Category Archives: Meal Planning

Vegan Brownies

Some friends came over this weekend and made these vegan brownies from literally a can of beans and a brownie mix.

They are so good!

We are not vegan but I don’t really want to make regular brownies again. They are fluffy and cake like. And oh so easy!

How to make them:

1 brownie mix
1 can of black beans

Pour can of black beans (with water in it still) into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add brownie mix to beans, mix. Pour batter into greased 13×9″ pan. Cook according to box instructions.

Yeah, that’s it.

You could make these anywhere you have a way to mash the beans and a heat source. I’m thinking brownies while camping, what do you think?

What’s On The Menu

Here is what’s on our menu for this week:

Breakfasts:
-Smoothies
-Waffles
-Cereal

Lunches:
-Ham sandwiches
-Cheese roll ups
-Tuna sandwiches
-Left overs

Dinners:
-Broccoli Beef and Rice
-Homemade Hawaiian Pizza
-Baked Chicken, Rice and Roasted Veggies
-Potato Leek Soup
-Pulled Pork
-Veggie Curry and Rice
-Veggies and Spiral Noodles

You Gotta Eat

Food is the hardest part of budgeting because well, you have to eat! Not much you can cut out of a healthy diet and with the cost of food, not much you can do to get the cost down. But I have been learning little tricks here and there to save some money on the food we eat.

For the past several weeks I have been meal planning for a week at a time–breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then I go to the grocery store and buy only what we need that week. This has been the best way I have found yet to keep the cost down. We are now eating for approximately $10 a day. For a family of four I feel pretty good about that.

Some things I am experimenting with to keep away from cheaper junk foods is instead of starchy cookie type snacks I am buying fruit like apples and grapes–it actually comes out to the same cost and I can feel better about what my toddler is snacking on.

Now my 6 year old is a different story because he only eats white starchy things so a cheap box of crackers made it into the cart. Hard part is that I am a grazer so to not buy an abundance of snack foods is challenging for me. But since I am weaning my daughter and need to start watching weight anyway, I’ll eat some fruit with her and stick to regular meals.

Another thing I am taking into consideration is always buying generic and watching the sales. I wanted to make stuffed shell pasta this week (it was on the menu) but when I went to go buy the large shell noodles, they were $2.79 whereas lasagna was on sale for $1.39. So I changed my plans, we will have rolled stuffed lasagna noodles instead of stuffed shells. I’m realizing even $1 makes a difference in the end.

Now I challenge myself to lower the costs even more in the next few weeks… I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.

Weekly Menu

Monday:
Breakfast: Milk Shakes (coffee and fruit)
Lunch: Club Sandwich
Dinner: Pork Chops, Sautéed zucchini and mushrooms, rice

Tuesday:
Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Wednesday:
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Grilled (leftover) Chicken Pitas
Dinner: Homemade Hawaiian Pizza

Thursday:
Breakfast: Bagel and Cream Cheese
Lunch: Ham Sandwich
Dinner: Grilled Cheese Quesadillas

Friday:
Breakfast: Milk Shakes (coffee and fruit)
Lunch: Turkey Sandwich
Dinner: Mexican Chicken and Rice Casserole

Saturday:
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Leftovers (casserole) in a tortilla
Dinner: Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Sunday:
Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly
Dinner: Baked Stuffed Pasta