Budget Meal Challenge Week 2

So this week is way less glamorous than last week’s post as I did not take pictures of my planning. I really did it between cups of coffee and screaming kids as the week went on. I had my notebook on the kitchen counter and as I thought of something I added it to the meal list.

Here are the groceries I purchased this week. I love how disgusted my twins look in this photo over the food I brought home. I think it was a “where is all the fresh veggies and fruit” kind of a look! Must do better on that next week, we do have carrots, green beans, lettuce and apples that are rolling over into this week.


So for the $94.79 I spent this week I bought:

18 eggs, 3 garlic cloves, turkey kielbasa, 1lb snap peas, 1 pkg sausage links, 8 ct hamburger buns, spaghetti sauce, microwave popcorn, italian dressing, blue cheese dressing, 1 refrigerated pizza crust, 1 can of PAM, 2-16oz chicken stock, 1 box graham cracker, 1 box Nilla wafers, 1 bakery style bread, 1lb deli meat- ham, 1 pkg string cheese, 1 jar salsa, 10lb red potatoes, 1 gallon organic whole milk, 3 bags frozen corn/peas, 1 bag -4lbs frozen chicken wings, 1 bag- 2lbs chicken nuggets, 1 bag-1lb frozen fries, 1 bag of potato chips, 1 bag tortilla chips, and 3-2lbs containers of yogurt, oh and a honey bear – fake honey, Aldi honey, corn syrup, sugar, non-local from not real bees honey (a what the hell was I thinking purchase but its for the wings!)

Due to convenience, holidays, Super Bowl, etc I grabbed some items I normally shy away from and worked them into our budget this week. For instance, 2 salad dressings when we normally make our own – its easier, cheaper and we know what is in it.

Strawberry yogurt, its part of our Valentine’s Day PINK breakfast, normally we would make our own by adding frozen/fresh berries to our plain/vanilla yogurt.

Canned pizza dough, I cannot tell you the last time I have purchased canned dough- if ever. But when I was meal planning I found a recipe for pizza pinwheels and with it being a lunch I know I do not have the time/patience to make our own that day.

Buns and pre-made bakery bread, we are not huge bread eaters in the house. It usually gets stale prior to us using it up so I hate to buy and waste it.  We are trying out a new sloppy joe recipe and so buns were needed and the bakery bread will be used to make panini’s (you can add deli meat to this list too as we rarely buy it, very expensive) for an easy week night dinner.


This week I spent more than last week, which I expected and it was still under $100! Yay! I spent $45.42 at Aldi and $49.37 at Target getting the things that Aldi was either out of, did not carry or I cannot bring myself to purchase there. Note: don’t buy their chocolate chips, they do not melt or taste well. I am baking chocolate chip cookies as I am blogging and am using their semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips. The milk chocolate chips do not melt they get hard and “burnt” the way chocolate gets when you have over-cooked it. So if you are a baker still with the good stuff from a real grocery store, lesson learned here not all things are created equal. Buy good, expensive chocolate!


Here is my Budget challenge week 2 meals and snacks for the week. I do not tend to change up the snacks too much. For one, I do not want my snacks to be so yummy that’s all my kids want instead of dinners. Second, if they are bored of these and do not want to eat them, they won’t and will be more hungry at dinner so they will eat better, sometimes.

Some of the recipes I will be using are:

Home-style meatloaf by Betty Crocker. Now I have never used this recipe and when thinking back I do not remember the last time I have ever made meatloaf, gasp I know! But I have a new mini loaf pan that I purchased for the boys’ birthday cake and want to try it out.

Easy pizza pinwheels by I heart nap time. These are what the canned pizza dough is for. I am really hoping the kids like these because I could prep these in advance, freeze them individually and pull them out for a quick and easy lunch/dinner when we are in a pinch. But I would like to try them with homemade pizza dough.

Turkey sloppy joes by Allrecipes. This is a new recipe too and I really hope that the kids like these as they are an easy addition to our quick meal’s file.


My goal this week is to at least photograph the recipes and tell you what worked and what did not this week. As I did not do that this week but feel it would be a fun way to keep track of the recipes I like and did not during this challenge.


**Last week’s recipes – we did not get to do the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls as we were at my parents late and did not have time to prep them for Sunday’s breakfast. We did not make the braised chicken thighs as we were at my parents’ for a last minute, let’s destroy your new house gathering. But we did use the granola bar recipes with a few tweaks. I pulsed the oats in the food processor to break them down a bit prior to mixing them in. This was a tip from another recipe I had printed off. It worked well and Isaac goes to the fridge daily and stands next to it sweetly saying, “chocolate” until you cut him a granola bar to eat. It’s too sweet and so I cave everytime.






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