Break It Dah’n Na’h

I was tempted to name this post Simma’ Dah’n Na’h a la Nadine

But other than being extremely amusing, it wouldn’t have served much of a purpose.

Although, it is Hump Day and I’m sure we could all use a few good laughs.

No, I swear there’s a purpose!  There’s a purpose!

Here it is…

Are you ready??

It occurred to me that while I’ve done a post about making grocery shopping more economical, I haven’t really broken down what kind of meals I can actually produce from one trip to the ol’ Trader Joes.

Now that’s a pretty big list for a pretty low price, if I do say so myself.   In case you don’t want to whip out your Texas Instruments calculator, the grand total came to $44.61 for 21 items.   Holla holla.

I fully intend to make this feat of grocery wizardry last me for at least a week, but most likely 10 days or so.  I will eat at restaurants, of course, because Megan would not be “braising” any “roofs” if she didn’t have a little play time with her friends.

I do eat most of my meals out of my own kitchen, though.  I eat breakfast at home or at my desk, pack lunch most days that I go to work and tend to cook dinner 4-5 times/week.  And sometimes I even share my TJ’s lovin’ with my boyfriend.  I’m a sweetheart like that, I know.

So, how do I intend to get 12-15 meals out of $44.61 worth of groceries?

Plan ahead.

I had the following items in my kitchen before this shopping trip:  Ezekial bread, peanut butter, potato, eggs, sundried tomatoes, onions, garlic, frozen spinach, chickpeas, hummus, brown rice, pasta and whole wheat pitas, plus condiments of the assorted kind.  So, adding my new purchases, here’s what I’ve got:


Ezekial bread with peanut butter, yogurt with berries, egg sandwich, repeat.  I don’t spend a ton of time making breakfast unless it’s the weekend and I have nowhere to be, so I tend to repeat the same thing over and over.  It’s boring and one of the reasons that I don’t post my breakfasts on the blog, but it keeps me fed and happy so don’t hate.


Spicy tempeh sandwich with hummus, chicken pita with mayo or mustard and bacon,  green salad with chicken or tempeh or chickpeas and/or bacon plus chopped veggies, leftovers from dinner, pita pizza with cheese, spinach and sundried tomatoes or (my favorite) leftovers from dinner


Tonight was my first “real” meal out of this week’s groceries.  I marinated an entire package of tempeh in soy sauce, a bit of oil, garlic, chipotle salsa, soy sauce, lime juice, chili sauce, chili powder and oregano.  Then I pan fried half of it and baked half of it (at 400°) since I’m relatively new to tempeh and wanted to see how the cooking methods affected the taste/texture.  For the record, I like it better pan fried (shocking!).

Then I sliced up a potato and an onion and threw them in a pan to start softening with a pinch of salt.  After a few minutes, I threw in some chopped sundried tomatoes and frozen spinach and let everything cook together until the potatoes were soft.  I finished it off with some shaved parmesan and asiago.

Plus some roasted broccoli on the side.

I’ll use the potatoes again in an egg scramble or frittata.

I might even throw some chicken into those potatoes if there’s leftovers after the eggs.

Other dinners could very well include:  pasta with chicken, sundried tomatoes and spinach; sweet potato topped with baked beans (like Anne had yesterday) but I might crumble some bacon on top; veggies cooked in coconut milk and tossed with rice or pasta; pesto chicken…

I could go on.  By cooking ALL of your proteins or veggies at once, you’ll be much more likely to finish them up instead of letting them go to waste, uncooked.

Most importantly, don’t fear the leftovers.  They are your friend.

There are also some chips and snacks of the like on that list.  Pay no attention to them… 😉

Feel free to leave comments or email me if you have questions about planning out meals/grocery lists while sticking to a budget.  I’m working on making the process into an art form and am happy to share my grocery store nerdiness!  Errr…wisdom.  Yes, that’s right.  Wisdom.

What tips do you have to help save money on food during the week?

12 thoughts on “Break It Dah’n Na’h

  1. I’m slowly getting better at cooking a crazy amount of veggies at once and seperating them out. Then they’re good to grab for salads, dump in eggs, heat on their own, etc. Leftovers kick butt…

    Never cooked them in coconut milk, though. I think I may be missing out.

  2. Way to go Megan. You really know how to make your food money stretch. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten tempeh. You make me want to try it.

  3. Growing up we always made “menus” for the week for our lunches and we’d help our mom shop and pack our lunches. I think I’ve never really grown past that! I always plan lunches and dinners for the week. I don’t necessarily decided what I’m going to eat when, but I know what I COULD make from what I have, which helps take out the guess work

  4. I love the simmah down reference. I say that to my dog all the time when I want him to calm down and he actually listens! It’s good that you did an actual breakdown of prices for health food. Planning ahead does make all the difference in the world.

  5. holla to your meal planning! when i don’t meal plan, i get in major trouble. planning thangs out is key to healthy success. and yes, i also like to braise my roof by enjoying meals out, so ya always gotta leave room somewhere. good work on that grocery shoppin’ girl!

  6. Definitely try to buy something that has a long shelf life! When I get my fruits I go ahead and wash them and put them in a container so they will last longer. I’m pretty much the queen of saving since I’m on a tight college budget.

  7. Ok so this post just totally swayed me into trying tempeh after an unsuccessful attempt earlier this yr. It looks amazing.

    I have been to TJ’s in forever, that needs to change ASAP.

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