I have been really inspired by some of the grocery challenges I’ve been reading online and I wondered how cheaply I could feed my family for the week. Now, we are a family of six but two of our family members are under 3 (and one isn’t even eating solids yet!) so I set my challenge to feed a family of 4. This challenge required me to buy all our groceries (no using items already in our pantry!!), include three main meals and some snacks, and require very little prep work. I think we did really well, no one went hungry and we definitely saved some money!!
I wanted to do this challenge a bit differently than others because I didn’t want to assume everyone has extra items in their pantry and/or a bunch of spices and baking essentials on hand. Everything we ate for the week (minus salt, pepper and the sweetener in the oatmeal if you choose to use these things!) came from this list. We do have a deep freezer and freeze everything we can and always have pantry staples on hand, but I wanted to try a different approach to meal planning that could work for anyone.
Here is a breakdown of what we bought at our local Wal Mart prices (so if you shopped somewhere like Aldi you could do it even cheaper!!)
I decided to do Wal Mart instead of our local Aldi because I could do the online shopping and show some realistic prices. Aldi doesn’t always have the cheapest items on everything and Wal Mart is a store that most everyone has nearby.
Granted, this menu is not going to fill you up every meal if you are used to very large portions, but you can always add in the snack options to keep you going. Also, I would definitely buy a variety of frozen vegetables but so that I didn’t make the list terribly long I put all the same in my cart. Wal Mart has a lot of different varieties of vegetables for the same price. Having some sort of vegetable at dinner is a must for our family so that’s why you see frozen vegetables every night. Add some variety in!
Other items you might consider adding for more variety if you have a little more to spend: Their Market Bread ($1) can be cut into slices with butter and salt and toasted. This would be great for pasta night. Add in hot dog buns ($0.89) for your hot dog night. Add in another in-season fruit for more variety with breakfast and lunch. Cereal ($1.74 for a large box of Great Value O’s).
Here is a breakdown of the meals you can make from these items:
**Please note these amounts are per person but the shopping list above is enough for four of these servings per meal
Weekly Meal Plan
Monday: Slice of toast with 1 Tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 banana
Tuesday: 2 Eggs and 1 banana
Wednesday: Oatmeal with 2 cut up apples mixed in (add sweetener as desired)
Thursday: Slice of toast with 1 Tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 banana
Friday: Oatmeal with 2 cup up apples mixed in (add sweetener as desired)
Saturday: 2 Crescent Rolls, peanut butter, jelly and 1 banana
Sunday: Oatmeal with 2 cut up apples mixed in (add sweetener as desired)
Monday: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich with 1/2 banana
Tuesday: Grilled Cheese (1 slice cheese on 2 pieces bread with butter) and 1/2 apple
Wednesday: Pasta (1 box) with butter, salt and pepper with 1/2 apple
Thursday: 2 Eggs, 1 Slice Toast, 1/2 Banana
Friday: Peanut Butter and Jelly on Tortilla with 1/2 apple
Saturday: Tortilla “Pizza” (tortilla topped with sauce and cheese), 1/2 apple
Sunday: Cheese Quesadilla, 1/2 apple
Monday: Hot Dogs, Frozen Vegetables
Tuesday: Pasta (1 box) with butter, salt, pepper and frozen vegetables
Wednesday: Rice with eggs and frozen vegetables (stir fry) with butter
Thursday: Crescent Dogs (wrap hot dogs in crescent rolls) with frozen vegetables
Friday: Grilled Cheese sandwich with frozen vegetables
Saturday: Cheese Quesadillas, refried beans, frozen vegetables
Sunday: Tortilla “Pizza” (tortilla topped with sauce and cheese), frozen vegetables
Hard boiled eggs
Toast with peanut butter and jelly
Toast with butter and jelly
So that’s it! I hope this meal plan challenges you to save money on your next shopping trip. It certainly did for us. I’m hoping to come up with even more variety in my next trip – see you then!