Tuesday, December 22, 2015


I'll start off by saying that if you're a vegetarian this post is probably not worth your time, no guarantees for the rest of you either for that matter.  This was the scene in our fridge at the beginning of this month, a carnivore's dream fueled by cost effective monthly(ish) meal planning and some shopping/an impromptu workout.  Beef (ground, in tube form), check.  Chicken, check. Pork (chops), check.  Steaks are a treat that we slip in on occasion but it wasn't in the cards this month after an expensive November and Christmas on the horizon.

At one point we did actually plan out our meals for a month but now with enough regular staples under our belt we have a good idea of what we need to sustain us for ~4wks and can put together a shopping list without a detailed meal plan.  We have also done our research as to the most cost effective locations to purchase various food items, Sam's club being the best choice for all things animal protein.  The prep takes a little time but we've found is well worth the saved time/effort throughout the month, especially during busy weeks.  Beef is sectioned and bagged in 1lb increments and chicken trimmed and bagged ~3-4 breasts per which is how much we typically cook for a meal/leftovers for lunch.

The 10lb tube 'o 90/10 ground beef and pork chops will last more than a month since chicken is typically our go-to but for the sake of simplicity here's the cost rollup (in nice rounded numbers) for an average month at today's market prices for our family of 5:

Chicken:  1.97/lb x 25lbs = $50 (~14 meals)
Beef: 3.18/lb x 10lbs = $32 (~5 meals)
Pork chops: 2.98/lb x 6lbs = $18 (~5 meals)
Total: $100 (~24 meals)

A couple notes:
-# of meals assumes  ~6oz per serving per person, an average that works well for us as our 3yr olds are balanced out by a hungry 15yr old
-This leaves 5-6 days for the occasional pizza, sandwiches, and a meal or two out

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