November Menu Planning and Grocery Shopping Update

In my last post I talked about a few of the things I do to keep our grocery budget low and on target. Now I’m going to show you what my menu plan and grocery shopping looks like for this first pay period in November. The second part of the month gets interesting grocery-wise with the holidays (we’re hosting my side of the family over Thanksgiving and visiting Josh’s folks a little earlier in the month). We’ve had our first budget talks for this month, and I’m confident we’ll be able to stick to our plan for the holiday, but keeping this first pay period under control was(is) still important.

Step One: Ad Hopping

The first thing I did was check through the Kroger and Aldi ads, listed the sale items that I wanted to take advantage of, and added any relevent coupons for those items to my Kroger card.

Step Two: Menu Planning

Items from the sales ad became the foundation for my menu plan. We eat mainly keto, with a few whole-foods based carbs for the kids. I like preparing foods in different ways sometimes, but there are some meals we always like to eat. Finding those has really simplified the meal planning process for me! Instead of having to plan 15 unique main dinners every pay period, I plan a total of 6-8. In a week, we have one pizza night (keto pizza, these days, but the general idea still stands), one taco salad night, one brinner night, one leftovers night. Once per pay period, we’ll have an at-home date night dinner. Those standing meals can be easily tweaked, based on what was on sale and what I have in the house.

The kids alternate between a few different breakfasts, and lunches are our most informal meal–kids help choose what they want, prepare, and it’s usually something that can be on the table within 10 minutes.

There were a few events that I bought for this week that we don’t normally have as well. I bought dishwasher soap, paper plates, and toilet paper as my household stock up this time. Even if there’s nothing specific I need for the household goods, I try to keep up with what will be low next and always go ahead and buy the next thing so that I don’t end up with everything needed at once. I haven’t bought paper plates in ages, but I don’t know why. They were $2 and they have already brought me so much joy over the weekend. That’s a pretty inexpensive easy-button–and sometimes mama just needs an easy button!

Step Three: The Grocery Shop

I ordered curbside pickup for my groceries from Kroger and Walmart, and went through Aldi as well. In the end, I came in almost $30 under budget for this pay period, which makes me happy. We might use it to buy some wine for our date night this next weekend, or it might just roll over into savings.

Total for 6 people for November 1-15: $272.50

Walmart: $52.27 ~ Kroger: $57.88 ~ Aldi: $162.35

All things considered, being committed to writing the menu/budget all out and sharing it is a big encouragement to me–just to see how I’m doing in black and white. Hope it’s encouraging or at least passably entertaining to you too 😉

I’m going to try and share the food we eat over on my instagram page, @mindingmypeas this pay period, so if you want to see what I’m actually cooking in the day to day!