How to Grocery Shop on a Budget

Hey my loves,

today I am sharing with you some of my tips to grocery shop on a budget. As a student and with a minimal amount of money per week for grocery shopping I use these every time I go and pick up my groceries for the week.

Grocery Shops

Now this might seem a little bit odd to put as a tip, but believe me, this is one of the major things that make a difference at the end.

For example, we have a lot of different grocery stores in Germany, and they vary between higher priced products and low cost products. If you go into a “Rewe” you are much more likely to spend more money for the same products as you would be paying at “Penny”. And the simple reason is: “Penny” offers their products much cheaper than “Rewe”. So: Find out the different prices of your local grocery shops and choose the one, with the best price-performance ratio. Also, most of the products are the same, just different packaging.

Meal Planning

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Meal Planning is something I’ve been doing for a little while now. When I first moved out I just bought what I thought I needed, and what I wanted, when it was in the store. And that ultimately ended in me paying more and having to go more often, because I was missing a lot of ingredients. Also take into consideration the weekly offers your grocery store has and find out if they are actually the best deal.

Since I’ve been meal planning I not only spend less money but also have to go shopping once a week, which is super helpful if you’re super busy. I always make sure that I have recipes that include somewhat of the same ingredients, which means that I am more likely to use up a bag of carrots by myself, for example.

And since I’m more likely to cook in the evening, I always try to choose dishes that I could either re-heat for the next day as lunch or use the sides as extras for my salad, which I do prefer for lunches anyhow, because a warm meal always makes me feel tired.

Write down a Shopping List

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Having a shopping list is super helpful. For beginners, you won’t forget anything that you will need and it makes grocery shopping so much easier and cheaper, since you are more likely to only buy what’s on your list. Simply because you won’t need more than that.

In the Shop

Always make sure to compare the kg/lb-price with the others, sometimes a product appears to be cheaper but isn’t. And if for some reason you shouldn’t need more products, buy it anyways, because you can always freeze a lot of it, especially veggies and fruits.

Also for the most part the house brand of products is cheaper than the well known brands, and they are usually produced by the same companies.

I hope I could give you some useful tips and if you have any more for me, please let me know them in the comments.

I wish you all a wonderful week!
XoXo, Jasmin.

3 Salad Ideas for a BBQ Party

Hey my loves,

first of all sorry for no new entries last week but I just have been super busy with Uni and life that I haven’t got around to writing entries. I will update you on a few things shortly but for now know that I’m really sorry and that I actually missed blogging a lot, even though it was just for a week.

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Today I am sharing three delicious salads with you which are not only amazing for a BBQ party or picnic but also great for everyday. All recipe measurements are for a group of 6, but you will definitely have some leftover! I hope you enjoy this entry!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

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What you will need:

  • 500g Pasta (preferably wholemeal)
  • 1/2 tin of Kidney beans
  • 1/2 tin of corn
  • 1/2 of a big cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 150g feta cheese
  • 1 small onion

For the dressing:

  • 3tbsp. olive oil
  • 3tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. agave sirup
  • 1- 1 1/2 tbsp. water
  • salt & pepper
  • pinch of parsley

Instructions:

  1. Boil your pasta according to the instructions on the package. Let the pasta cool off.
  2. Wash your kidney beans, corn and the rest of the vegetables.
  3. Dice up the cucumber, bell pepper, onion and the feta cheese to mouth-size pieces.
  4. Toss everything together in a big bowl.
  5. Mix together the ingredients of your salad dressing.
  6. Drizzle the dressing over your salad and mix thoroughly.

Bacon Potato Salad

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What you will need:

  • 1 kg of small potatoes
  • 500g bacon
  • 3-4 big onions
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. hot paprika
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder

Instructions:

  1. Peel your potatoes and cook them in water for about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
  2. While the potatoes cool off cut the onions into strips.
  3. Put your coconut oil into a frying pan over medium heat and add your bacon strips.
  4. Saute and brown your bacon. When it’s all crispy transfer it onto a dish with kitchen roll to get rid of any excess oil.
  5. To your pan add the brown sugar and your onions and sauté them. When they’re done transfer them to the dish as well.
  6. I then decided to give my potatoes a quick turn in the frying pan. I also added the rest of the spices.
  7. Last but not least add all your ingredients in a large bowl and mix them thoroughly. Enjoy!

My Go-To Couscous Salad

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What you will need:

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 tsp. vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • pinch of parley
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 150 g feta cheese
  • 1/2 tin of kidney beans
  • 1/2 tin of corn
  • 1-2 handful of lettuce
  • 1-2 handful of lamb’s lettuce

For the dressing I used the same as for the pasta salad.

Instructions:

  1. Cook your couscous as the instruction on the package say and add the vegetable broth, paprika and parsley to the water.
  2. Dice up your vegetables, lettuces and feta cheese.
  3. After the couscous has cooled down add everything in a big bowl and mix the salad with the dressing thoroughly.

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If you recreate these salads then let me know! I hope you enjoyed this entry and if you did make sure to give it a thumbs up!

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Six

There are some things that the US are famous for. One is that they have one of the highest numbers of overweight people – something I cannot confirm based on my experiences. Another thing is that they have food that will make you overweight, and that, well, I can confirm, not because I gained weight, but because the food was delicious.

Burgers

I know I mentioned it before, but burgers are awesome. So naturally, when I entered the country that (as far as I know) invented the burger, I had to eat burgers, and lots of them. I ate the burger at the Irish Pub we frequented, and at Whiskey’s, and at Shake Shack, where I also tried the cheese fries, and I had a wonderful fish burger in a small restaurant in Provincetown during the day trip to Cape Cod. I really, REALLY love burgers, I guess.

I cannot recommend Shake Shack – the burgers are dry, the cheese fries taste old, and the staff (at least the ones on Newbury Street) seem entirely incapable of getting your name right, even when you spell it out to them. I will never stop laughing about that one occasion where I was re-christened Mary, Lena was Gina, and Nils (which is a very German name, I will admit) was always Neil.

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Cake

One thing I did not know the US are really good at is cake. I used to think the best cake can be found in Vienna, Austria, but I was proven wrong, and how thankful am I! I had a language student who was so thankful that she could practice her German with me for free that she brought me all kinds of  great things like cookies and pretzels. And then one day she came in with this package in her hand, and she smiled at me and said, “I hope you’re hungry” and told me to bring plates and forks, and when I did, she unpacked the best cake in the whole wide world: Boston Cream Pie. Honestly, it was SO good. If you ever come across the opportunity to try Boston Cream Pie, Jesus Christ, do it. Do not hesitate! It was so delicious. I wish I still remembered the name of the bakery so I could give it to you, but I forgot. Well, it must be someplace between Brookline and Back Bay. Anyways. The cake!

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The other great piece of cake I had at the Cheese Cake Factory. Who knew it actually exists? I really thought it was a made-up thing from The Big Bang Theory! I know, naïve little German girl. Anyways, I did not eat cheese cake, even though I was at the Cheese Cake Factory, because, while I do like cheese cake, I LOVE chocolate cake, so I asked the waitress which chocolate cake she could recommend, and because American waiters are the best, she gave me the best recommendation. Actually that night was pretty terrible (I was on the most awkward, most terrible date of my life, but that is a stroy for another day), but that cake was an absolute highlight. And, like most American portions, it was such a giant piece of cake I only managed to eat half of it and took the other half home with me.

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Sweets

In my time in the US, I basically lived off of burgers, bagels and chocolate chip cookies. Healthy diet, right? I really need to add a few other things to it that I would not get the chance to in Germany. I made a list: 1) Dunkin’ Donuts, 2) HoHos, 3) Twinkies.

1) Dunkin’ Donuts: Yes, we do have Dunkin’s in Germany, but I wanted to eat a real American donut while in America, so I did that. And it was delicious. Life is short! One donut should be allowed.

2) HoHos: I am relatively sure we do not have those in Germany, which is a shame, because they were really good. I do not want to think about the calories I ingested, but I could have easily gone through a whole box of those. Yummy!

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3) Twinkies: Now, these I am absolutely certain we do not have in Germany. They probably contain some ingredients that are against the law here or something. I would have been tempted to keep one around for a couple years, just to test the Twinkie myth. Do they really last forever? I will never know. Because I ate them.

My host mother bought them for me as a hangover remedy after I had partied (a little too hard) one night, which was really nice of her. I had told her I really wanted to try a Twinkie because we do not have them in Germany and I had heard a lot about them.

As for the taste, I do not know why anyone would make a big fuss about them. They did not taste bad, but they did not taste good, either… they were kind of tasteless, I guess. Meh.

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Check out the other entries by Miriam:

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part One

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Two

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Three

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Four

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Five

You can find Miriam on these social media platforms:

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