Friday, February 8, 2013

hilary's kitchen adventures : saving money on food

Being a graduate student, I am constantly attempting to stay on a budget. Believe me, for someone addicted to shopping and eating out, this is no easy feat.
One way I deal with being on a budget is being creative with my meals. For the past few months, I have been alternating between two key meals that share many of the same ingredients. This allows me to save some money, as I'm buying fewer ingredients and using more of them (I frequently have food spoil faster than I can eat it since I'm only feeding myself). Oh, and last of all, if I'm going to be cooking, it has got to be easy because I am NOT skilled in that department.
So here's a few yummy, relatively healthy, easy, and inexpensive meals you can eat for lunches and dinners!

First we have my berry salad. All it is is spinach, chopped strawberries and another seasonal berry (blueberries or blackberries work well), walnuts, and goat cheese. The natural sweetness of the fruit on this salad allow me to eat it without salad dressing, which is a huge plus (well, minus I suppose?) in the calorie department! This salad seriously takes all of five minutes to make, super quick and easy. 

Oh, and that drink? That's a "homemade" coffee drink treat that I'm kind of addicted to as well. (It's just International Delight's iced coffee in mocha over ice, not really homemade, but shhh.)

And here's dinner. A homemade gourmet pizza that takes about 15 minutes to make! You'll be using the spinach and the goat cheese you purchased for your salad. All you do is spread some olive oil on an unbaked mini pizza crust (I like Mama Mary's brand, which come in a four pack and are a little more than a dollar each), then spread on some store bought pesto (or make your own if you're really fancy... personally, I ain't got time for dat), and add your toppings (chopped cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, and spinach -- I happened to have mushrooms as well when I made the one in the picture, but I don't usually add them). Easy as pizza pie.

Finally, you can make a very easy pasta using some of the ingredients you already have as well. I boil some penne and add some pesto, chopped cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese (you could add the spinach as well, around the last minute your pasta needs to boil). 

And that's it! Keep your costs and your time in the kitchen down while enjoying something much more delicious than ramen and PB&J's! 

x Hilary


  1. I *almost* bought that iced coffee at the grocery store the other day, but I didn't. Have you ever tried it blended with ice? Is it good?

    Ramblings of a Suburban Mom

    1. I haven't! I bet it'd be great blended, though. I just drink it over ice, & it's pretty tasty. Good sub for expensive Starbucks.
      x Hilary


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