It's the start of another week and while I usually make my meal plans out from Saturday-Saturday this weekend we were way too busy, so my meal plan for this week is Monday thru Sunday. My goal is to only spend $75 a week to feed our little family of four- this includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. This is my first week to lower our budget to $75. Before I was trying to keep our grocery budget below $100 per week. I did pretty good considering it was my first week with our new budget. I spent $80.24. So I was a few dollars over budget, but all in all I'm pretty happy to keep our cost that low. Like I said it's for an entire week and it includes all of our meals. It even includes STEAK! :-)
Last week there was a couple of times we ended up eating over at my parents house, so the meals that I had planned last week I just moved over to this week. (I hope this makes sense).
Meal Plan ~ 5-7-12 -- 5/13/12:
Monday: B: biscuit and gravy L: Grilled Cheese D: Cracker Barrell Chicken Tenders, Sauteed Veggies, Baked Potatoes & Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache
Tuesday: B: Cinnamon Rolls L: Chicken Nuggs (as Olivia calls them) D: Tacos with all the fixins'
Wednesday: B: Toast & Scrambled Egg L: Mac & Cheese D: Grilled Pork Chops, Grilled Cabbage & Crescent Rolls
Thursday: B: Pancakes L: Ham Sandwich D: Orange Chicken Skillet
Friday: B: Oatmeal L: Fish Sticks D: Spaghetti, Salad & Garlic Bread
Saturday: B: Muffins L: Soup D: Steak Kabobs, Sauteed squash & Baked Potato
For the kids snacks I rotate fruit, smoothies, yogurt, granola bars, cookies, crackers, cheerios. I don't know about you, but my kids are bottomless pits! I believe they could eat all day everyday.
I've had a couple people ask me how to get started meal planning...
First, there's no right or way to meal plan. Some just plan out dinner. Some only plan during the week and then leave the weekend open to eating out. You can do it however you want, but this is how I make out our meal plans.
Initially when I started meal planning I made out a list that includes our most favorite recipes. Then I went through my cookbooks and looked on Pinterest and other websites and wrote down several more recipes. You will want to have a decent list to start with that way your not eating the same thing every week. Now on Saturdays (usually), I get out my list and start making out my plan. Sometimes it comes easier than others. After I decide what we're going to eat for that coming week, I make out my grocery list. Afterwards I look through my pantry and mark out what I already have on hand. (This also helps keep our grocery budget down). Then I go grocery shopping. It takes some time and a little planning, but it's saved us a ton of money! It's not only saved us from eating out all the time which can get very expensive, but it's also kept me from buying random junk at the store. Like I said, I'm hoping to keep our grocery budget to $75 per week. I think that's pretty reasonable for feeding a family of four for only $300 per month.