This week I spent $52.17 on ingredients for 5 dinners, 1 freezer meal and bananas for breakfast and snack. Most of the recipes I’m making this week make large portions, so I’ll be able to make quite a few additional freezer meals as well! Share this post with someone who needs help with vegan meal planning!
Last year, in 2022, we spent much more on food than we would have liked. We could blame it on inflation, busy work schedules, moving, sickness, stress, etc., but the truth is we got lazy and unorganized. It was not a priority. Eating out when you’re tired and want a break is SO easy, but it adds up to hundreds, if not thousands of unnecessary spending every month.
So this year I am sharing the amount I spend every week on groceries to help me stay on track and hopefully inspire you to do the same!
This year, our goal is to keep our food expenses (including restaurants and coffee out!) under $500 a month. Our January challenge in particular is to not eat out!
By the end of the month, if I am still under budget, I will stock up on our Vegan Pantry Staples at bulk prices to help us save even more money throughout the year. I also check Ibotta throughout the month to see if there are any products I can stock up on for at an additional discount. See this week’s best deals on Ibotta here!
My Meal Planning Method
If you’re new, check out my post, Vegan Meal Planning for the Week Made Easy. In a nutshell, I follow this meal planning formula:
- Sunday – Slow Cooker
- Monday – Make Two and Freeze 1
- Tuesday – Something that takes 20 minutes or less to prep
- Wednesday – Slow Cooker
- Thursday – Leftovers
- Friday – Freezer Meal (something I previously made and froze)
- Saturday – Free Choice (cook, eat out, freezer meal or leftovers)
This gives me structure to help me plan quickly, but still gives me flexibility to make foods and flavors that sound good. We also always eat leftovers for lunch.
Again, check out the Vegan Meal Planning for the Week Made Easy post for in-depth details to help you make this system work for you.
This Week’s Dinners
Slow Cook Sunday
I LOVE Rao’s marinara sauce, but let’s face it. It costs a fortune and it isn’t as nutritious as it could be. This homemade spaghetti sauce makes a TON of sauce and packs 10 cups of healthy veggies so lots will be going in the freezer for future budget-friendly pasta nights. Perfect for kids who need some sneaky veggies in their diet!
Make Two Monday
These naan pizzas are perfect for the freezer so I’m making a double batch on Monday and freezing 4-5 pizzas for later!
20 Minute Tuesday
I had everything I needed already at home to make this recipe! Win!
Slow Cooker Wednesday
This recipe makes quite a large serving so likely will be sticking a few servings in the freezer as well! When freezing single servings, I LOVE using my 2-cup Souper cubes.
If It’s Thursday (If it’s in the fridge, it’s for dinner 😉)
This is leftovers day in our house. You can either eat leftovers from recipes earlier in the week or make yourself something with what we have.
Last week I ended up freezing two of these casseroles so baking one up on Friday for a quick and easy nutritious meal!
I’m testing a slow cooker soup today for the blog, but if you’re looking for a new recipe to try, I highly recommend this Buffalo Casserole! It’s one of our favorites and SO easy to make.
What I Already Had in the Pantry
A big part of shopping frugally every week is choosing recipes based on what’s already in your pantry! The goal is to have your pantry list be longer than your grocery list. This means you meal plan by shopping your pantry, fridge, and freezer first to prevent food waste, save money, and shop with intention.
Below are ingredients I need for this week’s recipes that were already in my pantry:
Produce (Fresh or Frozen)
- Shredded cabbage
- Olive oil
- Vegetable Bouillon Paste/Vegetable broth
- Instant yeast
- Cane sugar
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Udon noodles
- Soy curls
- Peanut butter
- Diced green chilies
- Marinara sauce (using my homemade sauce from Monday to make pizzas)
- Maple syrup
- Salsa verde (I froze a lot of salsa verde a couple weeks ago)
- Italian seasoning
- Black pepper
- Bay leaves
- Sea salt
- Curry powder
What I Bought
I purchased everything from Walmart Grocery Pickup and Grocery Outlet. For reference, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. These groceries may cost more or less for you based on your area.
- 3 lb bag sweet potatoes ($3.97)
- Cauliflower florets ($1.00)
- Red bell pepper ($1.38)
- 3 lb bag yellow onion ($2.38)
- 3 lb bag gold potatoes ($4.88)
- Silk Next Milk Whole Fat Milk ($2.63 with Ibotta cash back offer)
- 4 cans Diced tomatoes ($3.52)
- 1 can tomato sauce ($0.88)
- Rotel original diced tomatoes and green chilies ($1.24)
- 2 cans tomato paste ($1.92)
- Red onion ($0.75)
- Vegan cheese ($2.74 with Ibotta cash back offer)
- Ingredients for recipe I’m testing ($12.89)
- Organic chili powder ($3.97)
- Organic ground cumin ($3.97)
- Organic firm tofu ($2.68)
For Breakfast and Snacks
- Bananas ($1.37)
Total Spent on this Week’s Meal Plan: $52.17
See you back here next week for a new meal plan. Comment below with what you’re cooking this week.