Meal Planning on a Budget

How many different types of meals does your family typically eat in a month? Do you eat the same thing every week or never eat the same thing?

For us we try to have consistency and flexibility at the same time.  Today is grocery shopping day and last night we planned our meals for the week and typed up our grocery list (we type our list every week in a spreadsheet of sorts).

Every day of the week we have a theme. One of the reasons we do this is because it allows us to buy in advance knowing what we will be using in the coming weeks. It also helps us know how old our leftovers are, if we’re fortunate enough to have any.

Examples straight from our meal plan are

Monday- Pasta (we keep 2 different sauces, pasta, mushrooms, peppers and onions in the pantry to mix it up each week)

Tuesday- Mexican (tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, Mexican casserole,  all with either beef or chicken) this is a favorite in our house

Wednesday- Breakfast or Soup

Thursday- Asian night (stir fry, keema matar, chicken and veggie korma, curry, teriyaki or cashew chicken, etc.)

Friday- Pizza and movie night

Saturday- We are in transition right now on this day. Last week we had cereal and oatmeal and the kids loved it. We use this as a day to remember people less fortunate than we are.

Sunday- On Sunday we usually have some sort of fancy or family favorite meal. We call it “Celebration Sunday.”

That’s it for our weekly meals.  We keep it pretty simple but flexible.  If I see a great deal on something like Rotel I know that every Tuesday we have the opportunity to use it so I can stock up. Same goes with pasta and many other items.  We don’t often eat out and rarely plan to eat out.  We will sometimes order pizza but typically we just get Aldi deli pizza. They are big, cheap and delicious (can’t beat $10 for a family of 7).

I set up our list in categories of the store. When I get to the dairy part of Aldi I simply park my cart and have my 6 year old helper load the cart with all the items I am getting that day. Same goes with canned goods or really everything else.  I group items that way I don’t have to go back and forth. I have attached a picture of our list for this week. It is fancy for some but works great for me. I have a good idea what things cost so I don’t really track that as much. If I did I could probably save even more…maybe I will start.



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