I have been majorly slacking on meal planning but that definitely makes it so we are way less mindful on our grocery budget (aka, there is no grocery budget...eek!). Sometimes when I am really ill, either with my depression or my Ulcerative Colitis, meal planning, shopping, etc just goes out the window and we are in full on survival mode. I have no shame about past moments when that has happened, but I am feeling better right now so into prepared/planning mode I go! I know that my health ebbs and flows, and with that my ability to do things like this, so I am just grateful for any time I feel good enough to be on top of running the household.
You might remember a couple of years ago when I did my Real Food On a Budget Series. You can go read through that to get some meal planning ideas if you'd like!
I've upped our food budget to $700 because our kids are bigger and it's just way more realistic. We are a family of 6 and I feel like that is do-able for us. I don't even want to know what we spend when we don't track it...yikes. This is definitely a huge area I can cut back in and be mindful in, so I am excited to be back on track.
Since we get paid on the 10th and 25th, I found that it's actually really hard to have a monthly budget and track it because the 25th paycheck bleeds over into the new month. It's a lot easier for me to break things up by paycheck, so instead of thinking "We have $700/month for food", I think about it as "We have $350 per paycheck for food." That means I've got $175 per week to work with, which is totally doable as long as I am mindful and plan out our meals.
So without further ado, here is this week's Breakfast and Dinner meal plan along with my shopping list. I shopped online at Walmart Grocery which I actually really like (look for a $10 coupon at the end of this post!). I haven't done it in awhile but I like that it makes my life easier, especially when my health is poor, and it makes me less likely to buy impulsively. I am all stocked up on meat so that for sure kept costs down this week.
Tonight, we are headed out to eat at Chipotle because we LOVE to eat out as a family! It adds up though, so we have decided to keep that joy in our life but be more mindful about it. Every Monday in June in Utah, you can get a free kids meal with an adult purchase so hello...we have to go. We'll get 2 free meals! I have set a family fun budget this paycheck of $100, so that will come from there. We've got to be mindful though because the fourth of July is also coming up which means we've got to pull from that $100 for that holiday. I think we can do it! Simple is key.
Do you like hearing these details about meal planning and budgeting? Let me know if I should try to continue these weekly(ish) updates! I am not the best at being consistent, so posting and sharing definitely helps me stay accountable which I like.
PS: I recently decided to go back to eating Paleo-ish again - not to heal or cure my Ulcerative Colitis...cuz that ain't happening...but to help my symptoms. I already feel A LOT better - my bloating and gas is gone which is awesome. I don't look 6 months pregnant anymore. However, that does complicate meal times with my fam! So, what I plan to do is to just eat what I can eat alongside them. For example: With our pork fajitas, I'll just have the meat & veggies and skip any cheese or tortillas. For pancakes in the morning, I'll have my own paleo pancakes or just have something else quick like an egg. Hope that helps for those of you following along who are also needing to have a modified diet due to a diagnosis.
Walmart Grocery Pickup is seriously a life-changer! You order fresh groceries, Walmart does the shopping and loads your car for FREE. How easy is that? Here’s $10 to try it. You can thank me later. Try it here: http://r.wmt.co/jnuSR