Budget Keto!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, we’re still going strong on keto, but I sort of ran low on motivation to take pictures of my food and make commentary on the recipes/keto in general; however, this week I am feeling ridiculously smug about what I’ve done and why, so, why not share?

NEWS TIME! We’re getting a puppy!!

She’s a tricolor pembroke welsh corgi, and she’ll be eight weeks old on March 22nd; I’m going to be trying to do overtime and busting my ass to save money in as many ways as I can.

Which means no eating out for either of us – hard enough on a keto diet anyway, but RJ usually has chicken strips from the fast food place for lunch, and it adds up quickly.

So I trimmed down my recipe list to ‘things that are inexpensive to cook’ and we’ve got a great week planned out meal-wise, and I did the grocery shopping last night –

Instead of buying pre-cut chicken tenders, I went for the cheapo whole chicken breasts. FOUR PACKAGES. Huge chicken boobies to slice into tenders. Instead of buying ham lunch meat for the recipes I’ve got, I found ham steaks on sale cause they were about to expire – 3.50 each!! For like, 2 pounds of meat? What a steal!

I managed to do my weekly grocery shopping for $100 – including all the chicken I need to make RJ 5 chicken tender lunches, AND four two liters of diet mountain dew and three six packs of diet coke, which are going to be luxuries in the weeks to come.

When I got home, RJ had cleaned the kitchen and the fridge, and we put everything away:

I prepped the ham last night – trimmed the weird mooshy party by the bone, trimmed the parts that were just fat, cut into cubes for the Ham and ‘Potato’ Casserole, cut into strips for the other one I have, and froze the results so it won’t go bad before I can use them.

I also made Tikka Masala paste! First time with that recipe, I hope it comes out good, I divided the batch into four portions, labeled and froze it in little baggies.

And today….

Today, I have done Fucking Well.

I took the four packages of boneless skinless chicken breasts and cut most of them into strips for chicken strips; I reserved four for the Hasselback Chicken with Ham and Smoked Cheese, I scored them with a knife and then dressed them with salt, pepper, and mustard. Then I froze them flat so I could put them in a bag without having them be all smooshed frozen together.

I seasoned all the chicken strip cuts, pulling aside pieces that weren’t good for chicken strips and cutting them into chunks for tonight’s dinner, Tikka Masala over cauliflower rice. I went ahead and got them marinating with the paste and yogurt, too, so they should be full of flavor when I make dinner.

I started frying up the chicken tenders after they’d soaked in their seasoning for a bit, and while I did that, I also worked on Egg Muffins (with a little bit of ham I stole from my ham steaks instead of sausage) Pictured below – Egg muffins and sausage biscuits in the same tupperware, the sausage biscuits are more brown, the egg muffins more poofy and eggy!

Still frying chicken strips (that man loves his chicken strips, he can and will eat them every day) I also started my Italian Ricotta Lemon Cake, which I’ll divvy up to satisfy my sweet tooth for the week to come!

I had four bags of chicken strips, which I weighed to half a pound per bag, so I decided the batch frying would be the last batch so that I don’t end up with more than five bags of chicken strips – but I still had some left over in the seasoning bowl! (I ended up with six bags total)

SO, I took those, I’ve got them laying flat on a tray freezing before I put them in a baggie to thaw and cook next week, and save myself a bit of time/effort/money re: amount of chicken strips I need to prepare for cooking!

My shoulders really hurt.

I am a goddess and I have done so well today!

Non-Dinner Cooking:

Week’s plan:

  • Sunday
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
    • Breakfast Bowls
      • Cauliflower ‘Grits’
        • This is just cauliflower mash with a different consistency; usually uses only butter and cream, no cream cheese, some shredded cheese
      • Eggs
      • Sausages (we have some smoky andouille in the fridge!)
      • Whatever toppings! (I usually do sour cream and salsa)
  • Thursday
    • Green Chicken Casserole
      • At this point the recipe only slightly resembles the original; we use chopped, poached chicken thighs in chunks instead of shredded, cauliflower rice instead of cauliflower chunks, we add taco seasoning and a fistful of jalapenos, and waaay more green salsa than the original recipe calls for. This remains one of our favorite meals, and a definite standby!
  • Friday
    • Baked Chicken Thighs
      • Spiced however I feel like it
    • Steamed Broccoli
  • Saturday
    • Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
      • This recipe, you guys. Holyyyy cow. It is TO DIE for. A little less budget than other recipes on here, but not too bad – and SO good.

Grocery list below the cut.

-Salad Mix (x1 Large Box; meals for lunch for the week)
– Broccoli (x5; only two for meals, the rest for snacking!!)
– Cauliflower, whole (x1)
– Spaghetti Squash (x1)
– Lemon (x1)

– Frozen Cauliflower Rice (x2, x4 total needed; have two in the freezer)
– Frozen Cauliflower (x2 lbs)

– Chicken Breasts (x4 flats; enough for 4 breasts, 5 chicken strip lunches, 1 cut chicken for Masala)
– Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs (x1; poach for Green Chicken)
– Ham (x2.5 lbs)
– Chicken Thighs, Bone-in Skin-on; (x1)
– Ground Beef (small package)

– Eggs (x2 18 packs)
– Parmesan Cheese, shredded (18+ oz)
– Ricotta (15 oz)
– Sour Cream
– Cheddar, shredded (16 oz)
– Mozarella, shredded (8 oz)

– Parchment Paper
– Low Carb Pasta Sauce
– Low Carb Tomatoes (canned)

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