Week 9/8/2015 (Monday) – Traders Joe’s Total $44.43


Welcome to my very first post! I remember when I graduated from college 2 years ago, I promised myself that I would cook almost every day and live a healthier lifestyle that did not consist of cafeteria food, pizza, ramen, frozen stuff, and alcohol. Yeahhh.. so I did stop eating all of that but only because I started to earn money and got an upgrade on the food I could eat …out. On average, I was spending at least $30+ dollars a day on weekdays ( eating very little breakfast or sometimes nothing at all) and around $40+  a day on the weekends ( so around $920  a month – the perils of living in San Francisco).  So today I decided I needed a change and start saving money by eating smarter. This is the start of a long journey towards the healthier more frugal lifestyle that I promise myself I would have. Don’t get me wrong. I will still go out to eat and splurge, but I am thinking about doing that during some weekends and on special occasions.  Just a disclaimer, I am experimenting as I go. Sometimes I will look up recipes and tweak them or I could just wing it ( like I did today), but you and I will learn from my failures as we go!

All you need to know about my habits is that I probably will be shopping mostly at Trader Joe’s because its close to my house. I will try to minimize the dishes I use in total because I absolutely hate washing dishes, and I am allergic to gluten. JUST KIDDING… No one is actually allergic to gluten (as told by the American College of Allergy) . So don’t even bother to read my site if you are one of those people.

The recipes below assume you have some basic cooking knowledge and spices in your pantry (i.e. salt, pepper, oil). They will mostly be very simple thought!

I usually do grocery shopping on Mondays, and cook dinner and lunch for the next day.

Alright, so whats cooking? I made a trip to Traders today and bought a total of $44.43 worth of groceries.   Here is a pic and the receipt.  In addition, you will need some pasta and about a cup of rice for today.

grocerie Receipt


Dinner:Turkey & Lentils

Lunch: Turkey pasta with marinara sauce.

Ingredients and prepping – 10-15min

  • Onion: Use 1/2 today. Put the rest in the fridge.
  • Lentils: use 1/4 today and store the rest in 3 separate Ziploc bags ( this way it freezes separately and you can defrost one bag at a time – otherwise it will be one big blob). Store 1 in the fridge and 2 in the freezer.
  • Garlic: comes in 4 separate packets with 5-6 cloves each. Put 2 packets in the freezer store the rest in the fridge. You will need only 2 cloves today.
  • Spinach: Need about a handful. Store the rest
  • Ground Turkey – 1/2 today. Ziploc bag the rest and put it in the fridge.
  • Marinara Sauce: As much as you want.
  • Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute
  • Pasta: I had some lemon pepper linguine pasta from a while ago so I used that as a base for my lunch tomorrow.
  • Rice: 1 1/2 cups – cooked.
  • Put the rest of the ingredients in the fridge for future use.


Preparation (15-20min)

I used the following stuff to cook.


  1. Cook the 1.5 cups of rice in the rice cooker ( I usually do 1:1 ratio of rice and water but it depends on the rice your  are using)
  2. Using the pot, boil some water for the pasta ( add some salt and olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick together). Cook the pasta to your liking. Al Dente is usually 10 min.  Drain the pasta in some cold water to stop the cooking and put it in a container to go. This will be part of your lunch tomorrow.
  3. Using the same pot, heat up some oil in high heat. Once the oil is hot (about 30 sec), put in the garlic and cook for about 30 sec until its starting to brown on the edges.
  4. Put in the onions and cook until it starts browning.
  5. Put in half of the turkey you just bought and smash it around until it cooks and looks like picture below. About 2-3 minutes. Turkey cooks pretty fast.
  6. Add the the spinach and stir until it cooks 10-20 seconds.
  7. Add some salt, pepper, and TJ’s 21 seasoning ( best thing ever). Still once in a while. Try a bit and see if you need more seasoning.
  8. Cooking
  9. Transfer half of it to the place you are going to be eating on and add some rice. Dinner is ready! ( Put the left over rice in a container)
  10. Put in the lentils (  remember you are only using 1/4 of the bag). Still until it heats up. Check to see if it needs more seasoning. Transfer to the same place you are eating on.
  11. In medium heat, put the ground turkey without the lentils back into the pot and stir in some marinara sauce and heat it up. Add the pasta and combine. Put back in  the container to-go. TA-DAAA lunch for tomorrow.

Dinner Lunch

I know it looks…browm…but I can assure you it was pretty tasty. Hope you guys enjoy and please let me know how you liked it or not 🙂