$85 Weekly Menu for 8

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cheap meal plan weekly menu

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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)

cheap meal plan weekly menu

I didn’t use any coupons when I went shopping!

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

Day 1
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)


Day 2
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

Day 3
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!

Day 4
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)

Day 5
Breakfast: Cereal with milk

Lunch: Fried rice using the leftover rice, frozen peas, and spices.

Dinner: 20 Minute Greek Gyros on homemade naan (Use beef or a beef/pork meatloaf mixture. Make extra naan. You can also buy pita but make sure to figure out a different lunch for tomorrow!)

Day 6
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

Day 7
Breakfast: Yogurt

Lunch: Leftovers from last night

Dinner: Lentil tacos using taco shells made from the leftover corn tortillas used for Huevos Rancheros, homemade taco seasoning, and your desired toppings.

$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

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13 thoughts on “$85 Weekly Menu for 8

  • Danielle k

    This is awesome! I feel like I end up spending so much each week and we’re only a family of 3 – I need to do some better meal planning and paying attention to sales.

  • Cat W.

    This is a nice post, but can you please change the links to the recipes? It looks like you left Pinterest, but all of the links go there and just die. Argh.

  • Saf

    Lots of great ideas here! Do you ever get hungry during one of those days of just cereal and rice and peas before dinner? I would needs lots of snacks on a day like that!

    • Meg Post author

      Sometimes, yes. We really don’t snack a lot because we’re so busy during the day. If the kids wanted a snack I would give them lefotvers or an apple or maybe a boiled egg.

    • Meg Post author

      I’m going through them all right now and checking them. It looks like the people who posted the pinterest links I linked to deleted the links. I’m looking for the original links and will link to those instead. Hang on, it won’t take me too long!

  • Ellen

    Some of these sound amazing to me, however neither my husband nor his very picky children (not my kids) would ever eat most of that!! Thoughts to make this a more meat and potato eater friendly?? Husband is allergic to fresh tomatoes of any kind. And the kiddos have been spoiled on junk and fast food by their mother, that crap dont fly at our house, but its a constant battle to get them to eat better.

  • Michelle

    I’d love to see a Canadian person do this. Our groceries are a lot more expensive than yours I’ve found. There’s no way you’re getting that value up here.

  • Nicole

    Wow! You have great prices where you live! Where I live a 5lbs whole chicken is $15! If I go to the city I can get one for $12! What ages are your children? A 5lb bag of potatoes is $8 and 1 jug of milk is $8 If we travel to the city I can get the potatoes for $7 and the milk for $5! I have 5 children and we are needed to tighten our grocery budget a little bit!