The Importance of Meal Planning Plus Grocery List Under $50

This week I headed to the grocery store without a game plan for the week's meals. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to order groceries online or go to the farmers market and grocery store, so I mindlessly wandered through the grocery store after an impulse decision to forgo online ordering (mistake). Whenever I go without a plan of some sort, even if it's as vague as knowing I want Indian food and pasta, I end up grabbing random stuff and having to make a second trip to get more ingredients to create a cohesive meal. That's exactly what happened this week. When this happens, I also tend to eat less healthy, because my whim purchases tend to be junk :-/

For breakfasts
I had leftover ingredients to make a few more banana popsicles, plus I bought other freezer ready treats.

Bananas at $.69 per lb: $1.92
FarmRich French Toast Sticks: $2.99

So Delicious Protein Plus Almond Milk: $3.35 (I had a $1 off coupon)

For lunches
I came up with black bean quesadillas based on this random selection of ingredients. Each ingredient was stored separately until lunch time when I layered it together and popped it in the microwave.

Dried Black Beans: $1.89
Chi Chis Whole Wheat Tortillas: $2.39
1 Bag of Onions: $1.39
1 Green Bell Pepper: $0.76
1 Bag of Mini Sweet Peppers: $2.99
1 Bag Kraft Mexican Cheese (Major sale! Details at the end): $1*
1 Bunch Green Onions: $2
Tomatoes On-the-vine: $1.99

For dinners
Vegetable Dumpling made up most of my nightly diet this week. I fried some and served with a tart salad and steamed others for soup. I already had kale and napa cabbage leftover in the fridge from previous weeks to serve as the bulk of the filling.

Wonton Wrappers: $2.99
NaSoya Silken Tofu: $2.62
1/2 pound Asparagus: $3
Mixed greens from the farmers market: $3

I also stocked the freezer with frozen fish and fries (super healthy I know) for a couple of meals this week and to have on hand whenever I'm in the mood for fish and chips.

Mrs. Paul's Beer-battered Fish Fillets: $7.69
Oreida Zesty Twirls: $3.99 

That brings the total to $45.96. Truth be told, I went way over budget this week, but what I've listed above is all I ate. The rest of the ingredients are being saved for next week.

*I'm just starting to get into couponing. My first big deal happened this weekend when Kraft shredded cheese was on sale 5/ $10. I had a coupon for $5 off 5 packages (for use at FroGro aka Fresh Grocer), so I paid $5 for 5 packages of cheese that usually retail for $4.39 each! Shredded cheese freezes beautifully, so I could stock up without worrying about it going bad.

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