Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Party Is Over...

It's so nice we get to start the new year with a clean slate! I love to make goals and plan out or future year. This year, I am especially excited to start anew with my grocery planning. It has been an interesting year for me: the first six months we were living a glutton lifestyle- we were in temporarily living, switching houses each month. We received money for groceries since we were on 'travel'. The amount of money we received was much more than I would normally spend, but I didn't have a car, and was in a new foreign location with no guarantee of what kitchen gadgets would be around. This meant a lot of eating out, and a lot of convenience foods.

The result? We didn't eat very healthily, and I lost my grocery-budgeting muscles. And my real muscles. That is why 2018 is going to be a year to regain all of my atrophied muscles. 

I'm re-committing to a healthier, less expensive way to feed my family. I am one who likes routines, so I've come up with a 'routine' for my meals, so I don't have to think about much. Another thing I wanted to do is post about it here, so I am held accountable. I hope you will glean something interesting or useful from these posts, but ultimately, I am posting to help me stay on track.

Here is my weekly dinner plan:
  • Sunday: New recipes/special recipes and dessert (Roast, steak, salmon)
  • Monday: Pasta (Spaghetti, Beach st. Chicken, Lasagna, Mac and cheese)
  • Tuesday: Tacos/Mexican (Enchiladas, tacos, taco salad)
  • Wednesday: Stir Fry/Asian (Korean beef, Teriyaki chicken, fried rice)
  • Thursday: Soup (clam chowder, split pea soup, chili, chicken noodle, veggie stew)
  • Friday: Pizza (pepperoni, chicken bbq, garlic chicken)
  • Saturday: Grill (gyros, burgers, teryaki chicken skewers, veggies)
When it comes to lunches, I plan to have a rotation of the following:

  • Bagels
  • PB&J
  • Tuna/Tuna melts
  • Ham and Cheese rolls

Breakfast will be selected from the following, convenient, easy, and healthy options:

  • Cereal (bran flakes, plain cheerios, chex) 
  • Fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Oatmeal/Hot Cereal with blueberries 
  • Eggs
  • Breakfast 'cookies' 

Along with my weekly dinner plan, I have my list of basics that I always like to have around. This will be my skeleton weekly shopping list. I have been shopping at Aldi, which is nice because I can grab the basics and not have to worry so much about shopping sales. 

  • Fruits: Apples, cuties, bananas, craisins
  • Vegetables: Mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, spinach
  • Dairy: Plain Greek yogurt, milk, almond milk, vanilla yogurt
  • Meat: Ham, chicken, ground turkey
  • Other: Eggs, pistachios/almonds, pasta, refried beans, salsa, tortilla chips, hummus, cereal

Ultimately, I'm not sure how much to budget for all of this. While we've done the $50 grocery challenge for a while, I have a family of 5 now, and I want to see how it will all work out. I expect I'll be able to pull it off at $75 a week, but only time will tell.

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