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Sunday, June 7, 2015

2-Week Meal Plan for a Family of 5 for $170

I've been on a mission to stay organized this summer and continue to meal plan even though the warm months bring ball games, vacations and interrupted schedules.  Below you will find a REAL food plan, one that requires one shopping trip, yet feeds your family for 14 days.  Tried and true homemade recipes, many items organic, all of which you're family will love!

2 Week Meal Plan for a Family of 5 for $170 at ALDI

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.

As many of you know, our family does most of our shopping at ALDI.  Although we do get various items elsewhere, I would say 80% of our food is from ALDI.  We started shopping there a few years back, when we realized how much money it saved us.

This past spring I was invited to the ALDI headquarters in Chicago.  You can read about those visits, here and here.  It was a blast!  Although I do have ties to them, I am not writing this post on behalf of ALDI, I am simply wanting to give you this meal plan as a gift.

If I've been asked once I've been asked a million times, "how do you meal plan?"  "Where do you grocery shop?"  "How do you feed your family on a tight budget?".

I put together a meal plan last year and it took off like wild fire.  You can read and follow that post HERE.  Since it had been awhile, I figured it was time again!  But this time I challenged myself and purchased EVERY SINGLE ITEM from one store, ALDI.  How good does it feel to do all your shopping at one store and be done?  Pretty darn good.

So, here are the details.  Below you will find 10 meals, planned out for 12 days.  Two of the meals make a LOT, so you will be using the leftovers of one {Slow Cooker Meatballs} for a new meal and one {the Italian Beef} you'll be eating for two meals in a row.  The remaining two days are up to you. I'm pretty sure in a span of 14 days every family has two nights where they are gone {out to dinner, at a ball game, at a friend's house, etc.} or they simply have what we like to call "fend for yourself" nights.  On those nights it's pretty common in our house to make a sandwich, pull something frozen out of the freezer or {especially when I was pregnant} just grab a bowl of cereal.

Please notice all items purchased were found at my local ALDI's store in Eastern Iowa. Prices and varieties will vary from store to store and season to season, so please keep in mind that what I paid may not be what you pay.

***Note after some ingredients you will not see a price.  That is due to that product being bought in a previous recipe, with this new recipe using the remaining leftovers.  Directions are listed underneath the recipe or linked back to my site.  Pantry staples are not included {examples: salt, pepper, baking soda, spices, etc.}

Meal #1 - Spicy Egg Bake
crescent rolls - $1.49
dozen eggs - $1.59
organic salsa - $1.89
block cheddar cheese - $1.59
1 lb. ground sausage - $1.89
TOTAL = $8.45

*Directions - Grease a 9x13 baking pan.  Lay crescent rolls in the bottom.  Whisk together dozen eggs, 1/2 c. salsa and cooked ground sausage.  Pour over the crescent rolls.  Sprinkle cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until eggs are set.

1 bag of frozen chicken breasts - $6.69
bag of onions - $1.29
carton of organic chicken broth - $1.79
32 oz. can whole tomatoes - 95 cents
bag of flour tortillas - $1.19
head of lettuce - 99 cents
carton of 4 Roma tomatoes - $1.19
block of cheddar cheese - $1.59
16 oz. container sour cream - $1.29
TOTAL = $16.97

The two crock pots I LOVE and use weekly are the Crock-Pot Cook'n Carry 6 Quart Oval Slow Cooker and the Crock-Pot 3 Quart Round Slow Cooker.

2 lb. ground turkey - $1.89/ea.
Parmesan cheese - $2.99
Italian breadcrumbs - $1.79
minced garlic - 99 cents
extra virgin olive oil - $2.99
28 oz. can tomato sauce - 95 cents
28 oz. can whole tomatoes - 95 cents
box of spaghetti - $1.59
TOTAL = $16.03

Meal #4 - Meatball Subs {using leftovers from Meal #3}
block of mozzarella cheese - $1.59
hoagie buns - $1.79
TOTAL = $3.38

Meal #5 - BLT Snack Wraps
1 lb. organic slab bacon - $4.99
Roma tomatoes
flour tortillas
ranch dressing - $1.29
avocado - 79 cents
organic sweet potato kettle chips - $1.99
TOTAL = $10.25

Meal #6 - Pre-Made XL Sausage Deli Pizza - $5.99 {hey, we all need a night off!}

I love this 3-Pack set of Extra Large 16-in. Aluminum Pizza Pans for grocery store take-n-bake pizzas.  They keep the crust from burning, yet still gives it a crispy texture.

Meal #7 - Grill Out Night
Never Any! Flavored Brats {2 pkgs.} - $2.99/ea.
cottage cheese - $2.29
organic baby spinach - $2.49
Italian dressing - $1.29
roasted garlic hummus - $1.99
carrots - $1.39
TOTAL = $15.43

Meal #8 - Tuna Melts
two loafs of 12-Grain Bread - $1.79/ea.
2 cans of tuna - 65 cents/ea.
organic mayo - $1.99
mustard - 69 cents
cheddar cheese
dill pickles - $1.29
TOTAL = $8.85

*Directions - In a bowl combine drained tuna, 1/2 c. mayo, 2 T. mustard, one chopped pickle, salt and pepper.  Layer bread with sliced cheddar cheese and tuna salad.  Butter both sides of bread and lay on a hot griddle, flipping when bread is browned.  Serve with Broccoli Almond Chopped Salad.

Meal #8 Side Dish - Broccoli Almond Chopped Salad
head of broccoli - $1.19
sliced almonds - $2.99
vinegar - 79 cents
TOTAL = $6.86

flour - $1.49
organic unsweetened applesauce - $1.89
eggs - $1.29
pure maple syrup - $4.99
TOTAL - $9.66

The only skillet I use for pancakes is my Presto 16-inch Electric Skillet with Glass Cover.  It allows me to cook 6 pancakes at a time!

3-4 lb. beef roast - $7.99
unsalted butter - $2.87
16 oz. jar of pepperoncinis - $1.79
dry Italian dressing package - 79 cents
hoagie buns - $1.79
TOTAL = $15.23

head of cabbage - $1.19
sliced almonds
barbecue sauce - 99 cents
soy sauce - 99 cents
organic honey - $3.49
honey mustard dressing - $1.29
TOTAL = $7.75

And because everyone needs dessert...

mini marshmallows - 89 cents
organic yellow cake mix - $1.99
organic frozen strawberries - $3.99
whipped topping - 89 cents
Total = $7.76

So there you have it.  12 meals that SHOULD get a family of 5 or so through two weeks, but I'm not quite done.  I've also included some snacks and breakfast items.  Because we don't just eat dinner do we?  In our house lunches are mainly leftovers or something simple.  A quick PB and J, a fruit/cracker/veggie/cheese plate, a smoothie or salad.  Now if your family is used to bigger lunches, or a complete meal, then you'll need to adjust accordingly.

Be sure to organize these snacks as well.  I really love these InterDesign Home Kitchen Organzier Bins for either your fridge, freezer or pantry.  They come in clear and white, so pick what matches your home!

Here are the "extras" also purchased.

Two half gallons of organic 2% milk - $3.29/ea.
cantaloupe - $1.49
organic bananas - $1.36
organic Gala apples - $5.49
graham crackers - $1.39
granola bars - $1.79
32 oz. plain Greek yogurt - $3.89
string cheese - $2.69
2 add'l jars of organic salsa - $1.89/ea,
2 bags of tortilla chips - $1.19/ea.
box of cereal - $1.79
peanut butter - $3.99
TOTAL for extras = $37.98

TOTAL for 12 Meals + Extra Items = $170.59

2 Week Meal Plan for a Family of 5 for $170 at ALDI

So, I need to know.  Is this a reasonable grocery bill for your family?  Add this up twice and you are spending just under $350 for the month on food to feed your family.  Honestly, compared to what I hear some families are paying this sounds pretty good to me!

And lastly, let's stay organized, shall we?  Nothing makes me more excited than an organized grocery list for these meals.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Give me your feedback on this post in the comments.  I'd love to hear them! 

Are you willing to try this meal plan?

Would you like to comment?

  1. This is a pretty good meal plan. I usually have a list of all the standard items I buy, like sour cream, butter, cheese, etc. We are also feeding a d.family of 5, sometimes 6 or 7. It just depends on the amount of kids attached to our kids. My budget for the month is about 500 right now. We also have 2 or 3 that pack regularly. Sometimes it's higher. I buy in bulk and watch sales religiously. I'd love to chat some more with you about shopping at Aldi. We have two gluten free people as well. My email is heatherreingruber@gmail.com or you can look me up at Heather Reingruber on facebook.

  2. I simply LOVE Aldi. I literally spend half what I'd spend at other stores (hello, milk was $1.09 a gallon this week) and am always happy with the selection/produce etc.


  3. We are a family of 4! This is about our budget. Our littles are little! These meals seem very large to me, but looks great!

  4. No Aldi here in my part of California. Just Walmart. But after reviewing what you pay for those items, it's no wonder you can feed your family for so little. I am dismayed at the disparity between our two locations. For a pound of ground turkey I would have to pay almost $5, so ground turkey is out of my budget. Olive oil, nearly $8, a block of cheddar cheese (the small block), close to $5. I don't even live in hollywood, I'm up in the mountains, far removed from the superficial bustle of "california life." How depressing, haha

  5. We only have HEB here in Texas - we will never pay so little for a pound of sausage! Or for the rest of your items listed. A block of cheese here is between $4 & $5! I was super hopeful when I came upon your meal plan - but its a def no go for us.

    1. Where in Texas are you? I know for a fact they are all up and down the I-35 corridor,the Houston are, Victoria, Tyler, Wichita Falls, and Brownwood. If you are around Midland or Odessa you are out of luck. I drive an hour to get to an Aldi. Oklahoma (where I live) taxes food at 10%! We moved here from Austin about 6 years ago. You can imagine my horror at that. When Aldi opened in Paris, about two years ago, I had never heard of them. I more than save the gas money just in taxes when I shop there. Eggs are generally .69 a dozen compared to $1.69 in OK! Check again. Depending on where you are, you might be able to make a day of it and do something to incorporate the shopping with another errand or activity. I love Aldi but I miss HEB even more.

  6. So many hopes dashed. Almost all of those prices would be at least doubled in my area, and since I have a family of 8 I would likely be doubling portions again. Also 24 meals does not fill a month by my math... So to try your meal plan it would cost me at least $1000 and I would need a lot more 'extras' to get through breakfast and lunch.

    1. She didn't say it was for a month, she said it was for 2 weeks - 14 meals. No one plan is going to work for everyone, so I'm not sure why the need for your negativity. You could have used this as a starting point, and tweaked it to fit your family's needs. Plus, you're comparing your prices in 2019 to this post from 2015.