Grocery cart filled with nutritious fruits and vegetables.

What Does Wallet Engineer Eat

A recent reply from a questioning reader asked what I eat every month!

She noticed that I spent around $120 to $150 each month on my grocery bill. So What does Wallet Engineer Eat? Let’s find out!

By Wallet Engineer

What Does Wallet Engineer Eat?

 Thanks for stopping by! Here are a few things I eat a regular basis:
  • Burrito: Flour tortilla, black beans, cheese, and jalapeno tomatillo sauce. I cook it in the George Foreman grill for a few minutes and it’s nice and crunchy! Yum.
  • Tacos: 15oz black beans, onions, peppers, maybe another vegetable, two packets of taco seasoning. Also good with tortilla chips. Sometimes guacomole. Always some shredded cheese.
  • Salad: Spinach, banana peppers, cucumber, olive oil & vinegar, bleu cheese or gorgonzola, walnuts (buy in bulk! $6/lb or less!). So good!
  • Breakfast: 1 cup uncooked quick oats from Target, 3/4 cup soy milk, 3/4 cup water – pour into 1 quart Pyrex container. Cook 2:30 minutes in 900W microwave. Add 1/8 cup brown sugar, some cinnamon, and a handful of walnuts.
    • Calories: oats (300), sugar (110), walnuts (200), milk (95) = 705
    • 1 cup uncooked oats is a lot! Start with 1/2 cup.
  • Broiled salmon (coat in vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper), broil on the top rack, use a meat thermometer.  Make 1 cup uncooked rice. Stir fry vegetables(see below). Make a mixture of 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part brown sugar and use with rice and salmon.
  • Brats ($3.49/lb or less). Add some chips. Mix into spaghetti for protein if you want.
  • Stir fry: onion, bell pepper, a few snap peas, broccoli. Add in a little oil and stir fry. Add a pre-mixed packet of stir fry mix (about $.80 to $1.00). Add a handful of peanuts or cashews!
  • Farfalle pasta, 1 jar of pesto ($3 or less at Target), cut broccoli. You can steam the broccoli on top of the boiling pasta, then mix in. This is low on protein, though.
  • Pulled Pork: One large onion, several cloves of garlic, several pounds of pork butt (cut into large pieces about the size of a large, fist). Etc. Slow cook in a crock pot. Freeze what you don’t use. Google a recipe, haven’t perfected this one.
  • Pancakes – whatever usually. Sometimes we eat Kodiak protein pancakes with milk and an egg. Add some walnut chunks, cinnamon, a dash of vanilla extract, and a little sugar. Costco sells a 4.5lb box of Kodiak for about $12
  • Fruit – About 3PM every day I have some fruit (apple, banana, or orange usually).
    • A normal banana is 2 servings of fruit.
  • Peanut Butter and a Clif Bar with some fruit. I like making a peanut butter toupee on my banana.
  • Cracked Black Pepper Triscuits and cheese, side of apple.
  • A can of tuna or a packet of salmon, mix with honey mustard (no mayo!), a little bit of onion, and some pepper. Eat plain or make a wrap with a tortilla (add some spinach).
  • Homemade pizza. We buy crusts at Target (2 for $4 or so). Then olives, cheese, onions, peppers, whatever vegetables, olive oil on the crust.
  • When my budget is over, it’s usually because I bought a bunch of grocery store sushi.

In a normal day I eat the oatmeal on and off until about 11, then eat lunch at 12:30, have fruit at 3PM, and eat dinner somewhere later. Generally dinner is whatever. Sometimes fancy, sometimes not!

Wallet Engineer Tips and Tricks:

  1. I get most of my protein from nuts and beans, with some from fish and rarely meat.
  2. I try to avoid red meat as it is fairly expensive and it has many health repercussions (heart disease, colon cancer, etc).
  3. I don’t eat bread. I get some grains from rice and also flour tortillas, pizza crust.
  4. I shop around for groceries. Certain types of stores sell product X at a discount while they sell Y at a markup which is how they are still profitable. Example: Target has a big can of quick oats for $2.80, at Kroger they’re $4.29! :O Target also sells pesto at $2.72 while Kroger is almost $4.
  5. I buy my vegetables from the local Sprout’s or Lucky’s (local “Farmer’s Market” store).
    I buy my oatmeal, beans, and a few other things from Target.
    I buy my tortillas, hot sauce, taco seasoning from King Soopers (Kroger’s).
  6. Buy generics. (Unless it’s Saran Wrap, always buy Saran Wrap).
  7. Fill your diet with fruits and vegetables (like is recommended). You can eat your face off with vegetables.  I ate a whole bag of “Asian Medley” for stir fry: 240 calories!
  8. Eat meat sparingly (a serving is only 3oz!). Meat and potatoes is not a balanced diet.
  9. Drink less milk (I drink about 3/4 cup soy milk each day in my oatmeal).
  10. It’s OKAY TO BE HUNGRY. Seriously. Also, if you’re hungry you’re probably thirsty. Drink some water!Thanks!


You can also check our Mr. Money Mustache’s “How to Kill your $1000 grocery bill”.
Wallet Engineer


What’s in Wallet Engineer’s wallet?

Dear readers. Think about what’s in your wallet. What do you carry? Does it all need to be there? Are you missing anything? Let’s compare what’s in your wallet to what’s in Wallet Engineer’s wallet! This could be fun, but I doubt it because I’m not a good writer.

By Wallet Engineer


I have a “front pocket wallet”. frontpocketsmallIt looks like a lot that. It has two pockets on the front and two on the back.


What’s in Wallet Engineer’s wallet? (front)

Driver’s License

Yup. I carry my driver’s license front and center. With the amount of craft brew I drink I need it. Not a shock. driverslicenseVisa debit card from bank

I don’t use it often, but usually carry it as a backup to my main credit card.

Discover IT card

  • So far I love my Discover IT card.
  • 4.8 rating out of 15,000 reviews online.
  • 5% cash back for selected categories. Stuff you do actually use – gas, groceries, restaurants, movies). Changes every 3 months. Going into summer blockbuster season is Movie Theaters & Restaurants. During Christmas it’s Amazon and online retailers!
  • 1% cash back on everything else (Others have more, like CapitalOne Quicksilver)
  • FICO credit score (although many cards do this now.
  • No fee.
  • No foreign transaction fee!

U.S. Annual National Park Pass

AKA “America The Beautiful The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass”

Your annual pass covers entrance into all national parks, but does not cover other things like camping, tours, permits. In most cases ‘entrance’ refers to a single, private non-commercial motor vehicle. The exception is if the park charges per person then it only covers the card holder and 3 passengers. However, everywhere I have been is per vehicle so take your friends. Note: Children under the age of 16 are always free at National Parks!

We have used it at Rocky Mountain National Park – there is an entire lane for pass holders. It’s glorious.

We have also used it at Arches National Park near Moab, UT. No fast lane. Sat in line for about an hour on Saturday morning :'(.

Lastly – the pass can have two names on the back. (and only two). So you can lend it to your adult children, in-laws, etc. But only one other person. Non-transferable after that.


What’s in Wallet Engineer’s wallet? (back)

Cash: none

No cash today and usually I don’t carry any.

Often I hide some cash inside my wallet for emergencies. I used it for an emergency once and haven’t replaced it, it seems (just checked).

Car insurance card

Good to have. I also have a second one in the car itself.

Health insurance card

Good to have.

Periodic Table

What can I say, I’m a chemical engineer. It’s not laminated, top edge is quite torn up. Sorry noble gases! It’s useful, periodically.


HSA debit card

I usually carry this with me. I go to the doctor so infrequently that when I do go I don’t think to put my HSA card into my wallet which leads to a bunch of paperwork. HSA = Health Savings Account, the debit card allows me to pay medical bills directly from my HSA.


What was in Wallet Engineer’s wallets?

Some previous articles related to our credit card excursions.

My First Sign-Up Bonus

Credit Score over 700 in 7 months

One Time bonus Credit Cards

Ultime Credit Card Rewards Update


What’s in your wallet?