Here is one that I think I have a huge LOVE/HATE relationship with. And that is food. And by food, I mean, everything with it. So, if you are a single parent – single person – or even just bear the brunt of figuring out food in your home, you might like this.
Now, my plan is regimented. And there are a few reasons why. I am on a different diet than my kids, for medical reasons. No gluten, no soy, no dairy, no refined sugar, etc. I eat air. And salmon.
I eat air and salmon.
I’m kidding, but I’m not. So what this means, is that there are two separate grocery lists. One for the kids, and one for me. Now, just so you know who I am feeding in this house – It’s Tariq – 20 year old male. Bella – 16 year old female. Jacoby – 9 year old male. And they can all eat. We don’t eat out – rarely if ever. It’s always at home. They eat out with their friends, or maybe order a pizza now and then, but with my dietary restrictions- it scares me to eat out. And frankly, it is super expensive.
So, I had to figure something out. I needed to be able to cook dinner. Guarantee that I would have what I needed to cook it, and not have to think about it. So I brainstormed. And I got myself a google calendar and an awesome plan. I am going to break this down for you the best way I can, but if you have any questions, by all means – ask.
I get paid bi-weekly. So I plan bi-weekly. That works with my budget and makes it easier for me. And two weeks don’t seem overwhelming. If it does to you, try one week. And here is what I did. I created a meal plan on the google calendar, and shared it with the oldest two kids. This meal calendar shows breakfast, lunch, two snacks, dinner and dessert. Everyday. For everyone in the house. And we don’t deviate. (That’s somewhat of a lie – the older kids can deviate their snacks and breakfasts – the little guys is stuck. But he hasn’t complained – and the older two haven’t either.)
Here is an example of a day for Jacoby:
- Breakfast: Blueberry Muffin and a Go-gurt
- Snack: Applesauce (to be included in lunch bag)
- Lunch: (Salami, Ham, and Cheese sandwich with mayo and mustard. Chips, Animal Crackers, Fruit Roll Up and a Capri – Sun)
- Snack at Home: Popcorn with chocolate chips
- Dinner: Stuffed Chicken Breast with Rice and steamed brussel sprouts
And it’s like that everyday up until dinner. At dinnertime, It’s just one. Remember, I don’t share my calendar with them, I know what I am doing… LOL! I pack four lunches at night, and Bella or I cook dinner. And because I plan this a week before I buy it – and everyone knows what they are having – I always have the stuff I need.
If you decide to start this, I suggest cleaning the pantry and fridge. That’s what we did, and we took pics. And then arranged everything neatly. Guess what? I had like 4, 156 taco mixes. I had also went to the store that week to buy taco mix. Use what you have. I wonder how much we spend when it’s already in our houses? I bet a lot.
Also, when planning your food – check out PUBLIX Bogo’s and matchups. You want to get the most bang for your buck. So I go there. I coupon. Not psycho coupon, but smart coupon. There is a difference. If you want to know more, let me know – I can explain it.
Now that the menu is tentatively planned, start planning your grocery order. So, I have three kids, and put chips in each bag. A box of pre packaged bags of chips, 22 bags per box, were BOGO at Publix for $4.99. I had a coupon for 1.50 off two. Long story short – 44 bags of chips for $3.49. That’s 8 cents a bag. That, is cheap – and easy.
Next, I started ordering everything else. And I do it online and go pick it up. I do that for a few reasons. One, it’s easy. Two, I hate grocery shopping. Three, I work a ton – and I don’t wanna. Four – I don’t spend extra and don’t forget stuff. So, on thursdays I do my PUBLIX BOGO run, and I schedule to pick my groceries up on Saturday morning. I do it this way, incase I don’t get a publix deal that is important to a meal, I can rearrange and add.
And that is how we do it. In the google calendar, I list the ingredients needed. Cross check with the grocery list. On Saturdays we bake brownies, cookies, muffins, whatever is needed in the bakery stuff for the next week and freeze it. And we are off.
The past two weeks, I fed a family of four, one with dietary restrictions, 3 meals a day, 2 snacks, for 14 days, and you want to know how much I spent? $94.13. You want to know if I can do that every time? No. But It’s never over $150. Because we use what we got , and keep waste to a minimum.
If you want to know more about it – or have any questions, let me know!
Love Fully. Live Fully. Sat Nam.