Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

January 25, 2018

What I Eat In a Week.

     I mention often on the blog that I love to cook and bake. Since moving to Vermont, I probably make 90% of my weekly meals at home from scratch, which has been a great money saver overall. However, cooking so often for just one person can be quite a challenge! Most recipes are designed with families in mind, so it's been quite a trial and error process to find meals that work for my solo lifestyle. (Trust me- if you have a big batch of even the most delicious recipe ever... anyone would be sick of eating leftovers of it by Day 7 straight in a row!)

What I Eat in a Week

     A couple months ago, I documented every meal that I ate for a week. I thought it would be useful for a few reasons. 1.) For myself mainly! I wanted to see how I could do better in my diet and the meals that I'm making (spoiler alert: I need to eat more fruits and vegetables), and also to make sure that I'm making enough recipes each week that maximize the items that I'm buying at the grocery store. 2.) I thought this blog post might be useful to fellow single gals (or guys?) who read the blog, and also live alone! It's definitely a challenge to budget appropriately and cook all of your meals when you're doing so only for one person, so I thought it might be interesting to get an inside look into how I do this for myself.

     A few notes to share about my food budget and eating habits before this gets started: first, I only eat lunch during the work week on Fridays. I have a really weird work schedule with my current radio hours, and I work weekdays 11:30-7. Because of this, I typically eat big breakfasts, and often eat lunch-type foods for breakfast, as you'll see in this post! I can't take a lunch break once I'm on-air, so that's made lunch kinda nonexistent for me at work. Fridays are my busiest day of the week at work and I have to go in an hour or two early, so because of that, I do take a lunch break and I treat myself to eat out. I almost always get Chinese takeout or Moe's.

     Another important note is that I try really hard to keep my grocery budget to $40 a week- that's it! There are some weeks when I run out of a lot of pantry staples all at the same time (why does that always happen?), so if I have to stock up on a lot of pantry items one week and have a bill closer to $50-60, I try and spend $30 the following week to even out my budget. Remember- I try and stretch this $40 to cover 90% of my meals! A lot of weeks my only meal that I eat out for is my Friday lunch at work.

     The way that I do my cooking most weeks is to make two large dinner recipes from scratch, and then eat the leftovers from them for the rest of the week (the week I did this it was a chicken teriyaki recipe and a soup). I also usually bake a dessert or breakfast item once or twice a week (this week it was muffins). Then for the rest of my meals I keep easy-to-prepare things in my pantry or freezer. Unfortunately during the week when I documented these meals, I didn't save the grocery list of what I bought at the store that week. #fail If you enjoyed this blog post and are interested in my weekly grocery lists and budget, I'm happy to write more blog posts like this during the year, and also share what I purchase at the store in an average week, and how I incorporate it into recipes!

  • Breakfast: Chicken sausages, apple cider donuts from a local Vermont shop
  • Work snack: Granola bar
  • Dinner: Annie's Mac and Cheese
  • Dessert: Ice Cream

  • Breakfast: Multigrain frozen waffles, matzo ball soup (see my recipe on the blog here!)
  • Work snack: Terra chips, dried cranberries
  • Dinner: Matzo ball soup (leftovers)
  • Dessert: Ice cream

  • Breakfast: Muligrain frozen waffles, turkey bacon, matzo ball soup (leftovers)
  • Work snack: Granola bar, terra chips, dried cranberries
  • Dinner: Chicken teriyaki meatballs with rice (from Pinterest- wasn't the best recipe so not going to link!), peas 
  • Dessert: Ice cream

  • Breakfast: Chocolate-chip oatmeal muffins (recipe here!), turkey bacon
  • Work snack: Terra chips, muffin
  • Dinner: Cheese ravioli with vodka pasta sauce, baby carrots, bakery bread

  • Breakfast: Chocolate-chip oatmeal muffins, turkey bacon
  • Lunch: Chinese takeout: pork fried rice and egg rolls
  • Work snack: Muffin
  • Dinner: Chicken teriyaki meatballs with rice (leftovers), bakery bread

  • Breakfast: Chocolate-chip oatmeal muffins, pork fried rice (leftovers)
  • Work snack: Granola bar and muffin
  • Lunch: Fried mashed potato patties (from my freezer), turkey bacon, peas (leftovers)
  • Dinner: Rotini pasta with vodka pasta sauce, baby carrots
  • Dessert: Ice cream

  • Breakfast: Chocolate-chip oatmeal muffins
  • Lunch: Chicken teriyaki meatballs with rice (leftovers)
  • Dinner: Bakery bread with cheese, peas, organic chicken nuggets (from my freezer)

     And there you have it! That's what I eat in an (average) week. I try and mix things up as best I can while sticking in my grocery budget. Some weeks I do eat out more than just my Friday lunch, but overall I really don't eat out too often since moving to Vermont. This type of meal formatting is the best system that I've found so far for my single lifestyle and budget, but I'm always looking to try new things. Meal and recipe planning is something I can definitely still get better at- the more that I do it the smarter I can grocery shop (which saves money), but sometimes it's just so hard to anticipate what I'll be eating and cooking several days in advance, especially again since I'm only food shopping for myself.

     I forgot to note as well: I drink three things at home exclusively. water, hot tea, and almond milk. That's it!! I try and keep alcohol (for drinking) out of my home unless I have people over. I started getting into the habit of drinking wine regularly at home last fall and didn't think it was very healthy to be drinking alone regularly, so I only drink at home now if I have company, or when I go out to dinner. 😊 (I do keep some liquors for baking purposes, but I'm not counting those.)

     Again- please let me know if you'd like to see more posts on these subjects on my blog coming up!

     God Bless,

    xoxo Annaliese



  1. I am SO AMAZED by your $40 a week grocery budget, teach me your ways! I do find that I save SO much money when I eat in instead of going out. I also don't drink at home but we keep some wine on hand just in case we have company.

  2. Fried mashed potato patties sound amazing!

  3. Yay for frugal grocery shopping! I'm right there with you - I'm a couponer and I scope out sales on the penny saver before each grocery store visit. I've had lucky days and I've had $25 grocery bills on several occasions! :]

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  4. wow, your food is very diverse! although I see you really like ice cream ;)

  5. This was so interesting to read! Cooking for one is definitely SO hard!!

    The Blush Blonde

  6. Leftovers are such a great way to save money! & make life much easier!

  7. Only eating out one day a week is a great way to stay within your weekly budget for food! Plus it makes that one meal more special since you're not eating out or ordering food every day!

  8. I have got to try that chocolate chip oatmeal muffin recipe! Those sound yummy :)

    -xo, Azanique |

  9. A $40 budget a week has to be tough but looks like you do a good job at making it work for you. I always love reading posts like this.

  10. I can spend $40 a week just on lunches and snacks, and that's even with meal prepping my lunch! How do you do it?! I know I need to get better at clipping coupons and finding the best deals. I really enjoyed reading this type of post!

  11. Thank you for sharing! I have been waiting to prepare my meals ahead and this really helps me

  12. I'm impressed that you only spend $40 a week on meals (minus that Friday lunch)! I somehow always end up spending more than that at the grocery store but I try to keep it to $200 a month for my groceries!

    Logan | Signed, Logan

  13. I need to get my food budget together! Food is so expensive where I live :/
    The Critical Babe


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