Since I was on a super tight budget this summer after spending most of my money traveling, I knew I needed to be super strict with my spending. I tried to budget my weekly grocery trips to be around $30-$40 a week. That might sound insane, and it didn’t give me a ton of room to buy fun snacks, but it was pretty much doable at Trader Joe’s. Check out my grocery shopping list and how I got daily breakfast plus a few weekly meals out of my $30 budget.
Almond Milk + Oats + Banana
Oatmeal is super simple, but it really does keep you full and has healthy fibers to start your day. I usually take a cup of oats and mix it with almond milk, then heat it up in the microwave for about a minute and a half. Then you can top it with sliced bananas and sprinkle cinnamon on top if you have some!
Egg + Avocado + Toast
This is usually my go-to breakfast because I crave something salty when I wake up. I grab a slice of bread and throw it in the toaster while I heat up a pan for my egg. I crack the egg into the pan and let it fry while I spread the avocado on the toast. You can also put a lid on your pan over your eggs to have them cook faster. This sounds complex, but I’m always able to do this before I have to get to work in the morning.
Extra Tip: If you’re really short on time in the mornings, or not really a breakfast person, you can hard boil the eggs. That way, you can grab one of those and/or a banana before you hit the road.
Turkey + Bread + Mayo
I already had mayo in the fridge, so I didn’t include that in my list. Sandwiches are usually what I have during the week because they’re easy to bring along with you. I usually also grab some sliced cheddar at Trader Joes (which goes for around $3) or else this sandwich is pretty boring.
Chicken and Cheese Tamales + Black Beans
These are seriously so yummy and easy to make. I steam them, which is the best way to cook them, but there are also microwave directions on the bag. Heat up the black beans as a side and you’ve got a great and easy meal.
Avocado + Black Beans + Potatoes + Chicken
I’m usually very experimental with the ingredients I get and make bowls of assorted foods like this one. You could use the rest of your black beans from the tamales in this. Then toss those in with some roasted potatoes, make some shredded chicken, and slice an avocado on top. You could even add a hard-boiled egg for more protein. It might sound strange, but combinations like this filled with fiber, protein, and healthy fats, are actually a really well-rounded lunch.
Chicken + Sweet Potato Fries
Chicken is my usual protein, although I love to splurge on Salmon every once in a while. You can cook up the chicken on a grill (I have a mini George Foreman grill that I love!) or in the oven or stovetop. These sweet potato fries are super easy and delicious. You just pop them in the oven while you’re cooking your chicken and they come out perfectly crisp. You can probably get about 3 servings out of the bag depending on how many you make at once.
Chicken + Red Potatoes
Again, cook the chicken however you like it best and add your favorite seasoning. Sometimes just a little garlic salt and pepper goes a long way! Red potatoes are my favorite since they’re easy to cut and have so much flavor. I cut them into wedges, drizzle olive oil on top, add salt and pepper, and then spread them out over a baking sheet. (Don’t forget to spray the sheet!) Depending on how many you make, these have a longer cook time of about 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, but just cook them until they are nice and golden brown.
Pasta + Tomato Sauce
The good old pasta and tomato sauce combination has saved me many times. It’s always good to have pasta on hand and Trader Joe’s sells your basic types of pasta at 99 cents per bag! They have really yummy sauces too, including pesto, marinara, alfredo, and seasonal ones, that all come to about $2-3 per jar. If you think about it, when you cook up a bowl of pasta with ingredients from Trader Joe’s, your entire meal is less than a dollar.
For more tips on saving money, make sure. to check out my Budgeting Tips section of the blog including:
- 5 Popular Makeup Products That Are Cheaper on Amazon
- 5 Online Shopping Tips to Save Money Every Time
Or check out my Budgeting Pinterest board for even more great ideas!