After I posted my mid-year food budgeting update, I got a few comments and emails wondering what we eat. So I decided to track all of our meals for the month of September and share that with you here on the blog!
Every month looks different, of course, and random things are always popping up, but I'd say in general this is a pretty typical month as far as food. Even though I knew that I was tracking our meals to put on the blog, I was intentional about not changing any of our meals just to look good. This is honestly what we would have eaten whether or not I blogged about it!
I tried hard to stay under our $200 grocery budget, and I got close. Total in September we spent $227 on groceries. Plus an additional $50 for takeout and $50 on eating out for lunch during the week. So that's $327 total on food in September.
I'm copying our daily meals below. What we ate for dinner is in bold, and I added links where appropriate for recipes in case you're interested. Below the schedule, I've written down some general observations. I have some other thoughts about meals and food that I'll share in another post in a few weeks!
SEPTEMBER DAILY MEAL PLAN
*In my head, a week of meals runs Monday to Sunday.
**I didn't write down any of Jordan's breakfast or lunch, but usually he either doesn't eat breakfast or he eats cereal, and for lunch he eats a peanut butter and honey sandwich with chips or he eats out for lunch somewhere cheap. It's pretty sad, but the type of job he has isn't great for meal options and we haven't figured out a good solution to this problem! (I do make a batch of homemade breakfast burritos for him and need to do that again soon!)
-Thursday (Sept 1): Breakfast: Oatmeal w/brown sugar and 1/2 a banana / Lunch: Potluck at work / Dinner: Buffalo Wild Wings takeout for at-home date night.
-Friday: Breakfast: Oatmeal w/brown sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: pb&j w/apple and chips / Dinner: pancakes for Amanda and leftover baked ziti from Monday for Jordan
-Saturday: Breakfast: cereal / Lunch: tacos at a birthday party / Dinner: Jordan was at a friend’s house and they grilled burgers. Amanda ate: leftover tacos from Tuesday
-Sunday: Breakfast: cereal / Lunch: BBQ sandwiches in the crockpot with sautéed squash and zucchini / Dinner: Jordan ate leftover tacos & Amanda ate leftover crockpot BBQ chicken
-Monday (Labor Day): Breakfast: cereal / Lunch: grilled cheese w/fruit and chips / Dinner: leftover BBQ chicken
-Tuesday: Breakfast: Oatmeal w/brown sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: pb&J w/chips and fruit / Dinner: sausage, apple, sweet potato casserole
-Wednesday: Breakfast: Oatmeal w/brown sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: pb&J w/greek yogurt, honey and strawberries and ½ banana/ Dinner: leftover casserole + the rest of the BBQ chicken
-Thursday: Breakfast: Oatmeal w/b.sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: pb&j w/greek yogurt, honey, and strawberries and ½ banana / Dinner: sautéed squash and zucchini w/baked chicken and wild rice (I browned the chicken in a cast iron skillet then added chopped zucchini and squash and put in the oven)
-Friday: Breakfast: Oatmeal w/b.sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: the rest of the sausage, apple, sweet potato casserole from Tuesday/ Dinner: Chicken with wild rice freezer meal… I totally forgot I had already taken this out of the freezer on Wednesday to cook tonight or I wouldn’t have made almost the exact same meal for dinner on Thursday. Oops.
-Saturday: Breakfast: Cereal / Lunch: Freddy’s takeout burgers & fries / Dinner: Tacos with sautéed green peppers/onions (for the taco meat I used a pound of cooked meat I had in the freezer after doing this. Makes it so simple!)
-Sunday: Breakfast: Cereal / Lunch: The rest of the tacos / Dinner: Homemade pizza w/ homemade whole wheat crust, turkey pepperoni, sausage, green pepper, onion, mozzarella cheese
-Monday: Breakfast: Oatmeal w. b. sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: pb&j w/greek yogurt, honey, and ½ banana / Dinner: leftover homemade pizza from Sunday and the rest of the chicken and rice from Friday
-Tuesday: Breakfast: Oatmeal w. brown sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: pb&j w/greek yogurt, honey, ½ banana, and chopped mango / Dinner: Amanda got together with a friend; Jordan ate the rest of the pizza (which he says didn’t fill him up but he didn’t feel like making anything else)
-Wednesday: Breakfast: I picked up donuts for the office and ate two plus half a bagel with butter / Lunch: leftovers from my dinner Tuesday + greek yogurt w/honey and ½ banana / Dinner: Homemade chicken pot pie
-Thursday: Breakfast: oatmeal w/brown sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: pb&j w/chips and fruit / Dinner: leftover pot pie
-Friday: Breakfast: Oatmeal w/brown sugar (didn’t have any bananas!) / Lunch: the rest of the pot pie + crackers and cheese / Dinner: Homemade pizza using the second ball of homemade whole wheat dough that I pulled from the freezer, turkey pepperoni, and the second half of the sausage/green pepper/onion combo that I cooked on Sunday.
-Saturday: Breakfast: Eggs and cereal / Lunch: Amanda ate grilled cheese and Jordan ate leftover pizza/ Dinner: Grilled chicken, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts
-Sunday: Breakfast: cereal / Lunch: Ravioli with steamed broccoli / Dinner: Grilled burgers and chips
-Monday: Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ b. sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: pb&J w/greek yogurt, honey, and ½ banana / Dinner: Grilled pork chops (that we grilled the night before) w/roasted Brussels sprouts and potatoes
-Tuesday: Breakfast: homemade banana nut muffin + oatmeal w/b. sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: pb&j w/ greek yogurt, honey and ½ banana / Dinner: Leftover burgers, pork chops, and potatoes
-Wednesday: Breakfast: oatmeal w/brown sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: pb&J w/greek yogurt, honey and ½ banana + an apple / Dinner: chicken & rice using the rest of the grilled chicken we cooked on Saturday + frozen veggies and instant white rice (<---one of our favorite and easiest meals!)
-Thursday: Breakfast: Oatmeal w/brown sugar and ½ banana + donut at work/ Lunch: pork chop from Sunday + greek yogurt w/honey and ½ banana / Dinner: Southwest enchilada bake (freezer meal I made last month)
-Friday: Dinner: Amanda and R were on vacation for the weekend / Jordan ate: the last of the burger and potatoes from Sunday
-Saturday: Amanda and R on vacation / Jordan ate the chicken & rice for lunch + SW enchilada bake for dinner
-Sunday: Amanda and R on vacation / Jordan ate the SW enchilada bake for dinner
-Monday: Driving back from Texas with R, so I ate a granola bar in the car / Dinner: the rest of the SW enchilada bake
-Tuesday: Breakfast: ½ banana with oatmeal w/b. sugar / Dinner: Chicken pot pie freezer meal that I made last month
-Wednesday: Breakfast: Cereal / Lunch: Takeout burgers for Jordan and me / Dinner: tilapia w/steamed veggies
-Thursday: Breakfast: Oatmeal w/brown sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: someone made pasta for everyone at work + greek yogurt w/cinnamon, honey, and ½ banana / Dinner: Cheeseburger macaroni
-Friday: Breakfast: oatmeal w/brown sugar and ½ banana / Lunch: English muffin w/peanut butter + greek yogurt w/cinnamon and honey / Dinner: Leftover cheeseburger macaroni
1) We don't eat out very much. Getting takeout or going out to eat is a special occasion for us. This is mostly because it's cheaper to eat at home and it's healthier. We save eating out for times when we're really desperate or just craving a greasy cheeseburger and fries or when we're on a date or something.
2) Leftovers are the life blood of our meal planning routine. This is a big one. I don't even know what I am going to do with myself when my kids are older and eating more and there aren't any leftovers. I had an old roommate who refused to eat leftovers of any kind, and I couldn't wrap my head around it. As you probably noticed, we generally eat leftovers on a meal at least twice, which means I'm only cooking about every other day.
3) For the most part, I am perfectly content eating the same thing for breakfast and lunch every single day. Every so often the thought of eating another peanut butter and jelly sandwich makes me want to cry, but for the most part I'm okay with not a huge variety in those meals. And I honestly love my bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar and banana. So yummy. I know some people can't handle that kind of thing, but I really don't mind it.
4) We are not now, nor will be ever be, vegetarians. Meat. Amen.
So that's about all I've got for you! What questions do you have for me? Leave them in the comments or shoot me an email. I really hope this has been helpful for you!
p.s. Check out the Recipe tab on the blog for more of our favorite meals.
p.s. Check out the Recipe tab on the blog for more of our favorite meals.