I really wanted to share with you a real-life example of how I budget, meal plan and grocery shop. I wouldn’t usually consider this grocery trip a “haul”, but since I purchased all our meals for the week ahead, that’s pretty significant! We live in NYC, so we do all our shopping by foot, groceries included. I usually would not purchase this many items in one shopping trip because it would be too heavy. Thankfully today, Thomas tagged along and was able to help me lug everything home 🙂
So, first things first, last night, for…gosh, probably 4+ hours I scanned Pinterest for recipes (I wanted to switch it up this week and try something new, exciting and different!) and came up with 4-5 large meals (dinners) that would give us at least 2-3 leftovers (lunch and dinners). Before I wrote anything down, I also scanned all the brand new grocery catalogs on Flipp (mobile app). What I try to do is work my meal plan around what is on sale for the following week. Pro tip: It is a great idea to hit up the stores on day 1 when the sales drop because you’re less likely to run into a situation where that item you tried to purchase is already sold out. On the downside, it will probably be crowded, BUT at least the shelves will be full.
Before I go further, I’d like to say that I kept to about 90% of my list. Sometimes something on my list isn’t available – therefore, I improvise. I also have some items at home already, and a few that still need to be purchased.
In pantry/fridge: Potatoes, ground beef, peas, oatmeal, bread crumbs, butter/jam.
Still need to purchase: Pasta sauce, cheese, and kielbasa from the dollar store – $5 estimate
My goal was $40 for 7-10 days. I cashed in at $40.40 cents.
Breakfasts: Oatmeal & banana (have in pantry), Raisin brand w/ banana, french toast & banana, banana pineapple smoothie, toast w/ butter/jam (have in pantry), Pop tarts.
Lunches: Tuna sandwich w/ fruit. Egg salad sandwich w/ fruit. Mac & cheese. Brunch (bacon, eggs, home-fries & toast) x2
Dinners: Meat loaf, mash potatoes, and peas. Cajun red beans and rice (2+ leftovers). Sweet Italian chicken & peppers over pasta or in a sandwich (2+ leftovers). Chicken Parmesan over pasta or in a sandwich. Chinese pepper steak w/ rice.
I did this all at C-Town, a small grocery chain in NYC.
Here are the links to a few of the recipes mentioned above:
Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Peppers
Louisiana Red Beans & Rice