Happy Wednesday, everyone! We’re officially a third of the way through the month – how!? It feels like it’s, like, January 4. Is this just how it is now that we’re adults? And speaking of being adults – how are you all doing with your goals and hopes and dreams this new year? (Or how are you doing living in your flop era? We embrace both choices at A Flimsy Plan.) I’m doing… medium, which is to be expected, and I’ll elaborate a bit below before I get into this week’s groceries/meal plan wrap up. Which I’m super excited about because it’s a $60 meal plan… but it features Hello Fresh! (Not sponsored, I just get excited when I get to have Hello Fresh.)
Reflections on Last Week
In last week’s post, I spoke about a few things I was unsure about. The mac and cheese was, in fact, a lot of mac and cheese and I only managed to get through three of my five prepped containers. I threw the other two in the freezer and I’ll have them later in the month.
I mentioned that Friday was date night so I didn’t account for it in my meal planning. We ordered pizza – but he paid for it so I’m not counting it in my budget, haha. I did buy a $7 oat milk americano misto on Saturday morning, though, because I was going straight to work at the studio and there were only fancy coffee places en route. So… you know. I have no place to be smug about not spending on coffee, haha.
Also, I mentioned that I didn’t know what was going on with everything on Saturday because we might be celebrating Rylee’s birthday. That day ended up being a total mess food-wise and I’m not fully convinced I ate lunch or dinner? This is why you shouldn’t prep a meal for every single meal in the week (or you should be prepared to freeze things)…
Like, I said! Medium!
And now let’s move onto how I planned for my $60 meal plan (featuring Hello Fresh)… god, that’s never going to get old, lol.
What I’m Using Up This Week
Okay, let’s start with the obvious – I built the Hello Fresh meal kit into my week. I had a discount code that allowed me to get a box for only $35 and I selected Middle Eastern-Inspired Beef Bowls, Fattoush-Inspired Salad and Pork Enchiladas.
Otherwise, what were the things I wanted to use up this week?
- A big jar of pico de gallo that my mom gave me
- A few apples from last week that I hadn’t eaten yet
- Actually, that’s about it
How I Spent $25 on Groceries
Obviously, since I had already dropped $35 of my $60 budget on Hello Fresh, I wanted to keep the rest of my spending down. Luckily, I had made those muffins for breakfast last week that would last into this week… but, as I mentioned in last week’s post, I was low on oats and hot sauce. Plus, I used up the last of my frozen peas in the mac and cheese last week. So I couldn’t do no groceries… I still needed a little shop. Here’s how it broke down:
- 2-pack of large Frank’s Red Hot Sauce ($9.99)
- Quick oats ($2.49)
- Can of black beans ($1.19) – when I know I’ll be using beans in a recipe, even if I have a can, I buy a can anyway so I always have some on hand
- Can of chickpeas ($1.19)… I didn’t need this. I have three cans. I need to use chickpeas next week.
- 1 carton large eggs ($3.89) – this was a panic purchase
- 1 carton white mushrooms ($3.99)
- 4 Barlett pears ($5.07)
Total with tax: $27.81
Okay, I went slightly over the $25 goal. But with last week and the fact that I can definitely use the chickpeas next week without replacing them, it averages out… all good!
My $60 Meal Plan (with Hello Fresh)
With Hello Fresh… hahahaha (it’s only funny to me).
Just like last week, I’ll be alternating between the Workweek Lunch muffins and the savoury oats. I’ll run out of green onions before the week is up, but I had half a yellow onion leftover after prepping my lunches so I will use that instead.
Honestly, this is really just a variation on my lunch from last week, keeping in mind that I wanted to use up salsa. Hot Mess Kitchen is one of my absolute favourite cookbooks. My brother Kevin bought it for me years ago when I was really embracing my hot mess brand, but it’s just so good. And it’s funny, so a fantastic read too!
Anyway, I roughly followed their Rice and Beans recipe, which I’ve probably made a hundred times. I say “roughly” because the grocery store was pretty much out of every single frozen vegetable – I effed up and went grocery shopping on a Sunday evening before restock could happen. So I improvised by instead just using a bag of frozen mixed green giant vegetables. It turned out completely fine, though – nourishing and edible.
Following the actual recipe is ideal though, lol.
Hello Fresh meals, duh.
As of writing, I have made the Middle Eastern-Inspired Beef Bowls and Fattoush-Inspired Salad. Both of these recipes are designed to make two servings but for my personal appetite, they make three. I suspect the Enchiladas will be the same (though I might look into my freezer and see if I have any veggies to make on the side?), but I’ll report back next week!
Fruit and the snack packs, of course. This week I have a lot of after-work meetings that are often coupled with workouts, so I expect to do a lot of protein bars as well. That is usually what tides me over so I can have an 8 or 9pm dinner without getting too hangry.
Final Thoughts on my $60 Meal Plan (with Hello Fresh)
I’m pretty proud of myself for making it work with the Hello Fresh and supplementary groceries. I will admit that Hello Fresh is expensive (normally over $80 for the kit I got this week) so I usually try to optimize coupon codes or whatever, when I can. I will do a full price order every four months or so, just to mix it up a little bit. Obviously the food this week is delicious – I’m super excited for the variety that I’m going to have this week.
And speaking of variety… that’s going to be the theme for next week. Stay tuned for more info!