Frugal February Week Two Wrap Up and Week Three Planning

This past week… was weird. By that I mean I’ve been hyper emotional. Okay, if we’re fair, I’ve been hyper emotional since Super Bowl Sunday. I’ve been dealing with some very deep rooted emotional things for a while now. I’m on month 5 of dealing with this, and while I know I’m better than I was, there is still a lot to work through. There isn’t anything I can do to change anything, except work on myself and try to heal, which is made extra hard by how strongly I feel about the situation. If there was anything I could legitimately do get a second chance I would do it. But it’s out of my hands.

So in most ways this Frugal Food February has been good for me, in that I’m spending less money and not spending heaps of time cooking, but it’s also bad in that I’m not spending heaps of time cooking, and thus spending heaps of time thinking… or I should say, overthinking. It’s a curse. I’m working through it with meditation and processing the emotions as best I can when I have some quiet time. Anyway, onto the food!

Baked Coconut Shrimp w/ Twice Baked Seasoned Potatoes, Mixed Veggies and Sweet Chili Sauce

So I wound up having way more shrimp in the freezer than I anticipated, so I actually got 5 meals out of it! Of course I totally forgot to prep my lunch for Friday on Thursday night, but luckily I remembered I’d stashed a serving of Rajma Masala w/ Jasmine Rice & Spinach in the freezer, so I wound up having that. The cottage cheese blintzes were good but not mind blowing. However they DID give me the opportunity to experiment in making YouTube video tutorials, so I now know I can do that once I get my video quality in order. I also wound up having to buy a quart of milk ($1.59) because I forgot I needed milk for the crepe mix I used for the blintzes. I filled in breakfasts with cheesy eggs on toast, topped with salsa and sour cream I had leftover from a few weeks ago.

Meatball Panini w/ Tomato Salad

Lunches were Korean Style Chicken and Eggplant Stir Fry w/ Sticky Rice, which was SUPER tasty, plus Chili Spaghetti with Shredded Cheese. And I used up the to meatballs in my freezer by making 2 meatball paninis (with the last little bit of shredded pizza cheese) with tomato salad.

Korean Style Chicken & Eggplant Stir Fry w/ Sticky Rice

Things I am proud of: I have not purchased any convenience food from CVS since I started this challenge!

Things I am less proud of: I have purchased a few (inexpensive) things on a whim and eaten them in one sitting when they’re multi-serving items. Oops. Yay, emotional eating! Oh well, it’s been less than $6 worth of stuff, which for me is amazing because, like I said, I’d buy 20oz. Cokes at CVS for $2.09 apiece a few times a week.

Cottage Cheese Blintzes w/ Blueberries

So onto week three!

What I’m working with this week:

  • 8 lbs picnic shoulder
  • red pepper walnut dip
  • swedish meatballs
  • blueberry bbq sauce
  • 6 oz. andouille sausage
  • 2 4-pks pork chops
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • split chicken breasts + extra bones for broth
  • wheat germ
  • wheat bran
  • rye flour
  • whole wheat flour
  • gingerbread cookie dough
  • sofrito
  • 1/4 loaf sprouted protein bread
  • frozen mixed vegetables
  • frozen edamame
  • freekeh
  • maftoul
  • Israeli couscous
  • spaghetti
  • elbows
  • rice noodles
  • rice paper wrappers
  • soba noodles
  • sticky rice
  • Texmati rice
  • jasmine rice
  • a little masa
  • masarepa
  • a little yellow cornmeal
  • white cornmeal
  • grits
  • brown rice flour
  • bulgur
  • coconut flour
  • unsweetened coconut flakes
  • crushed pineapple
  • jello
  • marzipan
  • craisins
  • prunes
  • pumpkins seeds
  • almonds
  • flaxseed meal
  • dried egg whites
  • Swedish meatball sauce mix (2)
  • 2 servings protein porridge
  • PB2
  • Dominican hot chocolate mix
  • instant espresso
  • orange drink mix
  • sugar free Kool-Aid mix
  • Lingonberry Jam
  • A little steel cut oats
  • old fashioned oats
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 28 oz. can tomato sauce
  • pasta sauce
  • kombu
  • white flour
  • white sugar
  • granulated brown sugar
  • sucralose
  • honey
  • 100 calorie packs – almonds, cocoa almonds, cashews
  • scallions
  • lemons
  • limes
  • carrots
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • apples

The beginning of this week was kind of complicated. Sunday I spent the entire day with my girlfriends in Jim Thorpe, PA for their Winterfest. It was a great day and the weather was good but I definitely ate too much. On Monday I was treated to lunch by my Godmother, and Tuesday night was my monthly Sci Fi book club, where I ate out, AGAIN. Sheesh! Seems like all the money I’m saving on groceries I’m spending on dining out.

Breakfast for this week will be using up some leftover protein porridge mix I had sitting around. I’m cooking that with milk, apples and cinnamon and topping it with vanilla Greek yogurt and egg and cheese on English muffins. Lunches are more Chili Spaghetti with Shredded Cheese and later in the week, Swedish Meatballs in Cream Sauce with Potatoes and Lingonberry Jam. Dinners will be Pork w/ Blueberry BBQ Sauce and Mixed Grain Pilaf w/ Asparagus.

Snacks will be homemade Balanced Breaks and Almond Joy Protein balls, made with all my scant remaining protein powder, almonds, cocoa powder and shredded coconut.

Because I knew I was going to be out of town all day on Sunday, I dropped Bingley off at my ex’s house Saturday night and ran over to Walmart to pick up a few things there. But also grabbed some things I decidedly DID NOT need. I wanted to get some lunchmeat and a roll to bring on my day trip with me to avoid spending money on two whole meals. I also needed Greek yogurt for breakfast. Well, as it was 8:30 and I was exhausted from my work week I also bought carrot chips, potato chips, and a mini pie. OH and a box of mini Saltines. Total was $13.95 but 1/2 of that was junk food I didn’t really need. Bah.

I wasn’t super enthused by anything on sale at the grocery store this week, yet somehow I managed to spend more than I wanted to. I blame it on the emotions!

I only technically needed two things at Shoprite this week: I had a super coupon for asparagus that made it 99c/lb so I grabbed 2 lbs of that, plus they had chunk cheese 2 for $2 with a super coupon too, so I also grabbed those. I got 4 packets of low sodium tuna for snacking on this week (extra protein), plus some cottage cheese and frozen mixed berries to make a sort of ice cream/sorbet thing. Should be interesting. In total I spent $16.05.

Then of course, I realized Tuesday that I was out of coffee. Since today we’re having a big snow storm and I have the day off of work, I decided to run to Walmart while I did laundry… where I bought coffee… AND a protein drink. That puts my total for this week at $34.71. Which isn’t awful but definitely more than I’d planned to spend. Oh, I did wind up saving 20 cents from iBotta, so $34.51. My running total for this 4-week challenge is now $113.73. Actually I’m pretty pleased with that, considering my normal monthly budget is $230!

How are you own personal challenges coming? Let me know in the comments!

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