Week 33: Rent Week Budget

Okay it wasn’t actually rent week for me, but I was trying to be on a rent week budget! If I go over budget one week, I try to supplement the week after, so that’s what I did this week. I’ve talked about how much I love Bon Appetit in the past, and I particularly treasure their Rent Week column. I used exact recipes or at least inspiration from the budget-friendly, semi-gourmet meals!

Had in kitchen: 1/2 lb pasta shells, Italian polenta, soy sauce, sesame seeds, sesame oil, 1/2 loaf multigrain bread, ricotta cheese, lemon jam, cooked Italian sausage, salt/pepper/olive oil, sriracha, 1/2 red onion, red wine, red pepper flakes, Parmesean

Bought: Udon Noodles, 2 cans Tuttorosso Whole Peeled Tomatoes, 1 lb ground pork, 1 bottle unseasoned rice vinegar, 2 apples, 3 oranges (for snacks), broccolini, 2 Persian cucumbers, 1 lemon (for flavoring water), 1 head garlic, 1 piece ginger, 1 avocado, 1 Serrano pepper, 1 bunch scallions, 1/4 lb sliced deli turkey, 4 oz garlic herb goat cheese, 1 package frozen shopped spinach

Spent: $33 (aka $6.60/day for 3 meals per day)

Daily Breakfast: Ricotta Toast with Lemon Jam

Claire’s Quips: I used ricotta cheese in a breakfast bowl a little while back, and it really surprised me how much I enjoyed it for that meal, especially with lemon zest. I figured I could have it on toast with some lemon jam I’ve had in my fridge for a while, and though it tasted pretty good, I wasn’t quite itching to have it again.

MONDAY

Lunch: Met Up with a Friend to Eat

Dinner: Leftovers from the Weekend

TUESDAY

Lunch: Leftovers from the Weekend

Dinner: Creamy Shells with Broccolini and Sausage

Comments from Claire: Inspired by this recipe, I sauteed broccolini with olive oil and garlic and cooked the pasta on the side. When the broccolini was cooked through I mixed in some crumbled Italian sausage I had cooked last week. When the pasta was done, I drained it and left a little bit of the cooking liquid. Then I stirred in some cream and garlic herb goat cheese until it resembled a sauce. Then I added the broccolini and sausage and mixed it all together. Delicious!

WEDNESDAY

Lunch: Shells

Dinner: Turkey Avocado Goat Cheese Club 

Comments from Claire: I again didn’t follow this recipe to a tee, but used it as inspiration when I wanted to use up half a loaf of bread I had around. I used their method for quick-pickling red onion and cucumber, and included the avocado, goat cheese, subbed pepper turkey for the carrots, and omitted the sprouts. I also didn’t make the buttermilk dressing, and added a little sriracha for spice. I loved the contrast of the creamy avocado and goat cheese with the tang of the pickled ingredients and peppery turkey.

THURSDAY

Lunch: Sandwich

Dinner: Spinach Polenta with Tomato Sauce

Comments from Claire: I loved using polenta last week, so I was happy to see this recipe in rotation. Mixing in spinach and garlic added great savory flavor and some fiber, while the tomato sauce was really good for a quick homemade version–and I have a lot leftover I’m going to use in pasta this coming week!

FRIDAY

Lunch: Leftover Polenta

Dinner: Spicy Pork Noodles

Comments from Claire: Yum, I love a good Asian noodle recipe that feels like I’m having takeout, only it’s fresher and cheaper! This was a good one to have in the books, though I used sesame oil and added more soy sauce and rice vinegar after I added the noodles, so it was more saucy.

See you next week! To see what I’m eating in the meantime, follow me on Instagram or Twitter @ClaireLeaden

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