Cooking On A Budget: Food Budget Plan Under Eighty Three Dollars

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Food Budget Plan Under Eighty Three Dollars


Why I love my local grocery store so much is that this week they are offering Chuck Roasts at $2.99 per pound while the large chain of Stop and Shop is offering the same thing for $4.99 per pound in their weekly circular/flyer. Are you kidding me? Two dollars a pound less at my store and that's why you have to love your IGA (Independent Grocers Association) stores.
After the first ever post I did for a weekly meal plan that included a shopping list with approximate costs, I failed to add the recipe links. Anything you see underlined will link you to my recipes right here on this blog. It is my hope that it simplifies your life.

Print the recipes out and save in a booklet. You may want to print out this actual menu plan post along with the first one I did and save that as well. Then when I have posted enough of them, you will be able to revert back to them time and time again.
Basically I look at 6 days worth of dinners and shopping all over on the 7th day. This particular menu plan is based on feeding 2 adults and 2 children.
This meal plan is different from the first one in that it provides 7 complete dinner ideas to take you from Sunday to Saturday with full meals and gives you an option for a treat for dessert or cookies for lunches.

The pricing is based on my local grocery store. You may spend less or more depending on where you shop and I urge you to use your coupons where applicable and take advantage of the store's discounts for the week. Feel free to adapt this basic plan to suit your family. This post is really to give you a solid base for menu planning.

The beauty of the Bottom Round Pot Roast Dinner is that it does include the "make over recipes" for using the left over meat. All inclusive post for you! You will have to buy a large enough roast to get what you need for the dinner and for the make over dish. When you make the marinara sauce ramp up the amount (if need be) for the dipping sauce with the chicken tenders and for the American goulash recipe and the ravioli dinner. My store has spaghetti sauce on sale so use that in place of my marinara recipe if it is less expensive.
There is some cleverness in this menu plan. Here are the highlights:
  1. The large bottom round you purchase gives you two different meals.
  2. The amount of chicken breasts you purchase gives you two different meals as well.
  3. The marinara or spaghetti sauce is used for three different meals.
  4. When you purchase bread for the cheesy garlic bread - pick up two loaves; one for Monday dinner and another for Thursday - or one large loaf. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate until the next meal so it does not harden.
  5. Depending on the size of your family, you may need to purchase two bags of noodles if you choose not to serve Tuesdays dinner of beef, peppers and onion steak over rice.
  6. Make enough pot roast gravy so you have enough for the main meal and the second meal of beef, pepper and onions.
Now onto the main shopping list:
  • 4 lb. bottom round roast $13.74
  • 3 1/4 lbs. boneless/skinless chicken breasts $12.00
  • 1 lb. - 1 1/4 lb. ground beef $4.39
  • 6 -7 medium potatoes (about 1/3 of a 5 lb. bag) $3.99
  • 1 large package carrots $2.99
  • 2-3 large sweet onions $4.16
  • 2 stalks celery $.38
  • 1 large bell pepper - any color $1.99
  • 1 10 oz. pkg. mushroom $2.99
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix $1.50
  • 1 bag salad mix $3.49
  • head of garlic $1.08
  • 2 bags egg noodles or a box of rice $2.00
  • 1 pkg. frozen raviolis $1.50
  • 1 box elbow or cellantani pasta $1.59
  • 2 24 oz. jars Marinara (or spaghetti sauce) $2.00
  • 1 box beef broth $2.99
  • 1 box chicken broth $2.99
  • 2 loaves bread $1.29 each  = $2.58
  • fruit - cantaloupe $3.99
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple - .53
  • butter $2.50
  • shredded mozzarella cheese $2.00
  • 1 dozen large eggs $2.89
  • cole slaw dressing $2.39
  • 2 - cake mixes on sale $3.00*
Total approximate cost for this menu plan =  $82.76
Despite the higher price this week from week one, you are still feeding four people 7 days worth of delicious meals for under $83.00.

Additional Notes:
For me I generally have dry sherry and Marsala wine for use in cooking. One of the recipes calls for 1/4 cup dry sherry. I beg you not to purchase from the grocery store - borrow some if you must or get the least expensive brand from a liquor store and keep for future use in your cooking.

Please know that in my kitchen I use regular olive oil and not Extra-Virgin. You will need a bunch of normal, everyday spices, perhaps some Crisco shortening (used in browning the pot roast) and some olive oil. If I failed to list something here that is in the recipe, please add it to the grocery list. The fruit you purchase to have along side the Swedish pancakes is up to you - what you can afford. Remember shop savvy and save!
When you shop for the pre-made salad and cole slaw check the bags carefully. Often they have a $1.00 right away coupon which means they have to sell it because the shelf life is low. So check that the "sale" bag has not already begun to turn brown. Choose to make your own cole slaw dressing or perhaps you have a favorite store brand, but I've included a store brand in the pricing. You may have eggs already - need around 6 total for his menu.
*A treat is thrown in this week. - you can make some cookies from a box mix for school lunches.*
A link to my Double Chocolate Monster Cookies is provided.

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