The week certainly lacks a theme of any sort, but it also proves that you aren’t stuck with one type of food for a full week. A limited number of ingredients can provide plenty of diversity in your menu. This week has two curries, macaroni cheese, two stir fries, a Middle-Eastern aubergine dip, garlic shrimp, mushrooms on toast and a Thai soup. But the groceries came way under budget, due to the use of bacon cubes as this week’s meat. There is still 250gr of meat in this week’s menu, so no need to panic and claim this doesn’t count. Two pork chops or leg steaks would be the same weight. Eggs provide additional proteins this week too.
I got everything in the supermarket this week. Getting your tomatoes, cucumber, ginger and coriander from the market could have saved me 1-2 euro on this week, but at €21.07 I am not disappointed.
If you dislike Brussels sprouts too much – although I urge you to give them a chance this week – you can substitute broccoli.
You can find the budget challenge recipes of all weeks under BC Recipes. They are linked below as well; click on the dish names at each day to get forwarded to the corresponding recipe.
My shopping list of this week (if I bought more, the quantity bought is between brackets):
- 270gr frozen shrimp (450gr)
- 250gr bacon cubes
- 2 eggs (carton of 10)
- 400ml coconut milk
- 1 leek
- 600gr Brussels sprouts (750gr)
- 1 aubergine
- 240gr spinach (500gr)
- 250gr Swiss brown mushrooms
- 5 tomatoes (pack of 6)
- 1 cucumber
- 3 chili peppers
- fresh coriander
- 300gr macaroni (500gr)
I spent €21.07. This includes the following leftovers: 180gr shrimp, 8 eggs, 150gr Brussels sprouts, 260gr spinach, 1 tomato, 200gr macaroni.
I used the following items from my pantry this week: 3 onions, 2 potatoes, flour, 150ml milk, grated cheese (freezer), 1/2 stock cube, soy sauce, vinegar.
Plus these standard pantry items: Sunflower oil, butter, salt/pepper, spices (kurkuma, cumin, paprika, nutmeg).
Day 1 – Saturday
Lunch: Mushrooms on Toast with Sunny Side Up
Eggs are a great way to keep your budget low but still serve something substantial enough to fill you up. Served with baked mushrooms and toast, this doesn’t feel as a budget meal at all.
Pantry items: Butter
Dinner: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Comfort food that isn’t expensive, yet has plenty of veggies. You can substitute broccoli or cauliflower for the Brussels sprouts if you really must.
Pantry items: Butter
Day 2 – Sunday
Lunch: Aubergine Dip
A Middle-Eastern dish, warming and comforting, served with toast to create a great lunch dish.
Pantry items: Sunflower oil, 1 onion, cumin, paprika powder
Dinner: Shrimp and Potato Curry
Shrimp, coconut milk and spinach. The most luxureous dish this week.
Pantry items: Sunflower oil, 1 onion, 1 potato (200gr)
Day 3 – Monday
Dinner: Spinach and Cucumber Stir-fry
Plenty of protein, with both bacon and an egg, but also more than enough vegetables. Healthy yet good for the wallet.
Pantry items: Butter
Day 4 – Tuesday
Dinner: Macaroni Cheese with Brussels Sprouts
Macaroni cheese is the student’s safety net. Cheap but filling. But lacking in vegetables, which this version solves by adding lots of Brussels Sprouts.
The sauce basically comes fully from your pantry, as you need butter, flour, milk, nutmeg and cheese. Grated cheese stores very well in the freezer (as long as it is used in a molten form later).
Pantry items: Butter, flour, 150ml milk, nutmeg, grated cheese (freezer)
Day 5 – Wednesday
Dinner: Vegetable Curry
Curries are, just like soups, a great way to use up any small leftovers you may have. There will be additional spinach left which you can add if you like. It definitely will go great in this dish.
Pantry items: Sunflower oil, 1 onion, 1 potato, kurkuma, cumin, paprika powder
Day 6 – Thursday
Dinner: Garlic Shrimp with Leek Macaroni
An economical vegetable and starch, which leaves more room for the cost of the protein. Not overdoing the amount of shrimp also helps, 140gr of peeled shrimp is really enough if you allow it to be.
Pantry items: Sunflower oil, butter
Day 7 – Friday
Dinner: Thai style Leek and Cucumber Soup
We finish this week with a “leftovers” soup, Thai style. There is also spinach left, which would go great in this soup, although it is already very filled. Lots of vegetables. The small amount of macaroni will keep you full longer, but it won’t pack on the kilos.
Pantry items: Sunflower oil, 1/2 stock cube, soy sauce, vinegar
Grocery costs: €21.07