This week’s $50 menu began with stormy weather.
Our power unexpectedly went out for several hours after we were hit with a freak ice storm.
Predicting the weather is tricky business. Although forecasters assured us that there was no chance of a very, cold, spring rain turning to ice, it did. By mid-afternoon our trees and power lines were coated with a quarter-inch of ice.
Ice Storm Woes
Although it looked pretty, it was deadly to our neighborhood power grid. By 3:30pm, the power as off – and stayed that way for several hours.
The result was that my dinner plans, which involved opening the fridge and freezer repeatedly, were tabled and I ran to the pantry to grab ingredients for a quick batch of lentil tacos.
Thankfully, I had been systematically restocking our pantry for the past few weeks.
I pulled a pound of lentils, spices, corn, olives, and salsa from the pantry shelves. I finished by grabbing an avocado and a tomato from a bowl on the counter.
Within thirty minutes I had supper on the table. In fact, it fed us for two nights!
Seasonal Produce at A Great Price
One way to drop your grocery bills like a rock is to watch for seasonal produce to hit its lowest price and then stock up.
You can freeze or dehydrate quantities that you won’t use right away.
When Kroger put asparagus on sale for under $1.00 a pound, I jumped at the chance to buy four bunches and plan my weekly menu around these tender, luscious veggie stalks.
Once you get your asparagus home, storing it properly will lengthen its shelf life.
This Week’s Menu Plan
Now, let’s take a look at the rest of this week’s menu.
Each week, our breakfast is pretty much the same. One of the reasons we focus on either oatmeal or cream of wheat is that we can purchase these items at an incredibly low per pound when we buy in bulk in 50 pound bags.
As a family of four, these amounts are becoming too much for us to use. So, we split the bags with our two oldest sons, who no longer live at home. You can do the same thing by finding other families who are likeminded.
- Cream of wheat – Cost: $.50
- Steel Cut Oats – (4 pounds)- Cost: $2.00
- Oat Milk (1/2 gallon) – Cost: $2.00
- Strawberries – Cost: $2.00
Total for 7 Days of Breakfast: $6.50
Salads and Sides
Salads were created with spinach that I found marked down to 99¢ and strawberries from Aldi that were on sale for $1.59 per pound. Baked beans in the crockpot are cheap, easy, and a family favorite. I make them a lot when I can’t come up with any other ideas. I make them a main dish by serving them on top of baked potatoes or English style on toast.
- Asparagus and Sugar Snap Pea Salad – Cost: $4.50
- Baked Beans – Cost: $2.00
- Spinach Salad – Cost: $6.00
- Homemade Bread – Cost: $6.00
- Grapes – Cost: $2.00
Total Cost of Sides and Salads = $20.50
Asparagus was prominently featured in the spring vegetable stir fry. While sugar snap peas (bought for just 99¢ at Kroger) and spaghetti squash (from the freezer) were the main ingredients in the pasta and fritter dishes. We have had a really difficult time finding ways to make spaghetti squash
- Vegan chickpea squash fritters – Cost: $2.50
- Pasta with Sugar Snap Peas – Cost: $3.00
- Spring Vegetable Stir Fry – Cost: $2.00
- Lentil Tacos – Cost: $7.00
- Carrot dogs – Cost: $3.00
Total Cost of Main Dishes: $17.50
Total Cost of Soups: $5.50
- Chocolate mocha vegan cake topped with a dollop of vanilla yogurt – Cost:$3.00.
This slice of decadence was in honor of our youngest son’s 13th birthday and it was both easy and amazing. I highly recommend it.