The changes in our life have caused me to reevaluate a number of things. One area of our finances that has been the hardest to deal with is our food budget. I have tried so many methods to try and save money but it seems I am spending hours trying to squeeze every little penny that three days a week are centered on shopping. I find it too time consuming with little return.
To start with, I reassessed our meal plan. I pared it down from a two week rotation to one week. This will cut down on the number of ingredients I have to have on hand. It makes the shopping cost more predictable and easier to stay on budget. I am shopping Aldi first for the bulk of what I need. The remaining items will be bought where they are cheapest. I am not shopping tons of loss leaders to stock up any longer. Most of our stores place small limits on the number of items you can buy at the super low cost so it doesn’t make sense to make a special trip for a handful of items. Using this new method, the time I spend dragging kids around shopping has gone from six hours a week to about two every other week. Broken down even further it is only an hour on one day and an hour another day and that includes driving time.
Sunday: Breakfast Bread/ Fried Rice/ Spaghetti/ Rice Cakes with Spread
Monday: Grits/ Leftovers/ Baked Potatoes/ Trail Mix
Tuesday: Toast and Fruit/ Tuna Casserole/ Beans and Rice/ Yogurt
Wednesday: Oatmeal/ Ramen and Veg/ Potato Soup/ Cereal Bar
Thursday: Smoothie/ Potato Salad/ Chicken and Rice or Noodles/ Popcorn or Chips
Friday: Hashbrowns/ Sandwiches/ Veggie Soup/ Special Treat
Saturday: Cereal/ Sausage and Rice/ Stew/ Sweet Snack
There are side veggies or fruit added to most meals. There are fresh fruits and veggies at child level so they are always able to get that if they fill hungry between meals. I don’t limit them on the fresh produce.