When it comes to food budgeting, I have been quite terrible. I don’t look at prices, compare prices, think about budgets AT ALL when roaming through the grocery store. In the last 4 weeks since starting to achieve FIRE (YES, I shall ACHIEVE IT!), all that has changed. I’m now on a mission to cut my grocery budget in half. I’ll try to get a report next month on how well we have done with this!
As an aside, I feel it’s relevant to mention that I’m an AVID lunch-maker and have been for several years. And for good reason! When it comes to eating out for lunch vs. making your lunch, the impact can be significant over time. For a very detailed and mind-blowing report about how eating oatmeal a couple of times a week can make you rich, please read this Money Engineering article all about it.
Here are a couple of very inexpensive recipes I’ve tried over the past week in my quest to reduce the grocery bill (Thus propelling myself ever-so-slightly closer to FIRE). My goal was to “shop” the freezer and pantry as much as possible to avoid buying groceries before payday. That limited what I could make, but we did a fantastic job cleaning out the freezer!
Recipe 2: Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice (made in Instant Pot but you could use the stove/oven)
Of the two, my fave was the burrito bowls. I love all things remotely Mexican and these were great for lunches through the week. In addition to salsa and cheese (That I shredded myself, thank you very much), I added some home-made pickled jalapenos from my dad’s garden (free and delish!) which gave the bowls a lovely kick.
The chicken and rice was tasty but didn’t have the wow factor. I used a chimichurri spice mix from Epicure that I love over roasted veggies and in other dishes. The recipe author used a creole mix and loved it. I might change up my choice of spice next time and add a bit more salt for flavor.
This week’s cheapo meal is going to be loaded baked potatoes! I’m so excited. I may do a mixture of baked potatoes and sweet potatoes. The plan is to bake them in advance, then have all of the faboo toppings ready to go. Hubs will love them. Kid will hate them. That is how it goes. Maybe I can get Kid to at least indulge in the toppings. Please let me know your favorite food budgeting recipes in the comments below!