Friday, March 9, 2012

Menu Making and Grocery Budgets

People often ask me how it is that I feed our family of 5 and 3 animals on a weekly grocery budget of around $80-120 a week. Truth is that there was a time when there was only 3 of us and I would easily spend $150+ a week of course this was at a time when I was not budget minded and obviously had a more disposable income. As we have added more children to our family I have had to pull in the reins of course! I thought I would share my strategy and how I actually make it work.

My weekly budget depends on 2 things first what our income was that week Michael works a job where he NEVER makes the same thing 2 weeks in a row and our income can vary drastically from one week to the next and the second thing that affects how much I spend in any given week is what we already have in our pantry...But mostly income:) I try to stay around $100 a week no matter what. But last week I tackled something I haven't done in about a year and that was 2 week menu making and shopping. I had a plan to get everything needed for the meals, pet food, toiletries and paper products. I should have said that above my budget is not just groceries it includes all the above! My goal last week was to spend only $200 I almost made it;) I had a b-day gift to purchase and some "school" supplies plus several things we buy regularly have gone up. Grand total ended up being more like $240 but I thought that was good. Now there were things that I didn't get or things I only bought 1 week worth of so I am sure another $50 will be spent this week to fill in those gaps. I set in with my sales papers, pintrest boards for crock pot and recipes I had been wanting to try and can up with the following diner menu. I don't plan lunches in advance I just keep things here and let the kids decide what the want.

Menu for March 4-16
Sunday- Crock pot chicken tacos
Monday- Taco Pizza
Tuesday- Cheesy bacon potatoes (crock pot), sirloin patties, and corn
Wednesday- Bacon wrapped chicken breast, baked potatoes
Thursday- Pull Pork (crock pot) baked beans
Friday- Fried potatoes and sausage
Saturday- Sour cream crock pot chicken, over rice with green beans
Sunday- Mexican Stuffed Shells
Monday-Vegetable soup
Tuesday- Ranch pork chops with flavored noodles and peas
Wednesday- Cowboy casserole
Thursday- Tortilla Soup
Friday- Old Clothes (don't remember the Spanish name) over rice...This is one of our favs all you do is brown some thin cheap steak with onions and bell pepper then lay them in your crock pot with some spaghetti sauce. Cook all day and serve over rice or noodles we do ours over brown yummy!

So there you have it! 2 weeks! Most people look in my fridge and pantry and think we keep very little food. The truth is we only buy what we need when we need it to keep the cost down. We don't have a lot of excess and we don't buy a ton of prepackaged snacks. I also don't buy alot of paper products that is why I have a full set of dishes:) Everyone gets plenty to eat around here and we have very little food waste. I would love to hear what other people do how you make your menus what is your budget for your family?


  1. You r amazing, Hollie! Good planning is the key, and u have certainly found it.

    1. Thanks Carol:) I have finally found a system that works and helps me be a good steward of what we have ben given.