We have entered “Week 2” of our February grocery challenge and it came with a big surprise. A major snowstorm shut down our town for two days last week. Since I shop for my weekly grocery haul on Friday, I was fearful that panic shopping on Tuesday, followed by closed roads on Wednesday and Thursday, would lead to still-empty shelves when I reached the stores on Friday.
As it turned out, there was plenty of food to found. However, the deals were sparse.
The cost of my haul came in at just over $24.00 and consisted of just a few main ingredients on which to base our meals for the next seven days.
Hedging my bets, with bad weather fast approaching, I began shopping three days early this week at Aldi on Tuesday afternoon just before the snow began falling. The shelves in the produce section were alarmingly empty and when I spied one, single, lone solitary box of carrots sitting on a shelf, I grabbed two, 2-pound bags and considered myself lucky.
Given the forecast and the state of the shelves at Aldi, I, honestly, wasn’t sure if I would be able to find anything to buy on Friday.
However, I was greatly relieved to find that a truck had arrived early on Friday morning with more provisions. The sales advertised in the weekly flyer were, however, limited (a trend I have noticed in recent weeks).
From Kroger, I bought four, 5-pound bags of potatoes at a bargain price of $1.47 when I loaded the coupon on my shopper’s card. Larry spied two, 24-ounce bags of marked down salad mix for $1.49 each.
On our final stop at The Mediterranean Mart, we scored huge, organic green peppers for $1.39 each, organic romaine lettuce for $1.00 each, and $1.00 for three packages of vanilla flavored cookies.
To see this grocery haul and hear additional tips and details about this menu plan, watch the video.
The total of this week’s grocery haul was $24.07. To keep in line with my goal of spending no more than $50 to feed my family four breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a week, I’ll be able to add a total of no more than $25.93.
Here’s a chart, which shows all the perishable foods I have on hand for this week’s menu.
This week’s menu primarily featured the potatoes, carrots, and green peppers from the Friday grocery haul.
When you find yourself with just a handful of plentiful main ingredients, begin by making a list of five to six different ways you can serve them, without your family feeling that they are getting bored or sick of the same thing every night.
In this case, I put the potatoes into entrees, side dishes, salads, and soups. Some of the carrots went into soup, an unusual and tasty way to serve this vegetable.
This Week’s Menu
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we eat nearly the same things every week for breakfast, alternating between old fashioned oatmeal, cream of wheat, corn grits, and steel cut oats. If we have fruit available, we top the cereal with it. Otherwise, we use cinnamon and sugar and a splash of plant-based milk.
Breakfast costs us an average of $1.25 a day for all four of us, depending on whether we add fruit to our hot cereal.
This week’s main dishes were created to use the twenty pound potato haul from Kroger – without the family getting sick of eating potatoes. I served them in two main dishes, one side dish, and one soup.
I also cooked a pressure cooker full of two pounds of dried black beans and then used the black beans in several different recipes throughout the week.
- Homemade Pizza Pockets with Homemade Marinara Sauce and Caramelized Onions and Green Peppers
- Southern Potatoes and Green Beans
- Hot Stuffed Baked Potatoes
- Mexican Stuffed Green Peppers
- Quarter Pound Beet Burgers and French Fries
Soup is both filling and cheap. I make two or three big batches of soup each week. Each day we eat soup and a side dish with fruit for lunch.
Side Dishes and Salads
- Orange Spiced Quinoa Salad
- Black Bean Quinoa Fiesta Salad
- Mega Crunchy Romaine Salad
- Dinner Rolls and Bread
- Oven Baked Steak Fries
No Bake Vanilla Dessert Pudding
Here’s a look at the cost of the additional ingredients that I needed to grab from my freezer and pantry to create this menu plan.
Total Cost of this Menu
Here’s a look at the total cost of this week’s menu. You’ll note that I went over our $50 goal this week. Our daily pot of coffee was the culprit. That $2.00 cost put me over the limit – but starting the day with a good cup of Joe is totally worth it.
What’s on Your Menu?
Tell me about your frugal weekly menu in the comments. Can’t wait to hear from you.
2 thoughts on “February Grocery Challenge (Week 2): $50 Menu Plan”
Love your videos. We are cutting back on what we buy and using pantry and freezer items as much as possible to save money. We also eat leftovers and try to sometimes turn them into a new dish. Thank you for sharing your ideas.
I love the way you think! You are using some great strategies to save on your food budget.