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Creative Kristi: Feeding my family for $140 or less

Creative Kristi

Monday, March 1, 2010

Feeding my family for $140 or less

So..... I posted on my facebook a few weeks ago about how my hubs was heading off to do our bi-weekly grocery shopping & that I had instructed him to keep it under $140. I got a lot of responses that basically boiled down to "You're crazy! You can't feed 3 people for TWO weeks on $140" so I promptly did what every person would do in that situation...I tweeted about it. I asked if I really WAS crazy and way under pricing my grocery budget. By the responses I received- I'm guessing so.
But here's the funny thing: Hubs & I have had a grocery budget of $140 for every paycheck (he gets bi-weekly paychecks) for almost 2 years now (ever since we starting following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover). At first it was really hard keeping it under $140 and we'd end up eating out or running back to the store with our money that was saved for debt repayment.
In the past 3 months or so we've gotten strict about it. After that $140 is spent that's it. We eat what we have and no more runs to the grocery store.
Right about now you're all going "Ok I get that you have a budget but you need to tell me what you are buying that you can have 3 meals a day for 3 people and stay under $140 every two weeks"
So here we go- below you'll find my menu plan below (with links to all the recipes I get from the internet) then tomorrow I'll post my grocery list (what we didn't already have) and the total on my receipt for the grocery trip Hubs took on Saturday. Plus other little tips I have for saving money. I had to break this up into 2 posts because it is getting pretty long already!

I am only listing dinner as breakfast and lunch don't change much. It's either oatmeal, yogurt & granola, or a cereal bar for breakfast. Lunch is usually grilled cheese or chicken nuggets, yogurt and crackers (Hubs takes leftovers usually).
Menu Plan:
Week One:
Monday March 1- Northern Beans & corn bread
Tuesday March 2- Aloha Chicken & a veggie (From Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food)
Wednesday March 3- Baked Potato, a veggie & Stove Top stuffing
Thursday March 4- Taco Night with homemade refried beans & homemade taco seasoning
Friday March 5- Homemade pizza (dough recipe from Betty Crocker Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today, 10th Edition)
Saturday March 6- Pasta noodles with from the jar sauce and a veggie
Sunday March 7- Breakfast for dinner (whole wheat pancakes from Betty Crocker cookbook, turkey bacon & scrambled eggs plus fruit) You can also find whole wheat pancakes at The Happy Housewife too.
Week Two:
Monday March 8- Mexican Chiken Skillet  (this is one of my favorites!!)
Tuesday March 9- Southwest Brown Rice/Black bean burgers with homemade hamburger buns (this is a new recipe for us to try)
Wednesday March 10- Cream Of potato Soup (again a new recipe to try)
Thursday March 11- Homemade Mac & Cheese (from Deceptively Delicious cookbook)
Friday March 12- Tuna salad sandwiches (from Deceptively Delicious cookbook)
Saturday March 13- Sloppy Joes made with ground turkey (from Deceptively Delicious cookbook)
Sunday March 14- Moroccan Spiced Chicken (can not find the link online- I'll post the recipe below it's really simple)
Week Three: (oh yes we are entering week 3 on the same $140 budget)
Monday March 15- Turkey Chili (from Deceptively Delicious) This one is a favorite among Hub's Army co-workers when we make way to much and he has to bring the extra to work.

Ok so there you have it 15 days of our menu plan. I usually just rotate this in for the next two weeks too and as the seasons change we change our meals to be less 'hot' and more 'summer-y'. I always have 2 weeks planned out on a calendar on the fridge & sometimes I get crazy and plan the whole month haha. I am not a crazy 'coupon' lady- meaning I very very rarely use them. I shop at Shaw's supermarket using my Shaw's rewards card (to get the gas savings) & I buy approx. 90-97% organic. You'll also notice we have quite a few 'meatless' meals since that saves money- and trust me on this ladies: my meat & potato Irish heritage Hubs doesn't mind ONE bit. All the food is yummy & filling!

Here is the Moroccan Spiced Chicken recipe (don't forget to come back tomorrow to see the grocery list & how much I spent on this menu plan at the grocery store this week)

Moroccan Spiced Chicken:
1 Tbl paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 to 1 & 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbl vegetable or olive oil

Mix together spices in a small bowl. Rub on both sides of each piece of chicken. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 15-20 minutes, turning once, until fully cooked. Enjoy with rice if you'd like!

P.S. I'd LOVE to know your menu plan (or if you don't have one), what is your favorite recipe & what do you do to save money on groceries? Also I think it would be fun if you all left a comment with how many people you feed and how much your grocery bill is (whether it be weekly shopping, bi-weekly or monthly)! I would love to see where my $140 falls in the mix!

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase a product after following one of these links you will be helping to support me & this blog. I will make a small percentage of your purchase price & I thank you!

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At March 1, 2010 at 3:51 PM , Blogger Birdie @ Chirp in the Forest said...

Oh Girlfriend. We are SO on the same page with frugal cooking and food shopping (and YAY! For Dave Ramsey!). Although I think you do a way better job than I do at the "quality" food, since I probably should cook a little more than I do. We don't do meal plans, but I try to keep our food budget under $300 a month (for 2) and we're usually successful. It can totally be done! I'm about to put up a weird post about various frugal-food tips I use too, so maybe we can start a revolution ;)

At March 1, 2010 at 7:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so awesome Kristi!! The mexican skillet supper looks awesome! Im also going to check out Dave Ramsey. Plus you gave me 2 great blogs to look at later on for more ideas. This is awesome. It is something I have been trying to work on for my husband and I....not only eating healthy but spending less on the food.
Thanks for this !!!

At March 1, 2010 at 7:57 PM , Anonymous Kristi @ Creative Kristi said...

Kaleena- Dave Ramsey is AWESOME! I keep reading the book over and over to keep the motivation up! AND you'll notice I linked to you too ;) Hope that's ok! I love those crackers!

At March 4, 2010 at 1:57 AM , Blogger Marisa said...

this is so inspiring. thanks for sharing - for some reason, I love reading other people's menu planning. :D


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