One of the best conversations within our family and friends circles is budgeting. More specifically, groceries. It is a topic that readily comes up and feels like on constant repeat. Hence, it is easier to post and make reference! 😉
My favorites love to garden, homestead and cook. While those allow a ton of options and wiggle room when it comes to family budgets, I also realize not everyone has that luxury, time or resources access. So, I thought I would start with a basic grocery store run week menu for under $75 for 7 meals. (For a family of 4 and how for a few bucks more you can stretch it to 8.)
While we cook for 8, not everyone does. Remember, if you are looking for extra servings when cooking for a large quantities (for a big family or freezing half), it may be easier to obtain by substituting more vegetables. Also, prices vary where you are and alternatives may be more reasonable. SO, do not be afraid to substitute. (Allowing you to get ahead in the grocery budget game- giving you more wiggle room overall.)
Also, you may have certain ingredients in your pantry, or that you get from various resources due to your fixed income that can actually make a much cheaper meal plan. Feel free to message me if this is you. I would be happy to offer alternative ideas for something you get often to help with budgeting. Either way, here goes….
WEEK #1 ($64.41 + dairy or salads listed below)
(Burger is priced for $3.00/lb)
Cheeseburger Mac- $5.52
GV Mac & Cheese $1.04
1 lb of burger $3.00
(Use some shredded cheese & milk- $1.48)
Chili Mac- $6.42
3 Boxes Mac & Cheese
1 lb burger
Hot Chicken Sandwiches (BBQ)- $11.36
Chicken- boneless & skinless
Choice Breakfast Night- $9.98
Potato, beans & onion medley (diced & fried)
Chicken Casserole- $6.65
Remainder of the chicken- or 1 lb cooked & shredded
cream of mushroom soup- $1.28
stuffing box- $.99
can of corn (or stretch it further with 2)- $.59
shredded cheese topping (leftover from bag)
Spaghetti Night- $7.48
Meatball Subs- $7.47
french loaf $1.00
Sunday Roast- $9.53
w/ homemade brownies
Yes, if you counted right, there are 8 meals. We choose a breakfast night because the entire family LOVES breakfast food. Often in the morning I make one pan breakfasts or it is self serve breakfast bar. (Great time saver if you homeschool!) So, Wednesday is reserved for toast & eggs, skillet breakfasts, omelets, and other favorites!
But, not everyone counts that as a meal. Amazingly enough, scrambled eggs, toast and an orange are nutritious and super inexpensive- not to mention kids love them! If you include it in replace of one of your $12 meals, once a month, that is almost $150 in savings a year or $624 of grocery saving if in your weekly meal. Just sayin 😉 !
While this is a simple meal plan if you did not have items in your pantry, but remember homemade snacks, fillers, breads and meals are not only healthier, more nutritious, but also less expensive.
Serve a loaf of bread with your meals to make them go further and you add approximately $4.18 a week. But, make homemade loaves or cornbread and you only need to budget an extra $4.42 for 2 weeks.
A dozen cookies at our grocery are $2.92 (cheapest I can find- limited choice though) and you can make 2 dozen no-bakes for less.
Last, but certainly not least are the salads I mentioned above. If there is leftover chicken, you will find chicken pasta salad with peas in my fridge as well. Also, a garden salad of some sort- typically greens w/ Italian dressing (depending on the season) and this menu has coleslaw to go with the BBQ chicken sandwiches and hot subs! All of which can be made $3-5 each.