I have been wanting to do a segment for a while on how to eat well within a budget. Every week, I scan the flyers, see what’s on sale, and plan around that for each week’s menu plan. When something I use often is on sale, and the sale is particularly good (good=only on sale once every few months at that price), then I stock up on that item. My rule of thumb is to buy enough to get me through until the next time it goes on sale.
With a little bit of planning ahead, you can take the stress out of mealtimes (a major plus for busy moms) and always have something on hand to make. There are no ’emergency’ trips out to the store mid week, and no fast food runs (unless those are worked into the plan).
Here is what I have for this week:
Sunday: Paella and salad (see Paella post for recipe). Made with Sausages that I bought on sale last week for $3.99.
Monday: Tacos (with ground turkey) and salad. Metro has ground turkey on sale this week for $2.99/lb. No Frills has taco shells and salsa on sale for $2.00 a package/jar.
Tuesday: Meatball Soup and salad (this recipe if from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook). It’s one of our family’s favorites, and it’s easy, and freezes well. We use ground turkey for the meatballs (on sale this week – see above!).
Wednesday: Skillet Chicken and Vegetables (see blog post for recipe) from Epicurious. This is using the chicken thighs on sale at No Frills for $1.77/lb. Potatoes are also on sale at No Frills for $2.50/10lbs, and carrots ($1.50/2lbs).
Thursday: Chili and buns (using ground beef that I bought on sale a couple of weeks back). I made this in the crock pot on Monday, and will freeze half for another meal.
Friday: Creamy Chicken, Mushroom and Pasta bake with Salad from the Kraft website. I haven’t tried this recipe before, but it looks really good, and it calls for easy ingredients that many people have on hand. This is a good one to generate leftovers also for lunches.
Saturday: Pork Tenderloin, potatoes, veggie and salad. It’s our friend’s birthday this week, and we are having him over for dinner Saturday night. His favorite meal is Pork Tenderloin with green beans; I bought pork last week when it was on sale, and froze it for tonight. I will likely use the leftovers for Pork Fried Rice later in the week.
This menu plan was well under $100, and once you add in yogurt, milk, veggies and fruit, you are pretty close to the limit. Even with the extra items, it’s possible to stay under. Here are a few examples of some great sales in our area:
Honeycrisp apples: $2.44 (3 lbs)
Navel Oranges: $1.00/lb
Broccoli: $1.00 each
This week there were tons of opportunities to pick up produce at a great price. I typically price match, so that I can reduce the number of stores I have to go to in one week. Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Walmart – these are just a few that will price match for you.
Happy meal planning!!