Monthly Meal Plan and Grocery Trip #2

So if you didn’t catch it the first time you can check out my first ever post on how I plan out my meals and grocery list each month here. I plan on my subsequent posts being a little more succinct…hopefully. Some days I’m quite short, sweet and to-the-point and others I can’t stop typing, so we will just have to see! Here are the meals I have planned for the month:

Monthly Meal Plan

  • Hot Dogs
  • Arroz con Pollo
  • Jambalaya
  • Tilapia
  • Gumbo
  • Tacos
  • Chicken Spaghetti
  • Frozen Pizza
  • General Tso’s Chicken with Shrimp Stir Fry and Spicy Thai Noodles
  • Fried Chicken
  • Chicken with Beer Reduction Sauce
  • Grilled Sausage
  • Crockpot Tater Tot Casserole
  • Chicken Cacciatore
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Crockpot Ribs
  • Crockpot Spicy Pulled Pork
  • Breakfast for Dinner
  • Pesto Chicken

I don’t plan out side dishes for my meals since we pretty typically stick to a veggie and starch combination on the side. I buy large bags of frozen mixed vegetables and steam them to go with pretty much every meal. For the starch I always have potatoes and rice on hand, both of which you can do innumerable things with. I try to keep it simple.

My goal for this month’s budget was $300.

Usually I only go to Wal-Mart, but this time I happened to know we would be in town where there was a Sam’s Club, so I decided to do some of my shopping there as well. With this being the case I decided to up my grocery budget a bit to account for getting some of my items in bulk. Here’s what I got on my Sam’s visit:

Sam’s Club

Meats: $13.57

  • 7.2 lbs chicken breasts – $13.57

Produce: $6.98

  • 5 lb bag gala apples – $6.98

Refrigerator Stuff: $19.90

  • Pesto – $7.96
  • (3) 2 packs apple juice (96 fl oz each) – $11.94

Pantry: $69.58

  • 20 lb bag rice – $8.54
  • Famous Amos cookies (36 bags) – $10.58
  • Applesauce pouches (16 pouches) – $7.88
  • Saltines (12 sleeves) – $5.46
  • 2 liters olive oil – $12.98
  • 5 lbs peanut butter – $10.48
  • Italian seasoning – $4.68
  • 14 oz dried blueberries – $8.98

Grand Total: $110.03

The blueberries were totally not on my list, but my sweet husband loves blueberry scones so I thought it would be nice to have some on hand to surprise him. The chicken was a pleasant surprise! They were only $1.88/lb which is at least $0.12 lower than what Wal-Mart usually sells their chicken breasts for. Plus they were HUGE…seriously. I got home and individually packaged them with my Food Saver and almost all of them weighed a pound or more each. :O That’s a serious chicken. I’d like to have seen what these monster chickens looked like when they were alive! I ended up with a couple more pounds of chicken than what I actually needed so we’ll have some to carry over into next months menu.

I wasn’t able to buy a lot here since most of it ended up being cheaper for me to buy at Wal-Mart. That’s one thing you always need to check since buying in bulk doesn’t always save you money. Typically, Sam’s only carries name brand products so you end up paying more when you could have just bought the off brand at Wal-Mart for a lot less. They do have some Member’s Mark stuff, which is their off brand version, but it’s not a huge selection. The apple juice is the best deal I get here as I can get two 96 fl oz bottles for $3.98 as opposed to one bottle of the same amount costing as much or more at Wal-Mart. I’m not sure if I got a deal on the saltines or not since I forgot to check at Wal-Mart but we go through quite a lot of crackers with my little one.

Wal-Mart Trip:

Meats: $52.24

  • 6 links beef sausage – $16.68
  • 2.4 lb boneless pork shoulder – $7.10
  • 2.8 lbs pork baby back ribs – $11.46
  • 1 lb turkey breakfast sausage – $3.28
  • 2 lbs ground turkey – $5.56
  • 3 lbs boneless chicken thighs – $8.16

Produce: $29.18

  • 5lbs cuties – $6.97
  • 3 lbs gala apples – $4.27
  • Whole carrots – $0.78
  • 0.89 lbs zucchini – $1.41
  • 0.69 lbs squash – $1.02
  • 1 head cauliflower – $2.78
  • 4.19 lbs bananas – $2.18
  • 6 green bell peppers – $5.52
  • Celery – $1.48
  • 5 lbs russet potatoes – $2.77

Frozen Items: $13.39

  • 65 oz California blend veggies – $5.98
  • 1 lb 12 oz cut okra – $2.38
  • 8 oz whipped cream topping – $1.16
  • Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches – $3.87

Refrigerator Stuff: $31.94

  • 32 oz vanilla Greek yogurt – $3.98
  • 4 (1/2 gal) soy milk – $10.00
  • Ranch dressing – $1.66
  • 1 lb mild cheddar – $4.68
  • 1 lb butter sticks – $2.98
  • 20 ct flour tortillas – 2.98
  • loaf wheat bread – $1.68
  • 18 pack eggs – $3.98

Pantry: $59.90

  • 8 pack popcorn – $2.00
  • Danish butter cookies – $3.48
  • 2 cans chicken breast – $1.96
  • 4 cans cream of chicken – $5.o0
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom – $2.50
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes – $1.96
  • 2 (18 oz) bottles BBQ sauce – $2.82
  • Baking powder – $1.24
  • Oregano – $2.08
  • Zatarain’s family size jambalaya – $2.36
  • Plain bread crumbs – $1.87
  • 4 boxes (10 packets each) maple and brown sugar oatmeal – $6.48
  • Coconut – $1.38
  • 2 bags light brown sugar – $2.96
  • 1 lb jalapeno Velveeta – $3.88
  • Fruit gel cups – $1.98
  • Raisins – $1.48
  • Taco Shells – $1.00
  • Mini marshmallows – $1.25
  • 3 boxes cookies – $10.44
  • crackers – $1.78

Non-Food Items: $27.63

  • 52 fl oz Ajax dish soap – $2.66
  • Dish gloves – $2.73
  • 4 pack Kleenex – $5.68
  • 3 pack travel size Kleenex – $0.97
  • 200 ct dryer sheets – $8.47
  • crayons – $1.88
  • Maxi pads – $3.76
  • Nail polish remover – $1.48

Drinks: $4.00

  • 2 Crystal Light boxes – $4.00

Grand Total: $218.28

Sam’s and Wal-Mart combined: $328.31

Goal: $300

Difference: $28.31 over

I ended up buying more snack food than I usually do. I don’t know if the pregnancy munchies struck or if my being in full blown nesting mode made me think I better stock up on as much food as I possibly could. Who knows, but I definitely went over budget for the month. Not a huge deal but I was bummed out. I’m hoping that some of the extra stuff I bought at Sam’s will carry me through for a few months and subsequently lower my next months grocery bill. Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking but we will see how it goes! A few of my meals are large enough that I can freeze half of them to eat for next month. Also, the ribs are a splurge item that I try not to do very often since they are so expensive. It was my husbands birthday last month though, so I wanted to make him his favorite meal. You’ve got to splurge every now and then!

One thing I mentioned last month is that I decided to stop buying diet coke liters for the house and substituted crystal light as another option to water. It’s been better than I thought. It definitely shaves off at least $10-$15 a month and I haven’t wanted the cokes as badly as I thought I would. There are certainly those days where I am seriously jonesing for a soda, but I try not to take advantage of the $1 fountain drinks at McDonald’s too much. Ha!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope y’all have a great week!