please leave your comments, criticisms, recipe ratings & requests or input for future posts! comment or email me at with any of the above.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

planning a weekly menu

i got to speak to some girls in my ward tonight about cooking healthy on a budget. they are all low-budget (preferred descriptor to poor!) student types like i am, so it was really fun to hear all of their ideas and their experiences. thanks, girls, for hearing me out and for your contributions!

one of the things i shared with them was something i thought i should publish here in the skinny bovine’s kitchen as well. so, here it is!!!

make a weekly menu – why plan ahead?
here are some basic reasons:
  • planning a menu for the week allows you to make a shopping list
  • when you have a shopping list you can get through the grocery store quicker because you don't have to wander up and down the aisles trying to think of something to make for dinner
  • if you don't have a list, you often forget things and then you have to go back to the grocery store again that week to get them (this = more time and money and gas wasted!)
  • if you have a list you don't buy as many bad things (like chips, soda, candy or weird expensive things you "might" use)

want to save even more money? plan according to sales.

  • stop throwing away your junk mail - your weekly sale ads for local grocery stores are priceless!
  • plan your meals by what is on sale. example - last week cabbage was on sale so i made the delicious veggie soup recipe found below for our meatless monday. if avacados are on sale (i only buy them when i can find them once or twice a year 4 for $1), make some guacamole and go mexican!
  • also from your sale adds, buy things in bulk that you know you will use. i bought a case of black beans from smiths a few months ago at $0.44/can and we've already used a good portion of them because we love black beans!

and here's that veggie soup recipe (compliments of my friend holley) i just mentioned. sorry no pics, my good camera is broken and my back up was otherwise occupied. i made whole wheat breadsticks to go with this soup from here and it was delicious, fast, healthy and cheap meal!

garden veggie soup (4 servings)

1 1/3 cup sliced carrots

1 cup diced onion

3-4 cloves garlic, diced (depends on how big!)

6 cups broth (chicken, beef, veggie)

3 cups diced green cabbage

1 can green beans, drained

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup diced zucchini

1. spray pan and sautee carrots, onions and garlic for 5 minutes

2. add broth, cabbage, beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano and salt. bring to a boil.

3. reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. stir in zucchini and heat 3 to 4 more minutes.


Raich said...

i will definetly be trying this one, my husband changed jobs and we are now times

('s big sis)

BrittWilk said...

hi raich! i love kristie and i'm glad she showed you the site! good luck with the job change and welcome to the world of low-budget. i'm sure you'll love it as much as we all do! there's something exhilarating about cooking a really fabulous meal for only a few bucks! :)

MondayCampaigns said...

Eating on a low budget is a hot topic these days and everyone is talking about it. Just last night I listened in on a lecture about how to eat healthy on a budget - the woman who spoke mentioned some of the same things as you did but she also suggested a few others that i really liked:
1. When you go grocery shopping shop on the outer perimeter of the store as this is where the least processed and inexpensive foods are located
2. Try growing your plants or at least herbs which can be grown indoors - I actually have a basil plant in my house and its doing wonderfully...growing like crazy so I dont' think i'm going have to buy basil ever again!

Kristi Chase said...

I have been meaning to comment on your blog, how embrassing to find out my sister did first! Thanks for your great enrichment lesson. I've been looking at some of your recipes and am excited to cook up some of them.

BrittWilk said...

hi again mya! those are great suggestions as well. i'd never noticed the organization of the grocery store but your friend is totally right. i guess that would explain why i only have to walk up and down 2 isles and the rest of my time is usually spent on the perimeter! and i've been dying to grow basil in my house. that's it. i'm doing it! i'm buying a plant soon. does oregano work good too?

and hi kristi! i'm glad you commented because now i can find your blog too! :) you're awesome!

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!