When you are trying to provide quality food to feed your family it is imperative that you create a grocery list on a budget just for you and stick to it. Groceries are probably the biggest expense that you can control every month. That’s why taking the time to have a plan is so important. Check out my article on Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget for more tips.
Creativity gets extra points (and saves extra money!)
- Rice instead of Noodles
- Make your own … ANYTHING! Especially if it contains flour.
- Pizza instead of eating out
- Bread instead of buying the $3-4 loaf
- Donuts or your own version with powdered sugar -yummy!
- Shop the ads and plan your meals accordingly
Weekly basics – buy the store brand!
- cereal (hot and cold)
- flour (not every week)
- cheese block (stock up when it’s on sale)
- Blocks are often cheaper than shredded, you can shred a whole or half of a block and keep it in a Ziploc bag with a paper towel to be used whenever you want or need
- various meats (from the manager specials)
- canned soups (for casseroles and sloppy joes)
- pasta sauce (for chicken Marsala, pizza, casseroles etc) I don’t make my own because it never turns out.
- chips (you could make your own sometimes too but nothing compares to Doritos in your school lunch)
- salsa Great snack! (you could make this also, mine never compares to my favorite store brand)
- lunch meat
- bulk items for my own trail mix (a handful of this is a great snack and costs less than a penny)
- frozen juice
- apple sauce in a big jar (those individuals are expensive!)
- lots of in season fresh fruits and veggies (and some frozen if needed)
- These need to be bought with a plan! If you don’t know if you’ll eat it, you probably won’t, then it’s wasted and so is your money. If you want to try something new, have a plan for it. It’s great to try things as a family!
That’s basically it. If you need anything that you ran out of like condiments or coffee grab those, but this list is my basic weekly list. You can make a lot of meals with these items including snacks and food for school lunches.
Our Cheesy Rice recipe
**warning, my measurements are in my IMperfect style, I don’t measure things when I am cooking, only when I bake**:
One bag of rice cooked
about 1/2 lb of medium cheddar cheese shredded or cut into slices (it’s melting anyway)
a little less than 1/4 lb of sharp cheddar cheese shredded or cut into slices
a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese (or 2 string cheese sticks)
about 1/4 – 1/3 stick of butter
a spill of milk
a couple pinches of fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste
Sometimes I add a little bit of tofu for extra protein (don’t tell the kids, they can’t taste it)
Stir it all up on low heat until everything is melted and the milk has evaporated. Serve with oranges and it’s delicious!
There you have it. A very filling meal for only a couple dollars total and it makes left overs for lunch this weekend! Or serve it on the side of some chicken cooked almost any style.
Go In With A Plan
Make Simple Adjustments
Peace and Balance,