Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 26 October 2009

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

So, last week, we spent way over our grocery budget. Various factors contributed to it ... including my constant frustration that our weekly budget is too low. But ...the way we have structured our finances doesn't leave room to make it bigger, and that is totally our choice (meaning we could change it but we've chosen not to) so I'm DETERMINED to find a way to make this budget work. $220 a week. Feeding a family of four, three meals EVERY DAY. We eat out very infrequently. Working it out per meal, you're looking at $10 a meal EXCEPT that we buy toiletries, laundry/dishwashing/cleaning supplies and cat food out of that $220 as well. I don't know exactly what the breakdown is to be able to determine how much that makes it per meal that we are working with ... But, that one of my new goals.

In my menu planning, I am going to use the online shopping site to determine how much each meal will cost to make. I'm going to do it as if I had to buy every item and then list that price with my recipes. So ... for future menu's I'll be able to choose according to price as well ... and if I already have some of the ingredients then the price will come down and that is a BONUS ! I think that with proper planning, I can still cook the way we are accustomed to me cooking, but within the confines of our budget that we want to stick to.

I need to shop more in season too. I'm not real good at knowing what is 'in season' since we can get most things year round here. But ... obviously, there are seasons when they are 'in season' and they are cheaper. I'm going to buy meat at the butcher. I'm going to try and get back to doing one bulk meal a week (or maybe a fortnight) to freeze for later weeks. I am going to try and bake something each week to go in the lunches. And I'm going to experiment with making grain bread in my bread maker. Did I mention I am determined ?!?!

We've also got grand plans to expand our little garden beds so we can grow as much as we are able. Australia has great weather for growing veggies year round and we are trying to get our garden established so we can take advantage of that.

Our plan for this week, through Thursday ... I will shop on Friday ... is to get through without going to the grocery store. I had to buy milk and a bag of oats this morning. Cost me $3. But ... we were totally out of cereal and Rory needs milk for his coffee so those had to be bought. As for the meals, we're getting creative ... using up what we have in the pantry and fridge/freezer, which isn't much.

Here's what I've thought we can have ...

Spaghetti Aliolio
we were supposed to have this last week but plans changed so we still have the ingredients !


Black Olive Salad



Egg Curry
Doesn't look like I've posted this recipe yet.
I will take photos this time and get it posted for you.
It's a great, cheap, fall back meal !
And ... I have chutney in the fridge already !!
I can see I need to post that recipe too.


Pumpkin Soup (frozen from last time we had it)
Homemade Foccacia Bread
Frozen peas and corn



Cold Soba Noodles

but without the spring onions because we don't have any ...



Well, this will be a bit more of a challenge.
We have cans of black beans, lentils, chickpeas.
One jar of pasta sauce.
We have israeli cous cous.
Fresh Carrots.
Frozen Peas and Corn.
The eggs will most likely be gone.

I think I will probably make some sort of rice or pasta salad using lots of
herbs from our veggie garden and the carrots,peas and corn.
Maybe some beans if it is a rice salad ?
Any suggestions ??

and get our budget back on track !!
I am hoping anyway !!


Anonymous said...

Do you happen to have a red bell pepper and a can of tomatoes? If you do, I have an idea for your meal. I can't wait to see what creative ideas you have for the budget. The program for how much each meal costs sounds really interesting. I would love to see it.

Michele said...

Make a household budget for paper products and cat care separate from your food budget. Take $20.00 for household and make the food budget $200.00 a week.

Maria said...


I feel your pain. We use 500.00 every 2 weeks for our family of 5. Its rough! I was looking at your ingredients for Thursday and you might try a veggie soup. I do one with pasta sauce, chicken broth, carrots, corn and green beans and then either pasta or pasta and beef, round it out with some bread :) Just a thought :)