$50 Grocery Budget - What Did I get?

So for the longest time, I have been wanting to do some sort of grocery budget challenge to see how far I can stretch my dollar. (p.s. I did a post on

grocery budgeting

before). There are a lot of misconceptions about eating healthy on a budget and I agree with most people who say eating healthy is expensive. But through this post, I hope I can show you that it is not impossible and definitely MUCH BETTER and CHEAPER than eating out. 

By no means, I am promoting a certain grocery store/brand or tell you what your budget should be - this is simply an experiment and a learning experience for me too and I hope it will be the same for you. 

$50, Grocery List, and Off I Go....

Grocery Stores I went to are Trader Joe's, Walmart **I purchased $ 45.48 ($38.68 at Trader Joe's and $6.8 at Walmart) worth of groceries and the remaining balance is to account for other ingredients I had on hand such as: spices, salt, oil, and few other items which are mentioned below. 

If you are looking to eat healthier and stay within your budget, I highly recommend to plan your meals ahead of time. Check out my post on Meal Planning 101. Budget Bytes is a resourceful food blog that has a ton of recipes and cost/serving to help you with budgeting as well. Before planning your meals, raid your pantry and freezer to see what you have available and plan your meals around that. Here are a few meals I made with my groceries that I had purchased. 

Note:

- I still have corn and tomatoes left which I have been using for salads.

Note:

- Dried chickpeas are cheaper to use but if you are short on time, canned chickpeas are great. 

- I used fresh baby spinach from my fridge but generally frozen ones are cheaper and it will work just fine in this recipe. 

- Use no salt added tomatoes, any kind of tomatoes will work. 

- This recipe freezes really well so it can be made in advance. 

Usually protein is the most expensive part of my grocery shopping. I have been purchasing chicken from

Crescent Foods

 (available at selected Walmart stores). It is pricier than regular chicken (~$4.50 lb for skinless, boneless chicken) but it is worth that money for me. Here is a good post on

saving money on meat.

 I like to cook a big batch of chicken and use it for 3-4 meals.  

Chicken Quesadilla with Guacamole ($1.75 per serving, total 5)

Notes:

- I used flour tortilla and

homemade taco seasoning

 from home.

- Chicken can be substituted with black beans or any other filling of your choice.   

I used the remaining tomatoes from 

chickpea and spinach curry to make the pizza sauce for 

pita pizza. I used the leftover chicken as well. 

Eggs are probably one of the cheapest sources of protein (6 gram per serving, 0.31 for the organic kind and $0.16 for the regular ones). I eat eggs at least 4-5 times a week mainly in the form of

scrambled eggs.

 But lately,

shakshuka

(poached eggs in tomato sauce) has been a regular in my house. 

I eat mostly

bircher museli

(overnight oatmeal), toast with eggs, or smoothies 

(didn't do this week)

in the morning. They are all relatively inexpensive, quick, and wholesome.

pictures from before

Note:

- I added sliced bananas and apples to my oatmeal this week. I used almond milk from before.

- Some other easy, inexpensive breakfast ideas:

breakfast scrambled tacos

,

eggs in a basket,

banana bread breakfast cookies

I normally snack on whatever homemade baked goods I have around, nuts, or fruits. Some of the snacks from this grocery trip include:

- Apple slices with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter ($0.50 per serving)

- I made peanut butter banana cups, recipe adapted from

here.

Things left:- Peanut butter, oats, eggs, tomatoes, cheese, bread, and pita bread which I will incorporate into my meal planning for this week.  

Thoughts: - I felt pretty comfortable with $50 worth of groceries to last me a week even though it meant leftovers for lunch. However, if you plan on eating only organic, it might be little bit more challenging. - I did feel a little restricted when it came to buying fruits and greens, hence I choose only apples and bananas during this trip.- Homemade snacks are the BEST. Initially you may have to invest in baking supplies but it will be worth the cost. I try to make a snack or two on Sunday evenings to last me that week. Some of my recent favorites are: double chocolate banana bread and raw energy bites.- Last but not the least, plan your meals ahead of time and invest sometime in the kitchen cooking. I hope this post was somewhat helpful to see what $50 can really get you and what you can do with it. If you have questions about a specific recipe or anything else, please email me or leave a comment below.