Meal Planning Week 3 & 4

Last Tuesday I went grocery shopping and spent $227 for the next two weeks of groceries. This will cover more than two weeks because I bought a 10lb box of lean beef and some pantry essentials which will last longer than the two weeks. We will need to buy some milk in the next two weeks I’m sure too.

Wednesday, we had Perogies fried with onions and some Farmer sausage and our towns famous corn on the cob.
Thursday, I made split pea soup with left over farmer sausage in the crock pot. I LOVE this soup. Unfortunately, the split peas took a lot longer too cook than I planned. The 8 hrs in the crock pot weren’t enough. So, I popped one of my back-up lasagna’s in the oven… unfortunately I forgot to turn on the oven. Thankfully, the lasagna was still frozen so I could just put it back in the freezer. Since it was after 5 when I realized that, we ended up having to get take-out. The girls needed to eat quickly.  I tried! Unfortunately, that  puts us at our eating out budget for the month. I think with the fall coffee’s that are now out at Starbucks, we may go over on our eating out budget…. although we WILL NOT blow this budget as much as we have been in the past months.

Friday, we got to eat the soup I had made for Thursday. I also made some biscuits to go with it 🙂

Saturday, we had home made pizza! This was a huge hit. I had forgot to purchase mozzarella for this so I had to go out and pick some up. I ended up getting some more milk and chips for a movie this night too. I ended up spending $20. That puts us at $396 so far… hopefully I don’t need anything else!

Sunday, we ate that lasagna that I had taken out and forgot to turn the oven on for.

Monday, I was working so Jon looked on my printed menu and made the creamy chicken and rottini primivera. I liked it but it wasn’t a favorite. I will most likely make it again though because it is a good way to use leftovers.

Tuesday, we ate tortellini and homemade Alfredo sauce. It was really yummy. I don’t measure very often and what ever mixture I did with this sauce turned out really good. Everyone ate more than usual 🙂

Week 4 –

Wednesday, I used the left over tortellini, chicken and Alfredo sauce to make a casserole. Not sure what it is called but it is tortellini, chicken pieces, mixed veggies and a can of mushroom soup all mixed together and baked. Easy, cheap and a great way to use up the leftover tortellini if you buy those big Ziggy bags from superstore that my family never finishes in one sitting.

Thursday, we ate home made hamburgers and store bought frozen fries. I can never get home made fries crispy so I buy them.

Friday, we had a kid favorite that is SUPER easy. Chicken sausage and apple pieces baked with maple syrup. Mmmmm! We ate it with some mashed potatoes and canned corn.

Saturday, we ate Chicken sandwiches with the left over chicken we had to use before it went bad. It was also a movie night with a guest so we did buy some junk food when we went to get milk. $17.49

Sunday, we tried a new recipe that basically turned out to be pasta with a weird alfredo sauce and tomatoes. Not a favorite for anyone. Plus, Livi hates tomatoes.

Monday, is a busy day for me so I took out one of those casseroles I had froze from week one! We had the chicken cauliflower casserole over some sprouted rice and quinoa.

Tuesday, I made beef stroganoff! It was a new recipe and a big hit! I think I will add some more flavoring and hidden vegetables next time I make it though. I ended up doubling it because in my head it was only going to yield as much as a Hamburger Helper package makes, since it calls for the same amount of beef. I was wrong though. A double recipe made more than enough for two dinners and a lunch or Jon! Leftovers tomorrow! I’m not sure if the noodles I used would freeze well.

So, at the end of 4 weeks of meal planning the dinners I spent $413.49! Awesome! I still have two meals in the freezer, plans to make baked mac n’ cheese, 3kg of chicken breasts, a bag of shrimp and 8lbs of beef in the freezer for the next 4 week plan! Super awesome! I will need to go shopping in the next few days to buy milk and bread though. I’m going to try to put off doing a big shop until October 1 so I can start meal planning on a monthly basis to mesh with my budgeting better. I think between the meat, rice and potatoes I have on hand I should be able to do this!

But basically, the $413.49 lasted us a full 4.5 weeks. That’s less than $100 a week and only about $13 a day that covered breakfast, lunch and dinner for 2 adults and 2 kids! I’d still like to get it down to under $400 but hey, this is my first try and I’m pregnant. The baby wanted sherbet this month!

Some people have asked for recipes or more details on my meal planning… Honestly, all I did was Google “cheap meal plans” or “low cost family meals” or “easy, cheap meals”, copy and pasted some recipes that looked easy enough. I kept in some low cost family favorites and splurged a few times. I also included some recipes for meat that I already had in the freezer, like the whole chicken from week 1. I printed out 13 meals and recipes for each two week period and made sure that they sort of “fit” together… meaning I didn’t have us eating chicken everyday for two weeks and that I could use leftovers from one day in a recipe for the next. I kept the meal plan and recipes easily accessible on the fridge so I didn’t have to go search through recipe books. I doubled up what I could to put in the freezer for another day too, which I will now use in my next months plans to keep the costs down and not have to cook those days! Win!

If you want any specific recipes that I made this month, let me know and I’ll email it too you!

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