It is possible to feed your family on a tight budget!
Although I’ve never really been one to clip coupons, I have spent time shopping at multiple stores for the best deals. Not anymore. As a homeschooling mom of 5 kids, it’s always a toss up between time and money. I’ve found that by utilizing Walmart’s Grocery Pick-up, I can make the most of both!
The Purpose of Meal Planning
To stick to a budget, meal planning is KEY! You can plan a week at a time, 2 weeks at a time, or even plan your meals for the whole month. This step saves so much money and time since you won’t be running out every couple of day and buying things that you really don’t need. While I’ve done all of the above, once a week meal planning and shopping is what currently works for me.
Meal Planning Logistics
On Wednesday afternoons, I’ll look at the week ahead (Saturday – Friday) to see what I need to account for on our calendar. I don’t want to be making a time intensive meal on a day where I’m supposed to be out of the house all day. Then I plan accordingly. I end up scheduling pizza every Friday night because we like to pile into the family room for a family dinner and movie night.
Once my meals are planned out, all I have to do is go into the Walmart Grocery App, order the food, and schedule a pick up time (Pro Tip: Try to order at least a day out so that you can get your ideal time). Typically I’ll schedule the pickup for sometime on Thursday or Friday of the same week. On that day and time (you have an hour window for pickup) I just go to the Walmart Pick up parking lot and the associates load my car.
Here is a real look at my meal plan from May 2019:
I had already incorporated May 1-3 in my April budget, so we’re not going to worry about those meals. Wednesday, May 1, I looked at the week ahead and planned the meals for Saturday, May 4 – Friday, May 10 and picked up the groceries each Thursday after lunch. This was my routine each week in May.
Note: Along with what’s mentioned here, we usually get hotdogs and cheap deli meat for the picky 2 year old with allergies to gluten, dairy, and eggs.
Saturday: Attended a birthday party
Sunday: Cheese and Cracker Dinner (This included cheese, crackers, pepperoni, cheap deli meat, pickles, olives, and cucumbers.
Monday: Sausage/Rice Skillet
Tuesday: Pan-Fried Chicken Breast with Egg Noodles and Asparagus
Wednesday: Ham and Potato Soup with a Leftover Ham Bone
Thursday: Slow Cooker Green Salsa Chicken from 100 Days of Real Food on a Budget (affiliate link)
Saturday: Pizza and Hotdogs for Kids (The hubby and I went on a triple date with my sisters and their husbands).
Sunday: My Great Grandmother’s Potato Salad to bring to my parent’s for Mother’s Day
Monday: Refried Bean and Cheese Quesadillas and Rice
Tuesday: Fresh Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce from The Prairie Homestead Cookbook (affiliate link).
Wednesday: Unstuffed Peppers with Kale and Sausage a recipe I adapted from The Prairie Homestead Cookbook (affiliate link).
Thursday: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese and Steamed Broccoli
Saturday: Cheese Quesadillas and Rice
Sunday: I planned Homemade Soft Pretzels and Cheese Sauce, but we ended up eating leftovers instead.
Monday: Attended a party for two of my sisters, so I was off the hook.
Tuesday: Pasta and Green Beans
Wednesday: Sausage Gravy over Biscuits with Fresh Veggies (Cucumbers and Bell Peppers)
Thursday: Roasted Whole Chicken, Rice, and Steamed Broccoli
Saturday: Breakfast Casserole with Hash Browns
Sunday: Refried Bean and Cheese Quesadillas, Hummus and Chips, Fresh Veggies
Monday: Lettuce, Coleslaw and Baked Beans for a Memorial Day Party
Tuesday: Pasta and Green Beans
Wednesday: Pepper Steak over Rice
Thursday: Baked Chicken Thighs, Rice, and Broccoli
Our lunch staples are Peanut Butter and Jelly and/or Leftovers. This includes Gluten Free bread for my 2 year old. I make sure that these are stocked. We don’t buy chips.
I make sure I have the supplies on hand to make various breakfasts. Cereal and milk gets expensive, so these options keep our costs down.
Eggs (hard-boiled or scrambled)
Bacon for Mom and the 2 year old
Cereal for dad and the 2 year old (The other kids also get to have some 1 or 2 days out of the week).
Larabars for the 2 year old
I also include medicine, household items and baby items in my grocery budget. This month included iron supplements, diapers, wipes, deodorant, paper towels, and toilet paper. There were also a couple of times where we “ate out.” I’ve included those costs here as well.
Summary of Costs
Walmart Pick-up: $160.62
Sunday Doughnut Run: $6.70
Walmart Pick-up: $141.54
Store Run: $19.11
TGI Fridays: $36.01
Walmart Pick-up: $128.18
Other Walmart Run: $14.48
Chlorophyll and Medical/Food Journal on Amazon: $23.11
Walmart Pick-up: $115.08
Store Run for Husband’s Work Potluck: $8.98
After Church Frosties: $4.76
Food for Memorial Day: $14.26
Total Cost for the Month of May: $686.99
I know that it can get depressing when you’re trying to feed your family on a tight budget. You’ve got this! With just a little planning and creativity, it IS possible.
Nicole is a busy mom of 6 kids who loves serving other families!
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