Last week I left a comment on Amy’s post ‘Are You Staying on Track With Groceries?’ that has garnered quite a few e-mails from other moms wanting to know how we stick to our $100 a week grocery budget. There were so many questions I decided to write a series of posts detailing how I go about sticking to our budget and try to offer any tips I’ve picked up along the way.
With seven growing children, six of whom are girls, it’s important to me that they eat well-balanced diets that include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and milk. So step number one is to look at the grocery store sales ads, take stock of what’s already in our pantry, and plan a menu for the coming week’s meals. This week my daughter, Bon Bon (12), is in charge of the cooking so I sat down with her and we did this together. Here’s the menu she came up with.
Breakfast: Blueberry Muffins
Lunch: Pizza – One Cheese, One Ham with pineapple and olives, breadsticks, and a green salad
Breakfast: Corn Bread
Lunch: Enchiladas, Spanish Rice, Refried Beans, green salad
Dinner: Homemade Mac & Cheese, fruit salad
Breakfast: Coffee Cake
Lunch: Indian Tacos
Dinner: Tuna Melts or PB&J’s for those who don’t want tuna
Breakfast: Crepes. We eat them with fruit and jam.
Lunch: Hoagie Sandwiches, raw veggies served with ranch dip
Dessert: Layered Lemon Pudding Dessert
Breakfast: Yeast Pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns
Lunch: Beef Roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, jello salad
Dinner: Granola served with yogurt
Breakfast: oatmeal pancakes
Lunch: Seasoned Chicken, corn pudding, fruit salad, broccoli
Dinner: Tomato Soup with grilled cheese sandwiches
Dessert: Maple Cookies
We homeschool our children and also farm and found it was better to have our biggest meal of the day at lunch, which means we really aren’t that hungry come dinner time. We usually have two snacks throughout the day. The snacks vary from fruit and veggies, leftover desserts, quesadillas, chocolate milk, etc. Just about everything we make is from scratch, including the corn tortillas for the enchiladas. We also serve bread and drink milk with every meal. I make 16 loaves of bread a week – 8 white and 8 whole wheat. If you’ve noticed, we also don’t usually eat cereal. Too expensive! We love breakfast foods around here and it’s not unusual to have waffles, muffins or pancakes for dinner.
As we write the menu we make a list of the items we need to get at the grocery store with an estimated guess of what it will cost. Here’s our list next to the actual receipt. The receipt was too long to fit in our scanner so I had to fold it so you could see the total.
$30 – 8 gallons milk
$5 – 2 pkgs. frozen fruit
$0.69 – cucumber
$0.59 – radishes
$0.59 – green onions
$2.50 – carrots
$1.50 – celery
$1.50 – lettuce
$3.00 – 2 quarts eggnog
$3.99 – cottage cheese
$15 – 2 cross rib roasts
$10 – half ham to get sliced at the meat counter
$2.50 – bananas
$5 – apples
$5 – tortilla chips
$86.86 – estimated cost
The total on our receipt says $82.91. But we also got a a big double bag of tortilla chips for $4.98 (that’ll last us a month) and a bag of Andes chocolate mint baking chips for $1.98 at Wal-mart. So our grand weekly total is $89.87. I also purchased yogurt because the roasts and milk ended up being cheaper than expected.
In the next post I’ll discuss shopping strategies as well as stocking your pantry. We have a well stocked pantry. As you can see from the grocery list we mostly needed to purchase refrigerated or perishable items.
If you have any questions please ask!! I’m working on creating a “Cookbook” page for my navigation bar at the top so you will have links to the recipes we use most often.
What do you have to talk about? Join Talk About Tuesday hosted by The Lazy Organizer.