So you’ve just spent the last hour and a half at the grocery store. You lug your 50 lbs of groceries up the stairs and into your apartment. You empty the bags, putting everything in its rightful place. You head to the couch, ready to take a breather before starting your meal prep for the week. That’s when your husband heads to the fridge. He opens it up and says the dreadful phrase: “There’s nothing to eat”. WHAT?! How can this be. You’ve just filled the fridge with $70 worth of food. The real problem? They are all ingredients.
When switching to a real food lifestyle, one of the hardest things to change is making almost everything from scratch. There are some workarounds like applesauce, salsa, and chicken sausage, but for the most part, if you want to eat it, you’re going to have to make it. So what do you do when you’re starving, short on time, or just feeling lazy?
How to Avoid Having “Nothing to Eat”:
- Buy extra eggs. I always buy 2-3 dozen eggs each grocery trip. Weekly, Ty and I typically go through one dozen hard boiled eggs for breakfast and snacks, use one for our homemade mayo, and use a few here or there in recipes. The reason I buy extra is that they can keep for 5 weeks from the date of purchase and make for a quick meal. A simple fritatta is a great way to use up any odds and ends in your fridge. You can saute any leftover meat or veggies in a 10″ skillet, then pour 6-8 scrambled eggs over top, and finally bake for 8-10 minutes at 400F. It’s fast, easy, and perfect for your wilting spinach and browning peppers. And heck, if even that seems like too much work, simply fry two eggs and you’ve got yourself dinner!
- Always have nuts on hand. Sometimes you’re just so hungry you can’t even fathom cooking. That’s when you need to take a chill pill, and by chill pill I mean grab a handful of nuts, then take a moment to relax and think about what you can make. Nuts are great because they last forever and are a great simple snack. We like to make our own trail mix by combining equal parts cashews, almonds, raisins, and chocolate chips. The perfect pick-me-up.
- Have a repertoire of basic meals. I already mentioned the fritatta, a great way to use leftovers. Another meal you don’t have to put much thought into is a salad. That’s right, a regular old salad. If you just bought a huge mound of lettuce and spinach, toss them in a large bowl and top with cherry tomatoes, red onion, avocado, any protein (hard boiled eggs, a nuked chicken sausage, last night’s steak), and if you don’t have the drive to make homemade mayo for your dressing, just drizzle with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Super simple, but oh-so-tasty.
My takeaway: Keep it simple! Clean eating doesn’t have to be complicated. Instead of stressing over making that amazing recipe with 700 ingredients you found on Pinterest, just eat a salad.
Grocery Haul Highlights:
- This week I spent an even total of $74, which is slightly over my budget of $70/week. But since I only spent $59.58 last week, I took the extra dollars and stocked up on items we don’t buy weekly: almonds, cashews, olives, curry powder, cocoa powder, and raisins.
- Fresh strawberries were on sale at Mariano’s for $2/lb this week! It was nice to see this fruit back on shelves.
- Larabars are on sale at Mariano’s for $1 each! This is a fantastic price (compared to the usual $1.39 each) and the sale tag showed it’s going to continue into April. If you’re into printing coupons, pair it with one for $.75 off 3 Larabars here.
- We’ve been loving kale chips lately. It’s so easy to buy a fresh bunch of kale (not the bagged stuff), tear off the leaves from the stems/veins, then spray a little olive oil on it (we love our Misto*), massage it into the leaves, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes! The best part? An entire bunch of fresh kale only costs $.75!
- *The Misto makes your regular olive oil into a spray without the added chemical propellants. We love it for so many things, but it’s especially great for making light and crispy kale chips. Too much oil will weigh your kale down!
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