Do you have more month left than money? The good news is that there is one area of the budget that is extremely flexible, the food budget. What follows is a simple menu that I created and am actually using right now. This menu allows me to make 3 meals and 1 snack a day, and lasts 12 days.
Disclaimer #1: Your meal experience may differ from mine and I don’t intend for this menu to be followed exactly. We each have different family sizes (we have 2 adults, 2 teens & 3 kids). We each have different food needs (the only major allergy we deal with is shellfish, eating organically never takes priority over having enough to eat & we believe meat is optional).
Also, chances are that what’s on sale in your area will be different. Hopefully my menu will inspire you to make the best of what’s on sale where you are & with what you have in the pantry.
Disclaimer #2: This menu isn’t the healthiest in the world and does contain some processed ingredients. I figure that when you only have $60 to spend on almost 2 weeks worth of food you’re going to get some not-so-great stuff. I also figure that eating some processed food every once in a while, especially when you really need to make those dollars stretch, is perfectly fine and made up for the other weeks of the year when you’re not staring at an empty refrigerator.
All I ask is that if this list doesn’t interest you, or is full of stuff you’d never buy, just move on respectfully.
TIP: In order to pull this menu off you will have to have a few basics in your pantry. Rice, yeast, spaghetti or tomato sauce, butter, etc. If you are missing a critical ingredient check the internet for a substitute or alternate recipe before buying anything else.
TIP: If you need more inspiration check out my $50 Emergency Menu
…and without further ado…
Meg’s $60 menu
3 meals & 1 snack for 12 days
Aldi – $49.89
Farmer’s Market – $8
A * signifies an item that was on sale (only two items, the rest are regular price. I LOVE Aldi…and yes, they do sell organic stuff too!)
Please note that the first price listed is the price per item, the second price is the total spent on that item.
ALDI SHOPPING LIST (prices on 5/14/13)
(1) 10 lb russet potato 3.59 3.59
(2) 1lb ground turkey 2.99 5.98
(1) 4 lb sugar 1.89 1.89
(3) 5lb AP flour 1.59 4.77
(1) 16oz spaghetti 1.69 1.69
(1) penne pasta 0.99 0.99
(2) Whole Milk 2.69 5.38
(3) hot dogs 0.75 2.25
(1) 1lb sausage links 3.99 3.99
(1) Old Fashioned Oats 2.19 2.19
(1) 5lb navel oranges 1.69* 1.69
(2) Macaroni & cheese 0.39 0.78
(1) 2lb carrots 1.19 1.19
(1) 40oz peanut butter 4.29 4.29
(1) grape jelly 1.69 1.69
(1) celery 1.39 1.39
(2) pineapple 1.29 2.58
(4) dozen large eggs 0.89* 3.56
FARMER’S MARKET SHOPPING LIST (5/14/13)
(6) corn ears 1.00 1.00
(3) beets 1.00 1.00
(6) bananas 1.00 1.00
(1) watermelon 2.00 2.00
(1) 5lb apples 2.00 2.00
(3) tomatoes 1.00 1.00
FROM OUR FREEZER/PANTRY
(1) package chicken breasts
(1) package each dry beans (chick peas & navy beans)
(1) package corn taco shells (you could make homemade tortillas instead)
GRAND TOTAL SPENT $57.89
Snacks – Snacks each day will consist of iced tea and a boiled egg or piece of fruit.
Drinks – water, water and more water. Milk for the kids and iced tea for snacks.
lunch: hot dogs, mac & cheese
dinner: spaghetti (intentionally make extras)
lunch: leftover spaghetti
dinner: baked potato bar (use leftover veggies, cheese, etc for toppings)
lunch: PBJ sandwiches, fruit
dinner: sausage jambalaya & fresh corn
lunch: hummus & veggie plate
dinner: Ksra bread (I only use regular AP flour in that recipe), curried chick peas (saute onions, garlic, curry powder, cooked chick peas, diced potatoes, canned tomatoes. Add in a can of coconut milk [you can use regular milk, sour cream or yogurt instead] and stew for about 20 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice at the end. Serve over rice.)
lunch: baked potatoes
dinner: ground turkey tacos
lunch: spaghetti w/ turkey meatballs
dinner: tomato & ham bean soup, cornbread
dinner: breakfast (eggs, waffles, fruit)
lunch: breadsticks with sauce
dinner: freezer soup in bread bowls (freezer soup is when you take all the odds and ends from your freezer & pantry, cover with broth and cook in your slow cooker for about 10 hours)
lunch: egg salad on homemade bread
dinner: BBQ chicken, very veggie pasta salad (pasta salad with extra carrots & tomatoes, maybe some beans tossed in, all tossed with oil & vinegar)
lunch: baked oatmeal, fruit
dinner: potato soup in bread bowls
lunch: PBJ on homemade bread
dinner: breakfast (eggs, waffles, fruit) – I know it’s a repeat but the kids love it!
lunch: breadsticks and sauce (another repeat that the kids adore)
dinner: it’s pay day baby! I think I’m craving a nice, big salad already :)