Wednesday Shopping & Weekly Menu Plan 11/9-11/16 2016

Hey everyone! I know this is a few days late! I had a rough week. I was a bit ill at the beginning of the week and so that made me slow motion. Can anyone relate? I am a bit perked up and ready to roll!

Last week we had a lot of leftovers so Wednesday was Leftover Night again! Aldi had chicken thighs on sale this week so I rearranged money and took a big chunk from somewhere else that had extra. I also re-evaluated my budget and although my weekly goal will remain $100, I can safely spend $120 and still manage the rest of our responsibilities comfortably. Budgeting is very important and if anyone needs a great budgeting (and coupon) book then go to my friend Kristin Cooper at Couponing to Disney. Her budget book is a life saver for us! You can find the book HERE. Krisitn is a friend. I am not compensated for referring her. I just really believe in her and her book.

A few reminders:

Lunches are almost always vegetables and fruit. I usually 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.

Breakfast
Suasage, Oatmeal*, & GF Pumpkin Muffins
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!

Lunch
Fruit everyday — guava or oranges

This week everyday will be Garden Salad and Celery Sticks w/ choice of filling (hummus, cream cheese, nut butter)

Snack
baby carrots and apples

Dinner
(Thurs) Spinach and Artichoke Chicken with Rice
(Fri) Chicken, Mashed Potato, Green Beans
(Sat) Eggplant or Chicken Parmesan w/ GF Spaghetti (I am trying to find a cheap eggplant, but I have chicken already.)
(Sun) Roasted Vegetable Salad over GF Pasta
(Mon) Baked Sweet Potato Hash w/ Sausage
(Tues) Asian Rice Noodle Stir Fry
(Wed) Roasted Garlic Lemon Chicken

Snack
Halloween Candy

ALDI:

$1.99 Fresh Pamesan Cheese (Holiday Food)
$1.89 GF Pretzles (Co-op Food)
$2.99 x 2 Coconut Water (now I have enough in pantry for next swim meet)
$1.99 Fig Spread
$1.89 x3 Organic Pasta Sauce (this one has safe ingredients for us)
$1.79 x 3 Bagged Flat Leaf Spinach
99¢ x 2 Bagged Garden Salad Mix
79¢ x 4 Fresh Cranberries 12 oz
$1.29 Fresh Brussels Spouts 16 oz
99¢ Green Onions
$1.49 Red Onions 2 lbs
$1.69 x 4 Fuji Apples 3 lbs
79¢ x 2 Sweet Potato (cheaper than last week, so I bought more!)
$2.99 x 2 Medley Potatoes
$2.99 Lemons 2 lbs
79¢ x 4 Celery
$1.29 Avocado (super frustrated, Walmart had these chepaer and I didn’t realize)
$1.69 Butternut Squash
$1.24 Bananas
99¢ Gluten Free Baking Powder
$1.69 Rosemary
$1.69 Sea Salt
$1.79 Feta Cheese
$2.29 Organic Humus
$2.99 x 3 Organic Vanilla Yogurt 32 oz each
$1.99 x 2 Almond Milk (for the boys)
$1.99 x 3 Hot/Italian Pork Sausage
$5.89 x 2 Shredded Cheese 2 lbs
45¢ Large Eggs 1 dozen
$2.99 x 2 Chicken Sausage (for hash)
$1.99 x 2 Pepita/Pumpkin Seeds 6 oz
$1.59 Dried Pineapple 6 oz
$1.99 x 2 Peanuts 16 oz
$1.89 x 2 GF Spaghetti
$11.82 Chicken Thighs 4 packages @ 69¢/lb

Total: $134.98

WALMART:

78¢ x 2 Gluten Free Brown Gravy Mix (Holiday Food, and I had a coupon I didn’t want to expire so one was only 28¢)
$2.24 Artichoke Hearts 16 oz
$2.18 So Delicious Coconut Milk (for my Elf)
$3.68 x 2 Earth Balnce Soy Free Buttery Spread
$2.28 Fresh Guava 1 lb
$2.99 x 2 Oranges 4 lbs
43¢ Garlic
$8.86 Cabt White Cheddar Cheese Block 2 lbs
$6.93 Coffee
Total: $37.32

Goal: $190
Paid: $172.30
Leftover from budgeted: $17.70
Overage this month: $16.19
Things on my list I didn’t buy: I bought everything!

I am really happy with how much I have learned. I know how to better plan each week. I am done with this month, as our new food budget begins November 14. I think that being over $16.19 isn’t too shabby.

I did buy items I do not need this week (more sweet potatoes for example), but the prices were too good to pass and I planned ahead and moved money as needed. 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!

~Andrea

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Shopping for a Family of 7

Have you ever wondered how larger families shop? I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but I know that, for us, shopping less often by buying more at the time is far more convenient. It takes less time to meal plan, write lists, make sure our pantry and freezer inventory is up-to-date, and then do one large bi-monthly shopping trip than it does to shop once a week. It is also far more cost effective because we have less opportunity for impulse buys.

I had the amazing opportunity to write a guest-post for my good friend Kristin over at Couponing to Disney on how my latest shopping trip went.
I have gotten so much positive feedback. I am thrilled my experience is helping people save time and money!

I would love for you to check it out and I pray it can benefit you also: Andrea’s Bi-Monthly Shopping Trip to Aldi: Feeding a Family of 7 (via Couponing to Disney)

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