Now that I know I can feed myself for $6.56 per day, I want to continue teaching you how to keep your grocery bill low without getting buried by food prep and with as much variety as possible.

Last week, I released my monthly Grocery Ninja Report to my email list and wanted to give my blog readers a little sample!

Join the list if you want to get a report once-per-month with my best grocery hacks, meal prep ideas and kitchen tools that will save you time and money on food

Meal Prep Recipe of the Month: Thai Red curry w/ Lentils & Ground Meat

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If you can tell me a more flavorful and easier meal to prep than a Thai Curry, I will be elated.

Thai Curry is [almost] impossible to screw up, tastes like you spent a lot of time preparing it, and can be easily made in bulk for a week’s worth of lunches (or dinners).

It’s also very inexpensive depending on what you put in it.

Here is a simple meal-prep recipe for Thai Curry w/ lentils & meat cooked in bulk that makes 3-5 servings:

Equipment Needed:

  1. 6-Quart Stainless Steel Saute Pan
  2. Spatula
  3. Knife

Ingredients:

  1. 1.25lbs ground meat ($6 for poultry, $7-8 beef)
  2. 4tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste ($1.75)
  3. Can of coconut milk/cream ($1.99)
  4. 3tbsp coconut oil ($0.21)
  5. 1lb carrots ($0.50)
  6. 2C cooked lentils ($0.44)
  7. Optional: 1tbsp honey or coconut sugar
    Total Cost: $10.89
    Total Protein 161g 

Directions:

Most curry paste containers have directions BUT here it is–

  1. Heat oil over medium heat, add curry paste and heat until fragrant.
  2. Add meat and brown on each side.
  3. While meat is browning, chop the carrots.
  4. Add chopped carrots, optional honey/coconut sugar, and coconut milk. Crank the heat!
  5. Once it reaches a boil, reduce to a slow simmer until sauce thickens (10-15 minutes).
  6. At the very end, stir in pre-cooked lentils.
  7. Put into food prep containers with rice.

Grocery Hacks: Trader Joe’s Wild Sockeye Smoked Salmon Ends & Pieces

 

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Wild Caught Smoked Salmon usually costs about $19.99/lb or more.

Trader Joe’s recently started packaging and selling the randomly sized ends and pieces left over from the creation of their original TJ’s Wild Sockeye Smoked Salmon product.

The resulting product, Trader Joe’s Sockeye Smoked Salmon Ends & Pieces, is half the cost for the same quality of fish and same taste. For $4.99 you can get 8oz. (a half pound) of smoked wild salmon.

Preparation Suggestions:

  1. My girlfriend makes and amazing “sushi” roll with some rice, seaweed, cucumber, avocado and sheep’s milk cream cheese.
  2. I wanted to see if I could make a high-protein breakfast with the ends and pieces for under $3 and this was the result (it cost $2.75 and has almost 50g protein):
    1. 1/2 Cucumber
    2. 1oz. Chevre
    3. 4 Eggs
    4. 3oz. Trader Joe’s Smoked Salmon Ends & Pieces

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Kitchen tool of the Month: Big Berkey Water Filter

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Why is a water filter, especially this one, such a great grocery hack?

First, having filtered water is an integral part of making my own cold brew coffee, and I just feel better cooking with filtered water.

Second, I learned that I was spending just over $8 per week on water bottles from Trader Joe’s, and I’m not the only person who realized this is a simple way to cut your food spending.

I recycled the bottles but learned that plastic pretty much gets recycled once, down-cycled into plastic bags, and then usually meets its fate in a landfill.

So, to cut down on this waste of money and environmental burden I made what is considered a “reverse-investment”.

A reverse investment is an investment of money that does not earn interest, rather it pays you back in money saved.

I bought a Big Berkley filter on Amazon for $260. I bought this filter in particular because its filters have about a 10-year useful life and filter out far more contaminants than your run-of-the mill Brita, and even some high-end filters.

Because of the Big Berkey I now save over $8 per week over 520 weeks (the life of the filter), or $4160 over 10 years.

I also save 3120 plastic bottles from eventually being cycled into a landfill. Double win.

Definitely one of my better investments.


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