Yes, we are on a budget but who isn’t these days? With two kiddos and me doing a part time unpaid internship, I’m always looking for ways to stretch our money especially with 3 very hungry boys in my house. I decided I was going to clean out our freezers (yes, we have two fridges to accomodate the mass amount of milk that gets consumed by only 2 members of this family and the meat we so kindly receive from my dad and his hunting buddies). I also went through our pantry and took a note of all the items we have that have been lurking in the back of the pantry. I want to see if I can clean these two places out and only spend $75 at the grocery store and eat for two weeks – I will keep you posted on how this comes along but I wanted to share what we have and how I’m going to do this.
Here is a list of what we have on hand:
Two boxes Earth’s Best Chicken nuggets
10 homemade sweet potato pancakes
2 homemade veggie patties
10 homemade Quinoa patties
2 homemade turkey burgers
8 Dr. Praegers fish patties
2 frozen tilapia patties
1.5 bags Sweet potato fries
two bags organic frozen peas
1 bag french cut green beans
2 bags organic frozen corn
Boxed falafel and tabouleh
6 cans assorted beans
2 bags ready rice
1 large quart dried brown rice
2 lbs split peas
Multiple cans of tuna
3 boxes spaghetti
3 boxes assorted pasta
1 box Annie’s Mac and Cheese
So, here’s what I plan to get at the grocery store to make our two week menu: **I cannot wait until our garden comes in so we can drastically reduce the amount of $$ we spend on organic produce!**
6 lbs Ground Beef ($15.00)
2 lbs Pork Chops ($2.99/lb)
Bag frozen Chicken Breasts ($6.99)
2lbs tomatoes ($1.99/lb)
1 watermelon ($2.99)
1 bunch organic broccoli ($2.99)
1 lb Organic zucchini ($2.99)
1lb peaches ($2.99)
2 packages bratworst and italian sausage ($6)
1 bag organic mini peeled carrots ($2.99)
1 bunch organic romaine hearts ($2.99)
Bread for Parker and I ($3.99)
2 packages Premium Beef Hot Dogs **yes, Hunter loves hot dogs!** ($6.00)
This is his favorite way to eat hot dogs and how fun!!
As it stands, the total of this shopping trip should be: $72.00. I will update!
Here’s what I’m thinking for a menu – with Parker’s dietary needs, I have to do 3 different menus – Parker, Hunter and Isaac and I
For Parker and Hunter’s breakfasts, I usually do a large batch of dairy free waffles and pancakes and freeze them. I usually alternate between waffles and fruit, bagels and fruit, eggs and fruit and toast and fruit – see a pattern? Fruits that are staples in this house include:
apples – strawberries (Hunter only)-watermelon (Parker) – peaches – mandarin oranges (Hunter) – and pineapple.
For lunches I try to stick with regulars making life a lot easier. Hunter will be changing to M-W-F at school so he will only be home for two days for lunches.
grilled cheese – Pasta Salad (I usually do a big batch that lasts 3 meals for both the boys) – cheese, crackers and veggies with ranch – lunchmeat and crackers. He’s pretty basic and most days he will only nibble lunches depending on the breakfast he had.
Crackers and lunchmeat (we do nature’s own crackers and nitrate/casein free lunchmeat) – pasta salad – grilled “Cheese” (we use Daiyo brand dairy, lactose free cheese, it’s awesome!) – “cheese” quesadillas. Avocado’s are a staple for him along with most meals andright now they are so cheap so I’m stocking up!
Dinner time for the boys can be tricky, I work late Monday’s and Tuesday’s so they are usually with the sitter for the start of dinner which makes things a little difficult when trying to get Hunter to eat.
If we are eating meat, I usually get him to try it but he’s at that stage. Mac and Cheese Annies brand is a staple for us and Annie’s Pizza Bites although, I’m trying to figure out a way that he will like my homemade one’s again (refrigerated pizza dough!) – chicken bites (pizza dough wrapped around a chicken breast) – hot dogs – meatballs – quesadillas – beans and rice – nuggets. He always has a veggie with his dinner and it mostly consists of broccoli, raw carrots, peas or corn.
As you saw on the list above, he’s pretty set in the dinner department with what’s in the freezer. He’s a lover of all things sweet potatoes andman can this kid eat. At 10.5 months, he will down most of a full sized homemade turkey burger with peas in it, 1 avocado and some watermelon!
NOW for the good stuff; here’s a list of what I plan on making with the food we have on hand and the meat I will plan on getting at the grocery.
M – falafel and tabouleh
T- Pasta with black beans, spinach, chicken and tomatoes
W – Split Pea soup in the crockpot
Th – Spaghetti with sundried tomatoes (have a huge jar in the fridge) and chicken (boys eat too)
F – Pork chops and grits with green beans
S – Leftovers
Su – Tuna noodle casserole
M – Spaghetti with meatballs (boys eat too) ** will cook enough spaghetti to last two meals today and Wed)
T – Stuffing casserole with chicken
W – Spaghetti with zucchini and herbs from the garden
Th – Split Pea Dahl
F – leftovers
S – Beans and Rice with Chicken and herbs from the garden
So there you have it! I will keep you posted on the actual totals at the grocery and what was a hit and what wasn’t with the kiddos.
**UPDATE – Yes, I am THAT GOOD. My bill at the grocery store $75.05!!
Do you menu plan? Do you have any suggestions? I’d love to hear it.