by a.b.

Having a meal plan that takes leftovers into consideration allows you to cook less, throw out less food, and therefore save money.

Granted, my husband and I are not picky eaters, with minimal dietary consideration, and it’s just the two of us, but let me give you a glimpse into what a week looks like for us.

Breakfasts: Generic Malt-O-Meal Cereal: 2 bags @$4.99 per month & $2 in milk per week

Lunches: Salami: $10 every month, peanut butter: $6 every other month, jelly: $3 every month sourdough bread: $3 every other week, seasonal fruits & veggies: varies

Day 1: Chicken Alfredo with sauteed zucchini $5.50
2 Boneless Hormone/Anti-biotic free Chx Breast $3
2 Zucchini $1.25
1/2 box Fettucini 50 cents
Classico Alfredo Sauce 75 cents

Day 2: Chicken Quesadillas Add’l. $2.30
Flour Tortillas 50 cents
Cheese $1
Chopped Leftover Chicken Zero
Salsa 30 cents
Sour Cream 50 cents

Day 3: Chopped Salad Add’l. $2.80
1 Head Romaine Lettuce 50 cents
Salami 50 cents
Remaining Chopped Chicken Zero
Cheese 50 cents
Tomato $1
Hardboiled Egg 30 cents
Balsamic Vinegar Negligible
Olive Oil Negligible
Salt Negligible
Pepper Negligible

Day 4: Homemade Egg McMuffin Add’l. $3.85 + fruit
Poached Egg 60 cents
Bacon Bits $1
Cheese 75 cents
English Muffin $1.50
Fruit Variable

Day 5:Pulled Pork Add’l. $11.49
BBQ Pork
Pork $8
BBQ Sauce $1.49
Beer $1
Peppercorns Negligible
Cucumber Salad $1

Day 6: Breakfast Burrito $4.10
Eggs $1.50
Bacon Bits $1
Leftover Shredded Pork Zero
Cheese 50 cents
Flour Tortillas 50 cents
Salsa 30 cents
Sour Cream 30 cents

Day 7: Happy Hour $15 @ Gustav’s or Pulled Pork Sandwiches Add’l. Zero

This week’s food costs us about $40-65, including a night out if we want. We are both moderately active and require high amounts of protein, but we balance it with fresh fruits and veggies (farmer’s market when possible!).

Other ways I take advantage of leftovers is junk soup (throwing everything in the veggie drawer, a leftover protein, and rice, barley, or noodles into a pot with stock and/or water and/or tomato juice), or adding chopped meat to a rice pilaf with some veggies. I got tired of throwing money down my garbage disposal. How do you save money on food?