A Month of Meals on a Budget – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner for $141.27

*This post is from September 2013 and many of the links are either broken, or have been updated since.  For a more recent menu plan and grocery list click here!

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I have been working on a menu for about a week now, and figuring out how I can feed my family for not a lot of money.  September is Hunger Action Month in America, and I thought to my self, what a better way to embrace the spirit of this month but to create a money saving menu plan.

I spent $141.27 for a whole MONTH worth of food… That’s only $35.31 a week or $5.04 a day.. for BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER!

At the bottom of the post, you will find links to each days recipes, and to the detailed cost of each days menu.

I find that if I buy in bulk, that I can save money in the long run.  I have come up with a one month menu plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a variety of meal choices.  I will be updating this post, with links to the recipes every night, and I will be sharing a new recipe (if applicable) every night this month.

Click below on each date for a detailed description of the recipes for the day, and the actual breakdown of the cost of the meal.  I will also include any additional preparation needed on each day for future meals.

This is how the menu and costs breaks down (there is also a printable PDF at the bottom of the post too!):

The Menu – 30 Days of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Sunday 9/1
Breakfast Strawberry parfait
Lunch Curry chicken legs
Dinner Grilled marinated steak, spinach and polenta cakes with feta and spinach pesto
Monday 9/2
Breakfast Breakfast burritos
Lunch Pasta with leftover spinach pesto
Dinner Chicken sausage and hot dogs
Tuesday 9/3
Breakfast Oatmeal
Lunch Fried rice with eggs
Dinner Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and broccoli
Wednesday 9/4
Breakfast Peach parfait
Lunch Chorizo tacos
Dinner Lettuce wraps
Thursday 9/5
Breakfast Oatmeal and apple sauce
Lunch Eggs in a hole
Dinner Chicken pozole verde, rice and Mexican corn
Friday 9/6
Breakfast Mini frittatas
Lunch French onion soup
Dinner Steak fajitas, rice
Saturday 9/7
Breakfast Strawberry parfait
Lunch Hot dogs
Dinner Pan seared chicken in mustard sauce, polenta and roasted broccoli
Sunday 9/8
Breakfast Egg burritos
Lunch Chicken tacos
Dinner Sunday gravy (spaghetti and tomato sauce)
Monday 9/9
Breakfast Peach parfait
Lunch Leftvover pasta
Dinner Frozen chicken casserole
Tuesday 9/10
Breakfast Frozen pierogies
Lunch 10 bean soup
Dinner Frozen enchiladas, polenta, corn
Wednesday 9/11
Breakfast Oatmeal
Lunch Eggs in a hole
Dinner Chicken satay, rice
Thursday 9/12
Breakfast Oatmeal and apple sauce
Lunch Leftover soup
Dinner Gnocchi and gravy
Friday 9/13
Breakfast Egg burritos
Lunch Fried rice with eggs
Dinner Frozen Mexican chicken casserole
Saturday 9/14
Breakfast Mini frittatas
Lunch Chicken skewers
Dinner Grilled steak with salsa verde, green beans and roasted potatoes
Sunday 9/15
Breakfast Eggs in a hole
Lunch Bean and cheese burritos
Dinner Sausage and peppers
Monday 9/16
Breakfast Oatmeal and apple sauce
Lunch Pierogies
Dinner Mexican lasagna
Tuesday 9/17
Breakfast Parfait
Lunch Frozen French onion soup
Dinner Shredded chicken with green mole, rice, corn
Wednesday 9/18
Breakfast Egg burritos
Lunch Chicken noodle soup
Dinner Enchiladas
Thursday 9/19
Breakfast Oatmeal
Lunch Fried rice with eggseggrice
Dinner Beef stew
Friday 9/20
Breakfast Mini frittatas
Lunch Leftover stew
Dinner Pasta and gravy
Saturday 9/21
Breakfast Parfait
Lunch Leftover pasta (or hotdogs)
Dinner Chicken and rice casserole
Sunday 9/22
Breakfast Egg burritosbreakfast burrito
Lunch Chicken stew
Dinner Chicken fajitas, rice
Monday 9/23
Breakfast Pierogies
Lunch Leftover stew
Dinner Crusted chicken with frozen broccoli quinoa casserole
Tuesday 9/24
Breakfast Oatmeal
Lunch Eggs in a hole
Dinner Enchiladas, rice
Wednesday 9/25
Breakfast Parfait
Lunch Hot dogs
Dinner Frozen stew
Thursday 9/26
Breakfast Egg burritos
Lunch Bean and cheese burritos
Dinner Chorizo tacos/tostadas, rice, corn
Friday 9/27
Breakfast Oatmeal and apple sauce
Lunch Chicken “cupcakes”
Dinner Pasta with marinara
Saturday 9/28
Breakfast Parfait
Lunch Fried rice with eggs
Dinner Carne asada tacos, corn
Sunday 9/29
Breakfast Pierogies
Lunch Enchiladas
Dinner Crusted chicken with salsa verde, green beans and smashed potatoes
Monday 9/30
Breakfast Egg burritos
Lunch Chicken noodle soup
Dinner Frozen chicken and rice casserole


The Grocery Breakdown

Total:  $141.27

Produce:  $31.52

Meat:  $39.78

Dairy:  $32.18

Frozen:  $4.17

Grocery:  $30.30

Bulk:  $6.32


  • Strawberries (2 lb) – $5.00
  • Carrots (2 lb) – $1.25
  • Potatoes (5 lb) – $2.69
  • Apples (3.45 lb) – $3.38
  • Garlic (2 heads) – $1.00
  • Green Bell Peppers (3) – $1.44
  • Onions (6) – $1.58
  • Celery (1 stalk) – $0.98
  • Romaine Lettuce (1 head) – $0.98
  • Watermelon (14.60 lb) – $2.63
    • Nope!  Not a typo.  Watermelon was on sale for $0.18 per pound!
  • Peaches (2.03 lb) – $4.04
  • Cilantro (2 bunches) – $0.66
  • Jalapenos (1.46 lb) – $0.71
  • Tomatillos (1.08 lb) – $0.52
  • Limes (2.02 lb) – $1.10
  • Red Bell Peppers (2) – $1.25
  • Green Onion (1) – $0.50


  • Queso Fresco (0.75 lb) – $2.81
  • Eggs (2 dozen) – $1.96
  • Eggs (2 dozen) $3.98
    • They won’t be on sale next week when I need more =(
  • Butter (1 lb) – $2.50
  • Shredded Cheddar (2, 8oz) – $3.98
  • Milk (2 gallons) – $3.98
  • Cream Cheese (8 oz) – $1.00
  • Yogurt (2, 32 oz) – $5.00
  • Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend (2 lb) – $7.99
  • Sliced Swiss (6 slices) – $1.84


  • Whole Chicken – $5.67
  • Whole Chicken – $5.84
  • Bacon (1 lb) – $3.18
  • Chicken Sausage (2 links) – $2.87
  • Chorizo (1 lb) – $2.69
  • Chicken Leg Quarters (4) – $2.12
    • These were on sale one day only for 50% off!
  • Chicken Leg Quarters (4) – $1.69
  • Breakfast Sausage (1 lb) – $2.50
  • Petit Sirloin Steak (14 steaks) – $12.15
    • These were on sale buy 1 get 2 free – WOW  The two we got for free were $11.10 and $11.39
  • Beef Hot Dogs (3, 8 ct) – $4.29
    • These were on sale buy 1 get 2 free
  • Pork Neck bones – $0.59
  • Hot Italian Sausage (3 links) – $1.99


  • Cornmeal (0.5 lb) – $0.48
  • Pinto Beans (0.5 lb) – $0.70
  • Granola Mix (1 lb) – $1.63
  • Black Beans (0.87 lb) – $1.47
  • Rice (1.23 lb) – $2.04


  • Corn (32 oz) – $1.39
  • Broccoli (32 oz) – $1.39
  • Green Beans (32 oz) – $1.39


  • Hot Dog Buns (2 pk) – $1.98
  • Baguette – $1.69
  • Steak Marinade – $1.99
  • Tortilla Chips (2 bags) – $2.00
  • Flour Tortillas (2, 10 ct) – $2.68
  • Chipotle Chilies – $1.39
  • Tomato Sauce (2 lg cans) – $3.98
  • Diced Tomatoes (3 cans) – $2.07
  • Corn Tortillas (32 ct) – $1.49
  • Chicken Stock (2, 32 oz) – $3.98
  • Beef Stock (2, 32 oz) – $3.98

I did my grocery shopping at five different stores.  I find that I get the best deals by searching through the flyers each week, and looking at what exactly is on sale.  These are the stores I shopped at this week:

  • King Soopers
  • Sprouts
  • Safeway
  • Albertsons
  • MiPueblo Market (Latin Grocery Store)

I will need to buy two dozen more eggs in two weeks.  I like to buy my eggs fresh, so I do not store them in my fridge.  This should be my only additional purchase this month.

Also note that there is three meals (my “cheat meals”), frozen enchiladas, frozen chicken and rice casserole and frozen Mexican chicken casserole in here that I have already had in my freezer.  You could very easily add these dishes to your menu, and it would be less than $10 more for the month, and the recipes I shared will make two casseroles each.

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Menu Archives:



















September Calendar

September Menu & Grocery List



  1. Love it 😉

  2. very in depth and easy to follow, with real family meal ideas. thanks

  3. Reading through the grocery list and the recipes…the list and the recipes aren’t the same. For example, you have a polenta dish and a beef stew. No where on your grocery list is there “stew beef” or “polenta”? So I am trying to figure out what your method for List and Recipe writing is? Not trying to be a butt, but I just want to stick to a budget and get it right and something is funky lol.

    • Hi Krista,

      The sirloin steaks that I got on sale would take place of the stewing beef, and the polenta is made from cornmeal. I do not like the prepared polenta that you buy in the store, so cornmeal would be polenta. Hope this clears things up!

  4. Amazing that you can get your food so inexpensively. Just looking at your list of items and my price book, 99.9% of those items are 1/3 to 1/2 the cost I would pay. Incredible!

  5. I noticed this post was from a while back, and was wondering if you had any summer month meal plans?

    • Hey Hannah!

      I am just coming up with some right now. They will be posted this weekend! Sign up to receive e-mails and you can have it sent right to your inbox! Thanks for the reply!

  6. I am a family of me. Lol. I need healthy energy boosting meals for my 4am breakfast and between 6 to 9 o’clock supper. I do this every mwf. TthSa I am so exhausted that i almost sleep all day & don’t eat much. But when I am awake, only the crappy meals I seem to crave the most. Any ideas?

  7. Hi, im a family of 5 myself, 3 kids age 11, 9, and 2, and my hubby ! The food budget is amazing….but my kids , and hubby eat a lot would the recipies be enough for our family? I would love to spend that a month. I usually spend that for two weeks. Plus its hard with two kids in school for lunches, and snacks any ideas. We do buy at sams club which is in bulk larger amounts. Any tips would be great !

  8. awesome list! thanks for sharing. I am still, after 13 years of marriage, trying to come up with a monthly grocery/menu for my family. I feel inspired to try it again 🙂

  9. it looks great and I would loveto do it. It doesn’t look like it would feed and fill my family though. My husband can eat 6 eggs in one sitting. My daughter 3 can eat 5 eggs in one sitting. Mind you I don’t make that much in the am. However, they do eat a lot.

  10. You are great! Thanks for sharing!! Very inspiring! Greetings from Paraguay South America!

  11. what is your prep work like?? this seems difficult for a working mom!!

  12. Hi. I was wondering… Where do you buy your granola from?

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