Xenia from Raised by Culture is our next contributor for the 64 Dollar Grocery Budget Challenge. I love that Xenia not only took on the challenge, but bought items that we view as “expensive.” Shrimp, Tri-Tip and Prosciutto, oh my! Check out how she not only rocked the challenge, but created some of the tastiest meals we’ve seen so far.
Once upon a time, I used to be awesome at meal planning and maintaining a weekly grocery budget. That is until I started working from home and that all went out the window. I wish working from home was as glamorous as Hollywood + society makes it seem! I have no structure and I probably put in more hours than if I had a 40 hour a week job so life as we know it is takeout or dining out. And I’m not complaining, I enjoy supporting businesses and it was all good until I started looking at how much it was actually costing me to feed a family of four. EEK!
That’s when I got inspired and motivated to do Amiyrah’s $64 Grocery Budget at Albertson’s! I wanted to challenge myself and get back in the kitchen. The big question was… could I actually do this for a family of four that has relatively expensive taste?
We are always buying milk, eggs, tortillas, rice, bottled water and bananas. Those are our staples. On rare occasions, I buy ribeye steaks and bacon for myself. Just kidding, I share the bacon. I wanted to focus on not buying the usual suspects: processed food, frozen food, salty snacks and sugary sweets. I was sweating just thinking about it. Being multicultural, the focus would be ethnic food.
Lomo Saltado – I didn’t want to spend $20 for a package of Tri-Tip roast so I checked the butcher counter and saw Tri-Tip steaks for $7.99 a pound, all I needed was a pound so that was a huge score. The Tri-Tip steak cut was easier to slice into strips and no waste. This was my first time making this dish and it was incredible. This dish at our favorite Peruvian restaurant is $12, making it at home set me back $2 per person.
Potato Salad – Buying a bag of potatoes goes a long way. I do potato salad, home fries and smash potatoes. This is my side dish for all of our barbecues. I only use mayo, potatoes, eggs and salt.
Home Fries – My children would eat fries everyday if they could. This was a nice change from buying another staple in our home, frozen french fries.
Smash Potatoes – My husband and I enjoy this as a full meal. Roast the potatoes on a baking sheet in the oven, smash after an hour, add other ingredients (garlic salt, cheese and butter!) and throw back in the oven for about 10-15 more minutes.
Swedish Cucumber Salad – Had this for the first time at IKEA’s Midsummer Smorgasbord. It is so refreshing and light. Perfect for a side dish or snack.
Chicken Rollatini with White Wine Gorgonzola Sauce – This is probably the most complicated recipe of the menu but I haven’t made it in a long time and figured it was worth the splurge. This sets me back $18+ at one of our favorite Italian restaurants but making it at home is only $6 per person.
Korean Street Tacos – You probably have all the ingredients for the marinade at home already. Buy some carne asada, marinate it overnight and throw it in the broiler.
Shrimp Ceviche – Another perfect dish for summer.
My local Albertsons offered these shopping tips:
Check for markdowns or non-advertised specials – my store didn’t have a set schedule or time for markdowns but they promised me that they do it a few times a week when items are close to expiring or boxes and cans are dented. See that picture of buy one get one free in the meat department? That was not advertised in the local ad or online. I tend to walk around the store for these types of deals.
Sign up for deals in your inbox – I actually just signed up, I heard Albertsons sends $5 off $50 coupons. That would’ve totally worked for this shopping trip!
And I did it! The lomo saltado was a hit! My husband said it was better than our favorite restaurant.