Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back-to-school: Grocery shopping for the week

This post should provide you with a week worth large meals. If you don't eat a lot it will provide 2 weeks of food. The key to this meal plan is that dinner leftovers double for lunches, so pack them up immediately that way they're easy to grab on the way out the door to school.

1.  Cajun Pasta Salad (original recipe)
2. Pita Pizzas
3. Pasta & Poor-mans garlic bread
4. Hot Dogs & Veggies
5. Pizza Soup (original recipe)
6. Grilled cheese & Veggies
7. Leftovers
*I've linked to the original recipes, my modifications are below
Cheapest: Oatmeal
*Interesting: Peanut butter toast, fruit, and yogurt

Shopping List:
Anticipated Cost
1 large green pepper
1 medium red pepper (buy whatever colour peppers are cheapest)
1 large onion (red, white, or yellow whatever is cheapest)
1 bulb garlic

*7 bananas (or other fruit on sale)-$2.50
$4 of other veggies & fruit that can be eaten raw

500g block of cheese (cheddar or mozzarella whichever you prefer for the pizzas & grilled cheese)
1 bag of smoked sausages (usually about 900g or 8 sausages)

*1-2 tubs or one 12-16 package of yogurt - $4

1 bag Greek Pocketless Pita (or any pita or even tortillas if they are cheaper will work)
1 bag hot dog buns (6 or more)
1 loaf bread

Dry Goods
1 bag (900g) pasta - any shape (tube or spiral shapes work well)
1 can Pasta Sauce
1 can mushrooms
2 cans diced or whole tomatoes (without spices)

*1 jar peanut butter-$4
1 kg bag quick cooking(3-5 min) oats
Red wine vinegar (or use any vinegar you have)
Yellow mustard

Bulk Store Items
1-2 cubes beef bullion/beef broth mix                          
1/2 tsp Paprika
2 tbsp Basil
2 tbsp Parsley
1-2 tbsp cinnamon (if you're having oatmeal for breakfast)

Expected Pantry Items

Peanut butter



Bullion/Broth powder



Estimated total if you own none of the ingredients and have oatmeal for breakfast is $44. If you have a stocked pantry, your cost should be less than $40. This amount of food will feed one very hungry guy for a week with some leftovers.

Useful hints:
Buy your spices at the bulk store
Yogurt can usually be found for $1 for 4 little cartons (but you will have to buy the package of 12-16)
Cheese goes on sale for $1 per 100g grams regularly (so $5 for 500g is a good price)
Freeze leftover soup in ziplock freezer bags or plastic container if you wont use it within 5 days.
Assemble, but don't cook extra pizza. Cover in cling wrap and freeze. Bake at 400F for about 10 min or microwave until cheese melts when you want to eat them.


Quick oatmeal:
Measure the recommended amount of oats into a bowl. Add the recommended amount of boiling water and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Let stand for a few min. If it doesn't reach the consistency you like, microwave for 1 min.

1.  Cajun Pasta Salad
·         Slice 2-3 sausage into 0.5 cm diameter rounds
·         Dice onion into 1 cm pieces (save 1/2 for pizza soup)
·         Dice peppers into 1 cm pieces (save 1/2 cup for pizza soup and Pita Pizzas)
·         Mince 1-2 cloves garlic
1.       Boil a pot of water, and add about 1/3-1/2 the bag or pasta cook for 9-10 min or until just tender.
2.       Fry the sausage to heat and brown
3.       Drain the pasta, and combine with veggies and sausage in a bowl (not the garlic).
4.       In a mug mix 1/3 cup oil, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 tbsp mustard, the garlic, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Pour over pasta salad and serve.

2. Pita Pizzas
·         Slice 1 sausage
·         Grate about 1/2 cup cheese
1.       Place pitas on a baking tray
2.       Spread 1 tbsp of pasta sauce onto each pita
3.       Sprinkle with cheese
4.       Top with sausage & chopped  1/4 cup chopped peppers from the Cajun Pasta Salad
5.       Broil for 2 min or until cheese melts

3. Pasta & Poor-mans garlic bread
1.       Boil water and cook pasta until just tender
2.       Drain pasta and spoon on as much sauce as you prefer
3.       Toast 2 hot do buns
4.       Rub toast buns with a peeled garlic clove, cover with sliced cheese and broil until melted

4. Hot Dogs & Veggies
·         Heat 2 sausages in the microwave or in boiling water, serve on 2 buns with some fresh fruit and veggies

5. Pizza Soup
·         Slice remaining sausages from the weeks' meals
1.       Fry in a large pot leftover onions, drained mushrooms, and leftover peppers until soft but not brown.
2.       Add 2 cans of tomatoes,1 beef bullion cub/1-2 tsb beef broth powder, 1 cup hot water, sausage, 1/2 tsp basil. Bring to a boil.
3.       Spoon into bowls, grate a little cheese over each bowl and place under the broiler to melt.
4.       Serve with Poor-man's garlic bread if desired.

6. Grilled cheese & Veggies
·         Melt slices of cheese onto toast and eat with veggies and fruit

7. Leftovers (finish whatever is left before your next grocery trip)

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