Bluffin’ with My Muffin: 56 Meals For $67

Thursday was payday and Friday rent was due. On Monday the remaining bills must be paid. I’m in the juice. I’m in the weeds. However you want to say it I am lacking funds. Two weeks from now I’ll be comfortably “back in black”, but for now the purse strings are knotted.

And yet I still have to eat. With approximately $67 my budget can allow for groceries, can I make it two weeks only spend that much? Can I eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack every day for two weeks? I’ve done the math for you and that means spending $67 on 56 meals. That’s $1.20 per meal.

Challenge accepted.

I went to Publix this morning and spent exactly $67 on groceries. I went to Whole Foods (which my boyfriend has newly named “Whole Paycheck”) and used part of my gift card to buy my animal products. I refuse to forgo organic beef (meat of any kind), eggs and dairy products.

My menu for the next two weeks includes:

• Golden Raisin and Bran Muffins
• Spinach Salad with Roasted Portobello Mushrooms, Poached Egg and Blue Cheese
• Spinach Salad with Golden Raisins, Almonds, Red Onion and Homemade Vinaigrette
• Thai-Style Beef Tacos with Mango Salsa
• Thai-Style Beef Salad with Leftover Mango Salsa
• Avocado and Watermelon Radish Salad with Red Onion
• Banana Bread Smoothies
• Fresh Herb Caesar Salad with Roasted Tomatoes
• Blanched Asparagus with Hollandaise

My plan is to use last night’s leftovers as the next day’s meal building blocks. I’m also relying heavily on cruciferous vegetables to fill me up. We’ll see how it goes.

The Golden Raisin and Bran Muffins are immensely delicious yet healthy. I adapted the recipe from the January 2011 issue of Bon Appetit magazine:

Golden Raisin Oat Bran Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/3 cup mild honey
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 cup golden raisins

Equipment: a muffin pan with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups

1. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Butter muffin pan.

2. Whisk together flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, allspice and cinnamon in a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, honey, butter, and eggs. Add to dry ingredients along with raisins and stir until just combined.

4. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Turn out onto a rack to cool.


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