Summer is now here in full force (and so is the heat index). This means that the farmers markets and our weekly CSA box are both bursting with delicious, inexpensive farm fresh produce.
Not only am I beginning to fill the freezer to get us through the long winter months, I’m also expanding our menu plan to include seasonal favorites like sweet corn and zucchini.
I’m feeding my family for just $200 a month by planning my weekly menus around the wonderful fruits and vegetables from our weekly CSA share. You can follow my journey on Facebook, where I show my weekly grocery haul and unbox my CSA produce live on Saturday mornings.
Here on the website, I’m printing all of my menus, to show you how easy and affordable it is to feed your family a plant-based menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I calculate the total cost of each recipe, using the prices that I paid for the ingredients.
Your cost will vary, depending on where you live and the price of produce in your area.
This week’s breakfast menu cost was helped by last week’s low-cost bulk food order. We found oats for 45¢ a pound and steel cut oats for 50¢ a pound when we purchased them in a fifty pound bag. We should be fully stocked on oats for the next ten months.
I was able to source cream of wheat (farina) through an Amish bulk food store for just $21.50 for 50 pounds! I’ve been paying $1.00 a pound for a very long time. When the shipment arrives in mid-August, the cost of my breakfasts will drop even lower.
- $1.50 – Steel Cut Oats, Milk, Blueberries, Sugar
- $3.00 – Rolled Oats, Milk, Blueberries, Sugar
- $3.00 -Cream of Wheat, Milk, Sugar
Total cost of breakfasts = $7.50
Along with our traditional homemade soup, pizza pockets and big helpings of black beans and rice made an appearance on our lunch table this week.
Pizza pockets are not only easy, they are also incredibly inexpensive. I use my homemade bread dough, roll it out into 6 inch circles, and then fill with pizza toppings. I make each individual pocket according to the preferences of each family member.
I got a little behind in my cooking schedule in the middle of the week, so I had to do some quick thinking. I had four cups each of cooked black beans and rice in the fridge. I threw them together, added seasonings, and cut up various toppings (like tomatoes, avocado slices, and shredded lettuce. Voila! It provided very inexpensive tostadas lunch for two days.
- $4.00 – Black Beans and Rice , Sweet Corn, Garlic Toast, Peaches
- $1.50 – Black Beans and Rice Tostadas
- $4.00 – Black Bean Chili, Apples
- $4.00 – Lentil Soup, Crackers, Apples
- $2.50 – Homemade Pizza Pockets, Salad
Total cost of lunches = $16.50
This was a great week for serving supper on a bun or a tortilla. Quick and easy were the key words. Equally important words have been, “don’t heat up the house”. Fresh corn, a family favorite, is in season and we are taking full advantage, eating it sometimes twice a day.
- $6.50 – Vegetarian Biryani with Tortillas, Corn on the Cob, Fruit
- $5.00 – Stir Fry over Rice, Fresh Corn
- $5.50 – 1/4 Pounder Beet Burgers, Sweet Potato Scallop, Coleslaw
- $3.00 – Smoky Black Bean Tostadas
- $5.00 – Barbecue Lentil Sandwiches, Fresh Corn, Coleslaw
- $3.00 – Roasted Herbed New Potatoes, Italian Zucchini
Total cost of suppers = $28.00
Total cost of this week’s menu = $52.00
I went over a couple of dollars this week, but, in all, I’m pretty happy and count that total as “close enough”.