7.18.2012

Weekly Menu: Cheap and Healthy

Per request of a lovely reader (and friend), I am creating a weekly menu that consists of cheap, healthy meals! But, before I get to the recipes, I need to make a point:

You cannot cook cheap, healthy meals without first buying cheap, healthy foods.

If you haven't already, read my past post on Buying Local, Saving Money.
Also, here are some additional ideas to consider:
  • Moderate meat consumption. Meats are expensive, and they aren't necessarily healthy. Save money, save lives. We eat meat 1-2 times per week, and even when we do, I try to serve it as a side dish, not the main course. Instead of meat, we use a lot of beans. Our favorites are black, pinto, garbanzo, and lentils.

  •  Make from scratch. Bisquik mix, tortillas, Quaker Oatmeal packets, they all add up over time. It is so much cheaper to make your own. It really doesn't take long; I work 20 hours per week, internship for 10, and full-time school. I still have time to make bread and tortillas. Plus, it is smart to become self-sufficient.

  •  Alter your weekly menu to use items you find on sale. Shop produce sales at your local grocery store and then go home and find recipes to match. Most sale items are in season, which makes them even more tasty and healthy.

  • Make a list of items that you eat a lot of, and then buy in bulk. This would (for us) include rolled oats, diced tomatoes, beans, quinoa, salt, and flour.
That being said, Aaron and I set our budget at $240 per month. That is well below the national average of $537 and the allotted amount for food stamps $367 (two person household).

You could easily eat for less than $240 a month (for two people). We buy mainly organic as well as Wild Alaskan Salmon and grass-fed beef (I'm a food snob), so that inflates our budget just a little...

Now, a menu. 

MONDAY
B | Oatmeal with nuts and dried fruit
L | Tuna sandwiches with sprouts and tomatoes
D | Bean burritos with whole wheat tortillas (I usually make enough for lunches the rest of the week)

TUESDAY
B | Breakfast burritos (eggs, avocado, salsa)
L | Bean burritos
D | Zucchini lasagna

WEDNESDAY
B | Cooked quinoa with nuts and dried fruit
L | Leftover lasagna
D | Lentil soup with naan bread 

THURSDAY
B | French toast
L | Bean burritos
D | Maple Soy Salmon

FRIDAY
B | Fruit smoothie with toast
L | Bean burritos (last time :))
D| Whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce

SATURDAY
B | Yogurt with fruit or muesli
L | Spaghetti (mmm, leftovers)
D | Baked felafels with cucumber relish and pitas

SUNDAY
B | Pancakes with fresh fruit or maple syrup
L | Avocado chickpea sandwich
D | Homemade pizza--Our favorites are Southwestern, Thai, and veggie


For sake of time and space, I chose not to add all the recipes I listed above. However, if you are interested in any of the recipes, please let me know and I make posts (with pictures) for any requested recipes. 

8 comments:

  1. Oh! These sound So So good and are giving me some good ideas. This is exactly the kind of thing I knew you could do! Can I get your thai pizza and zucchini lasagna recipes?

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    1. Yes, I will get them posted the beginning of next week!

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  2. hey, you eat just like me! :) food snobs unite!

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    1. Oh Kenz, we were meant to be roommates. Remember sharing recipes and gossiping about processed foods? We are such snobs :)

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  3. Ooh and also your tortilla and bread recipes? And where do you buy your bulk items (oats, flour, quinoa, etc.)?

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    1. Hey Rachel! You can find my bread recipe under the "eat" tab, and I have a list of places to buy bulk in my Buying Local, Saving Money post, it's under the "save" tab. As of right now, we get most of our bulk items from azurestandard.com. I hope that helps! I will get the tortilla recipe posted in a couple of days :) Thanks!

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  4. I absolutely love this post! I am trying to slim down our family budget due to a recent car purchase and these are some great ideas. Quick question...would you mind sharing your tortilla recipe? I tried a quinoa flour one on pinterest and they need some tweaking.

    tobemrscollier@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you!! You can find my tortilla recipe under the "eat" tab. Let me know if you have any questions!

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