A few weeks ago I posted a very INNOCENT post about how I went to Kroger and got groceries for 17 nights and spent $121. I received a HUGE response from a lot of my friends and I thought it MIGHT HELP if I posted my meal plan, and a few disclaimers.
First of all, a few disclaimers to keep in mind.
#1 I am cooking for 3 mouths- 1 of which is a 3 year old mouth which barely counts at this point. So, please don't compare my bill to your large families grocery needs. Also, we are on no special limitations like gluten free, wheat free, or dairy free, which helps my bill.
#2 My meals are whole, fully home cooked meals. I do not cook with Stouffers's or frozen meals that you put in the oven. My husband doesn't like it. (And it's not good for you!) So, you will have to actually... cook.
#3 I had a good portion of chicken and hamburger that I had bought the week before. So, not all of my meals had to have a meat purchased.
#4 I buy 2-3 gallons of milk at at time- costing around $3.50 a gallon!!!! :o
#5 I bought Kroger brand seasonings ($1 each)
#6 I was able to buy Kraft brand cheese this time, but I ALWAYS buy what's on sale. Usually, Kroger out beats Kraft, but this trip I was able to get 3 packages for $1.99 each.
#7 I had to buy a few "staples" like peanut butter, jelly,
I used 7 coupons. That is all. This is not a coupon menu plan. (for the most part)
A few tips when I am planning:
#1 to be sure to use all of my ingredients. For example, I will not buy a tub of sour cream and only plan on meal using using it. I plan multiple meals that use sour cream as a topping or call for it in the recipe or sauce. I bought brown rice.
#2 I used to prepare way more food than I knew I needed and it either was stored in the fridge and thrown out a week later or we just threw it away that night right away. Now, I only make enough of the main portion that I know we will eat and just a little more for an unexpected dinner guest (which happens pretty often) or for one or both of our lunches the next day.
Here is a picture of a meal I made this week.
As you can see, eating frugally does not mean you have to eat unhealthy food. We have baked flounder baked over fresh lemon juice, parmesan cheese (for Dennis and Daniel's portions) and Italian Seasoning. Paired with Steamed Broccoli with Olive Oil drizzled atop with kosher salt and Brown rice.
Instead of buying my broccoli fresh, I buy the huge bag in the frozen section so that I can make plenty of meals with the frozen broccoli. I use a pampered chef steamer to make it. I also buy the Normandy Blend that has carrots, zucchini, squash, broccoli, cauliflower and more. I use that to steam or to put on the grill. Very yummy. It's not FRESH, but it's healthy on a budget.
Also, here is a look at some Kashi cereal. We typically buy this at Sam's because you can get TWO bags for the price of one, but I didn't have Sams in my plan that week, so I just bought a box at the store. Kroger was selling it for $1.50 a box when it typically sells for close to $3 a box. It was a steal.
Now. The picture below is a leg quarter. (thigh and leg) I know. This type of meat skeeves out plenty of people, including me. I HATE to handle it because it's bloody has a bone in it. BUT, you can buy a whole bag at Kroger for $6.90 a bag! That will feed our family 3 times. So, I went for it. I used several seasoning on top and baked it in the oven for 1.5 hours with a few onions. I also sliced some sweet potato and baked that along side it in a separate dish. This tasted very good! I enjoyed it!
I bought a bag of lemons to go in my unsweet tea. I am telling you about the lemons to show you that I was even able to get an "extra" for $3.49 which was one of my more expensive things.
Now, here is my plan for three weeks:
Across the board, for breakfast we had either kashi cereal, or eggs.
and for lunch we had left over dinner, eliminating something extra to purchase.
Chopped Beef Steak with Onions
(this was really good, but I didn't eat much because the main ingredient was corn)
Taco Salad with Tortilla Chips and Salsa
(tortilla chips, fresh green lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, rice, black beans, and sour cream)
**I didn't buy the taco kit, instead just the taco seasoning packet)
Manwich on a Bun and Frenh Fries.
(name brand Manwich and generic fries)
This was for a night I needed dinner fast- small group or a Wednesday night)
I planned a leftover dinner night to be sure that ate everything left for the week.
Chili with Corn Bread
I used a "Darn Good Chili" kit and added in kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, all generic)
Spaghetti with Salad
generic spagetti, Del Monte sauce with browned beef, and added seasonings. Fresh made salad.
Pork loin BBQ, baked beans and coleslaw.
I made a Kroger brand loin in the crockpot, added in Sweet Baby Rays sauce, with some vinegar.
Slaw was shredded and I added mayo and vinegar, and sugar.
I bought the Campbells Pork and Beans.
We had company this night because we had plenty of food.
(I haven't made this yet)
but basically, it was going to be eggs in a wrap, with salsa and such.
(I already had skewers)
Chicken, red and yellow peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
I also baked the Normandy Blend veggies with this on the grill.
It was YUMMY!
Chicken Enchilada Pasta
(I haven't made it yet)
Burgers with Sweet Potatoes.
(I split the Sweet Potatoes with the chicken thigh dinner, and the buns with the BBQ)
Chicken and Dumplings
(I haven't made it yet)
Tuna Noodle Casserole
(I haven't made this yet- and may not)
(I will bake the pork chops)
Bean and cheese Burritos
(wrap, refried beans, cheese)
a quick, some what unhealthy, meal)
(Fried then Baked Chicken, tomato meat sauce on top with mozzarella cheese)
Spaghetti with sauce
I hope this is helpful for you, let me know if you have any questions.