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Home > Grocery and Meal Plan Challenge for April

Grocery and Meal Plan Challenge for April

March 19th, 2018 at 10:36 am

The writing is on the wall and DH's official last day is 5/31 with his final check on 6/1. That being said, I need to cast some attention to the budget and spending. I will readily admit to being on money autopilot since I started back to school in January. We aren't over spending and I am tracking, but I am seeing that things can definitely be done smarter to conserve money if I just put forth the energy and plan and commit.

We had two trips to Sam's Club in the past month. One was for $270 (I used $100 of the tax return toward that) and the other was for $230 (I used $100 from DH's bonus for that too). We did stock up on toilet paper, feminine hygiene products x2, batteries, razors, dishwasher pods, and vitamins. Since our local Sam's closed, we did have to drive to suburbs north for the trips and we did fill up on gas while there.

My goal for April is $300 for all consumables. That's $10/day for a family of six. I'm planning on no processed food items and am on the fence about Gatorade since my boys are practicing daily for soccer/track/and volleyball.

I've been spending some time on websites reading about frugal meals and was wondering if anyone has any tried and true economical recipes that their families like?

Our cheapest eats lately have been: curried chickpeas and ground turkey with peppers. I've also made crockpot granola with success, and instead of Belvita bars for my daughter, we found a simple recipe for sweet potato pancakes that are very tasty and economical.

I've found a new recipe for quinoa broccoli bites. And am looking to expand my new recipes for this endeavor.

Thanks in advance!

15 Responses to “Grocery and Meal Plan Challenge for April”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I'm sorry that the end date has finally arrived, but I do pray for your husband there is another opportunity right around the corner. I've been using BudgetBytes (a website and app) to find frugal recipes. I've liked all the ones we have tried.

    You might consider if
    Text is this recipe for an electrolyte drink and Link is https://redandhoney.com/diy-hydrating-electrolyte-drink
    this recipe for an electrolyte drink would be healthier and frugal compared to Gatorade. Water, salt, magnesium, lemon and lime juice.

  2. Wife of the Deacon Says:

    @ CCF - thanks for the drink recipe! I will definitely give it a go and see what they think. I got the curried chickpea recipe from budgetbytes! Anything there that you tried and really liked?

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Not sure if you like oatmeal, but if you can find steel cut oats reasonably, making a batch in the Crockpot overnight is both economical and time saving...I made a small batch that way for myself. I had enough for a week of breakfast. I would just heat it up in the microwave.

    Not sure how your diet looks as far as other things, but you might Google Depression Era recipes. Some of them I wouldn't touch, but some sound reasonable and of course, cheap.

    Sorry the final date has been announced. Hope things work that this is just closing a door for a better opening and opportunity.

  4. Carol Says:

    I've liked most everything I've tried from, "Good Cheap Eats." It's a blog by Jessica Fisher who is a recipe developer and also the mom of six.

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    I made
    Text is this one and Link is https://www.budgetbytes.com/2017/09/lemon-garlic-asparagus-pasta/
    this one tonight. I'll have to look a bit more to remember what else we've made, but I feel like they have all been very good. We add a lot of extra lemon and parmesan cheese to the one above.

  6. creditcardfree Says:

    Oh and
    Text is this one and Link is https://www.budgetbytes.com/2011/01/apple-spice-pork-chops/
    this one has been made many times! I think there is also a loaded sweet potato one that we have had a few times. Very filling and so easy.

  7. Buendia Says:

    We have so many frugal recipes that we make on a regular basis! I'll do a post on it!!!

  8. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Spaghetti w/steamed broccoli (or other veggie) is a good cheap meal.

  9. Wife of the Deacon Says:

    Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm going to look at this as an adventure. And the more I'm able to contain the grocery expenses, the further the money will go! My older daughter let me know that one of her friends is a Pescaterian. I wonder if that will influence some of her food choices ... (she's the model and very into fitness and healthy eating - though we are all slowly moving in that direction!)

  10. LuckyRobin Says:

    I'm sorry your husband is losing his job. This can be such a stressful time for a family, but it can also help you pull together in ways you have never had to before. I hope he is able to find a new job quickly.

  11. MangaHere Says:

    Many thanks for your input.

  12. laura Says:

    I started an excel spreadsheet of all of these wonderful ideas. Thanks again!!

  13. Jane Says:

    This site is great and my go-to: https://www.budgetbytes.com/

    I like these:

    You might also like this receipe blog but a lady who fed 10 kids very frugally. These veggie pancakes look good:http://owlhaven.net/2014/01/14/what-we-ate-week-2-and-a-recipe/

    I like Indian food, but find take out extensive. Aloo Gobi is easy, very inexpensive, and makes a ton of food because it's served over rice. I use a head of cauliflower (the most expensive part) and 3-4 large potatoes, but this recipe can scale endlessly. I use a little extra water to have more of a sauce for the rice, but you can also adjust that to taste:

    Cut up the potatoes in cubes and cut up cauliflower in small pieces.

    Then you fry the potatoes until it is half cooked (so 15 minutes) in salt and tumeric.

    Add the cauliflower (also covered in salt and tumeric) for about 10 minutes.

    Take the cauliflower and potatoes out.

    Take a small bowl and make a paste of: 2x tumeric: 2x Paprika: 1x cayene pepper, and 1x salt. Mix well together.

    Fry the oil, put the paste in it, then add the water, and cook until it boils. At this point you can add cilantro (if desired). Add the potatoes and cauliflower and simmer until done.

    Serve over rice

  14. crazyliblady Says:

    I remember seeing small packets of the Gatorade powder. They also have it in canisters. You just mix it into water. Maybe it would be less expensive?

  15. cool things Says:

    Thank you for your blog. I enjoy reading!

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