Feeding your family on a very slim budget can be scary, I know. Check out what I buy and cook when the month lasts longer than the money.
This is the story of a woman who went to the doctor with a cold and discovered she actually had a pretty severe illness. She faced some pretty hefty medical bills two weeks before payday and while she wasn’t quite broke she didn’t want to dip into her savings account so she diverted money from her grocery budget to pay for the doctors and medicine.
Do you know much it costs to have a liquid medication specially formulated for you? Yeah, if not, you don’t wanna.
ANYHOW…because I do not want to go into debt unless it’s absolutely necessary I diverted money from our biggest wiggly area in the budget, groceries. I set aside $100 for groceries for the week and was pleasantly surprised when I came in well under budget! My actual total was $85 but that was because I had some chicken in the freezer and a pantry stocked with baking supplies.
$85 Menu Plan
This is the actual menu we are eating this week! This is a real menu for real people.
Making a weekly menu can be challenging when you’re on a budget, and even more so when you have a large family. I’m here to tell you that it can be done! You can create a weekly menu for your large family for under $100, and you won’t eat any beans! (Pssst…beans are actually really awesome and if you don’t have $85 to work with check out my $50 menu and $60 meal plan)
Now, $10 of my spending was for toiletries (dang kids always using toilet paper!) but I didn’t subtract that from my total. I left the $10 listed in case you need to buy some lentils, flour, eggs (or wine, who am I kidding here?)
My price list is at the bottom, I shopped at Publix and used no coupons. I could have spent less at Aldi but let’s face it, as much as I love Aldi (and I do LOVE Aldi), it’s just not conducive to shopping with a bunch of kids in tow.
One more thing! I always cook enough for 8-10 so we have plenty of leftovers. Watch portion control and make sure you’re all drinking enough water :)
$85 Meal Plan for a Family of 8
Breakfast:Homemade cinnamon toast
Lunch: Thai Peanut Noodles (we have an old jar of peanut sauce from before my husband’s allergy was discovered to use up. Peanut butter can be expensive, you can make plain pasta with tomato sauce instead, it’s much cheaper)
Dinner: 20 Minute Chicken Thighs with Dill (we’re substituting quinoa for couscous as we have some left over, you could also use rice as it’s inexpensive)
Breakfast: Cereal (I bought a huge off brand $5 bag earlier this month and have been hiding it from the kids, lol!)
Lunch: Leftovers from yesterday’s lunch and dinner
Dinner: Jamie’s Huevos Rancheros
Breakfast: Fried eggs topped with leftovers from last night’s dinner
Lunch: PBJ sandwiches on homemade bread, carrot sticks, grape tomatoes
Dinner: Whole chicken with potatoes, carrots, and onion. (Put potatoes, chopped carrot, and a chopped onion in the bottom of a slow cooker. Season the inside and outside of chicken as you wish and place on top of potatoes. Cook on low for 6-8 hours)
Do you need a slow cooker? I LOVE this one, you get a great slow cooker at a reasonable price!
Breakfast: Greek yogurt (I needed a small amount for a recipe so I bought a large container and mixed some of the extra with honey and some frozen blueberries that we had leftover from this spring)
Lunch: Chicken salad wrapped in iceberg (use leftover chicken from last night)
Dinner: Sriracha chicken over rice with carrot sticks (make extra rice for tomorrow)
Breakfast: Cereal with milk
Lunch: Fried rice using the leftover rice, frozen peas, and spices.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with cherry tomatoes
Lunch: Flatbread pizzas made using leftover naan from last night (use sauce & cheese leftover from Huevos Rancheros)
Dinner: Salisbury Steak Meatballs with mashed potatoes
Lunch: Leftovers from last night
$85 Weekly Menu for a Large Family Shopping List
Allowance (see above) – $10
Avocados – $2
Frozen peas- $1.69
Frozen stir fry veg – $1.99
Shredded Mexican blend cheese – $3.79
Whole milk – $3.89
1 lb white rice – $1.25
1 lb Plain Greek yogurt – $4.59
1 lb Carrots – $.99
5lb potatoes – $3.99
Lemon – $.75
2 Cucumbers – $1.50
Corn tortillas – $2.19
1/2 lb Chorizo – $3.69
Canned tomatoes – $1.99
2 Refried Beans – $1.59
1 lb Linguine noodles – $1.34
1 lb extra small cherry tomatoes – $3.99 (bogo so I got an extra pound for snacking)
Iceberg lettuce – $1.69
3.5 lbs ground beef – $14.82
1 lb Ground pork – $2.56 (use instead of lamb in the gyros)
2 pkgs BLSL Chicken thighs – $7.15 (6 large thighs per package)
5lb Whole chicken – $6.96