Thursday, November 14, 2013

PBOAB Challenge Week 1

Plant Based On a Budget has produced a challenge for this month in which they are making FREE meal plans that will allow someone to spend $25/person a week. I am actually really excited to be doing this challenge. I might fail right off the bat because I don't think I'm going to make the 25 dollar cut. I'm still going to save so much money. I'm not incredibly irresponsible with money, but I am in need of saving up. Please check it out: This is wonderful. I struggled through most of my health issues in college and still don't make a ton of money. I still have medical bills that come in on a regular basis. It's always good to save money so you can keep up on those unexpected medical expenses.

I have not been feeling great lately. It has been incredibly difficult to find motivation to do much of anything, but I've still been able to cook the meals from the plan. I wasn't able to go through with my personal plan which was to make sure I'm eating at appropriate intervals during the day and eat some protein a bit before bed. I heard it helps your insulin control during the night. I was hoping it would just help me out of bed in the morning. That's why there are some extra ingredients on my shopping list because I was hoping to make some protein rich snacks. I never got around to it :( I still have the ingredients so I will try for next week.

I have really good things to say about this week's plan. This is similar to how I would create a meal plan when low on money: lots of soup! Soup is cheap, comforting, and filling. I've always bought in bulk, but never bought just what I needed. Only buying the cup that you need for the recipe really helps. Also, Toni did a great job in picking cheap ingredients. The broccoli may be a bit repetitive, but it's good for you and I'm glad there's more than just celery or cabbage to eat. I cheated and added cauliflower to the first soup to just mix it up. Cruciferous vegetables are great for my estrogen production. They help make good estrogen, not the breast cancer kind. That will also allow me to stay away from birth control.

Tonight I made the Curry Chickpeas. So Yummy! The spices are great and I love baked chickpeas. It could have used a bit of tomato to bind it together more, so if you wanted to spend extra on the can of tomatoes, I might try it. The recipes so far are tasty, filling, and quick to make. The last one being my favorite. The recipes make very large portions. This is great if you are worried about snacking. Having a small bowl of soup for a mid day snack is a great idea. I still have some leftover pasta in the fridge at work I will probably get to tomorrow as I graze through the day. Nonetheless, next week I may try to make the snacks I was planning on doing this week and make smaller versions of the recipes. Right now I have enough food to last me through most of next week as well. Which would be great, but I want to try the new meal plan when it comes out! I will have lots of soup in the freezer :)

Whether you want to do the challenge or not, I would check out the site to get recipe ideas for nights when you don't feel like cooking. I already peaked at the family plan to get some ideas as well. Most of the recipes are made in less than thirty minutes and could be made with things you probably already have. In fact, I didn't have to buy many things from the shopping list. I already had them, saving me more money! Even so, my total at WinCo came to $35.33.
I'll leave the extra expensive items that I bought at the end so you can see how much I would have saved if I had kept on track.

Better Than Bullion Vegetable Broth $3.48
Corn Tortillas (30Ct) $1.36
Whole Wheat Elbow Pasta (Instead of the Mexican stars) $.79
Garbanzo beans $.83
Brown Rice Rotini Pasta $.99
Pumpkin Flax Granola (So Delicious! Probably not good for my blood sugar though!) $2.22
Pinto beans $.57
Pearl Barley $.30
Oats $1.02
2 Bananas $.44
Celery $.78
3 lbs of Fuji Apples (I actually eat an apple a day. They are so delicious!) $3.29
Kale $.98
3 Cucumbers (I usually eat a salad every day) $1.74
Cilantro $.58
Redleaf Lettuce $1.68

Total of needed items: $21.05
If I add what I didn't buy from the list with the prices she gives it comes to $4.78. Therefore, the price should have been $25.83.

I bought some staples I was missing and ingredients for quinoa tots ( ). I'll probably still make these this weekend!

Peanut Butter $2.82
Capers $1.59
Hot Sauce (I'm obsessed!) $2.08
½ lb Quinoa $2.27
Trail Mix $1.24
Baby Carrots $.98
Avocado $.78
Chives $1.98
Mushrooms $.54

Total of extras: $14.28

Next time I will try my best to stick to the budget. In the mean time I learned more about meal planning than I ever have by doing it on my own. I'm somehow more aware of where the cheap ingredients are. I'm hoping to learn even more this month! Thank you Toni for this great resource. I look forward to more easy recipes!

No pics this week of food so here's a picture of my baby boy: The guy that keeps me going :)

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