my food budget


Since beauty and eating are so closely tied in my life I thought I'd go over what my food budget is now that I'm alone.




I spend on average, $30 a week for groceries.  I usually go to the markets about every 2 weeks.  I rely on beans, rice, oats and fill in with lots and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  It's an easy way to eat and very easy on my budget.  For some reason I do not get bored with it.


My typical breakfast of overnight oats, berries and almonds.



I love sandwiches like this.  Ezekiel bread with hummus, arugula and radishes from the garden.



At the end of summer I cut back all the basil and pureed it with a little water and freeze.  Now all winter long I can drop one of these in a pot of tomatoes for a taste of summer.

It's pretty simple and an uncomplicated way to eat.  I hope you find some inspiration here. x



44 comments

  1. I would love to hear more about your meal ideas. I am a flexitarian and working on incorporating more meatless meals into my food plan. I was wondering how you manage to only go to the grocery store once every two weeks if you eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits, but I see you have a garden. Here in northern IL, I don't have that luxury with the good weather, so I have to run to the store at least twice/week to get fresh produce.

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    1. having a garden helps but my produce here in southern california is so fresh it can last 2 weeks easily. just go to the bottom of this page and click on food categories and you'll see exactly what i eat! x

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    2. Hi Melanie,
      My husband and I eat plant-based meals and one way we've found that makes life simpler is to join a CSA- Community Supported Agriculture. They've come a long way from the days when a giant box of rutabagas would arrive at your door and you'd have to figure out how to serve them at every meal for a week! Most CSAs now allow you to customize your order and experiment with new tastes. In addition to vegetables and fruit, many offer everything from nut butters to lip balm, all locally produced. It's a simple, economical, healthy way to purchase food and support local farmers. If there is one that delivers in your area, it could go a long way toward supplying you with fresh produce and more. Fingers crossed you can find one nearby!

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  2. I love little glimpses into people's lives. The food looks so fresh and healthy. I'm still cooking for picky kids but will definitely simplify and become more veggie oriented in my next season.

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    1. hi jen. i remember the days of running a kitchen at home. everyone wants something different. it is hard. i love looking at what people really eat too! x

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  3. I have been making more meatless meals and have been buying more veggies to fill in and love the array of colour and texture on the plate! I will copy your hummus and arugula on a sandwich it looks delicious and so do your home grown radishes. The basil looks lovely and I can just imagine that punch if flavour in the tomato sauce! What other veggies do you grown in your garden?

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    1. the frozen basil is nice in the winter and to be honest i still have basil growing outside! i don't have an extensive garden, i grow tomatoes, peppers, onions and an array of fresh herbs. x

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  4. I like this so much more than you modeling clothes

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    1. I love you modeling clothes! A wonderful 'model' for sophisticated women who want elegance and comfort and feel comfortable in their own skin! I love your home & I love this post too! I think you rock! And I want to keep reading your blog and seeing your fabulous style! X

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    2. Always that jealous, pitiful soul who hides behind anonymity. Gardeners Cottage has been my favorite blog for years. Please continue to inspire, Janet.

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  5. So healthy! I'm all about comfort foods right now but I do make sure I'm fortified with nutritious stuff first. I don't refuse anything I'm craving anymore, unless it's truly horrendous (and sometimes it is, haha). Your meals look delicious!

    D.

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  6. Janet, Two of my friends and their husbands recently went plant based. One husband is a die hard meat person from Wisconsin who never liked veggies much so I was quite impressed! While Tony and I eat plant based part time we fell off track a little. Trying to step it up again.
    I loved your last post on the collected look. You looked great and love the way you wore the cardigan! :o)

    Linda
    xoxo

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  7. Dear Janet,

    The pics are beautiful. I am curious about the hummus. Do you make it yourself or is it store bought? If store bought, what is your favorite? If you make it, will you share the recipe with us? Also, how do you prepare your asparagus?

    Sincerely,
    Debra of SENC

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    1. i typically make my own hummus in my blender. just a can or fresh cooked chickpeas blended with garlic and a little water and spices. i can throw in roasted veggies too. i don't follow a specific recipe. i steam my asparagus.

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  8. I love ALL your posts!
    Clothes, vintage, home, garden, food....you are so inspiring Janet!
    I wish I lived closer to you.
    XO

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  9. Ohhhhhhh myyyyyyy...I am trying to change my diet and to eat better and more consciously. You
    are an inspiration, love all that you've shown us here. Thank you, thank you!

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  10. Hi Janet,

    What a great idea with the basil. I get stuck in thinking the only way to preserve it is to make a traditional pesto with cheese, nuts, etc. I am going to do this next time I have more basil than I can use.

    I enjoy the posts where you talk about budget. It really is possible to eat so well without breaking the bank. Your plated food pictures are beautiful, and it would be easy to think they come from a much larger budget.

    Thank you for the great ideas you continue to share. Your recent one with the Everlane sized-up cardigan was such a good one, again something I had just never thought to do. I really enjoy everything you talk about and share here at The Gardener's Cottage blog. It is such a treat. Your pictures are all so well presented!

    Shelley

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  11. Dear Janet,

    I enjoy all your posts. The topic of the day is always my favorite. :) I must say I do love your food posts, though, especially with your gorgeous kitchen or garden as a backdrop. I too eat a plant based diet, and one of my staples is sweet potatoes. My favorites are Japanese sweet potatoes and Hannah yams, but I enjoy garnets and jewels as well. I eat simply and also love my food. Plant foods are a feast for the eyes and appetite.

    I'm so impressed that you spend only $30 a week on groceries! My husband does not eat like me. He eats meat, cheese and lots of processed foods. As you can imagine, our weekly budget is much higher than yours. Oh well. We rarely go out to eat, and this is just the way it is.

    Colleen

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  12. I also eat a plant based diet (99% of the time) and I really enjoy your food posts-so simple, yet so good. Also, thank you for your fashion posts - really helps to see how you put together various pieces to create a fabulous outfit. I have purchased several items from Everlane, and have been extremely impressed with each item. Thank you for continuing to share with us.

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  13. As someone who hates breakfast food, your overnight oats look so delicious! Would you mind sharing your recipe? And do you make them every day/night? Thanks!

    -- Elaine

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    1. Aren't Janet's photos just lovely?! She makes everything in her life look perfection. I just wanted to suggest, if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of her blog, there is a section called "Tags". If you click on "Food" all her beautiful and healthy posts are there to savor, including one with the recipe for Overnight Oats. Sometimes I just explore different tags, it's a wonderful way to enjoy rereading my very favorite blog.

      Love you Janet; you are priceless.
      Erina

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    2. elaine i make them at night. equal parts oatmeal, plant milk and fruit on top.

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  14. I really enjoyed this post and was wondering if you make your own hummus. Also, where do you buy your produce? I am weird and actually love grocery shopping, so I tend to overspend, so $30 a week is quite impressive. I'd love to see more posts like this.😊

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    1. i like marketing too! sometimes i buy hummus which is usually trader joes eggplant hummus. i buy my produce from a variety of places, farmers mkt, sprouts, .99 store and trader joes.

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  15. Janet, thank you for this interesting post. I too love all of your posts and aspire to simplify as you have(while still looking beautiful & stylish!)! Thank you for sharing your day to day life and thoughts with us! Thanks too for the great basil tip!

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  16. The variety of your posts are great, I love them all.
    No wonder you are thin and healthy with such a perfect diet! Do you ever eat sweets?

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  17. I love your posts like this! they're always an inspiration to me in their simplicity and health! xoxo

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  18. It all looks delicious! Like a previous poster, I like grocery shopping. I have a flexible menu plan for the week and take lunch to work every day. I have a couple ice cube trays from the dollar store for pesto and chicken stock. You can just pop in a cube or two when cooking a single serving of something.

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  19. I eat a plant based diet also and love the clean and simple ways in which you enjoy the vegetables and fruits in your meals. They look delicious! I try to be mindful to eat with the seasons as much as possible and create minimal food waste. I am impressed with your food budget and inspired by your post to try to do better with food costs. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Love to read your posts, can I ask what is Ezekiel bread and arugula perhaps they have different names here in England.!!

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    1. Hi Polly,
      Ezekiel bread in the UK would most likely be a good wholesome wholemeal bread and arugula is rocket. My husband is English or else I'd never know!

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    2. polly go ahead and google it but it is a grain free bread made from nuts and seeds. and as someone else said arugula is rocket for you.

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  21. there are many nights where I find a baked potato. either white or sweet and some fresh steamed green veggies just perfect. I often add a little vegan butter and maybe some fruit for desert. nothing like the taste of fresh food simply prepared.
    Darby

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  22. Hi Janet! I have tried so many of your recipes and every single one has been delicious. I would love for you to post on your culinary training and that part of your life if that wouldn't be prying....Janie

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  23. I love Ezekiel bread ....so you have Ezekiel bread, hummus, argula and radishes - is that also a slice of apple? I want to try this :-)

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  24. Janet, your light-filled kitchen is as inviting as are your suggestions for mindful eating . . . I need periodic reminding to always have those simple, seasonal, easily prepped fresh foods at hand at all times and I thank you for keeping me on track.

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  25. For your British reader, you will know arugula as rocket. Janet, thank you for the reminder to enjoy more veggies!

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  26. Hello again, Janet,

    Please do not let one comment keep you from modeling clothes. You inspire me and I actually use you as an example a lot of times when I dress.

    Also, you may have mentioned this before and I am sorry for asking so darn many questions but what kind of camera do you use for taking these fabulous photos?

    Sincerely,
    Debra from SENC

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  27. RE: Ezekiel Bread
    Did you mean to say no flour and not no grain? Here is a list of ingredients: Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt.

    Anyway, some people need to avoid grains and gluten, so I thought you would want to know...

    Have you ever tried Adventure Bread? It's super easy to make, just stir a few ingredients together and pack then into a loaf pan; wait overnight, then bake the next day. I let it sit another day to cool and solidify and then slice it on the third day, and put it into a ziploc freezer bag and freeze it the 4th day. I put one piece in the toaster each morning and toast it (from frozen) two or three times to get it a bit crispy. It gives me that crunch in the morning with lots of seeds, nuts and fiber, but less of the less healthy stuff most bread has. You can also adjust it to suit your taste. Here's a link to the article I found out about it on:
    https://www.davidlebovitz.com/josey-bakers-gluten-free-recipe-adventure-bread/ (Oats DO have a little gluten, so beware!)

    I just finished reading "How Not to Diet" by Dr. Greger. Gad, nearly 600 pages of science-backed info on food and dieting. Loads of fabulous tips to improve your diet though. He is a confirmed plant-based vegan, in case you are wondering. Some suggestions he had were to drink 16 oz water a half hour before each meal, and/or have a first course of a salad with 2 teaspoons of vinegar in the dressing and/or a bowl of broth based soup. To increase your anti oxidants add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon ground ginger to your oatmeal in the morning. In the evening add 1 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon cumin to what you are cooking. He said that 6 oz wine each night does not seem to reduce life expectancy, but more than that does... but no alcohol is better. There's loads more too, in case you are interested. I got it at the library.

    Also, I like your clothes modeling posts, along with everything else. You rock! :)

    Garden Goddess

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kindness is never out of style.

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