This post contains affiliate links. Thank you so much for supporting Pennies Into Pearls by using my links.
It feels SO good! Maybe you noticed? There wasn’t a free meal plan or grocery haul up in January. That is because WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!
I really prepared for this move (we were in escrow for three months so we had the time…) by budgeting to eat out occasionally and a freezer full of freezer dinners ready to be thrown in the oven!
That was nice to not think about meal planning, BUT man or man I missed having the handy planner in my kitchen!
I had plenty of food but not having the pre-set plan letting me know my options really threw me off my game! There were many nights where I suddenly panicked because I didn’t pull out a dinner the thaw out.
Meal planning saves my sanity!
What’s New This Month?
This month I am trying out my new pressure cooker! So you will see plenty of Instant Pot recipes in this month’s free meal plan.
Also something fun is I am ordering a meal subscription from HelloFresh! You can read this article on the 3 ways meal subscriptions can save you money. I used them last month as part of our “eating out” budget and had some credits I got to use this month!
You can get $40 off your first box by ordering HelloFresh by using this link!
Our Family’s Monthly Grocery Budget
If you are new here, hi! You are probably interested to know what we set for our monthly budget. This is how we work it.
$300 for consumable goods for our giant monthly grocery haul. $160 for non consumable goods. In addition to that, using our cash envelope budget we use $25 each week for fresh produce and milk.
In order to be able to take advantage of sales throughout the month, we budget $40 each month to use when I see a super great deal. We will then freeze or store that food and use it in planning the following month’s free meal plan.
My Favorite App for Grocery Shopping on a Budget
No mom has the time to spend continuously scanning apps looking for the best rebate offers and sales. Which is why I have minimized my rebate strategy to help maximize my savings in the smallest amount of time.
My very favorite app to us is Ibotta! I have done an entire tutorial on how to use the app to maximize your savings. But in a nutshell this is how I do it, I do my normal grocery shopping first.
Then once I get all my groceries home, I will quickly open the app and search the two stores that I just went shopping at to see if there are any rebates that apply to my groceries. There are usually 3-4 that I can claim. This saves me around $5 each time I use the app.
If that doesn’t sound like much, trust me! The three minutes that it takes me to save $5 is 100% worth it! These small savings add up quick and once you hit $20 you can cash out in PayPal or Venmo, or choose from a bunch of really awesome gift cards! I usually choose Target and treat myself to a well deserved “mom’s only” snack!
If you are new to Ibotta, sign up using this link or the code: qybjrj and you will automatically get $10 after you claim your first rebate! So easy!
February 2018 Monthly FREE Meal Plan
You can download this month’s meal plan by clicking the image below. In the free PDF download, each of the dinner ideas will be linked to the recipe.
Also available for free, is my Meal Planning on a Budget Toolkit. It’s broken down in a unique way to help you stick to your budget and avoid last minute surprises at the checkout!
Here is a tutorial on how to maximize your savings with the meal planning toolkit.
(Click the meal plan below to download and print for free!)
January 2018 Grocery Haul
I didn’t get to try out too many new items this month because we had to stock back up on some basics. I’m excited for next month to try some more new and healthy foods.
What are your favorite foods to get at Costco? I would love to chat about it in the comments below!
Thanks for stopping in and I will talk to you soon! Xoxo
DanielFebruary 19, 2018 at 6:33 pm
Hi Brittany! My wife and I found your blog through Pinterest after discussing how we can cut our food budget. We are a family of 6 (Kids 12, 10, 8 & 5) and easily spend $1000 or more on “groceries” a month. You mentioned you budget $300 for your giant haul and $25 a week for produce and diary. Do you buy the meat products for the recipes w/ the $300 budget? Also, for the breakfast and lunch meals, how do you choose what those are going to be? Thanks for all the tips.
Brittany CooperFebruary 27, 2018 at 2:33 pm
Hi! Yes most of our meat is either chicken or ground beef and I buy it from Costco but recently started stocking up with ZayconFresh. So excited! I do use my “couponing” budget to occasionally buy meat if I see a good deal on a roast or something like that. Lunches are usually leftovers or the cheap and easy meals you see at the bottom of my meal plan. Hope that helps!