This is the fourth in my series of $50 menu plans. In this grocery budget challenge, I’m feeding my family of six for no more than $200 a month. I’m using produce from my prepaid weekly CSA membership as the backbone of my menu plans.
If you are looking to cut back back on meat and dairy, then this is the series for you. We are vegan. So, each of these menus features fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and beans. You’ll see how incredibly easy and inexpensive it is to feed a family on a small budget when you use natural foods for your meals.
I finally broke away from my regular breakfast routine – a little bit. Chocolate overnight oats made an appearance. They feel decadent. I mean, gee whiz who doesn’t like feeling as though they are eating dessert for breakfast? Not everyone indulged in the chocolate oats, but I thought they were very nice.
- $4.00 – Oatmeal with fruit (X3)
- $1.50 – Chocolate Peppermint Overnight Soaked Oats
- $3.00 – Cream of Wheat (X3)
Total Cost of Breakfast – $8.50
After briefly swaying last week from my general pattern of serving soup for our noon meal, this week it was back to lunch as usual. Two of the three soups, chickpea and smoky white bean, are my personal recipes. You’ll find all the links in the lunch menu list.
One notable exception was my nod to our English ancestry by eating beans on toast for lunch one day this week. If you’ve never tried it, it is surprisingly tasty.
- $7.00 – Chickpea soup, tuno salad sandwiches, bananas or applesauce (X2)
- $3.00 – Smoky Beans on Toast, strawberries (X1)
- $3.00 – Smoky White Bean Soup, toast, apples (X2)
- $3.50 – Split Pea Soup, peanut butter sandwiches, apples (X2)
Total Cost of Lunches: $16.50
Vegetables were definitely the star of the show for supper this week. I had a lot of cauliflower on hand that needed to be used up. So, it appeared in our menu for three nights this week.
When I ran smack out of time one night, the stir fry kits that I got on markdown last week from Kroger came to my rescue, providing the base for a quick and easy dinner solution.
I tried a new recipe, rainbow roasted vegetables and it turned out quite nicely. We made custom “bowls” with it. I offered chickpeas, kale, an assortment of toppings, and three different dressings as choices. The boys love it when they get to make their meal the way the like it.
We celebrated my husband’s 63rd birthday with a family Friday night picnic. The special supper featured 1/4 pound beet burgers, chips, salsa, fruit, and homemade cupcakes for dessert.
Finally, the cabbage rolls were assembled a day ahead and cooked in the slow cooker to avoid taxing our already overburdened air conditioner. Cabbage rolls are a great example of “waste not, want not”. Those large, outside leaves of the head are perfect for stuffing with rice and spicy tomato sauce.
- $3.00 – Cauliflower, Potato, and Chickpea Curry (X2)
- $2.00 – Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (X2)
- $5.00 – Stir fry vegetables and pineapple over brown rice (X1)
- $3.50 – Roasted Rainbow Riced Vegetables, over chickpeas with tahini dressing (X1)
- $6.00 – 1/4 pound beet burgers, chips, salsa, fruit, (X1)
Cost of Entrees – $19.50
Despite heat in the 90’s all week long, I managed to find an early morning slot in my schedule to bake bread, much to the delight of my family members.
Since we were running out of salad greens and I am practicing the art of not going to the grocery store unless I absolutely need to, I experimented with wilting beet greens as a side dish. I loved them – other family members, not so much.
The 15 year old sous chef worked his magic and produced six mocha cupcakes with mocha frosting and six strawberry lemonade cupcakes with lemon citrus frosting. Both varieties were delicious and yes, they are vegan.
- $.50 – Wilted beet greens
- $2.00 – Roasted Beets
- $0.00 – Fresh Baked Bread (Cost is figured into the lunch and dinner menus)
- $2.50 – Cupcakes