Can I feed my family of 5 for $25 a week?

$25 Menu Plan–Week 4 in review–The cost of not having a plan…

This week’s review is about the cost of not having a good plan.

You will recall that during my third week of this challenge, I went to the store without a plan.  I purchased what was on sale, and what seemed like a good idea, but I didn’t have a plan for how I would be using those items.  Because I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t know how much I would need for the week.  Because I hadn’t planned my menu for the week, I didn’t complete any weekend prep work.    Added to this, my work schedule has been very chaotic.  I have been getting home some nights after 8:00, or even 9:00 pm, instead of the more normal 6:00 – 7:00pm.   This has left Baker’s Man and the children to fend for themselves for dinner. 

No Plan + No Preparation = Unnecessary Costs

The menu plan for this week’s dinners wasn’t followed, though we did manage to make two of the things on our menu on the days they were scheduled.  Aside from that,  things definitely didn’t go according to plan.  In fact, it was a disaster.

The cost of not having a plan

Sunday:  Lobster Dip and banana pudding

Monday:  Meatball Pita’s with cucumber and feta salad.

Tuesday:  Del Taco ( I worked late)

Wednesday:  McDonald’s for the children.  Applebees for the parents. (I got to go on a date with Baker’s Man.)

Thursday:   Bakers (A regional fast food restaurant)

Friday:  Tuna Melts with Seasoned Oven Fries

Saturday:  Fast Food–we weren’t all together, so we ended up eating fast food from a few different places.

Needless to say, this week, we spent a lot of money eating out, all because I didn’t have a good plan, and things were not in place for Baker’s Man to easily prepare dinner for the children.   I can always grab dinner at the hospital, but without a plan, the rest of the family will eat out.

Breakfast and lunch consistently came from our kitchen.

Week 4 review-the cost of not having a plan

This week, we ran out of frozen waffles, but toast, fruit, eggs, bagels, and granola bars were on the breakfast menu.

Week 4 review-the cost of not having a plan

Lunch was primarily sandwiches and salads or the few leftovers.  I even made egg salad one day for lunch.

Purchasing too much produce without a plan to use it leads to food waste.Week 4 review-the cost of not having a plan

Do you remember all of that produce that I purchased during week three when I didn’t have a plan?   I bought too much, and some of it went to waste.  This week, I threw away a handful of grapes, 3 tomatoes, 2 oranges, 2 mangoes, a cucumber, and a watermelon.

Total Cost  of the food thrown into the trash was:

Grapes:  .25

Tomatoes:  .36

Oranges:  .40

Cucumber:  .34

Mangoes:  $1.00

Watermelon:  $1.95

Total cost of groceries thrown away:  $4.30

That doesn’t sound like much, right?   It’s not too bad.  I wasted more money that this week dining out, but if this was a typical week, I would throw away $223.60 worth of food by the end of the year.  That’s a lot of money to send to the land fill.   I can think of a better way to use $200.  Can’t you?

I learned some lessons this week about the importance of having a plan, and the importance of being prepared.

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

To read about this week’s grocery haul and menu plan, follow this link.

To find out what we buy and plan during week 5, click here. 

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