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Planning our meals

July 3rd, 2022 at 10:32 pm

I will admit it here, and maybe only here... I am a brand SNOB. I VERY rarely purchase store brand, off brand or regional branded items. So dumb, and such a waste. Part of this finance overhaul for us is to get our grocery budget under control. 

Right now, it's me, my husband and our 15 year old son living at home that we feed. My 23 year old daughter lives in our attached casita - that has a small, functional kitchen (thank gosh for the invention of air fryers and rice cookers!). After this Friday, her new husband will move in with us. While I want them to live as independently as possible, we do love a good family meal. The issue is, we shop as if we are still doing so for 5 people plus kids' friends/girlfriends/boyfriends. So, I need to learn how to scale back for most of the week, and then make a nice family meal on Saturdays to feed up to 7.5 people (counting my 1 year old grand daughter there). The kids don't always take us up on it, but I think once a month is doable.

We just got an Aldi in our community, and our Costco is so close to being finished (right now, we have to drive 15 miles to the closest one - what a chore). We also have Walmart, a Safeway and a Fry's (Kroger). We spend a LOT of money at Costco. We buy all of our meat there. I've been in Aldi's a few times, but I need to see if I can start to really leverage it to lower our food budget. I've also thought about using Walmart pick up for some of the items that are cheaper there. My cinnamon applesauce - MUCH cheaper at Walmart than Fry's or Safeway, for the same exact product and sizing. I love a good challenge, and love coming up with a plan, so I am determined to come up with meal plans, shopping lists and trying out a few new places (all close enough to make sense). Safeway is the closest, but ABSOLUTELY the most expensive.

I've been watching YouTube videos and checking out Pinterest for ideas. Here's one other thing... I've changed up my lifestyle 2 years ago after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I've lost 60 lbs so far, workout every single day (walks, weights, dancing!) and I try to eat as whole as possible. I can't settle for pasta every night just cuz it's cheap. I can't compromise that... I JUST CAN'T. This means my challenge is even MORE of a challenge! 

Here's my meal plan for the week. I will likely go out early tomorrow to grab anything I don't have to make it work.

Week of July 3 - Dinner Plan

Sunday - leftover Green Chili Tacos and (fresh) Spanish rice

Monday - BBQ Drumsticks, Mashed Potatoes Corn on the Cob and Corn Bread 

Tuesday - Ground Beef Taco Salad Bowls

Wednesday - Ramen, chicken and veggies

Thursday - Green Chili Chicken Chili

Friday - Dinner out for daughter's wedding (more on that later)

Saturday - Carne Asada and grilled veggies


3 Responses to “Planning our meals”

  1. terri77 Says:

    I am most definitely not a brand snob, but I don’t cook enough for it matter. I eat out a lot - too much.

  2. honey Says:

    @terri77 - I am WITH YOU there. lol... but we are going to scale back significantly!

  3. rob62521 Says:

    We do not have the grocery options you do, sad to say, but something you might consider is making a price book for yourself on things. Sort of like how you listed your cinnamon applesauce and how it was much cheaper. I realize prices are ever changing in today's economy, but it might help you plan your shopping a little better and your meal planning a lot better.

    Another thing I would encourage you to do it contact the companies of the products you like and email them and tell them how much you like their products and ask if they could send you coupons. Chobani is wonderful about sending coupons. Frito-Lay sent me quite a few. Kleenex did send one big coupon ($4). So if you are brand loyal, this might be a way to help yourself cut your budget.

    Another thing is to get away from convenience foods. Yes, we still have some -- we do like to have chips with our sandwiches. Challenge yourself to cook from scratch more often. Plus, make things that can be either reheated for another meal, or turned into something different. I like to buy ground chicken at Aldi and will make it like Sloppy Joes, but we call it Sloppy Chicks. There are two of us, so a little different than you, but we have more than one meal from it. We have it as Sloppy Chicks, then I add more vegetables like onions, mushrooms, etc. and some more tomato sauce and make a pasta meal out of it. I do not add it to the pasta in the bowl, but separately in case there is enough for another meal. It's a good way to stretch your food. I've frozen bits of it here and there and when I had enough, thawed it out and served it over pasta for a cheaper meal.

    Some items go on sale regularly so watch and try to figure out when it goes on sale. Stock up when it is cheaper and then use your reserve until the next time it goes on sale.

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