This post is dedicated to Stacy!
She kept telling me to do this and wondering how I feed our family with our small food budget. She said that people would get something from my sharing this….let's hope she is right. 🙂 Enjoy Stacy (and anyone else who is reading this)!
Oh and Stacy and anyone else reading this, please give me feedback as to what is helpful and what should change. I'm not sure how I do what I do…so let me know what is helpful and I can change this as I go.
This plan is to feed a family of 4. 2 adults, 2 children (both girls ages 9 and 4). Mr T., my husband, works from home and travels a lot for work. Most of his travel is last minute, so I never know if he will be home or eating away from home. I generally plan that he will be eating with us for dinner and not for lunch.
- We start breakfast with a yogurt for each girl. I mix in a liquid DHA supplement (affiliate link) as well as a powder form of a probiotic (affiliate link).
- Then the kids get to alternate days that they choose what is for breakfast. Snowflake currently almost always chooses bagels. Pumpkin currently almost always chooses pancakes/waffles(we make big batches and have them in the freezer). Then if they are still hungry(and the usually are) after that, they are free to choose whatever cereal we have on hand. We usually have cereals from Trader Joe's. Their cereals are great and fantastically prices. We LOVE their Honey O's. We also really like their Crisp Rice Cereal and Frosty Flakes.
Lunches (I almost always serve lunch with fruit and something crunchy, ie., chips, pretzels, etc.):
- Cheese Crisp with a hot dog thinly sliced and put on top of cheese (I had 1 extra hot dog and decided to use it up this way)
- Macaroni & Cheese
- Turkey Sandwiches
- Mini Tacos/Tamales
- Turkey Sandwiches (on leftover hamburger buns)
- Bagel Pizzas or Pita Bread Pizzas (using up extra bagels and pita bread)
- Chicken Nuggets or Leftovers – didn't do this as we ate out for lunch one day.
- My kids need a snack every afternoon. We usually have things like crackers and cheese, Nuts and cheese, applesauce, graham crackers, cereal bars, popcorn, pretzels or I make a mix my kids like.
- I made banana bread this week, which was a snack a couple of days
- Pasta with Turkey Meatballs & Salad
- Leftovers – Ate out instead!
- Baked Ziti with Bread, Salad, & Carrots
- Crispy Chicken Bites with Tator Tots and a Fruit Salad
- Easy as Pie Spaghetti Bake with Broccoli
- Super Stuffed Tortillas with Rice (in freezer. I made this a week ago. 1 recipe was too much for us. So, 1/2 went in the freezer…easy, inexpensive meal this week 🙂 ) – didn't get to this one this week, so since it is in the freezer and the tortillas are still good, we will use this next week.
- Trader Joe's – $85.72 32% Organic 100% Natural
- Whole Foods – $5.35 50% Organic 50% Natural
- Target – $10.73 0% Organic 0%Natural (It could be 33% Natural if you consider High Fructose Corn Syrup to be natural…which I don't)
- I did use my grocery budget this week to buy additional things(which the $'s for those are not included above), such as: natural body lotion, contact cleaning solution; facial exfoliating scrub; craft paint; ‘natural' multi-purpose cleaner; and ‘natural' dish tabs for the dishwasher.
- Food Lion – $6.83 0% Organic 100% Natural – We ran out of milk and fruit….quick trip to fix that
- Food/Budget Tip:
- I buy almost all organic fruit. There are just too many pesticides, etc. with those. But I do use the dirty dozen/clean 15 to help me know where it is fine to save a little bit of money. If you want to know which fruits and veggies are the best/worst as far as pesticides go, follow this link to the Environmental Working Groups website. They test and update the dirty dozen/clean 15 every year. So, using this list, I only buy organic strawberries, but I save a little and buy conventional onions. You get the picture. The list is very helpful to me and helps me save money where I feel like it doesn't jeopardize our health.
- What Worked
- Kid's loved the cheese crisp with thin cuts of hot dog on it! Will add that one to our lunch idea list.
- What didn't work or we changed
- Too much pasta this week. Just kind of happened with the meals that were chosen. Both Snowflake and Pumpkin like to cook, so they pick 1 meal a week and help cook dinner. Between them and Mr T. it was a lot of pasta this week.
- Mr T. didn't have a lot of work this week. Which was great that he was home more, but it made the food not go quite as far this week. We ended up running out of fruit and milk. So, you can add another $7 to the totals above for our quick trip to Food Lion.
- I am out of sooo much this week…next week it going to be a challenge and I was already a little short on my budget…so since we just sold a TV on craigslist, I will be adding that money to help out.
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