A Month of Meals for Less
Most articles I read on budgeting your food bill had a common theme – plan your meals for an entire week and only go to the grocery store once per week. Okay, I thought, I’ll give it a shot.
Luckily, I had the week off from work for the holidays, so I had the time to research menus, recipes and write a meal plan. Where I could, I tried to take advantage of items in my pantry (which I had realized was more bountiful than I thought). I had tons of beans, pasta, tuna fish; lettuce & salad mixes; frozen veggies….the list went on.
As I began thinking about this project, my mind could not help but consider where I might get the best deals. So, my husband and I set to work doing a little comparison shopping online. More on this in my next blog.
By the day of New Year’s Eve, I had my menu and recipe list for the month of January. I figured if I wanted to stick to a budget of $550 per month, I would need to stay to a weekly grocery budget of $137.
Note: I did not include breakfast and lunches in my initial written plan. From my trial period during the previous ten days, I knew that my family could always find something in the pantry (mac and cheese or tuna fish sandwiches, for instance) and/or eat leftovers. One of the benefits of cooking was the realization of so many #leftovers that were prepared and ready to go, thereby making lunches super #easy!
My final plan looked like this:
MEAL PLAN AND GROCERY LIST
NEW YEARS EVE
Salad for lunch
leftover pork loin
Butternut Squash Soup
Chicken Satay and salad
Maple brined Pork in freezer with frozen veggies from the freezer
Spaghetti & Meat Sauce
MY BIRTHDAY – Night out!!!
Summer Veggie Pizza
Black bean quesadillas
Chicken Stir fry
Thai Turkey Wraps
Chicken & Rice w Mushrooms
Frozen Veggies from the freezer
Pasta and Shrimp meal (stock pile from the freezer)
spaghetti and vodka sauce
Sausage and Caramelized Onion Bread Pudding
|New Orleans Red Beans and Rice||Tuna Casserole||Bean Burritos with yellow rice||Chicken from freezer (with Panko breading)||Leftovers||1.20
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Chickpea Alfredo with spring vegetables
Broiled Chicken with Herbs de Provence and frozen veggies
Sausage peppers & onions with pasta
Meatloaf and fries
Jamaican Pork Stir-fry
In future posts, I will highlight a weekly menu plan, recipes, and even a convenient grocery shopping list. My goal is to help other families, like mine, manage their food bill. I am excited for a new year and the #opportunity to for all of us to save some money!