This week I have mixed feelings about budgeting. I don't want to do it when it means we have to say no to things that involve friends, especially since we spend so much of our time in our apartment doing anti-social things.
And let's be honest here, I'm not really complaining about the hermit life for my own sake. This is more of a Zac-related concern. I'm perfectly content with my food and my food blog and my Harry Potter books & DVDs for embarrassingly long periods of time. Plus I spend my days at work with small children and they have a way of making you feel like you deserve to spend 7 nights a week on your couch.
But also, I don't want to do it when I'm overwhelmed. With 1.5 jobs and a food blog and grad school classes rapidly approaching, sometimes I get a little frustrated with the budget. I want to swing by the closest grocery store (Whole Foods) to pick up easy dinners, or even a forgotten ingredient (this week it was brown rice - oops!). But really, that is just not in the $60 budget. So then I have to remember all of the incredibly delicious foods that are in the budget. And the fact that I regularly get (a little) free food at my part-time job (a restaurant), and that I'm so lucky to know how to cook, and that I'm on this budget to pay for my grad school which will help me teach other people how to feed themselves, whether on a budget or not. And these are important things to remember when you want a $12 block of cheese from Whole Foods.
But I had a stomach bug this weekend, and I was so tired on Sunday, and I really didn't want to do any meal prepping. I decided to do it anyway, but I cannot blame anyone who decides to skip it. Because every once in a while, like on this 6th week of budgeting & meal prepping, it feels exhausting and overwhelming.
I kept it pretty simple this week, and even mini-splurged on quinoa! I decided not to plan breakfast too extensively since Zac has no problem making it when I'm in the shower, so even though I did a bunch of prepping and cooking on Sunday, it was a pretty easy one.
A photo posted by (CaitlinSelf) (@frugalnutrition) on
Breakfast Salad with Sausage & Tomatoes - with Homemade Sausage! (once)
Avocado Toast + Eggs (twice)
Mashed Banana Oatmeal + Blueberries (twice)
Strawberry-Banana Smoothies (once - with avocado toast & eggs)
Pesto Quinoa w/ Roasted Tomatoes & Shredded Chicken
Stuffed Zucchini Boats (this time w/ sausage & vegetables) + leftover quinoa or whole wheat pasta
Quinoa & Black Bean Salad with Cilantro Jalapeño Dressing
Italian Sausage & Vegetable Rice Bowls (made the rice ahead of time and put the dish together on Tuesday night)
farmer’s market peaches (yum!!), cucumbers, Blueberry-Lemon-Yogurt-Biscuits, bananas, unsweetened dried cherries, some dark chocolate/dark chocolate pretzels
Dessert: Easy Fruit Crisp + ice cream! I made about 4ish servings of this fruit crisp with the leftover pears & apples from last week, and we spent $3 of our budget on vanilla ice cream. Zac was very happy with this addition to the menu this week.
Overall, I was super happy with our meals this week. The new dishes - Quinoa & Black Bean Salad & Cilantro-Jalapeño Dressing, and the Stuffed Zucchini Boats were both really delicious and satisfying. Plus, I LOVE those Italian Sausage & Vegetable Rice Bowls because they're so easy and really filling. We even packed ours with twice the vegetables to get rid of a bunch of older veggies in the fridge. I didn't really pack enough snacks for my lunch, and ended up craving something salty in the afternoon, but other than that this was a really good week of eating for us.
I made a little more food than we would usually need for our 42 meals (Mon-Fri; breakfast, lunch, & dinner), but I will be out of town this weekend so it's always good to leave a little extra food for Z Heisey so he doesn't blow our entire budget at the Whole Foods salad bar.