A budget friendly Aldi grocery haul coming at you this week! I have given myself $100 a week to feed my fiancé and I, and while that does seem like a lot to most people…it really isn’t for eating healthy and limiting packaged foods. The expensive part of groceries actually comes from the packaged foods, unless you are talking Ramon Noodles and Mac n Cheese, which we know are not actually serving our body in any beneficial way.
People tell me all the time that they “can’t afford to eat healthy” yet their grocery belt is full of snack packs, soda and frozen dinners. So tell me, is it that they can’t afford to eat healthy, or that they refuse to change their habits because “their kids won’t eat healthy food”? Because trust me, if that is the ONLY thing you put in front of their kid…sooner or later they would eat it! But alas, that is their call. I am just here to share a sample menu for a week as well as a grocery list and how my week typically looks. Again, this is for 2 people to adjust as needed!
For us, we tend to eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch each week and then dinner every night is always different. I choose to do a little meal prep on Sundays for my first two meals of the day, and cook dinner fresh every night, but that is just a personal preference thing!
Every week I sit down and plan out what I am going to make for the week for all meals. This helps be stay on budget, but also takes all the guessing out of the week when it comes to “what should we have for dinner”. I found that when I don’t make a menu I wonder around the store buying things I don’t need and get home only to find out I still don’t really have groceries to put meals together. So, here is the menu I put together when I was shopping at Aldi.
Mixed berry smoothie with protein powder, and kale.
Grilled chicken with baked sweet potato and brussels sprouts.
Sunday – Goulash
Monday – Salmon, rice and coconut kale
Tuesday – Crockpot coconut lime chicken with rice
Wednesday – Leftovers
Thursday – Chicken Salad
Friday – Leftovers
Saturday – Tacos
*Downloading this template below is exactly what I use to plan meals*
Now that we have our menu for the week, we can create our grocery list! A great budget friendly hack for groceries and meal planning is utilizing some of what you already have! We tend to have a freezer stocked with meat (you can check out the Sams Club haul here) so we try to create meals based on the protein sources we have and what is in the pantry already.
• Red onion
• Sweet potato
• Red pepper
• Brussels sprouts
• Greek yogurt or sour cream (Aldi has a great dairy free sour cream)
• Salmon (I always go for wild caught, but whatever fits your budget)
• Chicken Breasts (enough for the week and chicken salad)
• Ground beef (2 lbs)
• Mixed berries
• Canned tomato paste
• Canned diced tomatoes
• Pasta (I went for a gluten free bean pasta)
• Dijon Mustard (I used spicy brown since it was in my fridge)
• Dried cranberries
• Canned coconut milk
• Worcestershire sauce (this probably isn’t 100% necessary)
• Corn tortillas
Chicken Salad (I left out the apples and pecans)
Coconut Chicken (this is just 3 chicken breasts, coconut milk, juice from 1 lime and 1 red pepper diced and thrown in the crockpot. Season with taco seasoning, salt and pepper and cook until chicken shreds)
Whenever I am creating a menu, I make sure all of my meals consist of 4 components – a carb, a fat, a protein and a vegetable. This ensures I am getting the nutrients I need, but also making sure I will stay full for hours! If you want to learn more about how to create meals that are healthy and keep the blood sugar stable, check out this blog!
I am in the depths of this budgeting thing as we are paying for a wedding this year! That means we need to make sure every month we are staying on track with saving up. So, our lives are all about budgeting. And coming from someone who used to spend $800 a month on groceries because I would buy all the boujee brands and clean ingredients…this is hard. So, I get it. But we can do it together! A few simple tips I have for staying on budget and making the best of your money are these…
• Buy in bulk whenever you can.
• Don’t be afraid of canned/frozen vegetables.
• Utilize what is already in your pantry/freezer/fridge
• Get creative – it doesn’t have to be black and white with a recipe. Start throwing your meal components together…you already know I am a huge fan of sh*t in a bowl.
• Grocery delivery – we use Instacart. I know this is not something everyone has available to the, but it is a game changer. It keeps me from wondering around the store buying extras! For $99 a year it’s great, plus you get free shipping on orders over $35 which is always the case for us since I only shop once a week!
• Eat the leftovers – seriously will change the game when cooking. Just make something in bulk and you can use those leftovers for another dinner or lunch the next day.
Those are just a few things I always keep in mind when working with a budget. You don’t have to go back to old habits of packaged/fast foods – you just have to be a little smarter about it. And if you are really willing to make a change that will last, you’ll do whatever you can to stay on track! I could use this budgeting as an excuse too, but I have a wedding to prepare for!
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