3 Weeks Of Meals For $402

I posted a picture on social media of my grocery cart Monday and a few people expressed interest in knowing the meals I am planning and how I meal plan.  Let’s start with the how to section.  

To start off I simply ask our family if there are any meals they would like soon.  This time there was a request for meatloaf and french dip sandwiches.   After the family weighs in on if they have a meal suggestion I look through the local ads to see if there are any good deals.  We do not eat completely organic right now, but we do for the most part eat real food.  For me the front page and back pages are usually all I look at because that is typically where the meat and produce sales are.  This week there weren’t any good ones, so I just planned to do most of my shopping at Aldi with the exception of cheese and coffee and a few things I could get Ibotta credit on.  Ibotta is an app for you phone that gives you cash back.  I’ve made like $28 since using it.  You scan the item and upload your receipt to get the credit.  Once you hit $20.00 you can get a gift card or get the cash sent to your PayPal account.  If you want to try it out and use this link I think I get some kind of bonus or something for referring you https://ibotta.com/r/mmmyoyuare

Now back to planning meals.  Sometimes I will print out a calendar and write meals on that.  Now, ask me how many times we stick to that calendar!  Hardly ever!  I have found it more helpful for our family to have a running list of all the meal options and just decide the night before what we’ll have.  Since I am working my transcription and Plexus businesses more now I have found that crock pot and freezer meals work perfectly for us.  Scott is home full time, so he takes care of breakfasts and lunches and then we have something ready for dinner in the crockpot or to make up quickly.  I will admit I am a bit spoiled. 😉

Another little tip before I get into the meals we’re making with this grocery haul is to look for meat markdowns.  You can always change your meal plan slightly to use them.  Honestly with a real food style meal planning it’s not hard to do on the fly.  Many of our meals are marinated or seasoned meats with veggie sides.  When we lived in Indy I found that Kroger tended to have the best deals on meat markdowns and usually I found more of them on Tuesdays after 9:00 am.  Occasionally I found them at Meijer.  Here in Southeastern Missouri I find that the best ones are at Schnucks in the mornings, but I have yet to find a best day for the most deals.

Moving on.  Let’s talk about what we got today and what meals are on the plan for these items!  Today I spent a total of $402.81 at both stores.  Here is a list of everything I bought.  Take a nice big breath because this is a long list!

At Schnucks:

Chicken drummettes (2 packages)

3 whole fryer chickens

3 pounds of breakfast sausage

6 pounds of Italian sausage

3 pound beef round roast

1 box of beef stock

Reese Puffs cereal (the boys asked for it so sweetly, plus there was an Ibotta discount)

Starbucks and Folgers coffee

Cream of mushroom and garlic soup

Shredded parmesan cheese

6 bags of Sargento cheese (cheddar and mozzarella)

1 package of Sargento provolone slices

Bag of Chihuahua queso cheese (the best for quesadillas!)

5 gallons of water

Aldi:

Pie crusts

2 baby carrots

4 boxes of pasta

1 package of egg noodles

2 hamburger buns

Deli rolls

4 loaves of sandwich bread

Crackers

Bagels

Pretzels

Oyster crackers

2 packages of pepperoni

2 muffin mixes

4 dozen eggs

4 bags of frozen corn

3 garlic bread loaves

2 bags of frozen chicken breasts

Halloween sugar cookies

2 pizzas (fresh ones from the deli section, so yummy!)

15 pounds of ground beef

2 packages of cheese ravioli

2 packages of string cheese

Multi colored peppers

Yellow onions

Mini sweet peppers

5 pounds of bananas

Black grapes

Romaine lettuce

Apples

Tomatoes

10 pounds russet potatoes

Mandarin oranges

2 packs of mushrooms

Green peppers

3 zucchini

Sweet potatoes

2 cans of artichoke hearts

3 packs of Mexican cheese

3 packs of ricotta cheese

24 yogurts

Stuffing mix

2 cans of tomato soup

2 cans of cream of mushroom soup

4 cans of refried beans

2 cans of cherry pie filling

4 packs of burrito tortillas

3 packs of fajita tortillas

3 packs of fruit squeezies

Sour cream

2 packs of bacon

Fruit bowls (similar to canned fruit, but in single servings)

12 cans of chili beans

Flour

Sugar

2 packs of cottage cheese

Chipotle mayo

8 cans of tomato paste

2 sugar free coffee creamers

2 pumpkin spice creamers

1 vanilla caramel creamer

Summer sausage

Olive oil spray

Pumpkin pie filling

2 cans of black beans

Mini marshmallows

3 packs of chocolate chips

Peanut butter

Grape jelly

Fire roasted tomatoes

2 packs of cream cheese

2 garlic herb marinades

1 gallon of milk

2 bottles of ketchup

Strawberry preserves

Mayonnaise

Pickles

Phew!  That felt like it took forever to type out.  Now let’s get down to the meals all this food will make.  

Breakfasts:

Pancakes 4x

Bacon or sausage and eggs 4x

Smoothies 3x (I bought pumpkin to make protein shakes with! Yum!)

Sausage and biscuits 2x

Bagels and cream cheese 2x

Yogurt 5x

Cereal maybe 2x

Muffins 3x

Lunches:

Leftovers, we have this most days.

Quesadillas

PB & Js, a ton of them. LOL. We’ll make 3 loaves of bread into them for the freezer.

Freezer burritos, again we’ll make a lot of them.  I think I bought 32 big tortillas.

Summer sausage, crackers, veggies

Dinners:

Hotwings and pizza 2x

Hamburgers and fries 2x

Meatloaf, veggies, and mashed potatoes 3x

Spaghetti with garlic bread and salad 4x

French dip sandwiches and sweet potatoes

Crock pot chicken and veggies 3x

Chili 3x

Sloppy Joes and veggies 2x

Pork chops in mushroom gravy with stuffing and veggies

Tacos 2x

Chicken and dumplins 2x

Chicken casserole

Cheesy chicken and rice

Desserts/Snacks:

Cherry pie

Chocolate chip cookies

Halloween sugar cookies

Fruit

Cottage cheese

Cheese sticks

Peppers

Carrots

Applesauce squeezie things

Marshmallows

Tasty Tuesday 4/17/12

Holy cannoli!!  I really thought that staying under $150.00 ($75.00) biweekly for real (mostly) organic groceries would be easy.  We ate really well on $100.00 a week when we lived in Indianapolis.  I mean honestly how could moving five hours west make the prices more expensive?  Boy was I wrong!  This is going to be more of a challenge than I had originally anticipated, but here we go!  Hopefully you all won’t have to see me crash and burn.

This week I spent $54.86 at Trader Joe’s, $40.71 for our co-op box, and $70.00 in other various areas (farm for meat, health food store, etc.).  That puts me a little over at $165.57.  Here are the dinner meals I plan to make from these items:

Tuesday – Spaghetti with Italian style chicken breast and salad (I didn’t make it last night.)

Wednesday – Fried Rice

Thursday – Bean and Collard Greens soup

Friday – I will be gone. Soups and leftovers for Scott.

Saturday – I will be gone. Soups and leftovers for Scott.

Sunday – Sliced beef steak, mashed potatoes and green beans

Monday – Crockpot chicken (whole chicken with seasonings), honey glazed carrots, and broccoli

If you see something and you want to know how I make it just ask.  I am always happy to share recipes.  While we’re speaking of sharing what did your menu for this week look like?  If you have a blog please feel free to link it up in the comments section.  Need more ideas for your menu planning?  Check out the links on Organized Junkie.