I have taken a long hard look at how much I spend and waste on poor planning for grocery shopping. After reading these entries on The Penny Hoarder, Every Dollar, Cooksmarts and Cupcakes and Cashmere I have a list for myself:
Limit shopping to two days a week, if I don’t have it, I’ll have to make something from the pantry or freezer
Double any recipes such as chilli, soups, dals, stews etc. to freeze for another dinner
Wash and pack away all fruits and veggies as soon as I get home from the store e.g. carrot sticks, broccoli florets…
If I have a spare ten minutes the night before or in the morning, do some dinner prep like roasting veggies, making a sauce/dressing or boiling something.
Purchase attractive storage items and lunch boxes so that I feel like eating out of them
Purchase water bottles and fill them up the night before when making lunch
Once a week sit down with a drink and some music and using pantry ingredients find one or two new recipes for the week. e.g. I have so much quinoa that hasn’t been used, I decided on quinoa burgers
Go out once a week for lunch, dinner and breakfast and that’s it!
Instead of going for regular brunches, have a yummy imitation brunch at home with friends and then go out for a coffee afterwards. Some of the most tasty ideas are an avocado toast bar that people can customize (radishes, kimchi, chopped pistachios and eggs), brioche French toast with seasonal fruit or Indian spiced eggs with goat’s cheese and fried potatoes.
I have been following these steps for the last few months and still have a way to go, but have already saved about one third in food costs and definitely been eating better. Lunches are still hard, it’s so tempting to buy a sandwich or something convenient, but having a tasty and varied lunch packed already makes it much easier to resist.
As far as dinner goes it’s still half organized declicious-ness and half haphazard thrown-together stuff.
Monday: Egg white scramble, swiss chard and turkey bacon
Tuesday: Tofu scramble with fried egg on top, mushrooms and spinach
Wednesday: Protein pancakes, fruit and maple syrup
Thursday: Fried egg and cheese tortilla, avocado
Friday: Egg white scramble, kale and turkey bacon
Saturday: Croissants, jam and eggs at cafe
Sunday: Shakshuka with chickpeas and asparagus
Monday: Arugula, romaine, yellow bell pepper, chickpeas, mozerella, walnuts and flaxseeds
Tuesday: Chopped cabbage, red bell pepper, veggie burger, feta, sunflower seeds
Wednesday: Lunch out: BLT sandwich with fries hurrah
Thursday: Arugla, romaine, tuna salad, cucumber, olives
Friday: Chopped cabbage, black beans, sweet potato, brocolli
Saturday: Rotisserie chicken with salad
Sunday: Dal and rice with some kind of veggie
Monday: Pan-fried salmon with teriyaki sauce, soba noodles and asparagus
Tuesday: Indian cauliflower and potatoes, ladyfingers, rice and dal
Wednesday: Thai beef salad from this Bon Appetit recipe was just mind-blowing: fresh, crunchy, sweet and salty
Thursday: Pan-fried tilapia, lentils and tomato and onion salad
Friday: Out for pizza!
Saturday: Kimchi jigae and frozen homemade pork dumplings, broccoli
Sunday: Late lunch, so just had oatmeal with pears