Saturday, January 19

Meal Planning Cost Break Down So Far

We are BAD at this but really need to do it! So we attemped while shopping Tuesday to do some basic meal plans. Doubling each so we had two meals per idea. Not the best for variety, but good for our sanity ;-) Here's examples of what we planned and some not so pre-planned.

Chili: We ate this chili for lunch and dinner all last weekend =) Spent $5 on hormel chili beans ($1sale) plus had a lot of kidney beans on hand. Got a large tomato juice for $1.99. Used tomato soup, diced tomatos, diced chilis, crackers, cheese and seasonings from on hand. Picked up 3 corn and gluten free chili packets, $1.49 each so $4.47 and 5lbs of ground beef at $2.28 a pound, 2lbs were used for the chili. Trevor fixed it for Saturday, I filled the crock pot back up for Sunday. We ended up with left overs; so I used that for the next night's wet burritos. Total cost was $17.51x1.04975(tax) =18.38 for 5 meals (2 lunches, 2 dinners & 1 meal's cost is applied to the next meal explaination). Breaks down to $3.69 a meal. That's 61¢ a person. Fantastic

Wet Burritos from Chili Leftovers: These were not your traditional wet burritos. Almost everything here was from things we had on hand. You can see how I made them by clicking here. The only thing added to the $3.69 above is sour cream and lettuce Trevor brought home to top them. It was the first day of the 2day sale we shopped so the lettuce was 69¢ and the sour cream was $1.19. So $5.66 for the meal after you figure out taxes and whatnot. We all ate them for dinner and Tristian, Trace and I ate this for lunch the next day =) So ended up spending 63¢ a person per meal!

Chicken Quarters, Green Beans and Salad: Buy 3 things of the 69¢ a pound chicken quarters. Buy 4 of the 69¢ a bag dole lettuce and salad dressing. Buy a couple shells pasta boxes, cheese and 4 cans of 3 for a $1 green beans. For our family of six right now (4 adults and 2 children) to make enough for all we need 1 & 1/2 of the chicken quarter packs, 2 bags of Dole lettuce makes salad, 2 cans of green beans.  That broke down to- $6.62 chicken quarters, $2.76 dole lettuce, $1.34 green beans, $1.78 salad dressing = $12.50 (odd it adds to 12.5 huh). 12.50-10%=11.25x1.04975=11.81 So we spent $11.81 for two meals. That's $5.91ish a meal. Not too bad for feeding 6 people, 99¢ a person.

Salmon Patties, Shells & Cheese and Salad: I'd taken inventory of what my parents had before we went shopping so knew they have several cans of salmon. Trevor makes some FABULOUS salmon patties. Had most the ingredients on hand- needed eggs, rice chex and something to go with them. HyVee pasta was on sale for $1 a box (and don't have corn) so grabbed those and the HyVee version of Velveeta. We already have gluten free macaroni to make the boy's with. Also grabbed 4 bags of dole lettuce. We'll be using the same salad dressing already accounted for in the last meal. So we spent $2.76(lettuce)+2(pasta)+4.99(cheese)+1.68(eggs)+$2(chex)= $13.43 which after the math is $12.67. That's $6.34 a meal. $1.06 a person =)

Meat Loaf, Corn and Salad: Mom wanted to make her meat loaf one night. Trevor and I have his holiday party Saturday (today) so we figured she could do it tonight. We made sure there was a pound of ground beef left for her from last weeks, it cost $2.28 a pound. Plus a bag of dole salad. She'll be using the same box of rice chex from the salmon patties ground up (gluten and corn free bread crumbs are MUCH more expensive then rice chex). Since I'm won't be there they can have corn already on hand with it. It's $2.93 after the math & 73¢ per person after what's accounted for in previous meals or wasn't on hand =)

Spaghetti w/ Meat, and Cheese Bread and Salad: Spaghetti was $1 a box, ground beef was $2.28lb bought the week before (so no 10% off), 2 salad bags for 69¢ each with salad dressing already accounted for. Bread bought the previous week for $2.69 a loaf (but had 10¢ off a gallon, so that's about $1.20 off for us). Cheese already on hand at my parents. So for two meals that's $9.60 after you do all the math for discounts and taxes and etc... So that's 80¢ a person =)

We also had pizza two nights: I know, shame on us. The gluten free pizza costs $7.99 but will last through two pizza nights. We spent $10 on 2 large pizzas at Little Ceasar's. But got 2 large pizzas and 1 order of cinnamon rolls free from Cici's Pizza (you can find out about what happened with that by clicking here). So after tax we spent $19.19. which is $1.60 a person. Not as good as cooking dinner (especially considering it would be much higher per person without the free Cici's Pizza in there). Moral of the story? Even cheap take home is still more expensive then you can make dinner for. Everyone wants a break occasionally though, right?

So we've spent $80.24 for 15 meals (12 dinners, 3 lunches- lunch only included when it's the same meal) and 85 individual plates (so to speak). Some days are past, we've done speghetti once, both pizza nights, both chili days, the wet burritos and tonight should be meat loaf night. Some meals are planned to come. The average for these meals is around 94¢ per person per meal! I would say that's pretty reasonable =)

*Anything on hand before I started tracking grocery budget for couponing again is priced as $0- on hand product. Most people when they begin couponing &/or budgeting are going to have items on hand and who wants to add to the confusion of trying to coupon and budget by trying to remember past item costs?

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