A few weeks ago a friend mentioned that I should do a post about how I plan food, grocery shop, and meal prep for the week. This is my first attempt…let me know what you think and if you’d like to see it every week!
I recently mentioned that I wanted to switch more from rigid meal planning to meal guides. I’m still doing a “lose” plan, but with being back in school we are starting be be more budget conscious which means better planning and lower food costs.
Please be aware that my husband eats most of his meals at work 3-4 days of the week (it’s free and he says there are some great cooks there lol). This meal plan will cover all of my meals and some for him as well, plus I get extra groceries for him to use since he doesn’t exactly love the same kinds of food as me.
Meal Plan this week:
- Breakfasts – overnight oats, protein pancakes/waffles, smoothies
- Snacks – fruit, protein balls, veggies, hummus
- Work Lunch - (for 3 days) turkey sausage salad with kale, asparagus, brussel sprouts, quinoa, green onion and pesto; sandwich and raw veggies on the 4th day
- Dinners – salads, salmon with veggies, homemade veggie burgers
- Dessert – protein ice cream pops (recipe from Tone It Up)
I’m proud to say that I set a food budget of $50 for this week and came in just above $47!! My number one tips for coming in under budget are adequate planning/making a detailed list, not buying any items that aren’t on the list, and not going shopping when you’re hungry. Try and get everything in one shopping trip per week if possible. Some weeks I think “I’ll just pick up a few things” and end up spending $30 on random food items (loaded brownie sundae anyone?). When you do this 3 times per week it can end up easily costing double what a singular, planned grocery trip can cost. I also try to shop from my pantry first and see how much I can make with what I already have on hand.
Check out my blog post on How to Eat Healthy on a Budget for tips on how to spend less on good-for-you foods.
- almond milk
- 1 6 oz. container greek yogurt
- sliced deli turkey
- turkey sausage
- stevia (for iced coffees)
- frozen blueberries and strawberries
- club soda
- small jar of pesto (personally, I think it’s cheaper to buy than make)
- mixed greens
- cucumber (x2)
- bell pepper (x2)
- green onions
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 avocado
- 1 container grape or cherry tomatoes (cheaper option)
- 5 apples (we are an apple lovin’ family)
- bananas – I buy ridiculous amounts, good thing they are cheap!
- 2 small frozen pizzas (my husband loves to keep these on hand)
Items I already had at home included nuts, grains, oats, frozen salmon, coffee, etc…
Sometimes I go to multiple stores for my items, it just depends on how much time I have and my mood. I love Wal-Mart for home goods (like T.P., cat litter, and toiletries) and our City Market has the best and most beautiful produce. I will also go to the health food store for specialty items like bulk grain or nuts but I try to steer clear as that place is a money trap for me!
Meal Prep for the week
I take Sundays for meal prepping including anything I need to do for breakfast, lunches, and snacks for the week. This could include chopping veggies, freezing fruits, pre-cooking grains, and making dishes to take with me. I try to do 1 or 2 big dishes per week for lunches and then be more relaxed for dinner. This week was an easy prep day!
- Protein powerballs (this recipe + coconut oil and a scoop of chocolate protein powder)
- Lunch bowl with turkey sausage, kale, asparagus, brussel sprouts, green onion, cooked quinoa, and basil pesto
I only had 1/2 cup dry quinoa on hand so I made due but it would be better with more quinoa, oh well.
That wraps it up for this week. Is this post something you’d like to see on a weekly basis? We are trying to cut costs so I will be spending a little extra time on meal planning and budgeting for groceries so it might be helpful for both me and you to have an organized and detailed weekly blog post. Let me know what you think!