Thursday, April 26, 2012

Extreme Savings: $3 - 1395 Calories - 3 Meals and 4 Snacks / Desserts

Prior to about 10 months ago, I would have been delighted if the ingredients for just one lunch cost just $3, let alone paying $3 for 3 meals and 4 snacks / desserts.  What has changed is they way I shop. These days, I:
  • Plan shopping trips carefully, watching and waiting for the best deals 
  • Combine sales, BOGOs, store coupons, manufacturer coupons, competitor coupons, gift card deals, clearance, and any other great savings scenarios t
  • Stockpile, stockpile, stockpile in pantry and freezer
  • Purchase produce at farmers markets or Aldi's, which saves a whole bunch over Publix and Super Target 
Not every meal or every day will look like our menu from yesterday.  Some days everything is made from scratch, some days we dip in to the freezer for a little help.  We try to make sure we are eating  veggies, fruits, grains, and proteins that make sense.  

Wednesday's Menu

Total $3.00, 1395 Calories 

Breakfast Total:  $0.33, 365 Calories
  • $0.0  - Cup Fiber One cereal @ FREE, 180 cal
  • $0.20  - Cup Skim Milk @ $2.98 gallon, 80 cal
  • $0.13 - Medium Banana @ $0.39 pound, 105 cal

Lunch Total:  $0.26, 250 Calories
  • $0.26 Silk Protein & Fruit Smoothie @.50/qt + Banana @ $0.13, 250 cal
  • Made with 1 cup of the Silk beverage (Publix) + 1 Banana (Farmer's Market) + ice, blended. 

Dinner Total:  $1.75, 335 Calories
  • $1.25 Barber Chicken Parmesan @ $2.50/2 ct., 250 cal (Publix)
  • $0.50 simple salad w/balsamic vinegar @ $3.00/Romaine 3 ct., 35 cal (Publix)
  • $0.0 Birdseye steamed broccoli @ FREE , 50 cal (Publix)

Snacks / Desserts Total:  $0.58, 410 Calories
  • $0.23 Fresh Pear @$1.19/2 pounds (5 pears), 100 cal (Aldi's)
  • $0.10 Milkbite Bar @ .50/box of 5, 150 cal (Publix)
  • $0.15  - 1 oz. Almonds @ .90/can 6 oz, 160 cal (Walgreen's)
  • $0.08 - 4 oz. Fresh Pineapple @ $1.39/very large, 35 cal (Aldi's)

TOTAL $3.00, 1395 Calories


Neely said...

Really enjoyed that breakdown of how much you spent plus the calories. Sometimes I feel like using coupons only gets us junk but being selective and shopping smart can get you healthy choices. Thanks!

Coupon Clipper said...

Thanks Neely,

When I first started using coupons less than a year ago, I was buying all kinds of packaged, canned, boxed and processed foods that were really great deals. Then I started to be concerned over the nutritional shift to processed foods, which we were not accustomed to.

So now, less than a year later, I try really hard to shop the deals and pick the packaged items that are better than others, i.e. Kashi frozen meals are #1 in my book. I like Amy's a lot too, but they are sooo expensive, even when on sale. I skip all canned goods unless they are made with BPA free can lining, I skip high sodium products and high preservative/chemical content packages and also super high sugar and corn syrup foods like many of the "candy" type of breakfast cereals. Once in a while I'll deviate if a canned item is the only way I can get something I need w/o making from scratch (cranberry jelly comes to mind). I also restrain myself from buying too much produce at Publix and make a point of going to Aldi's or the farmers market at least once a week to load up at a third or less of the price than Publix and Target.