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Meal Planning Meal Planning

S/O, upper spending limits/how to eat healthy on a budget

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In my other post, a topic has emerged that deserves further exploration.  How to eat whole, real food without spending a small fortune.  Let's share-whether you need help or have ideas-jump in and let your voice be heard!

I'm not a real good one to give advice because I've never really HAD to stick to a budget.  Prior to moving to real food I did try to keep costs low, but if I went over we didn't suffer.  I know we are blessed to be in that situation and I don't take it for granted.  I also know that a lot of people simply CAN'T raise their own meat/eggs/dairy and am grateful for that blessing too. 

Some Things Cookin' at my blog! 

by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Replies (11-19):
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Nov. 20, 2012 at 8:51 PM
1 mom liked this

Meal planning, shopping at Save A Lot, buying in bulk when it was cheaper, making bread and yogurt and everything possible from scratch, and knowing how to stretch a pound of meat to feed everyone.  We ate a lot of casseroles!  I took advantage of seasonal sales.  Remember, too, that this was two years ago when prices were lower.

Here's a copy of my one of my menu plans from 2010:



I put together another meal plan for the next 33 days and I'm pretty sure I can pull together 2 more meals out of what I have on hand, so that'll be FIVE WEEKS' worth of menus here! I shopped yesterday, and the grand total for all food came to $296.12!

Here's the plan:

Breakfasts: Homemade blueberry & strawberry waffles and pancakes (made in advance and frozen), oatmeal with fruit or peanut butter (yes, it sounds weird, but peanut butter & brown sugar are kind of good with oatmeal), scrambled egg muffins, yogurt berry parfaits, homemade granola, and 3 boxes of cold cereal that will be rationed.

Lunches: sandwiches (homemade bread, tuna salad, egg salad, PB & J, cheese, BLT), salads, or leftovers.

Dinners:

  • 8/16 Shredded chicken BBQ on buns, shredded carrot salad, beet pickles
  • 8/17 Taco salad
  • 8/18 Easy egg rolls, chicken fried rice, Szechuan beans
  • 8/19 Homemade mac & cheese, steamed broccoli mix, Waldorf salad
  • 8/20 Tator tot casserole, tossed salad
  • 8/21 Lasagna, garlic herb bread, tossed salad
  • 8/22 Chicken breasts in lemon cream sauce, homemade egg noodles, green beans, tossed salad
  • 8/23 Wild rice/beef/ vegetables crockpot casserole, tossed salad
  • 8/24 Parmesan chicken, spaghetti noodles, tossed salad
  • 8/25 Wet burritos
  • 8/26 Chicken Jambalaya
  • 8/27 Copycat Manwich on homemade buns, steamed peas & carrots
  • 8/28 Roast chicken, stuffing, corn pudding
  • 8/29 Beef Roast, potatoes, carrots
  • 8/30 Chicken stroganoff over homemade egg noodles, green beans
  • 8/31 Tacos, all the trimmings
  • 9/1 Homemade chicken strips, pasta salad, green peas
  • 9/2 Porcupine meatballs, mashed potatoes, tossed salad
  • 9/3 Teriyaki chicken, rice, oriental salad
  • 9/4 Baked spaghetti, tossed salad
  • 9/5 Rosemary chicken & potatoes, steamed broccoli mix
  • 9/6 LABOR DAY grilled bratwurst, buns, corn on the cob, 7 layer salad, artichoke dip & pita chips
  • 9/7 Taco lasagna
  • 9/8 Oven fried chicken, oven fried potatoes, green beans
  • 9/9 Tuna melts, potato chips, dill pickles
  • 9/10 Chow mein casserole, oriental salad with veggies
  • 9/11 Taco soup, coffeecake muffins
  • 9/12 Meatloaf, baked potatoes, corn
  • 9/13 Chicken alfredo, tossed salad
  • 9/14 Chili, crackers
  • 9/15 Bruschetta chicken, Italian bread, green beans
  • 9/16 Ramen casserole w/veggies
  • 9/17 Roast chicken, hot German potato salad, green peas


Desserts: Jello fluff dessert, chocolate macaroon cake, chocolate zucchini cake, marbled cheesecake brownies, coconut meringue pie, lemon meringue torte, coconut mango cheesecake, cheesecake bites with fruit topping

Snacks: Homemade peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, popcorn, homemade tortilla chips with bean dip or salsa, frozen berries, fresh fruit, homemade granola bars, caramel corn, peanut butter popcorn, homemade snack crackers.


I'm sure you already understand that almost everything is homemade.

Quoting italianbesos:

 How did you manage to spend so little. Our family of four spends $450-700 a month on groceries.

Quoting michiganmom116:



Rhonda

italianbesos
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 9:03 PM

 Thanks. I wish i had time to make everyone. Thats our problem. We both go to school and work 12 hour shifts. Its easier to buy prepared and we buy a lot of microwave meals for our nanny to feed the kids. Its insane how much we spend and waste food. Ill have to try planning ahead and freezing on next shopping trip. I get lazy when i come home at 8:00. Do you have a recipe for the mango cheesecake. it sounds amazing!!!

Quoting michiganmom116:

Meal planning, shopping at Save A Lot, buying in bulk when it was cheaper, making bread and yogurt and everything possible from scratch, and knowing how to stretch a pound of meat to feed everyone.  We ate a lot of casseroles!  I took advantage of seasonal sales.  Remember, too, that this was two years ago when prices were lower.

Here's a copy of my one of my menu plans from 2010:



I put together another meal plan for the next 33 days and I'm pretty sure I can pull together 2 more meals out of what I have on hand, so that'll be FIVE WEEKS' worth of menus here! I shopped yesterday, and the grand total for all food came to $296.12!

Here's the plan:

Breakfasts: Homemade blueberry & strawberry waffles and pancakes (made in advance and frozen), oatmeal with fruit or peanut butter (yes, it sounds weird, but peanut butter & brown sugar are kind of good with oatmeal), scrambled egg muffins, yogurt berry parfaits, homemade granola, and 3 boxes of cold cereal that will be rationed.

Lunches: sandwiches (homemade bread, tuna salad, egg salad, PB & J, cheese, BLT), salads, or leftovers.

Dinners:

  • 8/16 Shredded chicken BBQ on buns, shredded carrot salad, beet pickles
  • 8/17 Taco salad
  • 8/18 Easy egg rolls, chicken fried rice, Szechuan beans
  • 8/19 Homemade mac & cheese, steamed broccoli mix, Waldorf salad
  • 8/20 Tator tot casserole, tossed salad
  • 8/21 Lasagna, garlic herb bread, tossed salad
  • 8/22 Chicken breasts in lemon cream sauce, homemade egg noodles, green beans, tossed salad
  • 8/23 Wild rice/beef/ vegetables crockpot casserole, tossed salad
  • 8/24 Parmesan chicken, spaghetti noodles, tossed salad
  • 8/25 Wet burritos
  • 8/26 Chicken Jambalaya
  • 8/27 Copycat Manwich on homemade buns, steamed peas & carrots
  • 8/28 Roast chicken, stuffing, corn pudding
  • 8/29 Beef Roast, potatoes, carrots
  • 8/30 Chicken stroganoff over homemade egg noodles, green beans
  • 8/31 Tacos, all the trimmings
  • 9/1 Homemade chicken strips, pasta salad, green peas
  • 9/2 Porcupine meatballs, mashed potatoes, tossed salad
  • 9/3 Teriyaki chicken, rice, oriental salad
  • 9/4 Baked spaghetti, tossed salad
  • 9/5 Rosemary chicken & potatoes, steamed broccoli mix
  • 9/6 LABOR DAY grilled bratwurst, buns, corn on the cob, 7 layer salad, artichoke dip & pita chips
  • 9/7 Taco lasagna
  • 9/8 Oven fried chicken, oven fried potatoes, green beans
  • 9/9 Tuna melts, potato chips, dill pickles
  • 9/10 Chow mein casserole, oriental salad with veggies
  • 9/11 Taco soup, coffeecake muffins
  • 9/12 Meatloaf, baked potatoes, corn
  • 9/13 Chicken alfredo, tossed salad
  • 9/14 Chili, crackers
  • 9/15 Bruschetta chicken, Italian bread, green beans
  • 9/16 Ramen casserole w/veggies
  • 9/17 Roast chicken, hot German potato salad, green peas


Desserts: Jello fluff dessert, chocolate macaroon cake, chocolate zucchini cake, marbled cheesecake brownies, coconut meringue pie, lemon meringue torte, coconut mango cheesecake, cheesecake bites with fruit topping

Snacks: Homemade peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, popcorn, homemade tortilla chips with bean dip or salsa, frozen berries, fresh fruit, homemade granola bars, caramel corn, peanut butter popcorn, homemade snack crackers.


I'm sure you already understand that almost everything is homemade.

Quoting italianbesos:

 How did you manage to spend so little. Our family of four spends $450-700 a month on groceries.

Quoting michiganmom116:

 

 

CafeMom Tickers


Mommy to a beautiful little princess and handsome little prince.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Nov. 20, 2012 at 9:13 PM

I sure do! ...and it was amazing!





Coconut Mango Cheesecake

  • 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 c. sweetened shredded coconut, toasted lightly
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 12 oz. cream of coconut
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 c. shredded coconut
  • 2 large fresh mangoes

Wrap outside of 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4 inch high sides with foil. Mix graham cracker crumbs, coconut and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter and mix to blend. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Chill while preparing filling.

Preheat oven to 325F. Beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in egg yolk. Add cream of coconut, whipping cream and shredded coconut; beat just until blended. Pour into crust. Bake cheesecake until puffed and golden, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely. Refrigerate until well chilled (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Puree 1/4 of mango slices in blender until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Sweeten to taste with sugar, if desired.

Using small knife, cut around cheesecake to loosen. Remove pan sides. Arrange remaining mango slices decoratively over cheesecake. Serve with mango puree.

Quoting italianbesos:

 Thanks. I wish i had time to make everyone. Thats our problem. We both go to school and work 12 hour shifts. Its easier to buy prepared and we buy a lot of microwave meals for our nanny to feed the kids. Its insane how much we spend and waste food. Ill have to try planning ahead and freezing on next shopping trip. I get lazy when i come home at 8:00. Do you have a recipe for the mango cheesecake. it sounds amazing!!!

Quoting michiganmom116:

Meal planning, shopping at Save A Lot, buying in bulk when it was cheaper, making bread and yogurt and everything possible from scratch, and knowing how to stretch a pound of meat to feed everyone.  We ate a lot of casseroles!  I took advantage of seasonal sales.  Remember, too, that this was two years ago when prices were lower.

Here's a copy of my one of my menu plans from 2010:




Rhonda

Kelly913
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 9:22 PM

I don't know the agreement you have with your nanny, but seems to me she (or he) should be helping out with meals and not just zapping something in the microwave.

I'll encourage you to make time to cook and freeze meals whenever you can, but also remember that we go thru seasons in life and this sounds like it isn't the time that you can devote to making lots of food from scratch.

You'll likely save lots of money though if you can buy less processed food.

Quoting italianbesos:

 Thanks. I wish i had time to make everyone. Thats our problem. We both go to school and work 12 hour shifts. Its easier to buy prepared and we buy a lot of microwave meals for our nanny to feed the kids. Its insane how much we spend and waste food. Ill have to try planning ahead and freezing on next shopping trip. I get lazy when i come home at 8:00. Do you have a recipe for the mango cheesecake. it sounds amazing!!!

Quoting michiganmom116:

Meal planning, shopping at Save A Lot, buying in bulk when it was cheaper, making bread and yogurt and everything possible from scratch, and knowing how to stretch a pound of meat to feed everyone.  We ate a lot of casseroles!  I took advantage of seasonal sales.  Remember, too, that this was two years ago when prices were lower.

Here's a copy of my one of my menu plans from 2010:



I put together another meal plan for the next 33 days and I'm pretty sure I can pull together 2 more meals out of what I have on hand, so that'll be FIVE WEEKS' worth of menus here! I shopped yesterday, and the grand total for all food came to $296.12!

Here's the plan:

Breakfasts: Homemade blueberry & strawberry waffles and pancakes (made in advance and frozen), oatmeal with fruit or peanut butter (yes, it sounds weird, but peanut butter & brown sugar are kind of good with oatmeal), scrambled egg muffins, yogurt berry parfaits, homemade granola, and 3 boxes of cold cereal that will be rationed.

Lunches: sandwiches (homemade bread, tuna salad, egg salad, PB & J, cheese, BLT), salads, or leftovers.

Dinners:

  • 8/16 Shredded chicken BBQ on buns, shredded carrot salad, beet pickles
  • 8/17 Taco salad
  • 8/18 Easy egg rolls, chicken fried rice, Szechuan beans
  • 8/19 Homemade mac & cheese, steamed broccoli mix, Waldorf salad
  • 8/20 Tator tot casserole, tossed salad
  • 8/21 Lasagna, garlic herb bread, tossed salad
  • 8/22 Chicken breasts in lemon cream sauce, homemade egg noodles, green beans, tossed salad
  • 8/23 Wild rice/beef/ vegetables crockpot casserole, tossed salad
  • 8/24 Parmesan chicken, spaghetti noodles, tossed salad
  • 8/25 Wet burritos
  • 8/26 Chicken Jambalaya
  • 8/27 Copycat Manwich on homemade buns, steamed peas & carrots
  • 8/28 Roast chicken, stuffing, corn pudding
  • 8/29 Beef Roast, potatoes, carrots
  • 8/30 Chicken stroganoff over homemade egg noodles, green beans
  • 8/31 Tacos, all the trimmings
  • 9/1 Homemade chicken strips, pasta salad, green peas
  • 9/2 Porcupine meatballs, mashed potatoes, tossed salad
  • 9/3 Teriyaki chicken, rice, oriental salad
  • 9/4 Baked spaghetti, tossed salad
  • 9/5 Rosemary chicken & potatoes, steamed broccoli mix
  • 9/6 LABOR DAY grilled bratwurst, buns, corn on the cob, 7 layer salad, artichoke dip & pita chips
  • 9/7 Taco lasagna
  • 9/8 Oven fried chicken, oven fried potatoes, green beans
  • 9/9 Tuna melts, potato chips, dill pickles
  • 9/10 Chow mein casserole, oriental salad with veggies
  • 9/11 Taco soup, coffeecake muffins
  • 9/12 Meatloaf, baked potatoes, corn
  • 9/13 Chicken alfredo, tossed salad
  • 9/14 Chili, crackers
  • 9/15 Bruschetta chicken, Italian bread, green beans
  • 9/16 Ramen casserole w/veggies
  • 9/17 Roast chicken, hot German potato salad, green peas


Desserts: Jello fluff dessert, chocolate macaroon cake, chocolate zucchini cake, marbled cheesecake brownies, coconut meringue pie, lemon meringue torte, coconut mango cheesecake, cheesecake bites with fruit topping

Snacks: Homemade peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, popcorn, homemade tortilla chips with bean dip or salsa, frozen berries, fresh fruit, homemade granola bars, caramel corn, peanut butter popcorn, homemade snack crackers.


I'm sure you already understand that almost everything is homemade.

Quoting italianbesos:

 How did you manage to spend so little. Our family of four spends $450-700 a month on groceries.

Quoting michiganmom116:

 

 

 

Some Things Cookin' at my blog! 

Momof2Stepof3
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Our family mostly me has food restrictions and I'm here to learn. I am gluten free and dairy free other then hard cheese and yogurt.

We can't do a garden not allowed even in pots on the property.

We don't have any where to by half or whole cow.

I wam learning to make my how rice flour for breads, crusts and ect.

Quoting Kelly913:

In my other post, a topic has emerged that deserves further exploration.  How to eat whole, real food without spending a small fortune.  Let's share-whether you need help or have ideas-jump in and let your voice be heard!

I'm not a real good one to give advice because I've never really HAD to stick to a budget.  Prior to moving to real food I did try to keep costs low, but if I went over we didn't suffer.  I know we are blessed to be in that situation and I don't take it for granted.  I also know that a lot of people simply CAN'T raise their own meat/eggs/dairy and am grateful for that blessing too. 


Kelly913
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Are you sure there's nowhere to buy half a steer?  Have you tried http://www.localharvest.com/?  There are other sites to help find those kinds of things, but I've forgotten them.  Try a web search for side of beef and your city's name.

Where do you live that you can't even have plants in pots??  I'd be fighting that for sure!

Quoting Momof2Stepof3:

Our family mostly me has food restrictions and I'm here to learn. I am gluten free and dairy free other then hard cheese and yogurt.

We can't do a garden not allowed even in pots on the property.

We don't have any where to by half or whole cow.

I wam learning to make my how rice flour for breads, crusts and ect.

Quoting Kelly913:

In my other post, a topic has emerged that deserves further exploration.  How to eat whole, real food without spending a small fortune.  Let's share-whether you need help or have ideas-jump in and let your voice be heard!

I'm not a real good one to give advice because I've never really HAD to stick to a budget.  Prior to moving to real food I did try to keep costs low, but if I went over we didn't suffer.  I know we are blessed to be in that situation and I don't take it for granted.  I also know that a lot of people simply CAN'T raise their own meat/eggs/dairy and am grateful for that blessing too. 


 

Some Things Cookin' at my blog! 

Momof2Stepof3
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 11:42 PM

I live outside the city of SF no where in this area unless I want to drive 3 to 4 hours away with half a cow in my car. As for the no plants in pots they can be indoors but its very cold and no sun light. I will not go into detail of my "home" right now. We can't put anything outside at all or it voids our contract and we get kicked.

Quoting Kelly913:

Are you sure there's nowhere to buy half a steer?  Have you tried http://www.localharvest.com/?  There are other sites to help find those kinds of things, but I've forgotten them.  Try a web search for side of beef and your city's name.

Where do you live that you can't even have plants in pots??  I'd be fighting that for sure!

Quoting Momof2Stepof3:

Our family mostly me has food restrictions and I'm here to learn. I am gluten free and dairy free other then hard cheese and yogurt.

We can't do a garden not allowed even in pots on the property.

We don't have any where to by half or whole cow.

I wam learning to make my how rice flour for breads, crusts and ect.

Quoting Kelly913:

In my other post, a topic has emerged that deserves further exploration.  How to eat whole, real food without spending a small fortune.  Let's share-whether you need help or have ideas-jump in and let your voice be heard!

I'm not a real good one to give advice because I've never really HAD to stick to a budget.  Prior to moving to real food I did try to keep costs low, but if I went over we didn't suffer.  I know we are blessed to be in that situation and I don't take it for granted.  I also know that a lot of people simply CAN'T raise their own meat/eggs/dairy and am grateful for that blessing too. 


 


Kelly913
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:07 AM

Sounds pretty bad!  How faraway is this farm?  http://www.localharvest.org/prather-ranch-meat-co-M19436 

Quoting Momof2Stepof3:

I live outside the city of SF no where in this area unless I want to drive 3 to 4 hours away with half a cow in my car. As for the no plants in pots they can be indoors but its very cold and no sun light. I will not go into detail of my "home" right now. We can't put anything outside at all or it voids our contract and we get kicked.

Quoting Kelly913:

Are you sure there's nowhere to buy half a steer?  Have you tried http://www.localharvest.com/?  There are other sites to help find those kinds of things, but I've forgotten them.  Try a web search for side of beef and your city's name.

Where do you live that you can't even have plants in pots??  I'd be fighting that for sure!

Quoting Momof2Stepof3:

Our family mostly me has food restrictions and I'm here to learn. I am gluten free and dairy free other then hard cheese and yogurt.

We can't do a garden not allowed even in pots on the property.

We don't have any where to by half or whole cow.

I wam learning to make my how rice flour for breads, crusts and ect.

Quoting Kelly913:

In my other post, a topic has emerged that deserves further exploration.  How to eat whole, real food without spending a small fortune.  Let's share-whether you need help or have ideas-jump in and let your voice be heard!

I'm not a real good one to give advice because I've never really HAD to stick to a budget.  Prior to moving to real food I did try to keep costs low, but if I went over we didn't suffer.  I know we are blessed to be in that situation and I don't take it for granted.  I also know that a lot of people simply CAN'T raise their own meat/eggs/dairy and am grateful for that blessing too. 


 


 

Some Things Cookin' at my blog! 

Momof2Stepof3
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:18 AM

They don't sell from their farm I know of them. They sell on the Warf in the city I've went their and not worth the drive for the prices.

Quoting Kelly913:

Sounds pretty bad!  How faraway is this farm?  http://www.localharvest.org/prather-ranch-meat-co-M19436 

Quoting Momof2Stepof3:

I live outside the city of SF no where in this area unless I want to drive 3 to 4 hours away with half a cow in my car. As for the no plants in pots they can be indoors but its very cold and no sun light. I will not go into detail of my "home" right now. We can't put anything outside at all or it voids our contract and we get kicked.

Quoting Kelly913:

Are you sure there's nowhere to buy half a steer?  Have you tried http://www.localharvest.com/?  There are other sites to help find those kinds of things, but I've forgotten them.  Try a web search for side of beef and your city's name.

Where do you live that you can't even have plants in pots??  I'd be fighting that for sure!

Quoting Momof2Stepof3:

Our family mostly me has food restrictions and I'm here to learn. I am gluten free and dairy free other then hard cheese and yogurt.

We can't do a garden not allowed even in pots on the property.

We don't have any where to by half or whole cow.

I wam learning to make my how rice flour for breads, crusts and ect.

Quoting Kelly913:

In my other post, a topic has emerged that deserves further exploration.  How to eat whole, real food without spending a small fortune.  Let's share-whether you need help or have ideas-jump in and let your voice be heard!

I'm not a real good one to give advice because I've never really HAD to stick to a budget.  Prior to moving to real food I did try to keep costs low, but if I went over we didn't suffer.  I know we are blessed to be in that situation and I don't take it for granted.  I also know that a lot of people simply CAN'T raise their own meat/eggs/dairy and am grateful for that blessing too. 


 


 


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