What Did We Eat This Week – How to Eat Well on a Budget • Week 3 of a full month!

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*This post was drafted in September but published in January due to an illness and death in my family. Apologies for any confusion on the continuity of this four part series. 

Hi friends! If you’re new here, welcome!

This is the latest addition to a series of blog posts I’ve been writing in which I document and share my grocery haul for the week, the meals I made that week, and how much everything cost to feed my household of 3 adults. 

Specifically, we’ve made it to week 3 of a solid month that I am detailing. If you’d like a quick link to read week 1 first, HERE YA GO.

I hope these posts can inspire you on strategies to make your grocery budget go further as well as give you meal ideas if you are stuck on that age old question, “what should we eat for dinner?!”.  

As for some disclaimers:

  • We all have different dietary needs.
  • We all have different preferences.
  • We all have access to different food sources.
  • We all have different ideas of what a healthy diet looks like.

If you just looked at this short list of disclaimers and you are still saying, “Yeah, but…” then I encourage you to have a look at my original post where I talk in a little more detail about the hows and whys of my personal meal budgeting and planning – the most important word in that sentence being “personal”. There is no rule book to any of this after all, so take what fits into place for your life and feel free to leave the rest behind =)  

On to the food and totals!

The way I usually do this, is I provide 2 different cost totals. The first being what we actually spent on our grocery shopping for the week, and the second being the total cost of all the meals we actually made that week. This second total includes everything down to the basics like oil and spices. 

So the total amount we spent on groceries at Aldi was $19.95.

The total amount we spent on groceries at Food Lion was $27.86.

The grand grocery total was $47.81.

And the total spent for all of our meals from Friday dinner to the following Thursday Dinner was  $47.13.

I’ve also tacked on an extra $5 to account for the extra odds and ends that I don’t strictly track, like coffee and creamer, and a few individual lunches and snacks that aren’t leftovers. This is of course an estimate, but it’s based on past tracking of those odds and ends. We don’t typically eat breakfast and most of our lunches do end up being leftovers from dinners. 

Here's what we got this week!

Aldi Groceries
Aldi Groceries
Food Lion Groceries

And our meals for the week…

Depending on whether you are reading the previous week’s blog post and this one back to back, or maybe if you’re just crazy attentive to details, you might have noticed that last week’s last dinner fell on Wednesday while this week’s first dinner starts on Friday. We decided to do a rare night of takeout. You probably won’t be impressed. But if you are, you are exactly my kind of people! We’ve gotten takeout exactly once this month, and the thing we chose to get? Taco Bell. I have no defense. Sometimes you just really need a five dollar grande nachos box!

Friday Dinner


Total Cost: $7.54

It’s been a while since we had chili, so I whipped up a quick batch in the Instant Pot. It’s still full on sweltering summer weather here, but we love chili year round! While I do love to go overboard on toppings like cheese and corn chips, I tend to stick with a little dollop of sour cream and some hot sauce on my regular weeknight chili. 

  • Ground Beef $2.27
  • Tomato Sauce $0.92
  • Beef Broth $0.65
  • Diced Tomatoes $1.29
  • Onion $0.38
  • Green Bell Pepper $0.79
  • Jalapeno $0.21
  • Black Beans $0.39
  • Kidney Beans $0.39
  • Oil & Spices $0.25

Saturday Lunch

Cloud eggs on toast.

Total Cost: $0.30

Apparently I’m coming in completely late on this Instagram trend, but I JUST recently discovered cloud eggs and had to try them for myself. They are a bit time consuming for what they are, but if you are feeding several people I like that they all bake in the oven and come out at the same time. You can’t deny they are quite visually attractive, and I do love food that looks good. And a bonus, my mom usually won’t eat the whites of fried or hard boiled eggs, but she enjoyed the whites of the cloud eggs!

  • Eggs $0.15
  • Bread $0.10
  • Oil & Spices $0.05
I photographed this so horribly, but I was hungry and rushed haha.

Saturday Dinner

Korean fried chicken w/ broccoli and rice.

Total Cost: $4.72

Nothing new here if you read the weekly meal breakdown that comes before this one, but if you haven’t, this is my fav recipe of 2020 based on this recipe by Maangchi. I’ve been making it frequently on Saturday nights since I’m staying home anyway, and you’ll definitely see it from me again!

I used half of the large pack of chicken thighs and froze the 2nd half to use at a later time.

  • Chicken Thighs $1.76
  • Hot Pepper Paste $0.54
  • Corn Syrup $0.25
  • Broccoli $1
  • Rice $0.25
  • Frying Oil $0.42
  • Flour, Corn Starch, Spices, & other Sauce Ingredients $0.50

Sunday Dinner

Leftover chili with rice.

Total Cost: $.50

We still had quite a bit of chili left and the energy I had to put into Sunday night dinner was pretty low to begin with and quickly fleeting. I took the easy route and made enough rice in the rice cooker to cover dinner and lunches for Monday, and we had chili and rice bowls for both of those meals. The rice acted both as an extender and changed up the flavor profile of our leftovers. 

  • Leftover Chili $0.00
  • Rice $0.50

Monday Dinner

Beef fajitas with refried beans and Spanish rice.

Total Cost: $9.51

I make fajitas or tacos pretty regularly as they are an oft requested meal in our house, and they also result in a lot of leftovers

  • Beef $5.52
  • Bell Pepper $0.79
  • Onion $0.74
  • Rice $0.25
  • Masa Harina $0.25
  • Pinto Beans $0.82
  • Butter $0.30
  • Tomato Paste (half a can) $0.15
  • Can Tomatoes w/ Green Chilis $0.39
  • Chicken Broth $0.00 (homemade from scraps)
  • Oil and Spices .30

Tuesday Lunch

Avocado toast with sliced hard boiled eggs.

Total Cost: $1.00

Tuesday was a teleworking day for me, which means I got to make lunch for everyone. The avocado I had was ready to be used, so I made us some avocado toast with eggs – hard boiled for 2 of us and scrambled for the picky one 🙂 

  • Eggs $0.20
  • Avocado $0.65
  • Bread $0.10
  • Oil & Spices  $0.05

Tuesday Dinner

Breaded pork chop with mashed sweet potatoes and corn on the cob.

Total Cost: $5.30

We reached the point in the summer where corn on the cob hit 5/$1.00 at my grocery store so I had to get some. My favorite way to cook it, because it’s so dang simple, is to just put my cobs straight into the oven, husk and all, directly on the rack, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. That’s it, easy peasy, peel and enjoy!

  • Pork Chops $2.71
  • Corn on the Cob $0.60
  • Bread Crumbs $0.15
  • Sweet Potatoes $1.44
  • Butter $0.20
  • Oil & Spices $0.20

Wednesday Dinner

Shakshuka-ish Dish.

Total Cost: $6.60

Shakshuka is a one pan dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. One of my favorite things about this dish is how creative you can get with ingredients. I don’t know how faithful to a traditional shakshuka this is, so I’m calling it a shakshuka-ish dish. For this particular rendition I chopped up a beef kielbasa and added onions and peppers. I used a combination of both fresh tomatoes and canned tomatoes with spicy peppers and served the shakshuka over rice.

  • Kielbasa $2.99
  • Green Pepper $0.79
  • Onions $0.39
  • Broccoli $0.53
  • Tomatoes $0.86
  • Diced Tomatoes w/ Green Chilis $0.39
  • Eggs $0.20
  • Rice $0.25
  • Oil & Spices $0.20

Thursday Dinner

Bangers and mash with broccoli.

Total Cost: $6.66

My boyfriend cooked the sausages and gravy while I made the mashed potatoes. While cutting potatoes, I asked him why they were called bangers and if he thought it was a specific sausage, the cooking method, or just a regional name. Thankfully we live in the world of instant access to information, and only a couple minutes of phone scrolling later he tells me that they are called that because of the high water content in sausages due to meat shortages during World War I, which would cause them to explode with loud BANGs when cooked. Neat.

  • Brats $3.29
  • Potatoes $1.50
  • Beef Broth $0.65
  • Half & Half $0.15
  • Butter $0.20
  • Broccoli $0.72
  • Oil & Spices $0.15
Bangers and Mash

And that’s another week of delicious meals in the books! Look out soon for the final week in my solid month of tracking the costs of all our groceries and meals. Next time will also include the totals for the entire month!

And in the meantime, I would love it if you would follow my Instagram where I post grocery hauls and meals I’ve made, including stuff that doesn’t make it onto the blog. 

Previous Week of Meals
Next Week of Meals


Hey, I'm Lisa! I have a love for thrifting, cooking, entertaining, and updating my old house...and I'm doing it all on a budget! Follow along and hopefully you'll find something that inspires you to live your best life, even if it's with limited finances. Whether you're looking for ways to stretch your dollars, trying to save more and spend less, or just here for the thrift hauls, I hope you'll stick around =)
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