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Ho-o-o-ly moly! Is anyone else glad it’s Friday? It was a rough week at work for everyone, so we’re ready for a few days of freedom. Check out what we ate this week and how much it set us back.

What did you eat this week to save more money?

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


Breakfast: Cajun cauliflower breakfast hash. I pre-cooked this hash on Sunday night. All I had to do to make breakfast today was zap this food in the microwave. It was super tasty! I normally wouldn’t have thought of cauliflower as a breakfast food, but it’s on the menu for sure from now on. The pastrami in this dish added a lot of extra flavor.

cauliflower breakfast hash

Lunch: Leftover steak with spiralized butternut squash in a bechamel sauce. We cooked this meal for Sunday dinner and it was really good! We splurged on steaks at the store, but it was well worth the cost. I used the three butternut squash that we’d spiralized over the weekend as the base of the dish. We caramelized some onions and topped the whole thing with a homemade bechamel sauce (a fancy word for cheese sauce).

It was soooo tasty, y’all! I added cayenne pepper to the bechamel and it had a wonderful heat to it.

Dinner: Popeye’s.

To be honest, we’d both had a crappy day at work, so Popeye’s was the first thing we grabbed. Ugh.


Breakfast: Savory muffin / smoothie with toast. Mr. Picky Pincher dashed out the door with the savory mozzarella bacon muffins I made last weekend. I wasn’t in much of a muffin mood, so I threw together a green smoothie. I paired it with whole-grain toast slathered in peanut butter and topped with strawberries.

smoothie with toast

Lunch: Green smoothie. I was feeling some guilt over last night’s Popeye’s, so I finished my green smoothie from breakfast (it makes two servings).

Dinner: Salsa verde chicken with herb cornmeal dumplings. I was suspicious of this dinner, but I gave it a go.

And I’m so glad I did!

southwest chicken and dumplings

I found the recipe in a library cookbook for this deceptively simple dinner. I cubed and cooked chicken through, then I made a gravy with salsa verde. It sounds really weird, and I admit at the time I was skeptical. On top of this chicken-gravy mixture, I dropped in balls of homemade dumpling mix (half flour and half cornmeal) and baked everything until the dumplings were done.

I’m not always one for dumplings but y’all. THIS WAS SO GOOD. Seriously. I’ll have to include it in the Picky Pinchers Cookbook Part 2.


Breakfast: Tortilla espanola. This was a weird one. I stumbled upon the idea of a Spanish tortilla, which is kinda like a quiche with thinly-sliced potatoes in it. I pre-cooked my potatoes, peppers, onions, and cubed ham the night before. In the morning, I baked the whole shebang with eggs.

weird version of a spanish tortilla

This should have been tasty, but I made a fatal flaw, y’all. I overcooked my eggs. When I bit into this dish, it was like styrofoam. Blech! Luckily I saved the other half of the potato-ham mixture to repourpose.

Lunch: Leftover salsa verde dumplings. Mmmmm.

Dinner: Cheesy sausage pasta. This meal has quickly become one of our favorites. My friend Katy cooked this for me years ago and I recently rediscovered the recipe. It’s definitely not healthy, but boy is it easy, delicious, and filling.

cheesy sausage pasta


Breakfast: Potatoes, ham, and scrambled eggs. I decided to repurpose the potato-ham mixture from the tortilla today. Honestly, it wasn’t my favorite. I guess I have a lot more learnin’ to do when it comes to decent Spanish cooking. Oh well! At least my scrambled eggs were fluffy and wonderful.

I also treated myself to a homemade caramel macchiato, courtesy of my DeLonghi espresso maker (Amazon link here).

potatoes and ham with scrambled eggs

Lunch: Green smoothie.

‘Cuz I’m too smoothie-licious for ya, babe.

Today I used produce odds and ends to make a smoothie with yogurt, chia seeds, flax seeds, a banana, avocado, strawberries, a #$%&ton of spinach, and protein powder. It wasn’t sweet at all, surprisingly, and it was mighty tasty. 🙂

Dinner: Beef tamale pie.

This was another recipe I found in a library book. At first, I thought it sounded like some monstrosity created from the mind of a 1950s housewife. You know, the era that brought us salmon and Jell-O molds.

Anyway, I was wary of this one. It was simple: ground beef with beans, spicy red salsa, green chiles, and a cornmeal “masa” topping. I broiled it in the oven to slightly brown the topping.

It was so delicious that I forgot to take a pic – sorry! The big bonus is that this stuff freezes really well. We made a lot of portions, so our freezer has yet another tasty backup meal.


Breakfast: Bean and cheese tacos.

A classic ’round these parts! I forgot to take a photo of today’s taco, so here’s a slightly sadder photo of a taco without cheese.

black bean breakfast taco with salsa

Lunch: Leftover beef tamale pie.

Dinner: Lentil-beef meatloaf with leek gratin.

I’m also nervous about this meal, but I’ll give it a shot! I read that you can reduce your meat intake by making things like burgers and meatloaf with half meat and half lentils. So tonight’s meatloaf will be half lentils! I’m also serving it with a gratin of leeks, which I’ve never done before.

Here’s hoping it tastes all right. 🙂

Grocery Costs

Let’s see what we spent this week!

On sale: $1.40

Coupons: $1.00

Total: $142.57

Goals for next week

Oops! We spent quite a bit this week. And you wanna know the main culprit? Meat. We purchased two steaks, pastrami, and ham during this grocery run. I was shocked when I saw the cost for this stuff, particularly the meats from the deli counter. You can bet I’ll be much more mindful of what recipes I’m selecting and what proteins they use!

As far as next week, I know it’s going to be busy since I have work travel / events, so I’m not going to kid myself with a goal of not eating out. For next week I’d like to eat as decently as I can for as cheaply as I can. 🙂

Also, If you’re interested in our grocery shopping system, 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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