Menu Plan & Grocery Shopping

I have been asked on numerous occasions how we keep our food budget so low. First, we practice what I preach (LOL). Please read the Saving $100′s if not $1000′s Every Month, Food Series. I thought it might be fun to share my menu plan along with our weekly grocery shopping list/cost. In hopes it may give you a few ideas on how to reduce  your food budget. :) Also, it is a two-way street so please share with me your saving tips in order to help us all save more!

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Menu Plan

Sunday- Tacos with Homemade Seasoning (via 5 Dollar Dinners)
Monday- Potato Soup (via Brunch at Saks) & side salad
Tuesday- Left Overs
Wednesday- Buffalo Cauliflower Wraps
Thursday- Chicken Yakisoba
Friday- Left Overs
Saturday- Left Overs or Twice-baked Potato Casserole (I have adapted this recipe quite a bit, and I will be making it a Frugal Friday Meal soon!)

 

Dessert: Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars (via Epicurean Mom)(originally blueberry but we like raspberry more)

*We did break the cardinal rule today and went to the grocery store just before lunch time and we were hungry. But with a lot of self-control we were able to stick to the list and no sweets or highly processed snacks. Yay us! :)

Shopping List

Iceberg Lettuce (2)
Broccoli
Cabbage
Celery
Cucumber
Onions (6 small)
Cream Cheese
Cheddar Cheese
Bread (2)
Eggs (15 ct)

Aldi  £ 8.26 (~$13.70)

***We love Aldi! Our grocery bills have almost been cut in half***

Cauliflower
Rice Milk
Tomatoes (4 ct)

Tesco £4.14 (~$6.87)

My husband will still need to pick up Graham Crackers, (2) Ramen Noodles, Saltine Crackers and a few Yoplait Yogurt Cups at the commissary (-$2 in coupons).

So our groceries for this week should be ~$25! Our monthly grocery budget is $200, so we are well on our way to stay under our budget. Next week we will need chicken so it will be a more expensive week.

The ingredients in these recipes that were not purchased were obviously already in our pantry/fridge. I plan the menu based on what we already have on hand. We bought a bunch of potatoes, carrots, and lemons last week for cheap (£.35 each) and I had left over ginger that needed to be used. We also had taco shells and tortillas that needed to be used! We have a lot of oranges, apples and cheese sticks for snacks. So, we should be set for the week!

What is on your menu plan this week?

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9 thoughts on “Menu Plan & Grocery Shopping

  1. I’m amazed at how low you manage to keep your grocery budget, that’s one area I’m going to try to cut back on this year, we do an unofficial meal plan at the moment (i.e. in my head!), but maybe writing it down will help us to stick to it. I always try to make Mondays our ‘leftover day’ – after getting back to work after the weekend, neither of us feel much like cooking from scratch! Thanks for the inspiration! xx

    • Definitely writing it down helps a lot! If I don’t have a written list, somehow “extras” find the way into the shopping cart driving up the cost. When I worked we also did left overs on Mondays. I would cook extra on the weekend so we didn’t have to cook as much during the week. It is a great way to save money because you are less tempted to get take out! Our grocery budget is also the area we are trying to cut back this year. Trying to get it back to what it was when we lived in the U.S (~$140-160 so we are close).

  2. We eat lots of different types of beans, rice and cheese. Also, when we buy clean meat (usually ground turkey or chicken, occasionally salmon) we make half portions at meals, so it is more of a side dish than main. Since meat is a “luxury” for us we are usually vegetarian (with no fake meat which is processed like crazy). Our grocery bill is between $200-225 and we have two adults and two children (one being nursed 100%). Once our little one starts solids it will go up.

    • Good job! Your budget is impressive! We save by cutting down on meat too… although cutting it down for us was not having it every night for dinner (we are farm kids who were raised on meat for just about every meal lol.)! I also will double the veggies, beans, all other ingredients in a recipe but keep the meat not-doubled. Meat is definitely expensive… even more so in the UK. Although a lot better quality than you can find in any US grocery store.

  3. Thanks Nichole!! I just did a meal plan for the first time this month (one of my goals this year). I use google calendar to link to my google docs where I store my recipes. Here is what is planned for this week: turkey chimichangas, pasta e fagioli soup, Cajun chicken pasta, & BBQ Chinese chicken lettuce wraps. :) Excited! I even already planned out our super bowl menu! :D

    • Wow Sara! Great job! I am not organized enough to do more than one week at a time, maybe someday (why kid myself, probably won’t happen) lol.
      Your menu sounds delicious! Cajun chicken pasta is one of my favorites! Plus I love that red & yellow bell peppers are cheaper in the UK than in the states. Some of the things that are cheaper here make no sense at all!!! lol.

  4. I am only able to stay under my $400 grocery budget if I make a monthly meal plan. It keeps me out of the store. But that being said, $400 seems like an awful lot compared to you! Toiletries, household products, paper products, vitamins, and dog food are included in my grocery budget as well. Maybe I need more tips. We eat meat 2-3 times a week, make about 99% of meals from scratch, always eat left overs for lunch, and love rice and beans! Here’s the menu for this week: Spinach pesto pasta, chicken curry and rice, salmon patties and sweet potato fries, hamburger stroganagh, farro & chard soup, polenta and veggies.

    • Annie, your meal plan sounds great! :)
      Our $200 does include household products (but I did stock up a little with personal hygiene products when I was in the states and could get them for next to nothing. So I only have to buy 1-2 things each month.
      We don’t use many paper products (except essentials like TP lol), we only take one vitamin/day… and we are horrible with remembering to take that so don’t spend much on vitamins lol, and no pets for us. So I’m guessing the dog food and vitamins are at least $100 of the difference lol.
      We do just about everything you do with meatless meals, eating left overs, and cooking a lot of things from scratch. We don’t do many side dishes… if we do a side it is something “cheap” like a green salad or veggie. I’m sure the rest of the difference is the recipes I choose have fairly cheap ingredients and I plan my meals based on what I can get at great prices and what is in my pantry. For example last week our grocery store was having BOGO on already on sale bags of potatoes, carrots, lemons, and oranges so each bag was only 35p (~$.60) so this week we are having 2 potato meals and oranges for our snacks/fruit each day.
      Meat is also extremely expensive (about double)here (although I’ve been told it is free of a lot of hormones/additives that US grocery store meats have, probably would get the “natural” label in the US) so we tend to just stick with chicken and minced (ground) beef to keep our costs down. But I think it has converted me to only buying organic/natural chicken when we get back to the states (it’s worth the cost). :)

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