Every Thursday I plan to share what our meal plan is for the upcoming week. Meal planning is one of the easiest, most controllable things you can do for your family to save money and eat healthier.
I typically shop on Thursday or Friday because that is when our local stores typically start their “special sales”. That and I don’t like shopping on the weekends because a) the stores are more crowded and b) we’re usually pretty busy on the weekends and I hate taking time away from family time for grocery shopping.
My meal plan goes from Saturday through Friday. We typically eat out once a week, usually on Fridays, although we might change that up a bit to take advantage of kids eat cheap/free nights on the other days of the week.
For lunch the girls usually eat either tuna fish, hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese, or quesadillas, along with fruit, mac & cheese, yogurt, or some other quick and easy sides. Chad usually takes leftovers as his lunch to work. I usually have leftovers if they need to be eaten up, or will eat whatever the girls are eating.
So here is what is on the agenda for us this week. I try to serve veggies with every meal, so I won’t repeat that for each day.
Saturday: We’re having a family reunion, so I don’t need to cook. Yippee!
Sunday: Probably eat out for Father’s Day
Monday: PW’s Taco Pizza. Really excited to try this one.
Tuesday : Sweet & Sour Chicken
Wednesday: Grilled bratwurst, Greek pasta salad
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
Friday: Probably eat out. Again.
On the shopping list for this week:
My goal is to spend under $100 each week on groceries. I also want to track what percent of my budget I’m spending on what items. Right now my major categories will be Fruit/Veggie, Meat, Dairy, and Other. This week the totals are:
- Fruit/Veggie 24%
- Meat 10%
- Dairy 21%
- Other 45%
This week my Other is high for a few reasons. First, I went to Costco where I got some coffee and tortilla chips which make up 20% of that 45%. This coffee is an awesome deal, it’s a 2.5 pound bag for just under $14, or $5.55 per pound! You know when you buy the bags in the store for $7 or $8 per bag — those are only 12 ounce bags, so only 3/4 of a pound, making them the equivalent of $9 to $11 per pound. And the coffee is very good, at least I think so. A totally awesome buy.
Here’s the coffee. Mmmmmmm, coffee. I might have to cave and make The Pioneer Woman’s Iced Coffee with this.
So as I said, I hit Costco already and stocked up on milk for the next two
years weeks. I had already been to Whole Foods and picked up a gallon since we’re almost out then decided to go to Costco last minute.
So I have four gallons of milk to use up by the first of July. With as much as we drink milk, use it in cereal, bake with it, and make yogurt, I think we’ll use it all up in time.
Which reminds me, did you know the non-organic milk (365 brand) at Whole Foods is only $2.69 a gallon? Which when I went the other day is the same price as Costco milk. However the expiration was next week (June 25) vs. July 1 for the Costco milk. Anyway, I thought it was interesting that the 365 milk was so cheap.
Also at Whole Foods I stocked up on our favorite sour cream (Horizons) which was on sale for $2.50 for a 16 ounce container. And I got corn tortillas to make the tortilla strips for the Taco Pizza, some flour tortillas, organic carrots (loose carrots are only $.99/lb), and organic apples. I spent about $30.
Costco was only about $34 for the food items. I also had to get diapers (they had a $6 off coupon making huggies only $.15 each for size 3), dish soap, and Kleenex, but I don’t count those against my food budget. I try to keep toiletries/household items under $100/month, and I’ve hit that big time this month with stocking up on diapers.
So Thursday’s trip is Price Chopper. They have 18 oz. containers of blueberries for $2,98, I’ll get 2 — one to eat and one to make freezer jam. Hmmm, I might have to make some homemade English muffins next week to go with that freezer jam. Yum.
Besides that just the usual bananas, other fruit (grapes, peaches), and some veggies (cucumber & tomato — can’t wait until mine in my garden come in!, cilantro, lettuce).
Borden cheese is on a 4 day sale for $1.19, I’ll probably stock up (max 4) for that price. Also I’ve been struggling to find a good breakfast recipe for Chad, so I’m caving and getting some Lean Pockets that are on sale for $.99. That will hold him until I get a chance to experiment again.
Oh, split chicken breasts are on sale for $.88/lb, I’ll get a packet to use for the taco pizza (I’m adding chicken to it) and the sweet & sour chicken.
And Old Orchard juice is on sale for $.99, and I have some $.50 coupons. None of us drink juice, but I use grape juice to make homemade jelly.
The rest is miscellaneous stuff, like artichokes and olives for the Greek pasta salad, rolled oats and some Raisin Bran cereal, pectin to make homemade jelly or freezer jam, eggs, feta cheese (yum!), can of pineapple for the sweet & sour chicken, and bread.
Anyway, I expect my total to be around $125. Not too bad given I hit Whole Foods, Costco and Price Chopper. And since I’m all stocked up on milk and tortilla chips and coffee, spending $75 next week will not be hard to do.
So what’s on your menu for the next week?