Menu Plan Monday 5/17/10-5/23/10

Linking up with again for menu planning! Wow, this becomes a habit quickly… it’s a good habit to have though! And we have tons of chicken in the freezer still so it is easy to plan menus! 🙂  Stocking up on plenty of fresh fruit and yogurt for snacks this week too — I’m so glad it is summer and fresh fruit and vegetables are starting to be in season!

I’ve been looking for (even more) ways to save on groceries… and yet I came across this link (on a government site!) stating that for my family of 3 we should be spending $128/week to eat healthily.  Um… we spend less than 1/2 of that a week and while it definitely takes some thought and careful planning, I think we eat fairly well.  We spent just under $70 at the store this week and I thought that was a pretty bad grocery week ($10 of that was for 5 pounds of ground beef which will probably last us over a month… we are only using 1 pound this week, and another $4 was for vitamins for the little guy who is much better at remembering to take them than I am… maybe I should buy gummy vitamins for myself!)

Since I’ve never mentioned it, we tend to do cereal, oatmeal or eggs for breakfast (though with all that fruit and yogurt around I think I’ll try to make some smoothies this week).  For lunch, we usually do leftovers, sandwiches, or salad (for me, at least… the 4 year old would eat PBJ for lunch every day if I’d let him.)

Lots of new recipes this week; I hope they are good!

Recipe update from last week — the egg drop soup was great and I finally made that Parmesan Arborio rice pilaf (which was great as well).

Monday 5/17 — Shredded Chicken Taco Salad/soft tacos for the boys; book club for me! 🙂

Tuesday 5/18 — Stroganoff Style Chicken with green peas

Wednesday 5/18/10 — Sloppy Joes and Baked French Fries for the boys;  Girls Night Out for me (taking baked beans)! 🙂

Thursday 5/19/10 — Leftover Buffet

Friday 5/20/10 —  Breakfast for dinner: Eggs, bacon and Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole with fresh fruit

Saturday 5/21/10 — Pork chops, green beans, cooked apples, leftover hashbrown casserole

Sunday 5/22/10 — Chicken Mozzarella Spaghetti (made Saturday and reheated…) or leftovers if we have enough

My Tip of the Week: Look for ways to use up ingredients you already have on hand.  We used some green onion in the egg drop soup but nowhere near a bunch of it… I decided to make this Balsamic Roasted Red Potatoes recipe yesterday instead of the mashed potatoes I’d planned to make… used up some more green onions and found another great recipe!


7 responses to this post.

  1. There’s only two of us, but we usually spend that a week. That does include non-edible stuff as well.


  2. Posted by Rae on May 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Dear (Abby) Melody,
    You are amazing! Not only do you have a terrific menu plan, but you are thrifty at the store! I feel so bad now. I am such a bad, bad person! I need lessons! I know I waste a lot of food and am an impulsive buyer and cook. What can I do?
    Signed, Guilty


    • You crack me up! 🙂 I learned being thrifty from my mom and then necessity. Being in social work and the main wage earner in the family for a while did not make for tons of money to spend on groceries. And after that we had more fun (baby!) and not-so-fun (more school! job losses!) things come along to test our budget. The current one is trying to be a SAHM when it seems like insanity financially. The menu has gotten healthier over the years but it was definitely a process. We started out eating lots of Hamburger Helper, spaghetti and grilled chicken breasts too. 🙂 Key tips are: buy lots when something is on sale, even better if you can combine a coupon with a sale though I haven’t been couponing as much lately since I stopped taking the paper and started shopping mostly at Aldi… and I have to say I could never have done this before there was an Aldi nearby because their produce prices are so much cheaper than the other stores around here. I’ve found that menu planning has really helped in not wasting food. I’m going to do a challenge in June (or I am participating in someone else’s challenge, I should say) to spend no more than $25/week per family member on food. I’m sure I’ll be blogging in even more detail on grocery shopping then. If you like to be impulsive, start by picking a meat that is on sale, buying a few pounds and freezing what you don’t need for now, and thinking of cool ways to cook it!


  3. I spend a lot more than that on groceries. There are 4 of us and 1 is a teenage boy with a huge appetite and friends with big appetites and my daughter’s boyfriend and his appetitie… 🙂

    Actually my kids eat really well – both very health conscious for kids their age. We can’t keep with the fresh fruits and veggies!


    • Oh, I’m sure my food budget will go up dramatically in 10 years when I have a teenager instead of a 4 year old who eats healthy food, but minuscule quantities of it. 🙂 The calculator I used did take both number and ages of people in the household into consideration. Hmmm… wonder what it would say if I said I had a 14 year old instead of a 4 year old??? I think I’ll go see!


  4. Posted by Rae on May 18, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Dear Melody-
    I made a breakthrough! I actually took only a certain amount of cash to the store yesterday. I told myself I had to stay within those limits. No checks. No debit cards. It’s just too easy to overspend when you don’t see the money. I went to Aldi’s first- stocking up on eggs and produce like you said. Then I bought my meat at Kroger (chicken and hamburger mostly). Last night I made vegetable soup and grilled cheese. Tonite it is fishcakes and leftover soup. Weds. is chicken on the grill. Thursday is spaghetti and salad.
    Friday is chicken tacos from Weds. chicken! Ooohhh! I love this! Feels good! Oh- and can I play the Food Challenge, too? Thank you! My husband loves you. (But WARNING:he may not continue to do so on a $25 a week food budget)!


    • Way to go!!! We have just gone back to using cash as well and it helps so much. Though next week may not be so fun. 🙂 I’ll post information on the challenge next week, I was sent to it by someone else too — it is $25/person so that is a little better… but, yes, still tough! Fresh fruit and veggies will be more in season in a month or so, so hoping that will help.


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