Grocery Budget: Week Two

I’m sharing a real glimpse into our grocery budget and meal planning during the month of March. Last week, we spent $89.04 of our $200 budget which is more than I like to spend at the beginning of the month but $33.54 of that was for 5 pounds of local cheese which should last another 3 or 4 weeks.

Groceries for this week:

  • Bananas $.65
  • Salsa (2) (organic) $5.98 (-$1 coupon) $4.98
  • Chickpeas (2) (organic) $1.78
  • Diced Tomatoes $.89
  • Peanuts $1.99
  • Molasses $3.19
  • Pineapple $2.50
  • Maseca $2.19
  • Tortilla Chips $1.69
  • Potato Chips $1.29

Total: $21.37

  • Vanilla (organic) $6.98
  • Dried Papaya $2.42
  • Onions (organic) $3.49
  • Dried Pineapple $5.04
  • Banana Chips $2.09
  • Olive Oil (organic) $10.98
  • Sour Cream (organic) $3.49
  • Milk (organic) $4.88

Total: $41.84

We also purchased a 5 pound bag of  potatoes for $5.70 and local honey for $13.65.

Grand Total: $82.56

{$28.40 left in the grocery budget for the month of March.}

Meal Plan

Breakfasts:
Homemade Granola
Fruit
Oatmeal

Lunches:
Leftovers

Snacks:
Cheese
Nuts
Fruit
Hummus & Chips

Dinners:
March 12: Steak with Baked Potatoes
March 13: Ham with Mashed Potatoes, Cranberries & Whole Wheat Rolls
March 14: Leftovers
March 15: Leftovers/Snack Supper/Possibly Dinner with a Friend
March 16: Chicken Tacos
March 17: Buffalo & BBQ Chicken Pizza
March 18: Chicken Soup
March 19: Mexican  Casserole*
March 20: Veggie Soup*

*These were on last week’s menu but had leftovers one night and pizza another night so I moved these meals!

Questions:

  • How do you plan your menu? I plan my menu based on what I already have and then purchase things that I need to fill in the gaps. I never come up with a menu plan without looking in our freezer, pantry and fridge first. When I’m grocery shopping, I pick up the items we need for the menu that week and will stock up on sale items or items we frequently use.
  • What does your grocery budget include? My grocery budget is only for food. We have a medical category that we use to purchase supplements, etc. and a miscellaneous budget for everything else.

Related Posts – Grocery Budget: Week One

Grocery Budget: Week One

During March, I’m sharing a glimpse into our food budget and menu planning. Each week, I’ll share the groceries we purchased and our meal plan. Our grocery budget is currently $200 a month for our family of 4. {Our baby is still exclusively breastfed but I eat more while nursing!} We no longer try to eat as cheaply as possible, viewing our grocery budget as an area where we can save big. Instead, we view food as an investment in ourselves.

I don’t claim that we eat perfectly healthy. We still have a way to go but we’re making strides towards healthier eating. We’re incorporating organic milk, local cheese, buying organic produce that’s on the dirty dozen list, trying to avoid GMOs as much as possible and are planning to get a few chickens so we’ll have fresh eggs. We are trying to frugally eat healthy, which is possible with a simple diet, almost no food waste and cooking from scratch.

Obviously, we’re not starting the month with no food. Here’s a glimpse into our pantry and refrigerator before our grocery shopping trip:

Pantry

Fridge


Produce {in the bottom drawers you can’t see}3 pounds organic apples and 1 pound organic carrots.

We also have a freezer full of meat! At the beginning of this year, we were blessed with half a cow from John David’s family’s farm {we only paid the processing fee.} In both January and February, we’ve had excess money left at the end of the month that we’ve set aside in a grocery money envelope so we can use it to purchase items in bulk later.

Grocery trip for the week:

  • Honey Roasted Peanuts $1.99
  • Pineapple $2.50
  • Oats $2.99
  • Flour $2.07
  • Sugar (2) $4.96
  • Banana Chips $.32
  • Strawberries (organic) $3.99
  • Kiwi (organic) $.79
  • Bananas (organic) $1.28
  • Pasta Sauce (organic) (2) $5.98
  • Potatoes (organic) $5.43
  • Chips (2) $5.00 (-$1 coupon) $4
  • Tortilla Chips (organic) $2.19
  • Mac ‘n Cheese $1.00
  • Cereal (2) $5.68 (-$1 coupon) $4.48
  • Milk (organic) $6.49

Total: $50.46

We also purchased 5 pounds of local cheese which was $33.54 {this should last beyond this month!} And chocolate ice cream for $5.04.

Grand Total: $89.04

We’ve started this month off by spending more than we typically do but we shouldn’t have to purchase cheese anymore this month. If we only purchase milk and fresh produce at the beginning of next week, we’ll be right on track for the month.

Meal Plan

Breakfasts:
Homemade Granola {Based on this Homemade Granola}
Cereal
Fruit

Lunches:
Leftovers
Cheese & Homemade Wheat Crackers 

Snacks:
Nuts
Raisins
Fruit
Smoothies
Hummus & Chips

Dinners:
March 1: Mac ‘n Cheese, Fruit*
March 2: Nacho Chicken Bake {a new creation, I’ll be posting the recipe!}
March 3: Chicken Soup
March 4: Dinner out for my birthday!
March 5: Buffalo and BBQ Chicken Pizzas
March 6: Venison Roast with Carrots, Potatoes and Onions
March 7: Dinner at Church
March 8: Leftovers*
March 9: Baked Pork Chops, White Beans and Bread
March 10: Mexican Casserole
March 11: Veggie Soup {splitting the beef from the Mexican Casserole and using home canned tomato juice!}

*John David works late on Thursdays, so we typically have a light supper.

I know there’s a lot of room for improvement {like adding in more fresh vegetables!} but we’re taking baby steps, trying to avoid most processed foods and purchasing local and organic foods as much as we can. And I’m looking forward to really getting our garden going so we’ll be growing our own fresh vegetables and fruits!

Again, we’re not trying to eat as cheaply as possible. I’m not trying to awe you with a shoe string budget or with our super healthy eating habits. I’m just sharing our grocery budget so you can get an accurate picture of how we eat and where we spend our grocery  money.

I’d love questions and comments but please keep them polite! {Food related posts tend to bring out spirited comments since views on what’s healthy or not vary widely.}

Linked to: Menu Plan Monday

Chicken Tacos on Homemade Tortillas

Mexican food is a favorite in our home and when it’s hot outside we eat Chicken Tacos at least once a week and sometimes twice! {Unless I’m in my first trimester and chicken isn’t appetizing…thankfully I’m over that aversion now!)

We received a tortilla press as a Christmas present and we love making homemade tortillas. So far we haven’t settled on a favorite recipe but every one we’ve tried has been delicious.

Chicken Tacos make a quick, easy and frugal meal.

Ingredients:

Chicken Breast {we typically dice but sometimes will shred}

Taco Seasoning {try homemade taco seasoning; when we shred the chicken we use rotel to season}

Tortillas

Toppings {Guacamole, Sour Cream, Cheese, Cilantro, Salsa, Tomatoes, Lettuce, whatever you like!}

Directions:

1. Cook your chicken; season and let simmer.

2. Serve on tortillas and garnish with your choice of toppings.

Easy, frugal and delicious!

{This post contains affiliate links.}

Grocery Budget & Meals: Week 2

I’m continuing to share about our grocery budget and meals this week! Last week, I gave you a glimpse into our pantry and shared what food we had stockpiled as well as a detailed plan.

We’re working with a $175 budget for the month of May. After last week’s grocery trip we had $125 left.

Our grocery trips this week:

3 Chickens (@$1.79/pound)

Total: $21.38

  • 6 Avocados $9
  • Chicken Sausage (marked down) $2.49
  • 4 Oranges $2
  • 2 boxes Whole Wheat Pasta $.98
  • 2 blocks Cheese $3.58
  • 1 box Butter $3.19
  • Plain Yogurt (organic) $2.69
  • Spaghetti Sauce $2.58
  • Northern Beans $1.89
  • Milk (organic) (marked down) $3.29
  • 4 bags Chips $3.96
  • 2 boxes Cereal $1.98
  • Annie’s Chocolate Bunnies $2.81

Total: $40.44 (minus coupon plus tax) $36.83

Grocery total for the week: $58.21

{$66.79 left in the grocery budget for the month.}

*Yes, I did purchase a few processed foods and chips! {We love those chips by the way!} We have pretty good eating habits but not perfect!

 

Our Meal Plan:

Monday

Breakfast– Cereal

Lunch– Lunch Out

DinnerChicken Soup (using broth from a boiled chicken)

To Do- Soak Pintos

Tuesday

Breakfast- Fruit & Yogurt

Lunch- Leftovers

Dinner-Small Group (make tortillas & guacamole)

To Do- Cook Pintos, Layout Venison, Make Bread, Make Mayo, Make Tuna Salad

Wednesday

Breakfast- Strawberry Smoothies

Lunch- JD-Tuna Salad; Avocado/Guacamole & Chips

Dinner- Mexican Casserole

Thursday

Breakfast- Strawberry Smoothies

Lunch- JD-Leftovers; Carrots, Mango, Yogurt & Cheese

Dinner- JD @ Church; Leftover Mexican Casserole

Friday

Breakfast- Cereal

Lunch- Leftover Mexican Casserole

Dinner-Homemade Pizza & Cheese Bread

To Do-Layout Chicken

Saturday

Breakfast-Pancakes

Lunch-Leftovers

Dinner-Enchiladas Verde

To Do-Make Buns

Sunday

Breakfast- Breakfast at Church

Lunch- Leftovers

Dinner– Chicken Sausage with Chips & Apples

Do you meal plan?

Also, I’d love to know what your grocery budget is and what it includes (ours is only groceries, no toiletries or household products.)