I'm proud of myself! I just put together my first menu plan! I spent $120 at the grocery store and I told dh that if we wanted to keep our costs down to $400 for groceries, then this food would have to last 10 days. Well I really had to do some thinking to stretch it out but I did it! I imagine this gets easier and you learn as you go.
Budget - $120 Days - 10
Mon: Started with dinner, refried beans in tortillas w/ sour cream
Tues: Breakfast - granola, banana, Lunch - Turkey sandwiches, salad, Dinner - Black beans & polenta, asparagus and a ripe plaintain sauteed in maple syrup for dessert
Weds - Breakfast - Instant oatmeal, Lunch - Grilled ham sandwiches, frozen french fries, Dinner - Wild rice crockpot creation
Thurs - Breakfast - cereal, Lunch - huevos rancheros, Dinner - Frozen dinners (organic, on sale 50% off), salad and baked sweet potatoes
Fri - Breakfast - Instant oatmeal, Lunch - Ramen noodles w/ cut up veggies cooked in it, Dinner - *Treat* (under $20, like pizza or something). TGIF!
Saturday - Breakfast - Eggs and toast, Lunch - Macaroni & tomatoes, salad, Dinner - Black beans from scratch (soaked overnight), rice, cabbage salad with tomatoes
Sunday - Breakfast - cereal (for me, pumpkin seeds and fruit many mornings), Lunch - Leftover beans w/ fresh rice and salad, Dinner - Spaghetti, salad, cornbread muffins
Mon - Breakfast - Spaghetti leftovers, cabbage salad, Dinner - Tasty Bite Kashmir Spinach and Madras Lentils Indian food over rice (For the kids, cheese tortellini)
Tues - Breakfast - Oatmeal or cereal, Lunch - Tuna on saltines, raw veggies, Dinner - Black beans from scratch, rice, stir-fried broccoli and grated carrot together
Weds - Breakfast - Eggs & tortillas, Lunch - Leftover beans, fresh rice, Dinner - Steak, sweet potatoes fries, salad or veg
Thurs - Breakfast - pancakes, Lunch - Tortellini w/ frozen vegs, Dinner - lentil soup, cornbread
Snacks and desserts: Activia yogurts, string cheese, cookies, fruits (grapes, watermelon, organic apples and bananas), popsicles, granola.
My cupboards and fridge will be completely bare by Thurs the 27th, lol. That is going to be satisfying, considering I usually ignore many food items in my cupboards until I question if they are still good to eat. This time, I am utilizing everything I bought and some things I had sitting in my cupboards too long - like lentils and wild rice. Good luck ladies and thanks for letting me share.