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Large Family Weekly Meal Plan Intro

Meal Plan1

So I’ve been mentioning on here for a few weeks about how I’m working to cut our grocery budget. Our monthly grocery and household expenses hit an all-time high in July. We paid out one and half times our monthly mortgage payment on groceries and household items. That’s insanity and we cannot continue to do that or we’ll be homeless. Changes had to be made.

The biggest change was in attitude. Food is a necessity, not a luxury. I’m the biggest offender in the house. I eat when I’m sad, when I’m stressed, when I’m happy….food is completely tied to my emotions and I needed to break out of that unhealthy pattern. Sitting down and having a budget meeting with Matt after adding up all of our new expenses with all 4 kids in charter school was eye-opening and scary. Nothing like seeing the cold hard reality of barely making ends meet each month to help you break bad habits! 

Once I saw that the biggest change we could make to help our financial situation was with the grocery and household budget, I got busy. It took me over a month to formulate my plan. First, I went through my recipes and picked out 24 favorites that I felt confident the kids would eat without complaint. Then I made a list of every ingredient needed for those recipes and everything else we need to run the household for a month- breakfasts, lunches, snacks, etc. The next part was the most time consuming. I price checked every item. I shop at 3 stores- Aldi, Walmart, and Sam’s Club. I used the Walmart grocery app and the Sam’s Club app to look up each item and then I hit Aldi to price check in person. Once I had every single item priced at all 3 stores I came home to sort it out and make my lists. I added up the total cost for each meal and then I replaced some of the more expensive dinners with cheaper ones. 

Finally I had my meal plan for the month along with my grocery lists. I do Sam’s Club once a month and then Walmart pick up and Aldi once a week. I made separate shopping lists for each week using my List Ease app which lets me input prices so I can see my total cost. I’m committed to sticking to my lists, resisting impulse purchases, and trimming when necessary. My goal is to get our grocery and household budget to under $800 per month. I know that still sounds like alot but compared to the nearly $2000 we spent in July and considering that we are a family of 6 right now with a large varsity football player who can eat like a horse, that’s pretty reasonable. 

So for the next few months I’m going to be sharing my weekly meal plans complete with cost breakdown and grocery lists. I’m hoping it will help me stay accountable and maybe it will help some of you as well if you’re looking to cut your grocery costs! 

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  • Jessica

    I’m so jealous that you have 24 meals you can reasonably expect your kids to eat. I literally cannot think of one meal that I can count on all three of mine to eat. Macaroni and cheese (boxed, of course) is the most likely, but I have one lactose intolerant child and she can only eat a little bit (made with lactose free milk) before it starts to affect her system. For everything else…I can’t even count on them all to eat pizza, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, pancakes–pretty standard kid foods. I’ve tried to get all my meal planning in order and get back into once a month cooking (or at least once a month shopping) but not having any clue what to buy is definitely my biggest obstacle. I like the idea of being able to add prices to the lists I already keep on my phone; I’ll have to check that app out.