This is our typical grocery list:
Farmer's market produce - 1-2 green vegetables, green beans or broccoli, 2 cucumbers, a few tomatoes, a few squashes or potatoes, 1 bell pepper, chives or onion, pint of blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, and a few peaches (whatever fruit is in-season and cheaper).
grocery store produce - lots of bananas, 2 large avocados, tomatoes (if none available at the farmer's market), lots of carrots, 1-2 oranges or grapefruit
bulk foods - 3/4-1 lb raisins or dried cranberries, 1/2-1 lb wheat flour, 1/2-1 lb spelt flour, 1 lb dried beans (pinto, garbanzo, or lentils), 1/2-1 lb rolled oats, 1/2 lb quinoa or millet
2 Pearl soymilks and 1 large store brand vanilla soymilk
1 package firm tofu
1 can diced tomatoes or 1 can tomato sauce
1 box cereal, maybe 1 bag chips or crackers
once in a while- tahini/seed butter, flaxmeal, pumpkin seeds, non-dairy yogurt, salsa, dark chocolates
We make our own breads, muffins, and desserts generally (healthier and cheaper), and our protein sources are cheap beans, tofu, tahini, and homemade veggie burgers (instead of buying expensive frozen foods and store-bought veggie burgers).
So, we really try to be economical, but our grocery bill is still pretty high - like $100-130 - (but that also includes some personal non-food items. And, we admit, we do splurg on new products that we are eager to try :)
Any suggestions to be even more economical? We seem to cook and bake so much, because homemade foods are cheaper, but any ideas to be economical and quick in the kitchen?
So, here are some dinners we've enjoyed these past 2 weeks, for which we've tried to be economical:
Homemade Tomato Sauce with lots of garlic and olive oil. We had a pizza with homemade tomato garlic sauce one night, then used the pizza crust to dip into the sauce and had the sauce over broccoli.
Homemade Salsa - easy and tasty! Just blended 1 can diced tomatoes, lots of chives and garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro. Here we used the salsa over black beans, served with fresh green beans and homemade corn muffins.
Homemade Healthy Refried Beans - delicious and nutritious, packed with protein! We love creamy foods, and pintos are so creamy.
(Adapted from World's Healthiest Foods Cajun Bean Chili)
1 clove minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tb Mexican seasoning or chili powder
1/4 tsp thyme
3/4 - 1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt
3 - 3 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
2-4 Tb water to make desired thickness/creaminess
pepper and olive oil to taste
Saute onion for 4 min, or until just translucent, then add garlic and cook 1 min. Combine remaining ingredients, reserving 2-3 Tb of pinto beans. Place everything in a blender and blend until creamy. Then add the remaining 2-3 Tb pinto beans and mix until just combined (don't blend). Serve in a burrito, with chips, or in rice bowls.
Have a great week and stay cool (it's 100 degrees for the next 3 days here in Oregon)!