I Feed My Family Of Five For Less Than $100 A Week — Here's The Meal Planning Routine I Follow To Do That
Raise your hand if your house is always hungry.
Hi! I'm Sydney. I'm a stay-at-home mom of three, and I cook homemade meals for my Colorado family every week.
I know cooking and meal-prepping can be stressful to some, but I honestly love it. It’s also a necessity in my house because with three kids under seven, I need to run a pretty tight ship. I usually spend less than an hour a day cooking — and I'm strategic about stretching leftovers into more meals throughout the week.
Each week, I start all my planning on Saturday. This includes choosing the recipes I will make for the week ahead — via blogs, Pinterest, and cookbooks — plus the actual shopping.
After my recipes are picked, I compare prices via different grocery store apps — and will usually chose to do curbside pickup or delivery in order to avoid bringing my kids into the store. Not only does this save me from public meltdowns and additional grocery items on my list for bribes, but it also saves me time and money.
This past week, curbside pickup won out. My total of $83.10 at King Soopers was a whopping $79 cheaper than Instacart delivery — all for the exact same items.
And here are a few other things to note up front:
• The $83 covered about 85% of our meals for the week ahead. The other 15% covered kitchen and pantry staples (e.g., cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, or turkey sandwiches for lunch) that I always keep stocked and bulk-buy from Costco about once a month.
• Dinners almost always roll over into lunch for the next day. My kids are young enough where they're not typically eating a full adult-size portion, so I'm able to stretch things, which is great.
• For the kids, I don't make modifications — other than spiciness level. I know kids can be picky, but one thing that's worked well for my family is me asking the kids to help pick out recipes when I'm looking. I find that they are more excited to eat the meals that they picked themselves!