Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekly Menu and Grocery Shopping

Since becoming a SAHM, I could say I've gotten a little OCD with some things. Mostly just being organized. I know that's a broad spectrum but I fit it. I like a clean, organized home. If I want to start a project, my work space and everything else around it must be clean. I even created my own cleaning calendar to make sure every room in the house gets touched/ deep cleaned once a week. (I'll go into that more in another post)

Monthly cleaning calendar

Now when I say, I'm a "little OCD", keep in mind I am in no way perfect. Just like most mom's, you can find at any given time somewhere in my house at least one basket of laundry that still needs to be folded and put away, a gaggle of toys strewn across the living room floor, and possibly a sink full of dirty dishes depending on the time of day.

When it comes to groceries, though, I have a system that I try my hardest to stick to. It changes some from week to week but the basics stay the same. Because it's just one income in our home, I've had to cut back on the grocery budget. (Technically, though, we haven't set an exact amount. We try to stay around $100-$150 per week) Gone are the days we could walk into the grocery store and just throw anything we wanted into the cart! I now plan out each week's meals and only buy what I have on my list. For a while I had been "couponing" and it was ok, but I noticed we were straying from the healthy whole foods we should be eating, and getting more and more packaged foods because they were on sale and I had a coupon. Here, in Vegas, it isn't like the show "Extreme Couponing". The store rules and coupon rules are much more strict and rarely will you ever find a store anymore that allows doubling coupons.

So the last couple weeks I decided to try doing the bulk of my shopping at Whole Foods. Yes they can be more expensive but in my opinion the quality of food is better than what I can get at Walmart. Plus, the amount of organic items is much greater. Do I buy ONLY organic? No. Nor can I afford to. I try to get the bulk of my produce at farmer's markets, the Farm at Grand Teton, and Gilcrease Orchard. Then do the remaining of my shopping at Whole Foods. It has been working out well so far. I can say that the non GMO, no antibiotic meats not only taste amazing, but also I feel better after eating them. I really didn't think there would be that much of a difference until I made spaghetti last week with the ground beef. Amazing!

My old routine was to do my meal planning and grocery list on Sunday and then shop on Monday morning. Now, because I want to hit up the farms on Saturday, I have been meal planning on Friday. Here is what my list this week looked like:

I have been using this "eat sheet" for at least six months now and I love it! You can find the free file here.

*Monday- chicken and broccoli stir fry
*Tuesday- Taco Slop
*Wednesday- left over Taco Slop
*Thursday- Southwest Salad
*Friday- Caribbean jerk burgers w/ slaw
*Saturday- Fish and veggies with rice/ quinoa
*Sunday- left overs

Sunday is always left over night. Sometimes we may decide to go out to dinner, and in that instance I may move some of these nights around and use a meal for the next week's plan. 

I made this meal plan on Friday, so Saturday morning we went to the farm. This was our haul:

total: $5.75
On Sunday morning I was lucky enough to get to go shopping all by myself with no toddler! This made my trip much quicker!

organic wheat tortillas- $2.39, organic white tortillas- $2.39, block cheddar- $2.99, organic baby swiss- $6.99, nitrate free smoked turkey breast- $$7.99, orange juice- $2.99, 2 organic whole milk- $11.98(total), organic sour cream-$2.79, ground beef-$3.99, chicken thighs-$6.77, chicken breasts- $13.23, atlantic salmon filet- $10.55, half head of organic cabbage-$2.10

organic chocolate o's cereal- $4.99, veggie straws- $1.99, tortilla chips- $2.29, organic GoGo applesauce- $3.00-$.60coupon= $2.40, organic broccoli- $4.75, organic limes- $1.00, organic red grapes- $4.13, organic romaine hearts- $2.50, red and orange bell peppers- $2.79, bananas- $.86, honey wheat bread- $2.99
Minus $.50 for my reusable bags, my total for all this was $107.34. I also stopped at Smith's to grab a bag of whole wheat hamburger buns- $3.39. Including the farm haul and buns, my weekly total came to $116.48. I don't think that is that bad considering all the meat I got this week. 

Hopefully, this system will go smoother the more I use it! So far though, I have no complaints. This month I am also receiving my first order from Azure Standard. I will post about that tomorrow! 

Do you have a system and/or budget for weekly groceries?

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