Real Food Budget + Menu Week 2 (GF & DF)
Ugh this week we went over our real food budget. You will see we did buy multiple things that we will use next week in recipes including 1# ground beef, 1# of salmon burger, and bread which would be over $15 right there. So that makes me feel a little better. My hubby and I had to have a heart to heart when it came to the budget. It seemed we kept buying extra things that we really didn’t need. Lots of snacks. He got GF cookie mix, cereal, and salmon burgers which I now have to incorporate into next week menu (I’m not a huge fan of fish, except this salmon recipe is delicious). And I may be guilty of buying chocolate. That is $16 worth of extras right there. See the problem? So we promised to try to do better at not buying extras and to give each other grace. It’s ok to buy cookie mix on occasion.
We are attempting to stick to a strict $
400 500 a month food budget. My goal was to be at around $100 a week not realizing that April has 5 weeks in it. Ugh… So I’m trying to get less that $500 this month and $400 on 4 week months. My hubby doesn’t believe I can do it, but I want to prove him wrong.
Meal planning: You can see how I meal plan here. It may be confusing since I start the meal plan week on Monday, but I don’t grocery shop until my day off on Friday I use Friday as my first day of the week for the menu. Make sense? Of course you can move recipes around to any day you would like.
Week 2 Meal Plan:
Breakfast is usually oatmeal or toast, fruit, and eggs.
Lunch is leftovers for me and the baby, hubby usually eats a PB&J with carrots, a fruit, and other various snacks.
Snacks are usually trail mix, fruit, chips, or pretzels. Honestly I try to limit my snacks as much as possible, but the hubby is snack king. They are easy for him to eat in the car while he is driving.
Monday: Chicken and mushroom quinoa with peas. Cook quinoa as directed. Sauté chopped onion in a few tbs olive oil, add mushrooms and cook until tender. Add in peas and chicken and cook through. Toss onion, mushroom, chicken into quinoa and sprinkle on some salt and herbs (rosemary is my favorite for this). Maybe add a splash of homemade chicken broth.
- On hand: homemade chicken broth, onion, and quinoa.
Tuesday: Leftovers (we have small group for church and usually bring a small side)
Wednesday: Chicken, spinach, and goat cheese augratin. I winged this recipe. Chopped up some potatoes, onion, spinach. Placed in baking dish with chicken, some random seasoning (about 1 tsp each of oregano, basil, parsley, and some salt) and topped with goat cheese. Baked until potatoes are fork tender. Leave out goat cheese if sensitive to goat milk or use regular cheese if you’re cool with cows.
You can maybe try this recipe from Whole New Mom for a DF, GF, and nut free cheese alternative
Friday: Mushroom and spinach goat cheese pizza with GF crust. You can substitute goat cheese with regular cheese. Or if you can’t have dairy at all you can substitute with nutrition yeast or the recipe posted above.
Saturday: Leftovers (we went to a friends house for dinner)
Sunday: Minestrone soup I’m going to use pasta sauce instead of canned tomatoes for this recipe
- Sunday slow roast chicken in crockpot and then make chicken broth for soup.
- On hand: zucchini, pasta sauce, onions, homemade chicken broth, and carrots.
Farmers Market: $19
1.5 dozen eggs
1# grass fed beef: dinner next week
1# salmon burgers: dinner next week
3# bag of apples
Train mix- 2
Bacon- never any brand.
3 loaves of GF bread- had a coupon and it was on sale
Organic frozen peas
GF pizza crust
Potato chips- 2 bags on sale plus coupon
GF cookie mix
Organic grass fed butter
Free range chicken
Cereal- 2 on sale plus coupons
For what it’s worth, I think your budget is reasonable – that is to say, I think it’s quite possible to stay within it, and it’s also not what I would consider extravagant. So I personally wouldn’t feel bad going over it! It’s pretty much the same as our budget for the same types of food. Those 5-week months hit us hard!
I see some people out there trying to squeeze and squeeze their food budgets, and while I know it’s a necessity sometimes, I do think that if you want to buy organic meat, free-range eggs, etc., there’s only so far you can squeeze. So our budget looked very generous to me, at one time, but I now think it’s as modest it can be without starting to compromise on the quality of our food.
Regarding treats, I have a very hard time staying within a budget that allows no treats at all. (I tried it when I was in grad school; it made me partly malnourished and partly crazy!) I always want to think I can go cold turkey on little snacks and desserts, because they’re never strictly necessary, but I have NEVER stayed within a budget that prohibited them. Don’t know what that says about me!
Thank you Jennifer. That’s what we are trying to accomplish. Healthy foods that aren’t expensive or extravagant. Ugh you are right. I try so hard not to buy treats, but sometimes a girl just needs some cookies. You know haha? But Im learning one treat a week is ok and won’t break the bank. Thanks so much for sharing