Monday, May 30, 2011

Back to weekly shopping/menu planning

I've been doing my menu planning and shopping monthly for close to 6 months now.  There are several advantages of doing this, but I'm seeing more disadvantages as summer approaches.  First, it's hard to plan what to eat a month ahead when you don't know what you'll be doing activity-wise.  This past month, I had to change several meals because of practices and meetings that I didn't know about when I planned the meals.  Also, we really want to focus on being more active, so many times heavy evening meals won't work for us.  It will be easier to plan just for the next week, as we'll know what we're doing and when (theoretically).

Second, since I'm really focusing on buying local, it will be easier to head to the farm/farmers' market first and pick up a few things and plan around them rather than hoping that I can find what I need.  I did that this week for the first time and it worked really well.  I think that if I go with a good idea what I already have on hand and with a few ideas in my head (or scratched on the back of an envelope), I will do ok.

Third, my budget it out of control.  I've been overspending by about $100 the past three months.  The first couple of times I blamed buying in bulk or stocking up on good meat sales, but I really have no excuse.  I need to do better.  My income drops in the summer and I'm determined not to alter my budget-I have to make it work.

The new plan is $500 for the month.  The first week I get $100 for Sam's Club to stock up on items that will last all month.  Then each week I will get $100 for groceries.  When it's gone, I'm done.  I've found this a little more challenging since I'm doing gluten/diary free for one of the girls.  I don't have a lot on hand, but we'll make it work for this week at least.  My goal is to really cut back on the gluten and dairy, so if I don't have an acceptable alternative, she will get to eat what we do this week.  I'll make sure to pick up some alternatives next week when I shop.

Menu plan for week of May 30 - June 5

Breakfast:  Omelets, Bacon, Toast with homemade strawberry jam, Grapes
Lunch:  Turkey on Grinder Rolls, Crackers w/ Cream Cheese Radish Dip, Grapes, Cheese Stick
Dinner:  Lasagna, Salad, Carrot Sticks

Breakfast:  Apple Muffin, Strawberries
Morning Snack:  Cheese Cubes
Lunch:  Spaghetti, Salad, Watermelon
Afternoon Snack:  Smoothie
Dinner:  Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, Roll

Breakfast:  Pancakes, Oranges
Morning Snack:  Smoothie
Lunch:  Meatballs, Corn, Cantaloupe, Roll
Afternoon Snack:  Chocolate Chip Cookie
Dinner:  Chicken Stir-Fry w/ Rice

Breakfast:  Omelets, Banana
Morning Snack:  Nuts
Lunch:  Quesadillas, Refried Beans, Mango, Spanish Rice
Afternoon Snack:  Peanut Butter Sandwich
Dinner:  Pork Chops, Potato Salad, Green Beans

Breakfast:  Granola Bar, Juice
Morning Snack:  Carrot Sticks
Lunch:  Tuna Casserole, Peas, Apples, Yogurt
Afternoon Snack:  String Cheese
Dinner:  Leftovers

Saturday-Sunday:  The kids and I will be out of town.  Hubby will be on his own.  He will eat breakfast from the freezer stash, have a quesadilla or sandwich for lunch and leftovers or eat out for dinner.

We'll be back Sunday afternoon and I'll shop for next week then.  I'll get something for Sunday evening dinner at the store.

Here's my grocery list for this week:

Farmers' Market (the good one)
3 heads of lettuce (1 Romaine, 2 misc. green leaf)-$6
1 bunch of radishes $2
1 pt. gooseberries $4
1 pt. sugar snap peas $3
1 bunch green onions $1.50

2 huge slicing tomatoes-$4.65 (such an unnecessary splurge, but they look so good)
2 pounds local, raw honey-$12.75
Total = $33.90

Local Farm (which I am sooooo excited about)
1 gallon raw milk $4.50

Total = $4.50

Sam's Club (monthly stuff bolded)
Finish Dishwasher Tabs - $12.98
3 pounds cashews $11.68
3 pounds organic spinach $3.97
1 giant bag of babybel cheeses (the kids have been asking for these FOREVER) $8.98
2 pounds strawberries $3.48
1 watermelon $3.98
4 pounds butter $9.33
2 gallon whole milk (for daycare kids) $6.54
5 pounds shredded cheddar cheese $11.82
5 pounds cut corn $4.88
5 pounds green beans $5.98
5 pounds peas $5.49
4 pounds broccoli florettes $5.68
Total = $99.78 (although I forgot maple syrup which runs $14-I'll be driving by next week, I'll put in on next week's budget)


4 pounds oranges $2.49 (will last 2 weeks)
1 Cantaloupe $.99

1 bag mini chocolate chips $1.79
3-4 pounds bananas $2.63
2 pounds carrots $.99

2 pkg. string cheese $5.98
2 pounds green grapes $2.98

Total = 18.69

4.76 pounds apples $7.09
2 pkg. whole wheat tortillas $6.58
1 jar organic salsa $2.50
1 bottle non-GMO soy sauce $3.29
1 bag organic corn tortilla chips $2.59

Total = $23.10

Schnuck's (emergency trip for picnic with the kids today)
2 pkg. nitrate/nitrite lunch meat $6.00
1 box organic wheat thins $3.09

Total = $9.52

Total for week 1 = $189.49

I am out of eggs and my regular supplier's chickens aren't laying, so I'll be heading back out to the farm this week to pick up eggs.  I can't function well with no eggs.   I will probably go ahead and get 5 dozen if they are available which will run me right up to my limit.

Since I'm starting the weekly meal planning, I linked up to's Menu Plan Monday.  There are tons of weekly menu plans.  I might spend the next couple of hours checking them out! LOL


  1. I find I can control my budget better if I do weekly shopping. I am trying to rethink lunch now that my kids are home from school. A sandwich every day is not going to cut it. It going to be a lot harder to feed everybody on $400.00 a month now that it is summer. My kid's are all eating a lot more now that they are older (18,15,12,9).

  2. I'm back to weekly shopping for the summer too!

  3. I’m Toni Spilsbury, The Organized Cook™, helping busy moms take “back” the family dinner while saving valuable time and money. What Julia Childs did mid-Century by bringing fabulous French cooking to the housewife, The Organized Cook™, will bring efficiency and organization to the modern-day busy mom. My way of cooking is unique from anything on the market today and answers the question, “what’s for dinner tonight?”, with the question, “what’s for dinner this week?”. My signature recipes create healthy, delicious meals using my unique algorithm that plans and organizes family dinners to reduce waste while saving time at the grocery store and in the kitchen. The Weekly Meal Plans include menus, grocery shopping lists, cooking instructions with time and money saving techniques. My book, The rganized Cook, is due out September 1st. Check out my YouTube Channel at for cooking demonstrations and helpful tips for saving time and money while making dinner.

    Toni Spilsbury


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