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

What a week! I can’t believe it’s February already.

This was a tough week, but I think we recovered okay. We had a few stumbles with our homemade meals, but we’re working on it!

See what we ate this week and how much it cost. Did you try a cool new recipe this week? Share in the comments! 

P.S. Be sure to check out The Picky Pinchers Cookbook

Monday

Breakfast: Strawberry banana smoothie.

I fell in love with the strawberry banana smoothie I found at this site. I excitedly woke up to make the smoothies and … realized I forgot to buy bananas.

Y’all. Do you know how many bananas I eat in a week? I eat an entire bunch of them by myself. I was mad that I forgot to order bananas during last week’s curbside grocery experiment. It’s yet another reason why I won’t use curbside again! 

Anyway, I had to think fast. I threw strawberries, avocado, Vital Proteins Collagen (Amazon link here), honey, mango, and lots of spinach into the blender. It came out pretty good, but it was no strawberry banana smoothie. Sigh.

Lunch: Barbecue leftovers. We hosted a family cookout last weekend and dined on the tasty leftovers today.

Dinner: Brisket tostadas with beans, cheese, and pickled jalapenos.

We kept it simple today by repurposing leftovers from the weekend. I cubed the brisket and reheated Mr. Picky Pincher’s famous pinto beans. I layered beans, cheese, chopped brisket, pickled jalapenos, and hot sauce on tostada shells bought for $1 at our Michoacana (a Latino grocery store).

I baked them in the oven at 400 degrees until the cheese was nice ‘n’ melty. This is such an easy meal and I love that it lets us repurpose leftovers in an exciting, new way.

Tuesday

Breakfast: Cauliflower breakfast hash. This is a version of a dish Mr. Picky Pincher had on our trip to San Francisco last month. I season cauliflower with paprika, salt, and pepper and bake it with peppers and onions.

Typically I’ll pair the hash with scrambled eggs or sausage, but I was feeling lazy.

Fun fact: this dish makes your house smell like farts for the rest of the day.

Lunch: Leftover tostadas.

Dinner: Subway.

I fully planned on cooking roasted sausage and veggies for dinner today. However, I was called into a surprise two-hour meeting at work and wasn’t able to start roasting everything at 4 pm, like I’d planned.

Nothing else was defrosted, so we opted for Subway sandwiches. We paid in cash using the money earned from selling our bikes on Craigslist a few weeks ago, and paired it with a coupon for two meal deals.

Once we got home, I cooked the sausage and veggie bake to ensure we’d have a dinner ready to go later this week. 🙂



Wednesday

Breakfast: Dutch baby.

Gotta love Dutch babies! A Dutch baby is a fluffy, egg-based pancake that tastes like a crusty crepe. But, like, in a good way.

Last time I made just one Dutch baby and split it between the hubs and myself. We were both hungry afterwards, so this time I made two Dutch babies. I admit it was a challenge, since it takes 15 minutes to cook one. I made sure I preheated my oven as soon as I woke up, and pre-mixed my batter. I’m proud to say we both got breakfast on time. 🙂

We were woefully low on toppings and fruit for the Dutch babies. I think poor Mr. Picky Pincher put cashew butter on his; I used three lonely leftover strawberries on mine. Sorry honey!

Lunch: Scrounge! We didn’t get enough Subway sandwiches for leftovers, so it was every Pincher for themselves today. I reheated a freezer portion of fried rice and called it a day.

Dinner: Sausage and veggie bake.

Finally! I’m so glad I pre-cooked this meal the night before, y’all. I got called into yet another unexpected long call for work and had zero time/patience to cook anything elaborate.

Luckily for me, my Past Self had cooked this meal. I just had to zap it in the microwave and it was good to go.

Thursday

Breakfast: Oatmeal. Keepin’ it nice and simple with a bowl of oatmeal. We like to top our oatmeal with toasted coconut, home-dried raisins, and occasionally a hit of honey.

Lunch: Leftover sausage and veggie bake.

Dinner: Asian zoodle soup. 

This is a meal we made up last month. I distinctly remember hating it, but hubs said he liked it, so I decided to give it a second try.

I put together the soup broth with homemade chicken stock and added a few scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen to it (Amazon link here). I stirred in oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and Sriracha to give the stock flavor.

I then cooked two chicken breasts and cubed them. I added chopped carrots, onions, and bell peppers to the stock. I also boiled my butternut squash noodles in the stock and removed them once they were cooked (you have to stop them from cooking or they turn to mush!).

I stirred in whisked eggs to make an egg drop soup kinda thing for extra protein. I topped the whole affair with cilantro.

Guys, there was nothing wrong with this meal. But there’s something about it that I just don’t like. I ate it, but I wasn’t happy about it. Mr. Picky Pincher got through his entire bowl before declaring he wasn’t a fan of it either. Again, we’re not sure why, but it’s not our jam.

I saved as much of the ingredients as I could so we could repurpose them. No more zoodle soup here!

Friday

Breakfast: Sweet potato waffles with sausage. I cooked these sweet potato waffles weeks ago and had forgotten about them. After a routine digging through the freezer, I put them on the menu to use up the last of the sweet potato waffles.

I topped the waffles with our sausage patties. I cooked a mondo-huge batch of these a few weeks ago and froze them. I just had to defrost a few patties in the microwave and we were in business.

I put hot sauce on mine because of course I did. 🙂

Lunch: Scrounge! We don’t want to have zoodle soup again, so we’ll scrounge for lunch. I saved the cubed chicken from last night, so methinks we’ll make chicken sandwiches.

Dinner: Strip steak with brussels sprouts and orzo. Hom nom nom! We were supposed to make this meal on Wednesday, but pushed it to today with all the craziness.

Zap has a followup appointment with the vet today and hubs will take him. We’re hoping to get a clean bill of health for his ear infection. 🙂 After that, hubs will grill the steaks.

I opted for frozen brussels sprouts after realizing they were half the cost of fresh sprouts per pound. If we can’t tell a difference, we’ll continue to buy frozen ones.

Tonight we also have a sausage-making class at Central Market! They’re technically feeding us dinner, but in my experience, that doesn’t happen until 8 pm. We’ll eat dinner as usual and then take any uneaten sausage home with us. We’re hoping to really get the sausage-making technique down from the pros!

The upside? They’re also teaching us how to pair sausage with beer, and that means lots of beer for the Picky Pinchers. 🙂

Grocery Costs

Let’s see what we spent this week!

On sale: $2.43

Coupons: $1.00

Total: $179.49

Goals for next week

I know our total was high here. This included ingredients like brisket that we used for last week’s cookout. This shopping trip also happened right before I crunched the numbers and realized we were spending A LOT of money on food.

We’ve planned out all the meals for February so there are no surprises. We’re even cooking freezer meals galore this weekend to ensure takeout surprises don’t happen.

However! Our grocery total probably won’t be low next week. Why, you ask? Because we’re only buying meat once a month, at the beginning of the month. This keeps us from buying meat we don’t need and ensures we eat what we have on hand first. We calculated the amount of meat we’ll need for the month and should be just fine. But that does mean that next week’s bill will be higher because of meat costs. After that I expect it to even out. 🙂

My goals for next week are to stick with the meal plan and course-correct with freezer meals when things don’t work out.

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

This week’s video

This is a new section for our What’s for Dinner? post! I’ve started putting out new videos on the Picky Pinchers YouTube channel every Wednesday (you’re subscribed, right?).

Check out this week’s video! Excuse the poor quality in some parts. I’m learning how to film and edit and I’ve had some roadbumps.

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



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