Here is the motherload of all shopping lists! This includes the ingredients I purchased for this months MENU – but it DOES NOT include spices, etc. I already had on hand or extra items for baking, snacks, breakfasts, and lunches for the month. This is JUST the dinners! Remember, this is my list based on what we like, so you may not want things like tomatoes and avocados every week for the salads, etc. Another savings tip: buy dried beans. I did this for a few months and it definitely saved some money, but with a baby, it’s easier to just open a can!
ALSO, you should always check your fridge and cupboards before shopping to prevent overbuying – especially when you’re working on a cash only zero-based budget!
Vinaigrette Dressing (your choice)
Croutons (I normally make them, but I have been buying them since Gabe was born!)
Almonds (Sliced or chop them yourself!)
1 container Old Fashioned Oats
Small bag Brown Rice
2 Pkg. Wheat Buns
1 Wheat Bread
1 pkg. Pita Bread
1 small can sliced Olives
4 (14.5oz) cans White (Northern or Cannellini) Beans
3 (14.5oz) cans Kidney Beans
2 (14.5oz) cans Black Beans
1 (14.5oz) can Garbonzo Beans
2 (14.5oz) cans Diced Tomatoes with Chiles
1 (28oz) can Crushed Tomatoes
1 (14oz) can Tomato Sauce (For Ravioli dipping)
1 small can Tomato Paste (To mix with sauce for Ravioli dipping)
4oz Green Chiles
1 (10oz) can Enchilada Sauce
1 can Diced Pineapple
1 jar Salsa
Jar of Minced Garlic
3lb. bag of Onions
Bunch fresh Cilantro
2 Broccoli Crowns
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 large Butternut Squash
Bunch fresh Spinach
2 medium Zucchini
4 small Jalapenos
1 pkg frozen Veggies (your choice)
1 pkg frozen Peppers/Stir Fry Mix
2 pkgs. frozen Corn (Tortilla Soup and Salads)
1 pkg. frozen Ravioli
3lb. Ground Turkey (It was cheaper to buy the 3lb. package than 1lb. individuals, so I divided this into four)
2lb. Sausage (Split 1 between the Quiche dinner and the Biscuits and Gravy night)
1 pkg Shredded Mozzarella
1 pkg Shredded Cheddar
1 pkg. Feta
1 bag Tortilla Chips (for Tortilla Soup – optional)
2 small Tomatoes
1 bunch Bananas
1 large Spaghetti Squash
1 bag shredded Cabbage/Cole Slaw
2 small Tomatoes
Bunch of Asparagus
1 tub Plain Greek Yogurt
2 small Tomatoes
1 pkg. Mushrooms
Because this list does not include my everyday items, only what I need for the dinner MENU, things like milk and eggs are not on the list for later in the month. I also typically buy several apples and bananas every week and almost always have leftover cash for those one or two items I forgot to get the first week. Buying a few things weekly also lets you gauge whether or not you will need another gallon of milk for the week or more bread, etc. but STICK TO YOUR BUDGET!! My budget is $220 for the month, and after all of my shopping I had $80 left for the rest of the month. It PAYS TO PLAN!
I could definitely be missing something here there were a lot of recipes and ingredients, so PLEASE let me know if you notice an inconsistency!
So, now that you have used the MENU PLANNING, MENU, and SHOPPING LIST…you’re wondering what to do with all the crap piled up on your kitchen floor, right?! Well, here’s my process for cooking for a month (which has changed dramatically since having a baby, but I’m slowly working towards it again)
1. Write out how much meat you will use for each meal. Cook and divide the meat into those portion sizes in freezer bags. Freeze meat for salads, and meat that is served plain or in something like the Spaghetti Squash Alfredo.
2. Prepare your soups, but don’t cook them (meat will already be cooked from step 1), and freeze in large gallon size freezer bags.
3. Make anything ahead of time that you can, like biscuits, Mushroom Sausage Gravy, and the Apple Pastry Tarts, and freeze. I’ve never frozen quiche before, so I’m not sure how well that would work, and I would not freeze things like the Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal.
I know it sounds simple, but it is a little time consuming, a few hours more than likely. However…it will save you SO much time during the rest of the month!