When we started this frugal life journey the first step we took was to get our shopping and meal planning in order. I believe firmly in being a good steward with God’s provisions however I was not sure how to do that. I had to learn many things on the way through trial and error. So I am sharing those things with you today in hopes they bless your home, bank account and family.
How I shop
- Focus on buying things my family will eat.
- Buy ingredients to make meals not predominantly packaged treats or snacks.
- Buy what’s on sale.
- Do not buy things frivolously or impulsively.
- Stretch what I buy.
That’s it, really. My kids will not eat certain things no matter how super foodie they are. And my budget can not afford me buying things for them to go to waste so I don’t feel guilty one bit for the compromises I make. That’s motherhood after all!
So here is my grocery haul this week!
This is a very average shopping trip for our family in the spirit of transparency and reality I was compelled to show you our true selves.
As a military family we shop a lot on post and therefore I am not permitted to divulge prices for each individual item but I can reveal my budget for this trip was $150. That may seem like a lot to some and very little to others but the most important thing is to do what works for your family!
I went a little over when I saw leftover fresh Easter turkeys. We have family coming next week and I knew that would be perfect to feed more people for way cheaper than fast food or going out to eat everyday so it was worth it. Because it saves me more money in the long run. And everyone knows I can work a bird for many meals as shown here and here.
Here’s a breakdown of what I bought.
A 6 pack of tomatoes
Large spring mix box
7 lbs of bananas
Small bag of sweet peppers
Bag of baby spinach
3 lbs of apples
1 package pumpkin seeds
2 packages of bacon
2 dozen eggs
4 gallons whole milk
2 packages cream cheese
3 boxes stuffing to stuff our turkey
2 packages of linguine (I thought it was spaghetti but was looking at the wrong spot lol)
1 can sliced olives
2 large jars of applesauce
2 jars spaghetti sauce
Cat food (this is an expensive brand but we love our cats and it’s cheaper than vet bills!)
Freezer gallon bags
6 loaves of bread (my hubby’s favorite)
1 loaf Dave’s killer bread *insert heart emoji* this is expensive bread but I love it so I usually get it every 2 trips for our breakfast toast!
1 bag cinnamon raisin bagels
2 flour tortillas
*all this bread will last the month. This trip just happened to fall when our deep freezer was empty.
Natural delights dates and coconut rolls.
Coconut milk creamer
I also have ground beef, turkey breakfast sausage, a big bag of frozen broccoli, my Aldi sweet potato score I shared on my Facebook page and an almost full bag of clementines in my fridge and freezer I will pull from as well, as a few items from my pantry.
*Tip* shop in advance. I don’t use everything I buy in one week that week. I utilize our deep freezer and anticipate our needs as sales and pay allows. Last week I stocked the freezer with meat. This week it’s bread. Next week I won’t need much besides milk, eggs and produce so I will have more room in the budget to stock the freezer or pantry further by utilizing sales. By doing this you stay ahead of needs and over extending your budget. Also I’m not overwhelmed when things come up and I can’t get to the store on our regular shopping day.
Here is our meal plan for the week.
Meal 1: freezer casserole and salad
Meal 2: Meatloaf muffins, broccoli and rice
I am using ground beef instead of the turkey suggested in the link. This is a new recipe for us. All the ingredients I am pulling from my food stores.
Meal 4: turkey meatballs with my fancied up store sauce and noodles.
Meal 5: leftovers and perishable veggies. You should have a leftover night once a week to lessen food waste!
Meal 6: breakfast Fruit, eggs, turkey sausage, biscuits and pepper gravy.
Meal 7: Turkey with stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, salad and yeast rolls
During the weeks it is just the kids and I for breakfast and lunch The weekend we will have a full breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast with fruit and anything else I can manage. Weekend lunches are usually leftovers, sandwiches or snacks options as breakfast is usually more brunch timed and very large.
Green monster smoothies. My favorites are spinach, half a banana, almond milk and a tablespoon of nut butter or spinach, banana and frozen strawberries with water.
Eggs, toast and fruit
Oatmeal from the pantry
Salad (one kid will never eat this lol)
Cheese quesadilla with broccoli
Peanut butter and jelly with carrots and apples
Peanut butter apples and raisins or crasins
Pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds from pantry
Be forewarned when you don’t eat as many premade foods the dishes can add up. But the health and financial benefits are worth it.
If you’d like to keep up with our daily meals be sure to follow me on Instagram.
This week our out-of-pocket costs per person per meal in-house came to $1.80 a person.
** I feel I need to put a disclaimer in this post. We are not perfect we do not eat perfect or buy the cheapest of anything. When I say frugal and healthy I mean a place our family can realistically reside in both. You may be able to do more and that’s great or maybe only do much less and that still means you are trying and that’s great as well. It is all about how far you have come.**
I hope this post blessed you and gave you some fresh ideas!