Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Week 1 of On a "Food Stamp" Budget

Welcome to week 1! I hope that you are ready for some tasty and healthy food!

The morning snack area of each day has been left blank.  This is where a piece of fresh fruit is best eaten.  As far as price 50 cents (or $2.50 a day for 5 people) for a piece of fresh fruit, for each person, has been budgeted.  Canned fruit has less nutrients and has BPA mixed in from the cans, so enjoy eating nice fresh fruit!  See the bottom of this menu for prices and some choices.

Before starting the meal plans, it would be helpful to read 4 Weeks of Meals on a Food Stamp Budget, as it explains why you would choose to buy many of items in the meal plan.  Enjoy!

Week 1

Day 1
B- Blueberry Oatmeal  (make oatmeal as directed, 1/3 bag blueberries, 1/4 cup flaxseed, little maple syrup)
L- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches + Raw Veggies (cut up carrots, celery, cucumber slices)
S- Popcorn w/ Butter and a little Salt
D- Homemade Lasagna (use the recipe on the noodle box)+ Salad (add small amounts of any raw veggies)
To do: Start oats and nuts soaking for the oatmeal.

Day 2
L- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich + Raw Veggies
S- Nuts and Dried Fruit
D- Lasagna (left-overs) and Green Beans
To do: Soak kidney beans for chili.

Day 3
B- Baked Oatmeal (left-overs)
L- Turkey, Cucumber and Mayo Sandwich + Raw Veggies
S- Ants on a Log (celery with peanut butter and raisins on top)
D- Vegetable Chili and Corn Bread + Salad

Day 4
B- Baked Oatmeal (left-overs)
L- Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich + Raw Veggies
S- Small boxes of Organic Raisins
D- Orange Chicken (store bought, Trader Joe’s) with Organic Brown Rice + Salad
To do: Soak black beans.
Day 5
B- 10 Hard-boiled Eggs, Toast, and Bacon (save grease in a jar in refrigerator for the quiche, and the bean and kale soup)
L- Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches + raw veggies
S- Popcorn with Butter and a little salt
D- Black Bean Bowls with homemade Guacamole, Organic Tortilla Chips, Spanish Rice and Corn

Day 6
B- Cold Cereal with Milk
L- Black Bean (left overs) and cheese burritos + raw veggies
S- Cheese and Crackers
D- Quiche + Salad

Day 7
B- Quiche (left overs)
L- Turkey, Cheese and Avocado Wraps + Raw Veggies
S- Organic Vanilla Yogurt
D- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches w/ Organic Tomato Soup + Salad

Fresh Fruit Choices:  ($17.50 per week to spend)
1- 3lb. bag of Cutie Oranges (about 24 small oranges- eaten 2 at a time)- Target  $6.59 -$0.55 per serving
1- 3lb. bag of Organic Apples (about 9 apples)- Target  $5.49  -$0.61 per serving 
1- 2 lb. bag of Organic Pears (about 7 pears)- Trader Joe's  $2.49  -$0.36 per serving
7 Bananas- Target or Trader Joe's  $0.57lb.  about $0.19 per serving
Organic Strawberries 1 lb.- TJ’s or Target  $3.49  about $0.69 per serving
Organic Grapes 1 lb.- TJ's or Target  $2.99   about $0.38 per serving

*If there is extra avocado or peppers they make a great add on to lunch.
*To cook the frozen vegetables you can either put them straight into a pot with water, then heat on the stove top, or add a steam basket into the pot for more even cooking.  Just make sure you add water up to the bottom of the basket, or you may end up burning the bottom of your pan, like I've done a few times.  :P
*A popcorn machine is a great investment.  They cost about $20 at Target.  They don't need any oil, making it healthier than pan popping, and are much safer to eat than microwaved popcorn which has been linked to Alzheimer's disease.
*We like to lightly toast the Ezekiel bread.  We just like the taste that way.

*8oz.= 1 cup
4 Tbls.= 1/4 cup

Click here for the all inclusive Shopping List that goes along with all 4 weeks of meal plans!  Have fun!


katy said...

Natalie, thanks for sharing this and doing all the work that I know went into this! I fall into the category of someone who wants to eat healthy and natural/organic, but am held back by finances (and some laziness and bad habits, too). This project is encouraging to me that it is possible to eat healthy on a budget. I would need to recalculate for a family of three (or four, once Ezra starts eating) to see what our budget and shopping list would look like. I assume that its just buying less of each thing? I am also curious as to what the servings and portion sizes are. Also, did you plan based mainly on finances or also on healthy servings from your dietician point of view (servings from food groups, etc.)

I think that the meals look pretty good and is a plan I could do. Of course it would be a change from some of our unhealthy habits and I'd have to find a way to convince Tom to eat beans, which he doesn't really like ;) I think that you have pretty good variety here and there are built in leftovers, which help to save money. We struggle with always eating leftovers, but are getting better. I am interested to see what the next three weeks are in terms of variety etc.

I think this is something I would potentially test out for my family for a month.

Great job. I'm proud of you for working so hard at something you are passionate about and for educating those around you.

Natalie Kemp said...

Thanks Katie! The meal plans are generally portioned to feed 5-6 people. My kids eat as much as adults, so they count equally. :)
If you kept the plan as is, but leave out the lunch menu, you'd probably have enough left overs from most of the meals to eat as lunch the next day. If you don't like left overs then some of the meals you could probably make half of the amount, or just freeze left overs for another day, so less cooking! :)
I just planned according to healthy qualities of food, then made the budgeted amount my aim. Nutritionally, in an ideal world I would leave out more grains and eat more vegetables, but this is a great start for most people.
I also wanted to keep it an attainable menu for the majority to be able to cook and enjoy taste wise.