This is how we do it: Grocery Shopping
This week I am linking up with a couple other bloggers for This is How We Do It: Grocery Shopping. Here are the links to the other wonderful bloggers that are hosting: The Boutelle Family and Grace Mountain Diaries
For me, grocery shopping is a huge thing in our house. I am trying to grow more of our food, so I don’t have to go as often. But there are things that the kids can’t live with out. So I try and take a night to sit down and meal plan. Which normally doesn’t happen. I get tired after we put the kids to bed and my brain won’t function. Usually, what happens is I sit down while the kids are
attempting to play quietly running around and goofing off. Normally they are very well behaved, except when I need to concentrate. Then, everything that could go wrong, will go wrong. When I meal plan, I plan for two weeks. I don’t think I can go back to grocery shopping every week. I plan a week of meals and then I double it. I love to cook but between the kids and my husband usually not coming home till dinner is done and on the table, I don’t have the time to not burn anything. My poor husband thought he was going to have awesome meals every night. Little did he know, that once we had 6 kids, I couldn’t juggle it all. So now he only gets a great meal maybe once a week. Our dinners are really simple and it is food that the kids will eat. I am not of the mindset that I should make something and expect the kids to eat it. I get that some families do that, and that is fine. But I know my kids and whatever you do they still won’t eat it. I have a few main meals that we do every week, and then I fill in the other days with meals I think my husband and I will enjoy. Our simple meals are pizza (I try to make it, but normally it is Aldi’s), pasta and veggies, breakfast for dinner, fish with rice, and veggies, 2 whole chickens with homemade mac and cheese, and chicken fajitas . Then the other meals are chicken, beef, or leftovers – if we have any. We as a family don’t eat a lot of red meat, but I will cook up an amazing beef roast once in a while.
I don’t only plan our dinners. I also plan our breakfasts and lunches. Because we homeschool, we get to eat lunch at home. It is a blessing and a curse. I love having lunch together as a family, but sometimes I wish I could have a hot meal made for the kids. I keep lunch extremely simple and fast. I will sometimes make ahead some turkey corndogs and chicken nuggets and just plop them in the oven. But most of the time I just buy the 100% whole wheat chicken nuggets and I stay away from the prepackaged corn dogs. We also do deli or PB&J sandwiches, nachos, quesadillas, and every ones favorite, grilled cheese. We have a few kids that are sensitive to cows milk, so I try and make them a dairy free option on most foods. But most of the time they don’t want to be different so they eat it and get Doterra’s digestZen rubbed on their bellies. For breakfast we try not to eat a lot of cereal, but sometimes we will go through a few boxes a week. One box is a meal for all of the kids, so it gets expensive buying 14 boxes of cereal for the two weeks. Instead, I try and keep cereal to three maybe 4 days a week. On the other days they eat left over pancakes or whatever leftovers we have from that weeks breakfast dinner. I put the leftovers in the freezer and then put them in the toaster when we want them. They also have toast with jelly or cinnamon and yogurt on the side, eggs with fruit, cream of wheat and oatmeal with maple syrup (as a sweetener). Then we have snacks. I will do prepackaged healthy snacks, I will not let my kids eat a “snack” that has a lot of fake sugar or other fake ingredients. It is hard to find stuff, but it is possible.
We have a budget of $150 a week for food. Sometimes it is hard to stay on budget, but we try to make it work. In the off season my husband will help with shopping. He likes to go to Target, we are really big on couponing there. We get most of our household, diapers, and personal care there. If they have good deals we will get food as well. But we have discovered Aldi! That place is awesome. If we can, we avoid Wal-Mart. It is too overwhelming to go there with all the kids. Plus that is where everyone and their brother needs to tell me I have too many kids and that I need to stop, although we do get a lot of praise from some. I want to make a shirt with the answers to the questions I get asked the most when I am out with the kids.
On our grocery shopping day I pack the kids in the big van and drive 20-25 minutes to a store. When we get to the store I get two shopping carts, I am so thankful I have older kids. Back in the day I used to push and pull a cart with 3 kids sitting in them. Now I only have to push 2 kids in the cart and the older boys help out more. By the end of the shopping trip I have both carts filled and head to the check out. I do use coupons and I am one of “those” people that will do several transactions to save money. In average we save $40-$160 dollars by couponing and splitting it all up. I am truly sorry for anyone that has gotten stuck behind us. But feeding 6 kids is expensive if I don’t try and save money. Then we go back to our van. I load the small kids up and the older boys start to load the car. Our car is filled to the max, it boggles my mind on what we go through in a two week period.
This is how I meal plan and go shopping. How do you meal plan?