Hi, we are new parents who like to eat well but also would like our daughter to have clothes that don’t have holes in them. Is that really so much to ask? Since I’m sure we aren’t the only ones in this boat, we are sharing some of our cost savings ways with all of you. This post is all about Whole Foods Market and how you can effectively make five full meals for under $50. No, really.
Don’t worry, I won’t tell you to head over to thirty different coupon apps or scour the internet for deals. But, I will scatter some tips throughout this post on how to pre-shop in your pantry, shop for deals and pay attention to price. This means no $8 gourmet chocolate bars get added to the cart “on accident,” sigh. Being responsible is exhausting.
Burgers & Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts
We have a tendency to casually pick up random items and forget to use them. Case in point, balsamic vinegar and dried jalapeno from World Market. We figured these would be a perfect addition to our brussels sprouts and burgers. Since the brussels sprouts were a bit pricey ($2.99), it was imperative that we use something from our pantry to kick ’em up. If you want to be super organized, you can pre-shop your pantry before you hit up Whole Foods Market. But, we actually like to do the opposite and buy some basic veggies and meats, then see what we can whip up. It’s like Chopped, but less stressful and Ted Allen isn’t there. Grab the recipe for this addicting side dish below!
We landed on burgers because ground beef was on sale for $3.99 at our local Whole Foods Market. While basic burgers are fine, we added those dried jalapenos to spice (ha) ours up. Usually, pre-sliced cheese can be pretty expensive so we stop at the deli counter and ask them to slice us 4 pieces. Do they think we are annoying? Probably. Does it cost us less than $2? Yep.
Chicken & Red Pepper Risotto
Chicken breast was on sale so we grabbed that protein for another dinner. I’m a dork and love looking through paper ads but nowadays just about every grocery store has a super user-friendly app that shows their weekly ad and coupons. If you check that out before making your list, you will automatically save money. Instead of making your list from recipes, check the ads first. We promise your creativity won’t be slighted.
The risotto is enhanced by some yummy red peppers we still had in our fridge. 80% of the time, you probably have a piece of produce that might be a little past prime on its’ own but will go great mixed with something. If you aren’t feeling risotto, try adding it to potatoes, mac & cheese or a salad!
Chicken & Volcano Rice
Before I met The Beard, I thought that people only ate chicken breast. Well, people still might only eat chicken breast but not us! We usually buy chicken thighs because they are a heck of a lot cheaper and just as delicious. Fun fact, Chinese food is usually made with chicken thighs. So, you probably already love them. Because of that, we usually make some sort of Asian-style sauce and rice with our chicken thighs.
Another savings tip here. Check. Your. Pantry. (and fridge). We rarely buy spices or sauces on purpose. We typically just find something fun when we are at World Market, Penzey’s or another random store. Since chicken and rice can be boring, this helps to mix it up. Skip the pricey sauces at the store and check your inventory when you get home, you will definitely get some inspiration for dinner.
Beef Noodle Soup
Winter after Christmas sucks. It’s cold and dreary and all I want to do is eat soup. Since my favorite soup is Broccoli Cheddar from Panera but I don’t want to be 500 pounds, this is a tad healthier. Other than me just really wanting some noodle soup and having a few of the items already, there aren’t a ton of super budgety components here. My main tip for soup is using the cubed or concentrated stock. While boxed stock is only about $1.99 at our local Whole Foods Market, we never use the whole thing. Then, it’s wasted and I’m annoyed.
Last recipe! The classic pasta dish. Dried box pasta is actually super cheap at Whole Foods Market, $0.99 for regular and $1.99 for Organic. But, similar to stock, we rarely use the whole box and it just sits in the pantry til we toss it. Instead, stop at the bulk section. Seriously, the hidden secret of this grocery store. In our region, they have a partnership with Severino Pasta so most (if not all) of the bulk dried pasta is from there. I’m pretty sure we paid about $0.75 for this fun gemelli pasta.
This recipe also makes use of some items that we already used earlier in the week. Primarily, the ground beef to make some meatballs. Portion control comes in handy here. Either make burgers a little more reasonably sized or make some smaller meatballs. Either way, you’ll have a full belly post-dinner. Oh, and their jarred 365 pasta sauces are only $1.99, just add a little dried basil or oregano for some extra flavor. We always have Parmigiano Reggiano in our fridge which adds just the perfect amount of saltiness to any dish.
There you have it, five recipes under $50 at Whole Foods Market! What are your go-to budget meals? Share with us in the comments!
- bag of sprouts, halved
- olive oil, salt and pepper
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Toss halved sprouts in olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 40 minutes.
- While sprouts are cooking, heat balsamic vinegar and brown sugar over medium heat and stir a lot to reduce to syrupy consistency.
- Set aside to pour over at the end - be sure to keep slightly warm.
- Remove sprouts from oven and toss in glaze. Serve immediately.
- Alternately, you can remove at 30 minutes and toss sprouts in glaze. Then, put back in oven for 10 more minutes.
Please note that we received a gift card from Whole Foods Market Columbus for the purchase of the items in this recipe.