I don’t care at all to be rich.  I don’t want a big house or fancy cars.  I don’t need designer clothes or 80 pairs of shoes.  But when it comes to the grocery bill, I sorely wish that money were no object.

Eating well can be pricey, but it doesn’t have to be.  The following meals are what I put together with what we had on hand already and $85 worth of groceries for our family of five for a week.

Chili-Lime Cod (frozen wild-caught that I had in the freezer already)with Cilantro Pesto over brown rice, sauteed onions, and black beans.

I subbed nutritional yeast for the Parmesan, but you can just as easily leave both out.

This cilantro pesto is so incredibly delicious.  I’m drooling right now just thinking about it.  It was so tasty, I could not wait to get my hands on the burrito I had planned for lunched the next day, that would of course be smothered in this yumminess.  So good!!  I love having a pesto that can be used for Mexican dishes.  You will not miss cheese at all with this pesto!

Pesto Chicken Collard Rolls along with a fresh-from-our-own-garden salad that had fresh-from-our-garden cherry tomatoes and lettuce.  Can you tell I am a little excited about eating from our own garden?  I also loved that those were two things I didn’t have to put on my grocery list. :)

I used this pesto with basil from…you guessed it…our-very-own-garden!!  And I had some chicken breast that I had seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, baked, and froze.  So I used that.   These were yummy!  I loved using nutrient-packed greens in place of tortillas.  However, the girls gutted theirs and just ate the insides.  I think that over time they can become accustomed to these, so I will keep trying.  By the way, this was my first time eating collard greens!

Also from our very own garden…

A lovely organic-lettuce-fed green caterpillar that was just milliseconds from entering my mouth.  Eeeek!  Guess that’s how we know we are eating the good stuff!

And I was excited to see this little gem pop up in my Google Reader because I had all the ingredients on hand (I used frozen pineapple and mango).  Nothing on the grocery list for this one!  It was so yummy!  It was kind of like a luau in my mouth.

Pineapple Mango Coconut Crumble

And we may or may not have had this for breakfast the next day…

I find that one way to cut down the grocery bill is to go meatless.  And that is just what we did with the next two meals.

Southwest Pasta Salad with Black Beans and Avocado

The dressing on this pasta salad is out of this world!  I can’t wait to see what else I can use it on.

I left out the corn and scallions and used white wine vinegar instead of red.  I also made this for the 4th of July barbeque we went to and used smoked paprika instead of the chili powder (also incredibly yummy).  So instead of buying these extra ingredients, I decided they could be left out or substituted.  Saving a little bit of money in the end without sacrificing the taste.

I used the remaining pasta for this next dish, and basil and cherry tomatoes (for the side salad) from our garden.

Baked Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes

I love the simple list of ingredients and the creaminess of the baked tomatoes.  Simple, tasty, and kid-friendly.  Only it left Jeff in want of more to fill his belly.

All in all, a tasty week of new recipes, and we didn’t have to eat rice and beans all week!