Menu Plan: What Our Family of 4 Eats on $200 a Month (Post #3)

Update:  You can read all my Menu Plans under the Menu tab and all the recipes that I’ve posted under the Tasty Tuesday tab.

Finally got another menu plan posted for you all!  We were gone for 6 weeks at the beginning of the year to a small Bible school where my husband taught and while we were there all our meals were provided so I didn’t have to do any cooking.  Although I usually enjoy making food it was a nice break!  And then there were a couple of weeks that were just too busy to keep track of everything that we ate and well…so it goes.

You’ll notice that we ate a lot of leftovers during these four weeks.  Typically we enjoy leftovers and in fact I often make enough of a recipe to last us more than one meal.  But somehow I went a little crazy this month and we had leftover so often we were all getting a bit tired of it!  So I’m sorry.  I know that it will make it harder for you to implement the menus but hopefully it will still give you some ideas and can still help inspire you!

A couple of things that will be helpful for you to know up front:

  • Our family of four consists of two adults with fairly big appetites, a 4-year-old boy and a 15-month-old girl.  Often times one or both of our children will eat as much or more than me.  Obviously this fluctuates with growth spurts but typically they are big eaters.
  • I buy lots of fruits and veggies in bulk from local farmers/orchards in the summer and then freeze or can them. This is not only much cheaper it is also healthier too. But that is why if you look at my Weekly Spending Summaries you won’t always see lots of fruits and veggies.
  • The other factor is that I have a stockpile. My cupboards are full from previous shopping. Here’s why. When I can get pasta for free with coupons I buy as much as I have coupons for. When I can get flour for really cheap (last year I got about 6 bags for $0.50/bag and put it in the freezer) I buy as much as I think is reasonable. I do this as much as my budget allows, on as many items as I can and as a result save lots of money. So when I go to plan out what we eat, I just try to plan my meals around what I already have in the cupboards. Obviously I still might have to buy a few things at regular price here and there but by stocking up when the price is at rock bottom I save a lot. And that is why it might appear just by looking at a couple of week’s worth of my groceries that we don’t eat very well or very balanced.
  • We rarely snack.  By eating “heavy” food like granola at breakfast we don’t get hungry until lunch time.  And the same goes for the afternoon…our lunches are big enough that we rarely need a snack before dinner time.  When we do snack I try to keep it mostly healthy by offering fruit, nuts or maybe No Bake Energy Bites or a homemade granola bar.  I do have iced coffee or a homemade latte almost every day… I don’t really consider that a snack, but maybe you do.  :)
  • Our breakfasts consist of Homemade Granola or Homemade Grape-nuts, the occasional bought cereal that I was able to get for $0.50/box and sometimes some fruit too. I know that might seem awfully boring to some of you, but we actually all really enjoy it and prefer it over other breakfast food.

The lunches you see below for Monday-Friday are just for the children and me. My husband takes sandwiches, fruit, leftovers and the like in his packed lunches.

WEEK 1

Sunday

  • Invited to a friend’s house spur of the moment :)
  • Grilled Tuna Salad and Cheese Sandwiches with 100% Whole Wheat Homemade Bread; Corn Chips; Homemade Applesauce; Grapefruit

Monday

  • Homemade Vegetable Soup; Cheese; Homemade Yogurt; Home Canned Peaches; Frozen Blueberries (that I preserved)
  • Homemade Taco Soup served with corn chips and sour cream; 100% Whole Wheat Homemade Bread; Homemade Applesauce; Grapefruit; Various Homemade Christmas Cookies (from freezer)

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • Leftovers; Homemade Yogurt; Home Canned Peaches; Frozen Blueberries (I preserved)
  • Various Leftovers

Saturday

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WEEK 2

Sunday

  • Lunch and Dinner at the in-laws

Monday

Tuesday

  • Leftovers; Homemade Yogurt; Home Canned Peaches; Frozen Strawberries (I preserved)
  • Store bought pizza; Lettuce/Spinach Salad (with cheese, almonds and croutons) with Homemade Mexican Dressing; Homemade Applesauce

Wednesday

  • 5 Lunch Guests (mom-in-law and sister-in-laws) — Leftover Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup; Creamy White Chili; Whole Wheat Muffins; Home Canned Pickles; Home Canned Peaches
  • Breakfast Wraps (eggs/sausage/cheese in tortilla); Fruit Slush; Homemade Yogurt

Thursday

  • Leftovers; Homemade Yogurt; Home Canned Peaches; Frozen Blueberries (I preserved)
  • Bagel Casserole (a recipe I tried but wasn’t crazy about- it was kind of an Italian type of dish with ground beef and tomato sauce and cheese); Green Beans (I preserved); Homemade Applesauce; Leftover Chocolate Cake with Caramel Icing

Friday

Saturday

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WEEK 3

Sunday

  • Invited to a friend’s place
  • Sandwiches; Potato Chips; Home Canned Pickles; Various Homemade Christmas Cookies (from freezer)

Monday

  • Leftover Soups; Homemade Yogurt; Home Canned Peaches; Frozen Blueberries (I preserved)
  • Leftover Bagel Casserole; Spinach/Lettuce Salad with almonds and cheese and Homemade Mexican Dressing; Homemade Applesauce

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Leftovers; Homemade Yogurt topped with granola; Home Canned Peaches; Frozen Strawberries (I preserved)
  • Salsa Chicken Soup; Spinach/Lettuce Salad; Homemade Applesauce;

Thursday

  • Leftovers; Homemade Yogurt topped with granola; Home Canned Peaches
  • Chicken Casserole (chicken/bread/and a kind of white sauce and seasonings); Corn (I preserved); Home Canned Pickles; Homemade Applesauce

Friday

Saturday

  • 3 lunch guests– Herb Roasted Chicken; Spinach/Lettuce Salad with almonds/cheese/eggs and Homemade Mexican Dressing; Homemade Coleslaw (my friend brought); Homemade Applesauce;
  • Leftover Chicken Casserole; Corn; Homemade Applesauce; Homemade Bars

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WEEK 3

Sunday

Monday

  • Leftover Tuna Salad in Tortillas; Leftover Tomato Soup; Homemade Yogurt; Frozen Blueberries (I preserved)
  • Various Leftovers

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

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