Weekly Shopping List and 5 Easy, Healthy Dinner Recipes

The problem with buying food for just one or two people is that many foods come in sizes meant for families, so we end up spending money on food we don’t use and ultimately end up throwing away. With some smart shopping habits and creative cooking, you can save money and make your food budget go further without having to eat the same thing night after night.

To get the most out your weekly shopping trip, try following this ingredient list and making the suggested recipes. For 1-2 people, you should get 5-6 meals and then some out of this. Make sure to scale the recipes based on your desired number of servings.

Any well-stocked kitchen should have the spices and seasonings each recipe calls for; they’re fairly basic. If you don’t already have them, consider them a versatile one-off expense and investment. You will, of course, have to replace your spices and seasonings at some point, but you’ll get a lot of mileage out of them.

The Shopping List

  • 1.5 – 2 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 fresh kaiser rolls or whole wheat rolls
  • 1 package frozen or fresh veggies of your choice
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 2 medium or large heads of romaine or green leaf lettuce with cucumber, tomato, or whatever you prefer in your garden salads
  • 1 bottle barbecue sauce
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • 2 leeks
  • half a dozen eggs
  • 1 12 oz. can root beer
  • apple juice concentrate
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 can cannelloni beans
  • Wheat couscous or brown rice
  • 1 pint milk (whole, 1%, 2%, whatever)
  • 1 package sharp cheddar

Seasonings, Spices and Tools You may already have some of these. If you prefer to use fresh herbs, go right ahead! Most spice jars have dried/fresh conversions on their labels.

  • Dried or fresh rosemary
  • Dijon mustard
  • Minced garlic (I use the jarred garlic for convenience)
  • Ground salt & pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Bay leaves
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne (red) pepper

Tools: You’ll need a crock pot (a wise and cheap investment) and two small oven-safe (Pyrex) bowls (1-2 cup size). If you don’t have the bowls, that’s okay, but they are pretty handy and generally great to have.

The Recipes

Monday: Start the week off light with Spinach and Leek White Bean Soup and a garden side salad topped with cubes of cheddar and your dressing of choice. This easy soup gives you a nice, hot meal after a long work day without leaving you feeling bloated and tired.  You’ll be using up your spinach later in the week, so it won’t go to waste and you’ll stretch your dollars.

Tuesday: Barbecue chicken is easy: lay out some foil on top of a baking sheet. Place your defrosted chicken on top of the foil and coat with BBQ sauce (try bourbon whiskey BBQ sauce). Bring up the sides of the foil to loosely cover the chicken (this keeps it juicy) and bake for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees (til no longer pink in the middle). Serve with Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries.

Wednesday: Get over the mid-week slump by spending some relaxing time in the kitchen making Rosemary Roasted Pork Tenderloin. Use 1/2 of the pork tenderloin you bought, saving the rest for Friday’s meal. Serve with boiled or steamed vegetables and roasted sweet potatoes: cut two sweet potatoes into 1 inch chunks, toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste; bake in a preheated oven at 450 for 30-35 minutes.

Thursday: Easy and tasty individual spinach frittatas can be served with couscous or rice and a small salad. This recipe makes 2 frittatas, and you’ll need the two small glass oven-safe bowls for these instructions:

Individual Spinach Frittata Recipe*

2 large eggs plus 4 large egg whites

4 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese

4 teaspoons milk

ground salt & pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cups baby spinach

nonstick cooking spray

Place your two glass dishes on top of a baking sheet and preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place the baking sheet in the oven while you prep the ingredients. Whisk together the egg, egg whites, 2 tbsp cheese, 2 tsp milk, 1/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper. In a small skillet, heat 1/4 tsp of oil and cook the spinach until wilted. Stir into the egg mixture.

Remove the heated dishes from the oven and immediately spray the insides with cooking spray. Pour half of the egg mixture into each container. Top each with 1 tbsp of cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the egg is puffed up and golden brown.

FridaySlow Cooker Pulled Pork. For this, you’ll need to break out your crock pot and let it do work while you’re at work. When you get home, your house or apartment will smell like a delicious barbecue. Make pulled pork sandwiches on your kaiser or whole wheat rolls. Serve with a side salad of lettuce mixed with a couple handfuls of baby spinach.

There you have it; 5 days of yummy, healthy dinners. By now you’ve used up most of your ingredients but you might have enough leftover to make another couple of salads, more pulled pork sandwiches, or have some leftover rosemary tenderloin over the weekend. Let me know how your week goes in the comments!

*This is a modified version of the Spinach Frittata recipe that appeared in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Everyday Food.

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Author:literatrue

I'm a writer of web content and advertising copy in the interactive space. I'm kind of a geek, but I like other stuff, too. My passions and loves include cooking and food, travel, music, and reading; my husband & favorite architect Jonathan; my wonderful family and friends; and my loyal, quirky dog.

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5 Comments on “Weekly Shopping List and 5 Easy, Healthy Dinner Recipes”

  1. January 17, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    This is perfect. I always ended up throwing leftovers out. I can probably use this now and double everything while I’m cooking at my parents’ house, but I look forward to using it when it’s just me & Cam. My mom has a cookbook that she got for her wedding called “Cooking for Two” that I need to find. Rachel Ray has something similar in her magazine… a week’s worth of dinners, plus a shopping list, that always comes out to less than 100 bucks.

    • January 17, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

      Yes! I got the idea to do this from Everyday Food (Martha Stewart). Same thing, but they don’t figure out the cost for you. I decided to start doing it myself every week to save money on food and plan our dinners better to make sure we stick to healthy stuff (instead of realizing when we get home from work that we have nothing to eat, and ordering take-out or going out). I figured if I’m doing all the work to find the recipes and make up a shopping list for myself anyway, I may as well share it.

  2. Diandio
    June 21, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    Hi! Very interesting read. Will follow this.

  3. Conust
    June 21, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    Hi! Very interesting read. Will follow this.

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