Hey everyone! I am ready to head out to Aldi for my weekly shop. I am really getting the hang of this new budget, but until I am a bit more comfortable our menu plans will have a lot of repeats. Once I get used to our new normal I will shake things up! I am also cleaning out a lot of pantry items. This means lots of bean-based meals for a bit longer.
Last week we had a lot of leftovers so Wednesday was Leftover Night. I also forgot that Saturday was the monthly meal at church so we didn’t make the fried rice. This means I used less food than bought! Marco still bought the chicken on Friday even though we had pizza. The chicken is from a different part of our budget so he decided to still buy 2. He removed the chicken and saved it and made broth from the carcasses and the turkey carcass we had.
This Saturday is a swim meet so that means I bought items I do not normally buy. They weren’t budget busters though, especially since I already had some items at home!
I did buy some holiday items that weren’t originally planned. These are items Aldi will sell until they are out. I want them before they are gone so I thought ahead and rearranged my budget to be a bit bigger and added them in. I added $20. It looks like I went over budget, but not really because they are items I need in the future for the Holidays and now I have them!
A few reminders:
Lunches are almost always 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.
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.
Suasage, Oatmeal*, & GF Pumpkin Muffins
Yogurt and Egg for me
*I buy a big canister of quick-cook oats and make “packets” of 1/4 C oats, chopped freeze dried fruit, and seasonings (cinnamon, etc). The kids use the kettle of hot water to make their own instant oatmeal for far less then pre-packaged!
(Thurs) Garlic Carrots
(Fri) Peas & Onions
(Sat) *SWIM MEET* Lettuce Roll-Ups
(Sun) Honey-Glazed Carrots
(Mon) Roasted Green Beans
(Tues) Rice Cakes w/ Spreads
(Wed) Peas & Onions
Baby Carrots and No Bake Cranberry Bites & Tea
(Thurs) Either BBQ Chicken or Naked Chicken Fajitias w/Rice (I haven’t decided)
(Fri) Chicken, Mashed Potato, Prince Edward Mix
(Sat) Cabbage and Potato Bake
(Mon) Chili Potatoes (I am inventing a dish here y’all!)
(Tues) Beans & Quinoa
(Wed) Rice Noodles w/ Veggies
(Fri) Homemade Popsicle
(Sun) Homemade Popsicle
(Tues) Homemade Popsicle
$2.49 Salami (swim meet food)
$1.29 Iceburg Lettus (swim meet food)
$1.29 Rice Cakes (co-op food)
$1.99 Plum Fruit Spread (co-op food)
$1.99 Hazelnut Spread (co-op food)
$1.49 Cream Cheese Spread (co-op food)
$2.69 Gluten Free French Fried Onions (Holiday Food)
$1.79 x 2 Ricotta Cheese Whole Milk (Holiday Food)
$2.89 x 2 Gluten Free Stuffing (Holiday Food)
$1.49 Russet Potatoes 10 lbs (sale)
69¢ x 2 Yellow Onions 3 lbs each (sale)
99¢ x 2 Sweet Potatoes 3 lbs (sale)
49¢ x 7 Baby Carrots (sale)
$1.37 Bananas (44¢/lb)
$1.79 Green Peppers 3-pack
$2.99 Multi-Colored Pepers 3-pack
$2.99 Mini Sweet Peppers
89¢ x 2 Pomegranates (sale)
$2.99 Bartlett Pears 3 lbs
$2.99 Grany Smith Apples 3 lbs
$1.70 Whole Plums 1 lb 14 oz
$2.99 x 2 Organic Vanilla Yogurt 32 oz each
39¢ x 6 Yogurt Cups
$1.99 Almond Milk (for the boys)
$1.99 x 2 Hot/Italian Pork Sausage
$1.65 x 2 Potato Puffs (frozen bags)
$1.29 Long Grain Rice 3lbs
$1.69 Organic Diced Tomato 28 oz can
$3.99 Coconut Oil
$1.69 x2 Vegetable Broth
79¢ x 3 Kidney Beans (canned)
$3.79 x2 Dried Mango/Coconut
$1.59 Dried Cranberries
$2.99 Freeze Dried Apples
$1.99 x 2 Peanuts
$6.24 Case of Peach Cups in 100% juice (swim meet & co-op treat)
78¢ x 4 Gluten Free Brown Gravy Mix (Holiday Food)
$4.94 String Cheese
$2.22 Muenster Cheese (They didn’t have my giant block of Cabot Whote Cheddar! Oh no!)
Holiday Overage: $15.17
Real Overage: $2.72 (I am getting better!)
Overage this month:$33.89
Things on my list I didn’t buy: I bought everything!
I am still learning and I have work to do. I learned we need more protein snacks. Elf is hard (no nuts for her), but the rest of us need a handful of nuts (or something) once in awhile. I have some pretty amazing friends and family who have rallied and are cheering me on. Y’all are awesome and I treasure you and so wish we lived closer. Your support and belief in me is more than you know.
I did buy items I do not need this week (sweet potatoes for example), but the prices were too good to pass. My primary goal is to keep the kids on a healthy diet. My secondary goal is to satisfy needs and not feel like we are missing out while doing so. The subgoal of that is to help others cut their food budget down and give meal ideas.
Have a great week, y’all!