Our Menus: The Last 10 Days

Meatloaf and cheesy hash brown potatoes

We ended up spending $529 for the month on groceries– not as fabulous as the $400 I hoped, but a solid $200+ less than average, so I’ll still call that a success.  I also ended the month with a good bit of meat in the freezer due to stocking up on sales this month, so that will be helpful going forward.  I really would like to keep our budget more in the $600 range if I can, instead of edging up toward $800 like it is so easy to do. We are feeding 8-9 people most meals, with more on weekends, but I still think I can do it, and I know our budget would appreciate it!

Here’s what we ate for the end part of the month.  Nothing too thrilling, but no one was hungry!  🙂  I think this menu will show you how often I cook a bit extra, to save myself cooking time on a different day.  Fortunately my people eat leftovers reasonably well.

Wednesday, Jan 22

  • Breakfast:  Eggs, toast and oranges
  • Lunch: Grilled cheese
  • Dinner:  Creamy potato soup, hot dogs

Thursday, January 23

Fri, January 24

Sat, January 25

  • Breakfast: Pancakes
  • Lunch: leftovers
  • Dinner: Meatloaf and potatoes

Sun, January 26

  • Breakfast: Cold cereal
  • Lunch: Church potluck (we brought cheesy hashbrown potatoes)
  • Dinner: Chicken enchiladas (leftover)

Mon, January 27

  • Breakfast:  Eggs and toast
  • Lunch: Tuna Sandwiches
  • Dinner: Spaghetti

Tues, January 28

  • Breakfast:  Eggs and toast
  • Lunch: Spaghetti
  • Dinner:  Taco John’s  ($16)

Wed, January 29

  • Breakfast:  Eggs and toast
  • Lunch:Split peas with bacon over rice, cookies
  • Dinner:  Beef stroganoff, green beans

Thurs, January 30

  • Breakfast: Eggs and toast, potatoes
  • Lunch: Leftovers
  • Dinner: Stromboli, with picnic cake for dessert

Fri, January 31

  • Breakfast: Eggs, sausage and potatoes
  • Lunch: Cheesy potato cauliflower soup
  • Dinner:  Pizza, eggplant lasagna (for the brave)


And just for random extra fun, here’s a video of Julianna, 9, singing her new favorite song. 🙂

~From Frozen from Mary Ostyn on Vimeo.


  1. Gary Coryer says:

    Arena was singing along with your daughter. She had to play it three times cause she was having so much fun!!

  2. You did great, especially with the price of food going up almost daily. Loved the menu, gave me ideas for this coming month.

    Haven’t worked up what we spent yet for Jan but I know it was below what we usually spend.
    Blessed Be

  3. Mary, how much do you multiply the stroganoff for your crew? We feed between 7-9 for every meal. If you make 2 recipes, does that feed your family? Or are they hungry enough to eat 3 recipes?

    • Hi Jeri,
      I double that stroganoff recipe. We don’t usually have much left over. I try to serve it with carrots sticks or salad, sometimes applesauce so that it is enough.

  4. Mary, what do you do for snacks for kids? Do you let them have an evening snack as well. Do you let kids have second helpings as well? I think snacks can make my food cost go up as well.

    • Mary,
      I always have some part of the meal that’s abundant enough for second or thirds (I’m feeding 4-5 teens most meals, and they like to eat).
      Usually the’res plenty of the main dish– that’s one of the reasons I double-batch food. Sometimes it is rice or bread or potatoes. Usually for eight people it’s enough to have about 12 servings, since not everyone has seconds. I also find that the more side dishes I serve, the better my main dish will stretch. So we often do carrot sticks, green beans, corn, cabbage slaw, or applesauce. Anything not eaten the first time around can go out for leftovers a different day. Often a ‘leftovers’ meal consists of multiple options, so everyone can find a leftover they enjoy.

      We don’t always do snacks– meals are pretty hearty– but at least once a week someone makes cookies. Yesterday someone made picnic cake. So there’s something dessert-ish served at least once a day, whether that be after lunch or as a bedtime snack. I don’t like to offer snacks too close to dinner, because I don’t like people to fill up on sugar. I rarely buy chips or other snack-ish items. But there are usually bananas, and if kids come home from evening activities ravenous, I will offer spoonfuls of peanut butter or slices of cheese. And fairly often my teen boys will graze on leftovers from a previous meal if they get hungry. (It’s impossible to spoil their appetites.)