Great Plans Create Great Meals

Well, sometimes, anyway. I mentioned last week that I was participating in All You’s Grocery Challenge. The competition is one-fourth of the way complete. The mission? Feed your family for $25/person/week in creative and healthy ways. That means I have $175 for my food budget, including eating out. (Babies under one year of age don’t count.) This is about what we normally spend, barring extravagant restaurant splurges. So, staying under budget shouldn’t be too difficult, provided that I can avoid the aforementioned extravagant restaurant splurges.

The rules say that contestants will be judged 50% on staying under budget, 25% on creativity and 25% on health. Since I know I am under budget, I’ve been a little more critical about the last two categories. It’s not like I don’t want to be creative and healthy in our food choices on a regular basis, but a little outside motivation never hurt, now did it? I’ve been trying to vary what we eat, how it’s served, and trying to up our intake of fruits and veggies. Oh! To get 8 a day into my husband each child!

Last week I made a plan and included back-up plans. Rather than assigning each meal plan to a certain day, I just kept a list on the fridge of my 10-12 ideas for each meal of the day. This proved to be extremely helpful. I could be a little more spontaneous and go with the mood — or what was actually thawed. We ended up eating really well and didn’t eat out once! My husband has cheerfully gone along with my scheming and faithfully ate his lunch of leftovers every day instead of succombing to Mr. Taco.

FishPapa took the FBA to the beach on Saturday morning, and they did get donuts on the way, but that $7 was the only money we spent outside of the grocery store. Pretty good for us.

Here’s my plan for this week, making use of my stockpile and this load of groceries that I bought last week.

Breakfasts – served with fresh fruit
eggs and toast
cinnamon rolls

Lunches – served with fresh veggies and dip
ham sandwiches
grilled cheese sandwiches
snacky lunch
pasta salad

Snacks and Desserts
banana bread
apples and PB
fruit salad
cheese and crackers

Dinners – served with a salad or steamed veggies
hot dogs and sausages (on homemade buns!) and potatoes
beans and rice
grilled chicken and rice pilaf
roast chicken and potatoes
homemade pizza
pasta with red sauce and sausage
queso fundido

Want more meal planning inspiration, check out real life menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

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  1. What a good balance of planning, creativity, and flexibility! Will you please share your homemade buns recipe sometime?

  2. Lindsey says:

    wow your pancakes looks so much thicker and fluffier than mine?! share your secret?! 🙂 please?!

  3. FishMama says:

    Yes, and yes. Those are both on my to do list. Hopefully, this week!

  4. I haven't had rice pilaf in a long time. I will have to make it for a side dish this week. Thanks for the idea 🙂

  5. Queso Fundido is new to me but looks great.

  6. HappilyDomestic says:

    Today is my first day on the Menu Plan Mondays. I have been making menu plans for my family for years, so this will be fun for me.
    Thanks for sharing your menu and good luck with the challenge. That actually seems like a high amount for groceries. On a website called Money Saving Mom she shows how she can feed a her family of 5 on $40 a week. It is very inspiring!
    I am trying to cut my families groceries down to $70 a week (and we have 5), and it's HARD!
    Today was my first time I tried it. If you wanna read about it..check out my blog. 🙂

  7. AudreyO says:

    I'm so impressed with the number of people who make their own pizza. The only time I eat pizza is when I go out.

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