With a deep breath, a silent prayer, and my newfound knowledge from the last two weeks, I was ready to begin my food #saving #odyssey.
I had gone ten days without a trip to the grocery store, and I still had plenty of food items on hand. I had coffee for the mornings, paper towels to last at least the next few weeks, sandwich stuff (bread, tuna fish, PB & J, cheese), a variety of produce, packaged food in the freezer, and on and on.
I had planned the week’s meals in the prior week. I had compiled a grocery list. I had comparison shopped. I was all set to pull the trigger!
To stay true to my budget of $550 per month on groceries for my family of four, I had to keep each week’s shopping excursion to under $137.
I pulled out the cell phone, tapped on the Walmart grocery app, and crossed my fingers as I began to click through my grocery list.
My meal plan for week one allowed me one night out for my birthday (by the way, I used a Groupon to score a great deal at a local tapas venue!), but other than that, it was a mix of meals I could make with stuff I had on hand and some recipes I found online when searching for “light and budget-friendly meals.”
NEW YEARS EVE
Butternut Squash Soup
|Chicken Satay and Rice
Spaghetti & Meat Sauce
Maple brined Pork in freezer with frozen veggies from the freezer
|MY BIRTHDAY – Night out!!!||Summer Veggie Pizza|
- Roasted Pork Loin – I had roasted this a few days before and there was plenty left over. We were not going out for the evening, so we had a nice meal at home and watched the neighborhood fireworks.
- Butternut Squash Soup – I had stock, 2 bags of frozen butternut squash, and the other ingredients on hand, so this meal seemed like a no brainer!
- Chicken Satay served with white rice
- Maple Brined Pork Loin veggies and popovers – I still had a pork loin stocked in the freezer, so I thought I’d try this recipe. Popovers are basically flour, milk, and eggs, so no special ingredients were needed for that.
- Spaghetti & Meat Sauce – I was amazed how much pasta was in the pantry, not too mention the six garlic cloves I had on hand, so why not?
- Summer Veggie Pizza
MY SHOPPING LIST
Basics: Creamer for coffee (32 oz), milk, 18 count of eggs, 2 cases flavored sparkling water (12 each), family-sized Life cereal (24.8 oz)
Home Goods: Soap
For Meals: soy sauce; brown sugar; 6 skinless chicken breasts; maple syrup, green onions, 2.5 pounds ground beef, store bought pizza dough, 3 peppers (red, yellow, green), asparagus, frozen corn, cornmeal, mozzarella cheese, 2 peaches, and 2 plums. We also bought tortillas, monterey jack cheese, and colby cheese for bean and cheese quesadillas for lunches.
With the exception of the peaches and plums which I could not find on the Walmart grocery app and figured I could pick up at the neighborhood @Publix for a few shekels, I entered all the goods. on the Walmart Grocery App. My husband and I looked at each other and took a deep breath. I clicked on the cart and looked at my total. Would we be under $137? There it was – $69.72! We couldn’t help by high five each other! We had a $67 buffer! We had only spent about 50% of the weekly budget!
My husband and I looked at each other and took a deep breath as I clicked on the cart and looked at my total. Would we be under $137? There it was – $69.72! We couldn’t help by high five each other! We had a $65 buffer! Or, to put it another way, we only spent about 60% of the weekly budget!
We were ecstatic! I kept asking, “Are you sure we got everything? Do we need anything else?” But, sure enough, not only had we kept to our budget, we had plenty to spare!
We did make a trip to Publix to pick up the fresh peaches (they did not have plums given the time of year) and, while there, remembered we needed mayonnaise. That tab was just under $8.00, giving us a total for the week of about $78! Not a bad start, huh?
In the end, I switched to a different maple-brined pork recipe that did not require the peaches and plums, so I hadn’t need to buy them after all. A week for under $80? I’d say that wasn’t too bad for a family used to blowing over $300 a week!