We have fallen off the wagon a bit with our weekly meal planning, which has resulted in a higher grocery bill. My 15 year old nephew is staying with us this next week while his parents are out of town, so a menu plan was a MUST! He has a hollow leg or something, and has eaten me out of house and home on more than one occasion.
At the same time, I have started counting calories and walking in an effort to lose weight, so I didn’t want to fill the menu with cheap pasta and high-calorie casseroles. After a night of planning and a trip to two groceries stores, I think I have a pretty decent menu, and the best part? I only spent $40! Obviously your pantry may have different things than mine, so your end cost might be a bit more, but its still a very frugal weekly menu for two adults and two teenagers.
My sister said she might send along some meat for the poor carnivore to eat, but I plan to add some TVP (textured vegetable protein) to most of the dishes for a little protein boost.
Here is what we will have for dinners:
1. Spaghetti and breadsticks
2. Chickpea and Potato Curry
4. Chili and homemade bread
7. Mung Bean Pasta Dish
A couple of those dishes are not vegan because of the cheese, but could easily be veganized with some Daiya or nut cheese.
For breakfast we will be having blueberry muffins, monkey bread, fried grits, scrambled tofu, and oatmeal. For lunches we will eat leftovers or sandwiches. I did buy some fresh produce so we can eat salads throughout the week and snack on some fruit. We have $10 left over in the grocery budget, so that will be used to replenish some fresh stuff. I am also going to make energy bites for them to snack on, and banana ice cream for dessert.
I shopped at Sam’s and one of our more local grocery chains that tends to have better prices. On Saturday and Wednesday morning we have a local farmers market so my husband can take the kids down to pick up a few more fresh items.
So there you have it! Two teenagers and two adults, one week, 21 meals … under $50. I’m sure someone could criticize or tweak it, but I hope its a good starting point for you to start menu planning. Planning ahead DEFINITELY saves me a ton of money on our grocery bill!
Now that the food is taken care of, wish me luck on adding a 15 year old and 65 pound English Bulldog to our apartment for a week!