Sometimes it's just not in the budget - Meal Planning for March 8th - 13th

So, last week we did really well with staying in that week's grocery budget.  This week, not so much.  We made a list for the two stores, Walmart and Wegmans, and figured out what meals we wanted to have for dinners.  Here's the meals that we were thinking of having:

  1. Sloppy Joes and mac-n-cheese 
  2. Chicken Enchiladas with chips & salsa (ended up not having it last week) 
  3. Hamburger Helper Lazagna (already had the box, just needed the meat)
  4. Shake-n-Bake Chicken, mac-n-cheese, green beans, and corn  (already had the seasoning and veggies)
  5. Pork Chops, mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes 
  6. Chicken Fajitas with chips & salsa (already had the fajita kit and chips & salsa, just needed more chicken)
  7. Cheese steaks

After working on the weekly bills and factoring in some car maintenance that needed to be done, I calculated that we had $50 to work with.  

We already had a box or two of Kraft Mac-n-Cheese, but not enough for the meals since that's pretty much all that Michael will eat for those meals.  We always buy the 5 box pack since we go through it so fast and through InboxDollars just so happened to have a coupon for a $1.00 off a 5 box pack.  Now, I not only saved a $1.00 off the purchase, but will earn $0.10 for that purchase in my InboxDollars account.  I also had a coupon through InboxDollars for $0.75 off of Kraft American cheese that we ended up using.  I will also earn $0.10 for using that coupon.

Over the year or so of doing this, we've learned that just because you've made a list and meal plan doesn't always mean that the budget will allow it.  Sometimes you have to cross things off the list at the store and make another game plan.  That's what happened this morning at Wegmans.  We had done the Walmart shopping last night and spent $22.79 of our $50 grocery budget.  As I mentioned before, we used two coupons which saved us $1.75.  That's not much, but every little savings is worth it.  

Since we had used all but two chicken breasts from our original family pack of chicken, we needed to replenish our freezer.  When buying any type of meat, it can effect your budget.  We decided that we would forget about the pork chops to help stay in our budget, but the chicken and hamburger together were close to $20!  That's when Jon decided that he would take money out of his savings to help pay for his car's oil change that he had me budget in to the weekly bills.  With that being decided, we had a little more money to work with.  We still decided not to purchase the pork chops.  We ended up spending $36.48 at Wegmans which made the grand total being $59.27, making us go $9.27 over the original grocery budget.  Not too bad and we still have enough meals for the week.

Just like last week, I also earned $0.50 for the purchase of the milk through Ibotta (I'm working on a post about that today or tomorrow).

I hope this gave you some ideas on meal plans and shows that it's ok to have to make a new game plan while at the grocery store to stay within your budget.  If it wasn't for the fact that Jon had money saved for maintenance on his car, we probably would have gone with an even different game plan. If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers