January 31, 2011 – The Budget

Another week of menus and shopping.  This week on the menu, in no specific order, is the following…

Roast Chicken, Rice A Roni, Corn

Fajitas, Spanish Rice, Corn Tortillas

Chinese Style Country Pork Ribs, Rice, Green Beans

Navy Bean Soup, Rolls

Spaghetti, Salad

Keilbasa Stew

Oven Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Corn

This week a variety of meats were on sale and I decided to take advantage of this.  Surprisingly, there aren’t any dishes with ground beef this week.  To take advantage of double coupons and lower produce prices I shopped at 3 different stores.  The bulk of my shopping was at Stater Brothers with a total of $80.85.  Next Ralphs, with a total of $43.14 and finally Sprouts for a some fruits and vegetables for a total of 14.04.  A grand total of 138.03.  My budget is $150 for the week so the leftover money will most likely go to the next week, or possibly some dairy items at Trader Joes.

To get an idea of my spending I thought I might go ahead and list all my items purchased.  While the focus of my trip is on the dinner menu, I also have to buy items to cover breakfast and lunch throughout the week.  Also, you’ll notice a lot of canned foods this week.  They were such a steal I couldn’t not get them, BUT I am hoping to switch out the canned lunch items for homemade soup throughout the week.  I think I could achieve even more savings this way.  I’ll note which items I purchased with coupons.  I love 75 cent coupons because my store doubles them up to $1.

1% Milk – 2 gallons

Yoplait Trix Yogurt (75 cent coupon)

Bread – 2 loaves

corn tortillas

Pickles (75 cent coupon)

Tabasco (40 cent coupon)

Coffeemate – 2 ($1 coupon)

Campbell’s Soups – 10

Del Monte Vegetables – 9

Canned peaches – 3

Almond Milk – Half Gallon

Corn Starch

White Beans, Dry

Chef Boyardee Pasta – 4

Tomato Sauce – 2

Chocolate Milk Powder


Fajita Seasoning

Cranberry Juice (medical necessity, UGH)

Apple Juice

White Cranberry Juice

Pretzels – 3 bags (different types, fickle tastes in my family)

Mini Chocolate Chips (lowfat oatmeal cookies tonight!)

Ketchup – 2 (on sale, Fish “hid” the large bottle I bought last week and found it today when helping me put groceries away)

Rice A Roni

8 – 2 liters of Pepsi (yes, I know it’s bad for us, but it’s cheaper than booze)


Ginger Root




Bell Peppers




Also are bananas cheap everywhere?  Ours average around 65 cents per pound, which seems inexpensive to me.

Edited to ADD:  For some reason I forgot to list all my meats!

1 whole chicken

Keilbasa (1 lb)

2 Pork Shanks

Pork Country Strips (about 3 lbs)

Top Sirloin (about 3 lbs)

Chicken Breasts with Ribs attached (about 6 lbs)

Chicken Legs (about 7 lbs)


3 thoughts on “January 31, 2011 – The Budget

  1. Ooh! This makes me think I should give you my recipe for homemade rice pilaf that tastes like Rice-A-Roni but better! I’ll put it here in case anyone else wants it:

    2-3 Tbsp. butter (or olive oil)
    1 onion, diced
    1-2 carrots, diced (or 5-6 baby carrots)
    1-2 stalks celery, diced
    1-2 cloves garlic, minced
    optional: a few broccoli florets, cut in small pieces; a few ounces of chicken, pork or steak cut into bite-size pieces
    3/4 c. medium-grain rice
    3/4 c. vermicelli or other small pasta (or couscous, bulghur wheat, or quinoa)
    1/2 tsp. dried thyme (oregano and marjoram are also good)
    salt & pepper
    2 1/2 to 3 c. broth (vegetable, chicken or beef)

    Heat 1-2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add all vegetables and garlic, then saute till the onions are translucent. If you’re using meat, add that to the skillet and brown.

    Add another Tbsp. of butter, if you like, then add the grains and saute that a minute or two. Add herbs and pepper to taste. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15-20 minutes till the water’s all absorbed.

  2. I forgot that I’ve been meaning to look Rice A Roni from scratch. I do get the boxed kind because it’s kind of a treat for the family, but I want to try this out and see if they find it even more of a treat.

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