Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! My husband and I have been discussing our family budget over the last few weeks, and are going to try to do a “No-Spend Grocery Challenge” through the month of March leading up to Spring Break. I just purchased a new kitchen table and chairs (so excited for them to get here – I scored a great deal!), and while we're waiting for that to be delivered we thought it would be fun to see just how much we could shave off our weekly grocery expenses by eating from the pantry.
So, what does that look like for us? We'll still have budgeted money for specific items – we're just really trying to keep things simple by saving on groceries and eating out. Here's what we're planning:
- 2 meals out per week as a family. We usually choose “high end” fast food places (i.e. Chipotle) ~ sit down meals for our family of five are just so expensive, and we rarely have time for them! I have a few restaurant gift cards because I was taking advantage of 4x fuel perks at Kroger this week, so we'll use those first.
- Only water while eating out. (This will be tough – we sometimes enjoy sodas at restaurants but they're such a budget buster!)
- Possibly one lunch date out for my husband and I on the weeks we can meet, limited to very inexpensive restaurants. We enjoy the chance to get together without kids so much when we can – but for a few weeks can survive with the dollar menu (I think!) Getting the chance to catch up with one another is what we love about our lunch dates, and we can do that as easily over baked potatoes at Wendy's (honestly though, this one will be tough for us!)
- Spend $50 or less at the grocery store through March 27th. I *think* we should be able to spend much less (between $20 and $30?), but know that milk and fresh produce alone can quickly get spent, so wanted to be realistic in my goals.
(Note: the only exception may be next weekend ~ I'll be out of town scrapbooking with friends, and since my husband's in charge of feeding our bunch, I'm betting he'll tweak things a bit!) 🙂
I'll update you all throughout the week with how things are going – I'm hoping we'll be able to stick to this, but we haven't really tried this before so we'll see!
Curious what that means for our menu plan? Well, our fridge and freezer are pretty well stocked, so I think we should be able to fairly easily use up what we have. I just did a quick inventory of our freezer, and here's where things stand:
- 10 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (I have issues, when I see a good price on chicken I can't stand not to stock up!)
- 1 whole chicken
- 4 lbs ground beef
- 1 pork loin
- 1 beef roast
- 4 lbs bacon
- 3 lbs salmon (have been waiting for grilling season – but may try to bake it in the oven and see how it goes!)
- 2 steaks
- 4 frozen bread loaves
- several bags frozen veggies
I don't have much (any?) cheese in our freezer, so I'm sure some of our weekly budget will go there. So, here's what we're planning for our first week . . .
- Monday – Maple Brined Pork Loin, roasted potatoes*, broccoli
- Tuesday – Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili
- Wednesday – Slow Cooker Ravioli, salad, garlic bread
- Thursday – Leftover Buffet
- Friday – Frozen Pizza (remember this is when I won't be home, so I'm counting on my husband to handle this one!) 🙂
*Note – for easy roasted potatoes I quarter roasted potatoes and put in square pyrex, sprinkle with Lawry's seasoning salt, and spray with a little Pam cooking spray (could substitute with olive oil easily I think), then bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
- 2 1/2 pound boneless pork loin roast
- 1 package ravioli
- 28 oz jar spaghetti sauce
- 8 oz can tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 16 oz can black beans
- 16 oz can kidney beans
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 10 oz frozen corn
- 2 14.5 oz cans rotel
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- frozen pizza
Side Dish Extras
- bag salad
- red potatoes
- cheddar cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips (for topping chili)
- Italian seasoning
- red pepper flakes
- vegetable oil
- dijon mustard
- maple syrup
- 3 cloves garlic
- fresh ginger for pork loin (I'll probably omit this since I don't have any)
- chili powder
I created this handy dandy free printable google doc for you to print if you’d like to follow our menu plan – hopefully it makes your life a little simpler this week (let me know if you like it!) If you’re new to Google Docs, here’s how to print your list:
- Open the document HERE
- Click “file” in the top left hand corner of the screen
- Click “print” at the bottom of that menu and print your list
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