Thirty-Five Dollars A Week: Preface

I read a blog post by someone named Eric Johnson about how he plans to spend only $35 per week at the grocery store and still manage to eat healthy meals that also taste good.  The blog can be found here and you can (and should) follow his progress.  I thought it was a good idea and I’d like to start this as well.  So, I’m going to follow the same model and hopefully Eric Johnson doesn’t mind me participating in his experiment.

Details of this challenge

This challenge is to spend #35 or less per week at the grocery store to make meals for dinner (and lunches when I need to) all while eating healthy.  I could easily eat canned beans or buy a 48-pack of ramen noodles for less than $10, but this is to eat healthy meals for $35 or less per week.

Rules

Below are the rules of this challenge:

  1. I have no dietary restrictions.  I have no known food allergies.  I have a pretty standard daily diet (caloric intake, fat, etc.)
  2. In order to accomplish this I will need to buy less meat or lower quality meats
  3. I ride my bike over 6 miles every day the weather is nice and walk other days
  4. I’m single and am the only person in my home – entertaining is rare
  5. Eating out for lunch at work or dinner during a weekend day are not included – this only includes grocery purchases used to make meals at home
  6. I can accept free food and meals
  7. Coupons and other discounts will be subtracted from food costs

Current Inventory

I have a large selection of shelf-stable food items in my pantry as well as items in the freezer.  Below is my current inventory:

Pantry
Corned beef hash
Canned chicken
Tomato paste
Canned pumpkin
Peanut butter
Breadcrumbs
Miscellaneous condensed soups
Garlic cloves
Ears of corn
Sandwich bread
Hamburger buns
Miscellaneous cereals
Almonds
Oatmeal
Granola bars
Red potatoes
Brown rice
Assorted dried pasta

Freezer
Frozen pasta
Butter
Miscellaneous frozen vegetables
Frozen fresh fish caught on Lake Michigan

Refrigerator
Milk
Pizza crust
Margarine
Orange juice
Jelly
String cheese

Miscellaneous
Ketchup, BBQ sauce, and other condiments
Miscellaneous spices
Olive oil
Sriracha
Baking items: flour, sugar, soda, powder, etc.

The ultimate goal is to spend $35 or less each week at one or more grocery stores local to my neighborhood in Chicago.  I’ll update weekly with my store purchases (relating to food) and recipes if they are tasty.

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