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    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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A Day Late

The Menu Planning Mondays series kicks off on a Tuesday. Big news, folks, I know. =)

I did things backwards (again) by going shopping first and then planning the menu second, but it worked out pretty well! I went to two different grocery stores – Costco and The Teet. Even though I went to a bulk store AND didn’t use any coupons, I still managed to stay well under my $75 weekly budget! I was impressed with myself.

I’ve been wanting to go to Costco for quite some time to stock up on a few staples, but for some reason haven’t been in months. It can be rough going in there because of all the things you never knew you needed until you see them, but I managed to do a fairly good job sticking to my list.Β  There’s a Costco right in my neighborhood, so it’s not a big deal for me to go there to pick up just a few things.

I find that it’s tough to buy too much produce from there when you’re eating for just one or two – so the key is to focus on things with a long shelf life, and things you can eat almost every day if you’re buying fresh. You can also do really well with dairy there – milk, cheese, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese – just make sure to check expiration dates to ensure you can use it in time. I also find tofu and beans to be really cheap there, but didn’t grab any this time around.

First up, the Costco Loot:

1 040

  • Baby Spinach
  • Skinny Hommus
  • 2 tubs Fage 0% Greek Yogurt (Expires May 12)
  • Low-fat Cottage Cheese (Expires May 10th)

1 044

  • 12 Fuji Apples (7.99 – 67 cents each)
  • Blackberries (4.99)
  • 6 lbs mixed frozen fruit – strawberries, peaches, honeydew, pineapple (8.89 – 1.48/lb – sooo much cheaper than buying it in single pound bags!)

Total damage: $48.91

I know that seems like a lot of money for not that much stuff, but I’m pretty well stocked on some of my staples for a while now. I have enough greek yogurt to last me for 3 weeks, and enough cottage cheese for even longer since I don’t eat it every day. I also have enough apples for over two weeks, and more hummus than I probably need…

Next up, the goods from The Teet:

1 046

  • Broccoli (On sale for $2.00)
  • Bananas
  • Celery
  • Thin Sliced Provolone (this brand has 1 pt+ per slice)
  • Loose Kale ($1/lb so only 50 cents!!!)
  • Mango (On sale for 59 cents – would have gotten more many they looked wrinkly)

Total damage: $9.99

Total spent between both stores: $58.90

I’m happy to have a little wiggle room in case I need to pick up a few things later in the week, but I knew I had some tofu, tempeh, and beans in my house so I didn’t need much in the way of fish/protein. My pantry is also overly stuffed with grains, so I’m trying to avoid buying too much in the way of carbs until I work through a lot of what’s in my pantry already.

Weekly Menu Plan

Breakfast Lunch Snacks Dinner Workout
Monday Greek Yogurt, Blackberries, Wheat Berries Black Beans mashed with salsa + cumin, on an English muffin w/cheese; spinach salad w/hummus Banana, Apple,Cottage Cheese Buffalo Tofu w/blue cheese crumbles, roasted broccoli, brown rice 45 minute bike ride outside!!!!
Tuesday English Muffin w/ Peanut Butter + Banana Spinach salad with leftovers from dinner on top Blackberries, Apple,Celery + Hummus Black Bean and Veggie Quesadilla, leftover broccoli 1 mile run/25 min Weights/15 min elliptical
Wednesday Greek Yogurt, Blackberries, Wheat Berries Egg + Egg White Salad Sandwich w/hummus; carrots, banana Apple, Cottage Cheese, Celery Tempeh Taco salad w/tortilla bowl Interval Run
Thursday Oatmeal with PB Flour + Banana Tempeh Taco Salad Cottage Cheese, Apple, Blackberries Roasted Chickpeas, Kale Chips, rest
Friday Greek Yogurt, Blackberries, Wheat Berries Kale + Chickpea salad w/blue cheese crumbles Cottage Cheese, Apple, Frozen Fruit Out after the 5k! 5k Friday

I know this is totally off topic, but can I just say that riding my bike outside last night for the first time this year was AMAZING!? It was in the 70’s and I wore a tank top and shorts!

Questions for today:

  1. Do you do any bulk shopping? What types of things do you get and what’s your favorite store for it?
  2. What meal are you looking forward to the most this week?
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40 Responses

  1. You look so cute in your helmet, I wish I could pull one off like that!

    We buy in bulk at Costco: feta, spinach, english muffins, frozen fruit and sandwich thins.

    By the way, I have not seen skinny hummus and can’t read the package from your picture… what is in it (or isn’t in it) that makes it “skinny”

  2. You look amazing in that picture Beth! Matches yesterday’s weather! Let me know how the skinny hummus is. I saw that at Costco the last time I was there (I so rarely go and I should) and thought it might be a good try.

  3. I buy my yogurt, cottage cheese, hummus and long life milk in bulk each month. I just make sure the expiry dates on the first 3 things I’ve mentioned, is far in the future.
    Glad to hear the weather is getting better that side for you. Winter cold winds have started here in South Africa, this morning

  4. The weather has been soooooo nice here too. Speaking of fun things, I’m going to be back down in your neck of the woods next week, maybe we could grab dinner?

  5. I’m trying to get back into a plan-and-THEN-shop mode! We do fine as far as budget, but then midway through the week I’m totally at a loss for what to cook πŸ™‚ This post came with good timing! Although we don’t have a Costco anywhere close….dang.

  6. I love Costco and “The Teet”. My friends and I actually call it Hairy Teet. πŸ™‚ I tend to buy some of my produce in bulk and lots of my dairy/bread products in bulk. I freeze the bread if I think it will spoil before I get to it. I love HT for coupon deals!

    My newest stop in food shopping is any international store for produce. They have such a big variety and their prices are almost always half of other grocery stores. I got all of my fruits and veggies for the week yesterday for about $8!! That includes 6 apples, bunch of bananas, a couple of plantains, a cucumber, bell peppers, and some carrots. Love love love the international stores! I shop at H Mart, Lotte Mart, and Global Foods.

    • I always forget about going to international stores, but its such a good idea! I wish there was one super convenient to me, because I always walk away with soooo much stuff for so cheap! thanks for the reminder!

  7. LOVE costco. Almost too much and find myself purchasing items that I probably shouldn’t be purchasing (i.e. – chocolate covered raisins in bulk are amazing and i consume them way too quickly) Anyway – they sell Babybel Light at Costco if you didn’t know – it’s a great way to buy them, because they come in bigger pouches and for a reasonable price. I find at the grocery store, they are SO expensive.

    • I loooooove babybel light! Surprisingly, they are actually pretty cheap at Whole Foods – $2.99 for the pack of 6 or 8 or however many come in the smaller packages. I know that in the long run I’d save money, but dropping $10 for a bag of cheese scares me!

      • LOL. The thought scared me too initially – however, once i did the math and realized how quickly i go through those babies, I realized it was worth it πŸ™‚ PS – as I said in my comment yesterday, your hair is SO adorable. I’d love to see it without a helmet, so that I can see the length – love it!!

  8. I don’t do a lot of bulk shopping — I try to just buy what we need for that week, or those next 2 weeks. I actually need to go through my cupboards soon and start making meals out of what we already have.

    • I don’t go too much either, but every once in a while to stock up is nice! I am really trying to focus on plowing through my pantry and freezer, too.

  9. I really should do bulk shopping since I know that it will save me a lot of money in the long run!

  10. I buy only a few things in “bulk” if it is on sale. Grains, wheat noodles, meat.

    I have no problem buying meat at a good price and throwing it in my freezer until needed. Of course, I don’t eat a lot of meat anymore – so that only happens on occasion!

    I always have brown rice, wild rice and wheat pasta in my pantry though. Enough to last me months if need be!

  11. It was gorgeous outside last night! I’m so ready for spring!!!

  12. I stock up on all of my baking supplies, dried beans, herbs and spices, grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruit at a bulk food store once a month. It means the only things I buy at the grocery store are fresh and frozen produce on a weekly basis and it works for me.

  13. I’m making a mini meatloaf recipe from Cooking Light with smashed cauliflower and kale chips for dinner tomorrow and I can’t wait! My bf comes home from a business trip and I’ve been planning this meal for a week.

    • That sounds delicious!!! I had smashed cauliflower two weeks ago for the first time in probably years, and it was SO delicious. I can’t find frozen cauliflower anywhere lately though!

  14. I do a few things in bulk. Mostly string cheese. How weird is that?! I use Costco for it and I love that place!

  15. I don’t have a Costco membership but have considered getting one. My boyfriend goes through at least 2 gallons of milk a week and between him and my son we go through tons of cereal, yogurt, bread, tortillas etc. Maybe it would be worth it?

    • It’s only $50 for the year where I am, so if there’s one convenient to you, you could probably save $50 a year on milk alone! They send out quarterly coupon books too with featured items but I’m bad about keeping up with those. I’m sure you could make it worth your while!

  16. Hmm, I think I am most looking forward to my black bean burritos. I can’t get enough Mexican food lately!

    We shop at Costco but very rarely buy perishables there, except milk. Things tend to go bad around here. We’re working on that.

  17. can I just say that you look AWESOME in that picture? Hello, collarbone!

  18. We shop at Costco for certain things (eggs, bacon, cheese, etc). But since we are trying to get away from processed food as much as possible we’re trying to limit what we buy in bulk.

  19. When I go to Costco, I buy my organic milk there. It is way cheaper and I freeze the two carton’s I’m not going to use right away. You can definitely freeze milk and It’ll be fine when it’s defrosted.

  20. I always saw my parents go to bulk stores when we were kids and end up spending waaaay more money than they would have…they were total suckers for all the fun things you can pick up at Costco…so I put off getting a membership forever for fear it wouldn’t save me money. However, my husband and I finally did get a membership last year and are pretty strict about only using it for things we would normally buy…like chicken breast, diapers and wipes, toilet paper, etc. I’m not very good about getting food there because a lot of their offerings are the full fat/heavier versions of things (cheese, etc) or too much for 2 people. I am getting some ideas from the comments though!
    Oh by the way, I made a yummy asian themed dinner last night inspired by your peanut sauce…it came out so good!

  21. I love to shop in bulk for items I frequently use that I know won’t go bad right away. I was thinking of making some chicken enchiladas (ww style) for me and hubby this week that would be really good or maybe a buffalo chicken salad

  22. I have 3 kids, we do most of our shopping at Costco. I buy cheese, eggs, spinach, romaine, meat, bagels (for the husband), english muffins, string cheese, yogurt, diapers, wipes, cleaning products, toilet paper…well you get the idea πŸ˜‰

  23. I love getting produce at Costco. A lot of time my mother and I will split the produce so none of it goes bad. There are tons of good frozen options too like Vita Tops.

  24. The only bulk store in my area is Sam’s. I go there about once or twice a month. I stock up on mostly fruit. Big things of spinach and green beans. Organic milk. Chicken legs. Feta cheese. I find the stuff I tend to get is really inexpensive and lasts a long time! πŸ™‚

    You do look cute in a helmet. I need to get one before I start riding my bike again. Kind of strange but no one in my area seems to wear them!

  25. I really want that recipe for buffalo tofu with bleu cheese!

  26. i love costco! i’ve never thought to look for big tubs of greek yogurt there! brilliant!

  27. Thanks for posting your menu plan! I recently found your website and I’m so inspired! Looking forward to reading more!

  28. wow the meals really look great, so glad you are going to be doing this

  29. i really like the goods that you bought at Costco. I go there all the time for waters and hummus and chobani yogurts but never know what else i should buy for fear that it will go bad before i use it. i think i’ll be trying out your costco shopping list one of these days and see how i do with it! that skinny hummus looks good too!

  30. You look so healthy and happy! Keep up the great work girl, you are such an inspiration!

    I am not a big bulk shopper because we simply just don’t have the space for bulk in our place.

  31. […] Meal Planning Mondays. Check on this one! You can see week one, two, three, and four. I planned out my meals for the week and posted my grocery loot each Monday. […]

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