This past Saturday I managed to do the meal planning for this week and next week, weeks 2 and 3 of the pantry challenge. Meal planning is probably one of the most important things I do to keep costs down.
It usually goes something like this:
- Look at the calendar to see what we have going on and decide what days need crockpot meals, what days need “on the go” meals, and if there are any days that we won’t be home so there is no use in planning for that day.
- Look through my recipe book and make a list of main dishes and sides while making a list of ingredients needed.
- Walk through the kitchen with the ingredient list and cross off what we already have in the freezers, pantry, and cabinets.
- Write out the shopping list(s) with what items we need to buy and where to get them the cheapest.
Seems pretty simple…. until you add in 2 young boys and a newborn. As soon as I sit down to start, this is what happened.
*baby cries to be fed*
“Mom, I’m hungry” (he just ate 30 minutes ago)
*younger boy cries because older boy hit him*
*older boy talks to me constantly*
“Mom when are we leaving” (teen daughter interrupting because she is excited to be dropped off with friends)
*baby cries to be changed*
*baby needs put to sleep*
*baby cries to be picked back up*
*boys get into the pantry and get snacks* (I chase them down to put snacks away)
*boys complain about wanting to eat* (they seriously JUST ATE!)
*get boys snack while rocking baby*
*plead with the kids to please let me get this done*
*kids agree and go off to play, baby is quiet*
*sit down and open my recipe book…..baby starts crying again*
OMG. I was ready to give up and just say “screw it”. But, I didn’t want to make a separate trip into town (25 min drive each way) a different day. Since I had to take my daughter up to drop off with friends, it only made sense to do the shopping while I was there. Gas is expensive y’all.
So at this point, my husband sees I’m actually really close to loosing my shit and takes the baby to the living room, thus freeing up my arms so I can get this meal plan done!
Here’s this week’s plan:
- Sunday: BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, au gratin potatoes
- Monday: Brown sugar meatloaf, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots
- Tuesday: Shake and bake pork, applesauce, noodle side, veggie
- Wednesday: Baked sweet and sour chicken, rice, broccoli
- Thursday: Leftovers
- Friday: Beef porcupines, egg noodles, peas
- Saturday: Homemade pizza
Breakfasts include: cereal, eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, toast
Lunches include: PB&J, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, cold cut sandwiches, leftovers
I’ve got my meal plan done. Great. Fantastic even. Until I realize that I have to go to both Walmart AND Aldi…. on a Saturday afternoon… by myself WITH the 2 young boys and the baby.
Ok. I’ve got this.
I have my husband and daughter get the boys dressed and loaded in the van while I get the baby and grab my Lillebaby carrier, the backpack I use as a diaper bag, fruit snacks (aka little bags of “shut up”), and my shopping list.
Here we go.
After dropping off my daughter, and bribing my boys with a treat if they are good and listen (I will bribe them whenever needed!) we successfully managed to make it through BOTH stores without major issues!
I spent a total of $107.33 at both stores for the next 2 weeks. This INCLUDES produce to make 3 batches of jam and 3 batches of salsa that need to be canned, and some food for week 3 for me because I am going to start a meal plan to try to drop 15-20 pounds.
Here’s what we got:
Walmart: 3 large containers of blueberries, 2 bags of raw carrot chips, romaine lettuce, 8 green bell peppers, bananas, 8 ears of corn, celery, 9 large cans of petite diced tomatoes, 2 large cans of tomato puree, 2 boxes of brown minute rice, 2 boxes of fish fillets, 2 packages of American cheese, lime juice, ground cumin, applesauce, 2 packets of fajita seasoning, 2 gallons of milk.
Aldi: 2 boxes of macaroni and cheese, 2 jugs of purified water, 2 cases of purified bottled water, hot dog buns, 2 loaves of bread, 2 packages of raspberries, 2 bags of apples, a bag of peaches, 9 mangoes, 2 bunches of cilantro, 3 bags of jalapeños, 3 bags of onions, blue cheese crumbles, 3 packages of string cheese, 7 cans of tuna, 9 yogurts, pretzels, 2 bags of chips, turkey bacon, soy sauce, 2 bottles of ketchup.
I’d say I had a successful afternoon! Grocery shopping done. I didn’t lose any kids. No meltdowns (including myself).
I still think a supersized McVodka should be a thing though.