I’ve recently re-started the series, What We Ate this Week on our Budget, because I missed the accountability and I had several readers ask for its return. Our monthly grocery budget for my family of 4 is $500. It’s a tight budget and I failed miserably over the summer, but we have lots of financial goals, so I need to get it back in line.
This week in the kitchen:
It’s apple season, so I made my first trip of the season to my favorite local orchard and bought a bushel of seconds. Seconds are the not-so-pretty apples that the orchard can’t sell at full price. They’re about 30-40% off regular price, depending on the variety. My grandmother taught me this money saving tip years ago and I now only buy the seconds.
When I got home, I washed the apples in some vinegar water and made my first batch of homemade sugar-free applesauce of the season. I also baked Apple Crumb Pots (just 5 ingredients!) for dessert, and the rest were packed in my kids’ lunches.
This week’s Adventures in Instant Pot-ting:
As I wrote last week, I bought an Instant Pot over the summer and my family has been less than impressed with some of the meals I’ve made, but I’m not giving up on this mega-appliance. This week, everyone enjoyed Tuesday night’s dinner (see below), and I used it every morning to make the easiest-to-peel hard boiled eggs for breakfast. If you have an Instant Pot, please share your favorite recipes in the comments, because I really want to like this thing!
This Week’s Dinners:
Sunday: We had a very lazy Sunday. One of my kids was not feeling well, so we stuck around our home and hubby and I got a lot of housework done. We ate leftovers.
Monday: Sirloin Steak with pan sauce, Hasselback Potatoes, garden salad, homemade applesauce. I don’t make steak very often, so I don’t have a lot of confidence, but I had a large one in the freezer. My plan was to grill it, but there was a storm right as I was about to prepare dinner, so I browned it in my cast iron pan and then put in the oven for a few minutes until it was medium/well. I made a dry rub of 1 teaspoon each: paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and browned with butter. I made a quick pan sauce with the drippings and some beef stock I had in my pantry. The dinner turned out pretty delicious.
Tuesday: Instant Pot 3-Ingredient Chicken & Gravy, mashed potatoes, garden salad, homemade applesauce. I found this recipe on Pinterest. My family loved it, but I want to figure out a way to make it without processed soups.
Wednesday: leftover night from Tuesday’s dinner
Thursday: Grilled Sausages and Pepper & Onions Hobo Pack, french fries, steamed broccoli, watermelon
Friday: Our grill stopped working after Thursday night’s dinner and it’s unfixable. A new one isn’t in the budget at this time, so I’m going to make Pesto Ranch Chicken thighs and drum sticks in the Instant Pot, rice, and steamed broccoli.
Saturday: We are going to take our bikes to a rail trail. We’ll pack a lunch, but we’re going to find a place for dinner. Hoping for sunny skies!
This week’s breakfasts, lunches, and snacks:
Breakfasts included hard-boiled eggs, hash browns, and fruit. Lunches included sandwiches, pasta salad, soups, apples, pretzels, and yogurt sticks.