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!
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:
- I get most of my protein from nuts and beans, with some from fish and rarely meat.
- I try to avoid red meat as it is fairly expensive and it has many health repercussions (heart disease, colon cancer, etc).
- I don’t eat bread. I get some grains from rice and also flour tortillas, pizza crust.
- 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.
- 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).
- Buy generics. (Unless it’s Saran Wrap, always buy Saran Wrap).
- 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!
- Eat meat sparingly (a serving is only 3oz!). Meat and potatoes is not a balanced diet.
- Drink less milk (I drink about 3/4 cup soy milk each day in my oatmeal).
- 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”.