Also, If you’re interested in our grocery shopping system,Β I go over it in depth in this eBook.

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

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