Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Week of Meals on the Cheap

My husband and I are those kind of people that really watch what we spend.  No, we are not cheapskates, but we try to be aware of what we have available to us, what we want to do with it, and what we need to do to make that happen.  That means we are budgeters.  For the first couple years of our marriage I had no problem sticking within the food budget.  We pretty much just ate the same seven dishes rotating through our week nights and so the expenses were quite consistent from week to week.  Now times have changed.  Now I love cooking, and I spend my free time pouring over food magazines and blogs and find myself constantly saying, "I want that!"  Usually that requires ingredients I don't normally have on hand, which means I then need to run to the grocery store and get some extra stuff.  If this happens enough you can imagine what can happen to our budgeting skills... POOF!   They are out the window.

So I came up with a plan.  I didn't want to give up my discovery-of-great-food process, we wanted to make sure we still had money at the end of the month to spend elsewhere, and he always wants more beans and rice.  Seeing as how marriage is all about compromise, we put this all together and decided that one week a month we would do a "meals on the cheap" week, with beans and rice as our base to save the money for the other, more "glamorous" weeks.

Have a moment to see what I came up with. 

//beans and rice//        //ground beef skillet//      //tomato salad//

//beans and rice//      //avocado pizza//      //spinach salad//

//beans and rice//      //radish toast//      //sauteed broccoli//

//beans and rice//      //radish toast//      //spinach salad//

There you have it!  Five nights, five cheap and yummy dinners.  A few things I would like to point out:
  • You do not see a lot of meat.  Beans and rice make a complete protein.  We are not opposed to meat, but we like to eat meat-free dishes about half of the time, and this week we just went almost-veggie.
  • Originally I planned other things in addition the avocado pizzas and the radish toast as the main portion, but they were so good and we had enough stuff left over, so we went for it.  They were YUM.
  • I only had to spend one night really cooking (Monday).  I made all the beans and rice that day and just spent about 15 minutes in the kitchen on the other days.
  • For the "radish toast" nights I included the cost of two pieces of toast, as one was not enough.  So that price you see is how much it took us to feel full, not the bare-bones price.
  • Total spent on dinner that week (for two): $12.08
  • We took similar things for lunch (beans and rice with ground beef/ beans and rice with fried eggs and veggies/ beans and rice with _______ ), keeping our week in total at $40, including breakfast.  I know, I amazed even me.
  • No, we did not get sick of eating beans and rice every single day.  Husband is Brazilian, I have spent considerable time that beans-and-rice-loving-country, and we are both A-OK with it.  And if you tasted my beans, you would be, too ;)

1 comment:

  1. hahaha I just read your rice and beans post and I gotta tell you... most of the things apply to Brazilians in general, not just men! We can't never get tired of rice and beans, soccer is the BEST sport in the world (my husband might disagree) and rice from the rice cooker does taste different. I'm so thankful I married an American that loves rice and beans as much as I do! And it's so healthy too.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say I have lots of fun reading your blog. It's nice to hear about other Brazilian/American couples!


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