This is the final week of our February Grocery Challenge. In case you’ve not joined us this month, let me quickly catch you up to speed.
I’ve been hearing from so many readers and viewers (from our YouTube channel) that they are incredibly frustrated with the rising cost of groceries. They know they need to keep a well-stocked emergency pantry, but feel that would mean doubling their grocery budget to stockpile enough food.
They are torn between feeding their family this week and setting shelf-stable food aside for the future.
If that’s you, then stick with me. This series was designed with you in mind. What if you didn’t have to make a choice? What if you could feed your family every week and stock your pantry – without adding a dime to your budget?
All month long, I’ve been feeding my family of four for $50 a week and showing viewers and readers how they can shop for healthy food, while spending less money.
After that, you can take the money you save and buy non-perishable items to stock or re-stock your home pantry.
To see me show this week’s grocery haul, discuss the menu plan, and answer viewer questions about saving on groceries, watch this video.
This week’s menu plan begins with a grocery haul from Aldi and the Mediterranean Mart, our favorite local ethnic food store.
We began our shopping trip at Aldi, where we re-stocked some staples, like: salsa, saltine crackers, pickles, and barbecue sauce. The four-pound bags of apples and oranges were the Super Saver items of the week and were priced at $3.98 per bag. The cucumbers were on sale for 59¢ each, while the carrots and celery were full price.
Heading to the Mediterranean Mart, we bought one avocado for 50¢ and three beautiful, big, red peppers for 99¢ each.
The total for this shopping trip was $23.40.
After church on Sunday, our food bank director announced that the food bank had a lot of perishable items, which were left over after her regularly scheduled distribution day.
Rather than throw them out, she set the items at the back of the sanctuary and asked each of the parishioners to take something on their way out the door. She handed us a loaf of bread, two quarts of strawberries, and four bags of potatoes!
This would explain why potatoes are definitely featured on this week’s menu.
The Menu Plan
I used the items from the grocery haul along with items from my pantry and freezer to create this week’s menu. Our grown kids are coming over twice this week, along with their girlfriends. So, that will mean making a few more burgers and side dishes to feed a crowd.
Planning the menus, and staying within my $50 spending limit, has become easier as the month has progressed. This week, I’m able to add perishable items left over from the first three weeks of the challenge to this week’s grocery haul, significantly lowering my overall cost.
Here’s what the finished menu plan looks like.
Ingredients from the Pantry and Freezer
As always, I like to let you know what items I used from my pantry and freezer this week. I added the average price I paid for each item to the total cost of this week’s menu plan.
Check out those beautiful berries on our oatmeal this week! As always, for our breakfasts we rotated between oatmeal, cream of wheat, and corn cereal.
Boxed cereal is reserved for Sunday night dinner, since I don’t cook on that day. The treat of a bowl (or two) of prepared cereal once a week makes for easy eating, serving, and clean up.
- Quarter Pound Beet Burgers
- Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- Lentil and Sweet Potato Loaf
- Unfussy Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
- Hot Stuffed Baked Potato
Salads and Sides
Total Cost of This Week’s Menu
What’s on Your Menu?
Let me know what’s cookin’ in your kitchen this week. Tell me in the comments.