Hi all! It is Wednesday (although you will read this on Thursday) and I am getting ready to tackle my weekly Aldi trip. I am far more more optimistic this week. Last week’s list was 2 pages. This week’s is less than a page! We had a few Food Fairies ship us random things; meat, flour, canned coconut milk, taco shells….
I also have pantry items I will be using. I created this week’s menu around what we have. There are two “glitches” to our food budget this week. Today (Wednesday) Marco came home from work with Chicken Curry! This did NOT come from our food budget, but from a different part of our budget. This means tonight’s planned meal will be moved to tomorrow. I already have everything for that meal so that really helped my planning! Friday is Princess’s birthday. We will splurge and I will make pizza and cake!
Aldi had several insane deals. I bought 10 bags of baby carrots becasue they were 49¢ each! On Saturday I have 2 vegetables listed. My kids have never had acorn squash; but the sale price was 59¢. I decided now is the time to buy and try. I know that I like it, but we shall see what the rest think. We will also have peas just in case people aren’t thrilled with the new dish.
I opted to buy the coconut water for the November swim meet now instead of later. It is an Aldi Special Buy and $1 cheaper than the cheapest at any other store. We use coconut water instead of Gatorade or Powerade. Much healthier and, frankly, tastes better. Although not on the list this week, I saved us $4 in the long run.
I had 2 pantry items ont he list this week: oregano and brown sugar. I bought dates for my holiday baking (I make a paste with them). Birthday treats also made the list. These items aren’t weekly buys.
A few reminders:
Lunches are vegetables and fruit. I buy frozen vegetables unless I can snag better deals on fresh. I cook the frozen veggies in ways that bring out the best quality and taste possible. Fruit is always decided at the store. I look at prices and then decide between fresh, canned, or frozen. When I buy canned, I buy ones in their own juices.
I plan for 3 meals a day and 2 snacks. We do not do a morning snack, but instead eat an earlier lunch. My plans are for 7 people, except lunch and snacks. Lunch is for 6 people (Mark eats at work for free) and snacks for 5 (the kids). Every Friday Mark brings home rotisserie chicken from his work. He gets a great deal and it is so much better than the stuff they sell at the store. This is NOT part of our food budget.*This week he will not buy this*
On Tuesdays we have homeschool co-op. We have to have lunch to-go. This has upped our Tuesday food cost a little bit.
I try to keep cheese sticks and 100% fruit bars and dried fruit in the house for those days when you are just so hungry you need a bit more food. These are not everyday foods so when I buy them they do last longer than a week.
Yogurt & GF Squash Muffins
Homemade Coconut Yogurt for Elf
Egg for me instead of muffin
Fruit everyday (grapes until they are gone and then apples)
(Thurs) Oven Roasted Green Beans
(Fri) Honey-Glazed Carrots
(Sat) Roasted Acron Squash w/ Cinnamon and/or Peas & Onions w/ salt & pepper
(Sun) Garlic Butter Carrots
(Mon) Curried California Blend
(Tues) Rice Cakes w/ Spreads
(Wed) Balsamic Roasted Carrots
Grape Tomatoes, Baby Carrots, or No Bake Cranberry Bites & Tea
(Thurs) Naked Burritos
(Sat) Vegetable Fried Rice
(Sun) Loaded Baked Potato Soup
(Mon) Roast Turkey, Roasted Heirloom Poatotoes, Roasted Carrots
(Fri) Homemade Popsicle
(Sun) Homemade Popsicle
(Tues) Homemade Popsicle
I had numerous things in my house already. Here is my shopping list with prices
$2.99 x 4 Coconut Water (swim meet food)
$1.28 Applesauce Cups 6-pack (co-op food)
$1.29 Rice Cakes (co-op food)
$2.99 Apple Cider (special buy)
99¢ x 2 Red Potatoes 5 lbs (sale)
59¢ Acorn Squash (sale)
$2.99 x 2 Medley Potatoes (special buy)
49¢ x 10 Baby Carrots (sale)
15¢ x 2 Limes (sale)
$1.16 Bananas (44¢/lb)
99¢ x 3 Grape Tomatoes (sale)
$1.98 x 3 Green Grapes 2 lbs (sale)
$1.89 Dates 8 oz (seasonal)
39¢ x 48 Yogurt Cups
$3.49 Greek Yogurt 32 oz (instead of sour cream for burritos, soup, & tacos)
$1.39 x 2 Prince Edward Medley (frozen vegetable) *price drop!*
$1.39 x 2 Fozen Green Beans *price drop!*
95¢ x 4 Frozen Sweet Peas
$5.89 Shredded Mozzerella Cheese 2 lbs (for pizza)
$2.69 Sharp Shredded Cheese (for potato soup)
$2.69 Mexican Shredded Cheese (for burritos & tacos)
$3.89 Prunes 1 lb 2 oz
99¢ Confecioner’s Sugar (birthday)
99¢ Brown Sugar
$2.49 x 2 Breakfast Sausage (birthday)
$1.25 Fudge Mint Cookies (for Marco)
$1.94 Pepperoni (for pizzas)
$1.72 Pizza Sauce (there was cheaper, but the is the only allergy friendly one)
$2.18 x 2 So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk 1 quart (the kids have been begging me for milk to drink)
$5.98 x2 Bird’s Eye California Blend 60 oz bag (this large bag is far cheaper than even Aldi!)
Goal: $100 (but I wanted to try to stick to $88.17 to cover last week’s overage)
Overage this month:$31.17
If I had paid better attention I could have bought 6 less yogurt and 2 less peas. I didn’t have to buy Mark cookies. He rolled his eyes at me for doing this. I also now realize I could have done without one of the California Blands as I had bought lots of carrots. I could have therefore saved myself $11.47.
Things on my list I didn’t buy: I bought everything!
What have I learned? I still have work to do on meeting my weekly goal. I learned the desire to impulse buy is strong (like those cookies). The journey is hard, but community (friends and family) make it easier. I have learned to better calculate our needs. I over bought this week, but this means I will already have some items for next week! My goal is to keep the kids on a healthy diet. I despise the fact I cannot let them eat whenever they want, but I am reminded we do have far more food than most people. I am trying to focus on the fact that maybe this will help someone cut their food budget down and/or give them meal ideas.