Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weekly Menu and Grocery Budget

We do 100% of our grocery shopping at Wegmans, which is a regional chain. I've heard from "immigrants" to the area that we are spoiled to have such a great supermarket chain. Here is a basic list of what we eat in a week:

2 boxes of cereal, 1/2 gallon organic soy milk, 2 loaves of bread, 1/2 lb of cheese, 1 can of tuna, 2 lbs pasta, 10 oz can mushroom soup, 1/2 lb organic beef, 2 hamburger rolls, 3c tomato sauce (jar), 15 oz can kidney beans*, 2 cups dry rice, 2 frozen salmon fillets, 3 lbs organic apples, 14 bananas* (so cheap!), 2 lbs clementines*, 14 oz can sauerkraut*, 20 oz can pineapple chunks*, 1 lb organic carrots, 48oz bottle V8 Fusion, 2 avocados*, and 12 oz frozen squash*.
*From what I've read, these have low levels of pesticides and are fairly safe to buy non-organic.

My husband has toasted cheese sandwiches and a glass of V8 Fusion. I have some pineapple and a bowl of cereal with soy milk. On Saturdays, I sometimes make French toast.

Peanut butter sandwiches with a banana for both of us. I usually have some homemade applesauce (shared with Peter) and my husband has a clementine. If there are leftovers from dinner (which there almost always are if we had beans & rice or tuna casserole), one of us will have those instead.

Beans and Rice
Tuna Casserole
Pasta w/ Tomato Sauce (x2)
Salmon with Rice
My husband has sauerkraut every night as his vegetable. I have two servings of vegetables, generally from whatever I prepared for Peter (carrots, avocado, squash).

We buy chili powder, garlic, cinnamon, cranberry juice (to flavor the tomato sauce), condiments, butter and eggs as needed. We keep our kitchen stocked with ingredients necessary to do simple baking (flour, sugar, baking soda, etc.). Our grocery budget also includes cleaning supplies and toiletries, but we only need to buy these a couple times a year, so they're not a significant percentage.

Conspicuous in their Absence
Desserts, snack food, frozen meals, prepackaged/processed food, alcohol, soda pop, candy, beverages other than milk and V8 juice (after breakfast, we drink water). I won't say we never buy these (except alcohol), but we generally buy them for our guests, not ourselves.

Eating mostly whole foods not only means we are eating more healthily, it also means our food takes up less space at our house! No more sorting through multiple boxes and packages to find what we want. I suspect this will become increasingly important if God sends us more children and we need to buy more food.

I must confess that we rarely use grocery coupons. We look every week, but we mostly purchase Wegmans store brand, so there aren't many coupons for things we buy. Silk Soy Milk, Monks Bread, Mario's Pasta Sauce, V8 Fusion, and Goya beans are the only things that are not store brand. Monks Bread and Mario's are local, so we support them even though they are more expensive. Silk and Goya are actually cheaper than Wegmans. Currently, there is no generic alternative to V8 Fusion where we shop.

Once or twice a month, my husband (who does all the cooking) will try a new recipe. We try to choose recipes that are based on what we already buy so we only need a few new ingredients. Every Sunday night we have dinner with my parents, so that saves a little bit too. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) Our menu is not widely varied or particularly exciting, but it is healthy and affordable.


  1. thanks for the post! have you ever thought about getting dried beans and cooking them yourself? you'll pay about as much for a pound of beans as you do for a can. then you can just cook it all at once and freeze them in the amounts that you typically use. you can cook them in about 90 minutes if you follow the directions here:
    we definitely have a little more variety in our meal plan, but we're working on narrowing it down to a few meals to repeat throughout the month, but changing what some of those are from month to month (especially the more seasonal meals - we're moving out of soups and into salads).

  2. Thanks for the bean advice! We bought some last grocery trip, so I'll let you know how it goes when we have time to prepare them correctly.
    Part of why our menu is so static is that we don't agree on a lot of meals. My husband doesn't like most soups or salads, for example, which makes me sad. C'est la vie.