i know… squash and gourds are two different things, but they are both from the same fam. the Cucurbita family! and come on, that title is super catchy. let me make it.
so when i get up before the crack of dawn i usually aim to get two things outta the way:
my workout (yes, you need this coffee cup and you know it),
and grocery shopping (when it’s time).
sure i love shopping and snacking on samples with these two crumb snatchers every chance i get, but truth be told they make me stray from my list and i go way over my budget sometimes. (and my daily sugar intake).
speaking of my grocery budget, i was asked what the heck it is from an IG supporter! i go about 3 times a month and i’m still able to stay under 300 bucks total for the 4 of us. keep in mind this is strictly for food, not other household items (detergent, cleaners, paper towels, toiletries, etc.). here are my top tips:
only buy seasonal, on-sale produce and meat (chicken breast, fish, beef, etc)
i tailor my recipes for the week to whatever is on sale. if it’s not on sale, i leave it and don’t force it.
get your Google on 🙂 there are a ton of coupon sites out there and most of them are free upon signing up. i use this one most frequently.
local store fliers (HEB, Sprouts Farmers Market, Central Market, Trader Joes, Whole Foods)
always check online first! HEB is the first store i’ve ever seen to have produce coupons *starts a slow clap*
buying in bulk
do the math and make sure it’s worth it! my mom used to whip out her calculator while we shopped at Sam’s growing up. memories. i usually buy our mixed nuts (almonds, cashews) and snacks in bulk (chocolate covered raisins, plantain chips, trail mix, dried fruit for the boys, gummy worms, etc.)
use store brands when possible
this won’t always apply, lol! some items i buy brand name because the quality & taste is worth it. trial and error.
minimize waste at home as much as possible
this one is hard with young kids.. if they ‘one & done’ something new (take one bite and don’t eat anymore) i’d rather eat it myself than throw it away… but i don’t always want to 🙁 freeze and use leftover jars of stuff as often as possible. don’t throw it away! then you’ll be back in the store quicker than you anticipated.
i put my items on the belt in this order every time (thanks, Mom!)
cold items, produce, refrigerated / packaged / bottled items, bread, eggs.
i’ll break down the prices for this particular trip; i am able to stretch this for 1-2 weeks until i return. KEY: S = sale, C = coupon.
cold items: $49.28
S unsweetened vanilla almond milk (2) – 6.98
orange juice – 2.39
wallaby yogurt – 4.99
S wallaby yogurt individuals (5) – 5.00
S boneless, skinless, chicken breast – 4.78
S turkey / chicken sausage(2) – 7.00
cheese (3) 9.00
S strawberries (2)(finally on sale!!) – 4.00
S butternut squash – .88 per lb – 2.27
S acorn squash (2) – .88 per lb – 2.87
S red, yellow peppers (4) – 5.00
S nectarines – 2.89
cilantro – .50
S carrots – 1.50
S grapefruit (4) – 1.00
S avocados( 3) – 2.04
unrefrigerated / packaged / bottled items: $33.12
marinara – 2.99
chipotle honey marinade – 2.49
S gummy vitamins – 10.99
veggie pasta – 1.79
chocolate peanut butter – 3.99
C sun butter – 3.99
buttermilk pancake mix – 4.89
honey chipotle bbq sauce – 1.99
whole wheat bread(2) – 4.00
C flour tortillas – free
18 ct eggs – 2.99
GRAND TOTAL: $102.32
obviously we need different things at different times, and this is actually on the high end of my normal bill! i am normally able to keep it under 100 every time.
really this was the only thing i was excited about eating 🙂
this was my first time seeing strawberries on sale this entire winter. glad they’re on the way back! .88 cents per lb for the gourds is a great price; i was ready to create something with them soon as i got home.
of course you could eat your yogurt out of a regular bowl…but that’s no fun! give this Acorn Squash Yogurt Breakfast Bowl a try next time.
meanwhile, i marinated that chicken breast in the chipotle honey marinade for a couple of hours for dinner later.
once marinated, i threw the chicken breast into a baking pan and into my 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. das it.
one thing i love about gourds is that they are so versatile!! (sweet potatoes, hellur!) they have both sweet and savory profiles, and i wanted something savory to go with the chicken.
the chicken’s flavor was INcredible. marinating your protein is always a good idea. Sonny loved it too. to make the savory squash, i took a pre-baked half and stuffed it with some spinach from monday’s meal prep.
topped it with some shredded monterey jack cheese and after 7 minutes under the broiler on high heat, BAM!