What Happened When I Put Myself on a $50 Grocery Budget for a Week


I can simply spend upward of $150 every week on groceries for a typical week. No, I am not feeding a household. I am solely shopping for for myself, however I attempt to purchase all natural, and natural ain’t low-cost. I eat salmon 3 to 4 instances every week, and natural salmon can actually run up your grocery invoice. Pair that with my love for the scrumptious (however costly) Humboldt Fog cheese I wish to deal with myself to some instances a month, and it is not arduous to see how my weekly grocery invoice provides as much as nicely over $100.

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While going over my bills final month, I made a decision to problem myself. I put myself on a strict $50 grocery price range for 1 week. I have been wanting to construct up my financial savings account a bit extra, and I figured groceries could be place to begin. I work from my residence in upstate New York, so I can prepare dinner slightly bit greater than individuals who work in an workplace 5 days every week, and I am hoping this helps me stretch my tiny price range. Since protein is often the costliest portion of my price range, I made a decision so as to add in a number of vegetarian meals to assist maintain my prices down. I additionally determined to ditch my go-to grocery retailer, Wegmans. This was powerful as a result of I’ve a really deep love for Wegmans, however they are often dear, so I did all my buying at Aldi. Here’s the breakdown of my week on a $50 grocery price range.

What I purchased: 

  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmon (6 items)
  • 1 field white rice
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 candy potatoes
  • 3 peppers (1 purple, 1 yellow and 1 orange)
  • Onions (I feel there have been 4 within the bag)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 1 jar yellow curry sauce
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tub plain Greek yogurt
  • Frozen Mediterranean quinoa (quinoa, chickpeas, kale, lemon-garlic sauce)

Total: $51.16 (OK, I went slightly bit over my price range, however simply barely)

What I already had at residence:

  • Almond milk
  • Spices
  • Cucumbers
  • Vegan protein shakes
  • Caesar salad dressing
  • Olive oil
  • Whole-wheat bread (half of a loaf)
  • Coffee
  • Cheeses (Parmesan, cheddar)
  • Butter
  • Honey
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sriracha
  • Garlic
  • Lemons

Day 1:

I’ve a vegan protein shake for breakfast every single day, and I have already got the protein powder readily available. I mix it with almond milk and cold-brew espresso that I made myself the evening earlier than and get to work. Around 11 a.m., I hard-boil an egg, slice it up together with half of an avocado and put it on a slice of toast that was additionally leftover from final week. I squeeze Sriracha on it and drink a giant glass of water. For dinner, I reduce up all my veggies so I’d have them prepared for the remainder of the week. I sauté a handful of them in some olive oil and blend in a number of spoonfuls of curry sauce. I put this over some rice, and it’s scrumptious.

Day 2:

Breakfast and lunch are repeats of Day 1. For dinner, I bake a chunk of salmon, reduce up some romaine lettuce and make a salmon Caesar salad with some dressing and Parmesan cheese I have already got in my fridge. The salmon is sweet, however I am not feeling very happy and am actually wishing I had purchased some croutons for my salad.

Day 3:

I’ve my ordinary shake for breakfast. I meet up with a buddy for lunch and he or she pays the invoice as a result of I paid final time. When I get residence, I am realizing I’ve already gone by means of plenty of my veggies. I bake one other piece of salmon, prepare dinner some rice and candy potatoes, warmth up a number of the black beans and blend all of it collectively in a bowl. I combine some honey, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and drizzle this over the entire thing. It’s surprisingly scrumptious.

Day 4:

I’m not feeling a shake this morning, so I scramble 2 eggs and slice up the remaining half of of my avocado. I drizzle the entire thing in Sriracha. For lunch, I am craving protein, however I am not within the temper for salmon. Because it is the one meat I’ve, I prepare dinner it up anyway. I even have some cucumbers in my fridge that must be used quickly, so I chop them up, combine them with some salt, pepper, Greek yogurt, garlic and lemon juice to make a tzatzikilike sauce. I put this on prime of the cooked salmon and make a tragic little salad to go together with it. It’s not in the least satisfying. For dinner, I microwave the frozen Mediterranean quinoa combine, fry up an egg and put it on prime. It’s OK. Just OK.

Day 5:

Back to my ordinary breakfast shake. At lunchtime, I am taking a look at my remaining groceries and feeling fairly unhappy in regards to the subsequent few days. I repeat my rice, candy potato and black bean bowl, however omit the salmon for lunch. For dinner, I scramble 2 eggs and add some melted cheddar cheese on prime. I put the eggs and cheese on a chunk of toast and add plenty of Sriracha. It’s type of a tragic Friday evening dinner.

Day 6: 

It’s Saturday. My dad needs to get breakfast at our ordinary café, and he pays. A buddy asks if I wish to meet up for a late lunch. It’s torture as a result of she suggests one among my favourite eating places, however I decline so I can persist with my price range and ask if she needs to come back over later to observe the ultimate episode of Outlander later as a substitute. I make a salad for lunch — lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, hard-boiled egg, cucumber and peppers. I make creamy dressing out of the Greek yogurt, olive oil, spices and lemon juice. Normally, this might have been fairly good, however as a result of I’ve had comparable meals all week, it is fairly lackluster. For dinner, I roast up the final of my veggies, put some honey and mustard on a chunk of salmon and bake it. With no veggies apart from lettuce, tomatoes and onions left, I am actually dreading tomorrow.

Day 7:

It’s Sunday. I am going for a hike, so I make a shake, put it in my Yeti and head out the door. I find yourself mountain climbing 2.5 miles additional than I anticipated, and I’m ravenous. I virtually order pizza. It takes all of the willpower I’ve to place the telephone down. I’ve rice, eggs, yogurt, curry sauce, onions, black beans and 1 piece of salmon left. I prepare dinner the rice, black beans and onions and add some curry sauce. I fry an egg and put that on prime. The carbs and protein are very satisfying after my lengthy hike. When dinnertime rolls round, I simply cannot carry myself to eat extra salmon or curry. I decide up the telephone and order a pizza.


Aldi is my new favourite retailer. I’m going to do as a lot of my grocery buying there as attainable. The costs are critically filth low-cost and so they have so many natural choices! If I had gotten my groceries at one other retailer, it could have simply price me nearer to $75. This retailer is a real gem.

But $50 every week for groceries is absolutely powerful. I am glad I used to be in a position to save about $100, however by the tip of the week, I used to be actually sick of consuming the identical factor. It put a damper on my temper and had I not had a number of “cheat meals” that different folks paid for, I am unsure I might have waited till Sunday to cave and order some pizza.

(Editor references)

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