Josh and I are not so great at grocery shopping. Oh, we make lists and we stick to our budget, but then we get home and realize we have bits and pieces of meals. It's a never ending cycle at our house.
In an effort to combat our ill planning skills, Josh found a 20 meal Costco Plan online we're trying. I mentioned it super quickly a couple Fridays ago, but I thought I'd share all the deets here in case anyone else has the same problem we do. :)
He actually found the meal plan over on $5 Dinner Deals. She has several awesome options for Costco shopping, but she also has tons of other information for budget dinner plans, general meal planning, recipes and more.
The specific one we're trying is 21 gluten free meals from Costco. We went through her lists and picked this one just because we thought the recipes sounded the most delicious. There's a slow cooker one I definitely want to do for baby time (if this goes over well) so that cooking can be healthy and not all take out pizza those first couple months with a new baby. :)
We went shopping last Thursday and stocked up. I wish I had taken a photo of our Jeep. It was full, you guys. We ended up spending closer to $200 even though her menu says $162. We already had like 20 pounds of ground beef, so we took that off. And then we added some other things we needed like breakfast and lunch foods (which she doesn't include here - this is really a dinner plan). But Josh sat down and figured it out and we have about 6 weeks worth of dinner from this plan. So, once we add in holidays coming up, travel, etc, for $200 we will have all our meals for almost 2 months. THAT IS HUGE.
She breaks it out to be about $7.85 a meal with this plan. Which I think is great. But the meals are really meant for about four people. Well, Josh + Me = 2 people. So, we will have leftovers for lunch and dinner on following days. With that in mind, we planned our menus to include leftover days so we're not wasting any food (which is how we get to 6 weeks worth of meals, before holidays were considered). Also, it's worth noting the plan we picked is really 10 recipes twice and one additional recipe. Her other plans are 20 different recipes.
And one last thing worth noting is the leftovers from shopping. You don't fully use every last bit of what you buy - but she tells you that! So we can plan to use the leftover ingredients in other meals and stretch this plan EVEN FURTHER.
Amazing I tell you. Amazing.
We didn't plan the best (ahem - we're good at that), so we didn't think to get freezer bags to divide it all up. We definitely do not need all 15 pounds of veggies in the house freezer at once - wayyy too small for that. So it would be nice to break up the items and freeze half in our deep freezer instead of stashing it all in the tiny house freezer. We're definitely going back and fixing that issue. ;)
This post is slightly scatterbrained, but the last thing I wanted to note is the meals are actually decent meals. When I told my mom we were trying these out, she was a little concerned it was all mac and cheese and freezer meals. Not so much! They're all meat and veggie meals. Things we would totally cook normally... you know, if we remembered to buy all the ingredients when we went shopping. They're probably not clean eating certified, but they're definitely decent meals with lots of protein and leafy greens. Yay!
I will let you know how this goes! We're about two meals in and so far so good. ;) I'll update maybe mid-way through the plan, but definitely once we've finished with how it went for us! Fingers crossed it rocks!