Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Grocery Lists and Meal Planning on a Budget...

Does anyone have advice for planning meals in advance? I have a large household. My boyfriend, his parents, myself, my 2 SKs and my baby. Most days we have 6 people eating whatever we make for dinner (baby doesn't eat table food yet). We generally don't know what we are having for dinner till maybe noon the day of. Iwould like to try planning more and thinking ahead. I want it to be budget friendly. I don't have a grocery budget because I am terrible at planning how to use things to the fullest. I need any help you guys can give. Money is tight, we may be getting food stamps (will find out this week). I want to try to use things more effectively and not waste as much food. I also would like to better plan dinners, lunches, and even snacks. I never have snacks planned. As summer approaches, I need to get this figured out since EVERYONE will be home during the


Asked by aly38914290 at 1:59 PM on Feb. 25, 2009 in Food & Drink

Level 8 (259 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • Figure out how much money you want to spend on things you use every week like milk, bread, fruit, etc. What you have left is how much you have to spend on main course/veggies/etc.
    I make my list the day before I go to the store. I first look to see what I have in the kitchen that needs to be used, and I search online for recipes that use those ingredients. Use sites like Rachael Ray's website cause you can check or type in the ingredient and it pulls up recipes based on that.
    I try to buy meat and cheese in bulk and that way I can freeze it and it lasts for weeks. You should divide this out over the course of those number of weeks budget wise. You may spend a lot of money on meat one week, and then less money the weeks after that etc.
    I always make sure I have things on hand like spaghetti noodles, mac and cheese, sausage, eggs etc. when I don't feel like cooking an extensive meal. for more help

    Answer by Littlejem at 5:31 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • You should search for budgeting forms first. Sit down and figure out how much income comes in and how much is used for bills, then you can determine what you have left for food. After that search websites for budget friendly meals. has some pretty good recipes that feed alot and don't cost a ton. Another idea is to make a list and stick to it. Don't buy it unless it's listed. You'd be surprised the savings. I use to never make a list and I would end up with 3 bottles of mustard because I thought we were out, when the truth was I had already bought enough to last for months. Also, if you have a walmart in your area they ad match other stores. After making you list search the local ads for sales on your items and make walmart match it (saves a ton). Snacks can be something as simple as a popsicle or jello cup. Not to unhealthy and affordable.

    Answer by sidzwif at 2:18 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • try crock pot recipes... makes large amounts and you can freeze or take to work for lunches. Buy meat in bulk, dried beans, rice and make chilis, soups, stews , bread. skip the sodas and other junk food . there is only 3 in my family and we use recipezaar or when planning meals. if you have nice weather where you are then start a veggie garden. It's cold where I live so I'll have to wait til spring to plant .
    I wish you and your family the best .

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:46 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • I have 5 kids, 3 are at home, but either way I learned how to budget and plan in advance over the years. Just make a menu with cheap but yummy things. You dont have to cook anything on one specific day but plan 7 meals out on a peice of paper then buy what you need for it. It doesnt have to be hard things to cook either. For instance during any week someone would know I am having spaghetti one night, tuna casserole another, and tacos some other time. None of it is hard to make or costly.
    Tuna Casserole
    Tacos and Rice
    Chicken or Beef Burritos
    Veggy Soup
    Those are some ideas

    Answer by gemgem at 2:53 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • I also made a list of all dinners we like. I put things like chicken and noodles, roast, meatloaf, veggie beef soup, chicken stir fry, when we try a new recipe I add it if we like it. Then when I can't think of anything for the schedule I can refer to this list. it doesnt have to be anything special just tape a sheet of notebook paper in a cabinet door and they will write what they like. On the weekend I figure outour menu and write the ingredients on the shopping list.I buy enough aplles for me to have one every day. Another peice of fruit for lunch. I actually think of how many apples, kiwis, bananas i need. If fruit is going to go bad and we cant eat it I like to blend it up with orange juice and make popsicles. If you put something on the menu that requires lettuce (say for tacos) make sureyou put on a salad for another night to use it all.

    Answer by ria7 at 2:55 PM on Feb. 25, 2009