When it comes to food, I am unwilling to compromise. I want to eat things that are good for me, meaning I don’t want to eat things just because they are cheap.

I’ve had people tell me they spend $150 for two people per week at the grocery store. Sean and I spent $400ish last month on groceries and felt like we both overdid it. But how do we eat on so little money? Do I spend hours cooking everything from scratch every night? Back on Vinalhaven I did have that time, but am less inclined to now. Here’s a week in food at our house (and a fairly typical one). You’ll notice every meal includes vegetables and protein, doesn’t have a lot of fat, and sounds pretty good, at least in my opinion:

Monday: Pizza
Dough: $1.50 (from a Portland company, a small splurge)
Salsa as tomato sauce: ¼ to ½ jar- $1.50
Feta and olives: ¼ pound from bulk containers at olive station- $2
Sausage: ½ package: $3
Sweet potato oven fries: $2 (for a bit of oil, salt, and two potatoes)
Meal Total: $10

Tuesday: Tofu Stirfry

1 block extra firm tofu: $4 (Nicole tip:cutting it small allows you to sneak it into the dish for those who think they are anti-tofu)
Oil for frying: $.50
Frozen stir fry veggies: $3
Oriental noodles: ½ package $0.50
Teriyaki sauce (several ounces): $1
Ginger (spice): $0.25
Garlic (a few cloves): $0.50
Meal Total: $9.75

Wednesday: Fish and salad
2 filets tilapia: $5
Seasonings: $0.50
1/2 pound Edamame salad from Hannaford Deli: $2.50
1 can corn: $0.50
1 can black beans: $0.50
1 c. ploye mix: $0.50
Meal Total: $9.50

Thursday: Instant Indian
1 package Indian Food Spices: $2
1 package mixed frozen veggies: $1.50
½ package frozen broccoli: $0.75
1 big pat of butter: $0.25
1 c. Jasmine rice: $0.50
½ jar coconut milk: $1
1 c. flour, some salt, and olive oil: $1 (for flatbread)
2 small chicken breasts: $3
Meal Total: $11

Friday: Tomato, Mozz. Salad and Sausage
2 tomatoes: $3
1 package mozzarella: $5
Balsamic vinaigrette, 4 tbsp: $0.50
Olive oil (a bit): $0.50
Sausage: ½ package: $3
Meal total: $12

Saturday: Crepes
2 c. flour: $2
1/4 c. sugar: $0.50
1/4 c. milk: $0.50
Eggs: $3
Salt and butter: $1
Peanut butter, jam, syrup, etc. to put on crepes: $2
Meal total: $9

Sunday: Leftovers!

For Two Lunches and Two Breakfasts, 5 times a week and snacks:
2 loaves of bread (we make sure to get the kind with no corn syrup): $4
Peanut butter (natural-1/2 jar): $1.50
Nutella (1/2 jar): $1.50
Honey (1/2 jar): $2
Rice crackers: $2 for a lot of them
Yogurts (6 Stonyfield Farms): $4
Mixed nuts: $5
3/4 lb natural turkey breast deli meat: $5
1/2 lb cheese: $3
Box of clementines/bag of apples/insert 5-8 pieces of fruit here: $6
Cereal: $3
Milk: $2
Bag of tortilla cips: $2
Total: $41

So for about $100, I’ve got almost all meals (weekend mornings usually involve a breakfast out) for two people covered. You’ll also notice that there are remainders of items that carry into the next week, meaning that over the course of a month, we actually spend less than this in the average week.

For those who have asked, that’s how I do it. So what’s your favorite cheap and good meal secret? 

Need marketing help?