Menu Planning on a Budget

Featured Member Post

If you're like me, working with a budget {most of the time} is a necessity. Grocery shopping has become so expensive, and I found that I was spending too much money on groceries then always seeming to have a hard time figuring out what to cook for dinner. A couple of ways I've already been working to save money on groceries is with coupon shopping and also grocery shopping on a budget.

But in that, the meal planning must come first. I think it's so important to write up a menu for the week before you get in the store, find yourself standing in the middle of the grocery aisle feeling overwhelmed and frustrated wondering what to buy.....then usually end up buying too much unnecessary items, spending too much money. Sound familiar?

Let me show you exactly how I've approached this week ahead and dinners I plan to prepare each night. Let me do say this...that while I may not necessarily create a menu for a specific night of the week, I do create several meals that I have on hand for any given night. With the busy-ness of my family and each of our schedules, that flexibility works best for me.

My budget for this weeks groceries is $50 (or less). This is also to include a couple of other items including dog food—which can be pricey. Some of you may be picking your jaw up from your computer right now, but bear with me....I know that's a tight budget, but it is what it is.

There are some snack items already in the pantry, some canned goods, along with some other staple items, so my pantry is not completely bare. I'm specifically talking about actual meal planning for dinner each night.

Here is what I have on hand to work with to create my menu for the week.

And here's what I'm planning to cook.

  • Canned Salmon—Salmon Patties on buns, sandwich bread or even without bread as salmon croquettes and veggies on the side.
  • Canned Manwich (with the lean ground beef) for Sloppy Joes—chips or veggies on the side.
  • Whole tomatos—tomato gravy and biscuits (kinda like having breakfast for supper).
  • Leg quarters—roast in the oven with rice and baked beans as sides.

Items on the grocery list:

  • Eggs—tons of stuff to do with eggs....again, I'll scramble with toast or biscuits and have breakfast for supper or have fried egg sandwiches.
  • Pancake mix—waffles on my waffle maker=L.O.V.E. ...with bacon or sausage (can you tell that breakfast for supper saves my life sometimes?) :)

Other items I bought:

  • Dannon yogurt
  • Milk
  • Dog Food—a smaller bag than I normally buy just to get me through the week and to accommodate my budget.
  • Bread
  • Bananas
  • Toilet Tissue

Total spent: around $30.

I've found it's best to wait until the last minute to go to the grocery store.....when you're pantry is actually pretty empty...instead of going on a set schedule or, even worse, several times a week. The reason why is to force you to use what you have on hand. Our cabinets probably have more in them than we realize, and too much stuff gets pushed to the back and out of sight and goes unused or even spoils. The point is to use what we have on hand, make the most of what we have and buy items that we can get the most use from (in other words, more bang for our buck).

Other inexpensive meals that easily feed my bunch are Roasted Chicken, Steak Sandwiches, Taco Soup and Stroganoff.

My menu may not necessarily be gourmet or fancy by any means, but it feeds my family, fills their belly and puts us together at the dinner table several times a week.

Hope this helps you and gets you to thinking of how you can prepare your own budget-friendly meals each week, too.

Recent Posts by The More I Run

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.