If you find me shopping in Aldi’s you might see my shopping list and phone in hand (aka..calculator) going slowly through the aisles, adding up each purchase. If you came to my home you might see a loose scribbled menu planned tacked up on the on the fridge. What you didn’t know was that when I first tried tackling the $20 a week budget, I had no idea how to do it! I had heard about it through Dani Johnson that you could spend $100 a week (for a family of 5!) so that I decided that $40 would work for the 2 of us! Of course, I decided I would do it the hard way (instead of course buying the book:) so I printed off some calender sheets and began thinking of all the recipes I knew. Thankfully having had a very low-income a few years back gave me some experience with “cheap” meals. Purposed so that we wouldn’t me eating Mac’n’cheese and Ramen, I put Dani’s challenge to the test. We were going to do this! I’m so glad God brought that to me at just the right time, because our job situation changed and we needed to be even more frugal than before!
I planned out 7 weeks in advance. I knew that might be “overachieving” it, but I figured when those weeks were over, I would just cycle them through again. I could always “add” weeks later. Given that my hubby and I (at the time) ate at work, I wasn’t too concerned with planning lunch, but I went ahead and did it anyways.
With each week, I kept foods similar in ingredients. That way I was not buying a ton of different priced items, just a lot of a few items.
Here’s the theme for each week:
Week 1: “Meat and Potatoes”
Week 2: “Mexican”
Week 3: “Tex-Mex”
Week 4: “Asian”
Week 5: “Sausage” (I didn’t have any other classier name for this one…)
Week 6: “Italian”
Week 7: Eat what ever we have in the house. Yep. That’s right…eat it up. All of it. I figured after a few weeks, we’d might have some left-over ingredients for each week, or random stuff we forgotten about. So instead of grocery shopping for the next (2 weeks I’ll add!) we ate what we had. Pasta sides, Ramen, Canned soup, whatever…we ate it up. We still had some pasta and rice left when I decided to go back to the grocery store. Only because we had NOTHING left to go with those things…and (our rice maker broke..so I ruined 2 cups of rice…grrr.)
Coming Soon… My (frugal) Meal Plan: Meat and Potatoes…