My husband’s seasonal job on the boats came much faster than we had anticipated. The months flew by and before we knew it the time had come to hunker down.

With only $160 for groceries allotted in our budget for the fall months, I had to make some seriously tough decisions on how to make that last for an entire month, and I have. Here are 31 budget meals at approximately $40 a week.

First, I started at GFS. They are a warehouse, bulk food store much like Sam’s or Costco, but require no membership fees, so that eliminates $40-$50 a year right there. This is strictly a bulk food store, so there are no other items to lure you in and take you off track. In fact, the food that they sell is used for restaurants everywhere, so you can be sure the quality is excellent. I have never been disappointed.

For $105, here’s what I was able to purchase:

  • 10 pounds ground beef (10 meals)
  • 3.5 pounds bacon
  • 2.5 dozen eggs
  • 2.25 pounds ground coffee (270 cups)
  • Huge bag of French toast sticks for Tavin’s breakfast
  • 3 pounds European butter (butter and margarine mix—1/2 the price of butter)
  • 5 gallon tub of mayo
  • 4 pounds (64 ounce) ketchup (our son loves this “dip” on just about anything, plus I use a lot for homemade BBQ sauces)
  • 2 enormous bags of sour cream and onion potato chips (don’t judge, the GFS brand is the best chips you’ll ever find, double the size of a regular bag at half the price)
  • Whole pork loin (5 meals consisting of roasts and pork chops—you cut it anyway you wish)
  • 5 pounds bulk pork sausage (5 meals)
  • 2.5 pounds frozen corn (5 meals)
  • 2 pounds frozen spinach
  • 5 pound bag of crinkle cut French fries
  • 16 count frozen English muffins

I then took the last $55 and went to the store that offered the best deals:

  • 4-$0.99 large cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Tomato paste
  • 2 gallons milk
  • 2 loaves breads
  • 1-8 pack buns
  • 2 bags shredded cheese
  • 2 gallons juice
  • 5 pound bag of potatoes
  • 1.5 pound bananas
  • 2# bag of onions
  • 4.5# pork butt roast on sale for $1.69/pound, for $7.61 (otherwise, GFS offered an enormous pork shoulder roast at $1.99/pound and it would last 4 months!)
  • 3# bag of chicken breasts on sale for $3.99 (GREAT deal!!)
  • Corn tortillas
  • 1 red onion (I can make a large one last for weeks!)
  • Bag of carrots
  • Sour Cream

So let’s start with the pork butt roast and how I used that:

I put the pork butt roast in the crock pot and made simple pulled pork and divided it in half. (Salt and pepper roast, sear all sides. Put one halved onion in bottom of crock pot with 2 cloves garlic and half a can of chopped tomatoes, and then place the pork on top, fat side up). After cooking for 6 hours, shred the meat and cook it another hour on low. Put half of the pulled pork in a zip lock bag and put it in the freezer for future meals. The other half is divided in half again and kept out for 2 meals in Week One.

The other bulk item is my famous meat sauce which makes 7 cups for approximately 7 meals. You can follow that recipe, otherwise use my substitutions: 1# ground beef, 1# bulk pork sausage, bacon instead of pancetta, celery salt/no celery, ½ bottle red wine—not ½ cup (reduce for about 20 minutes), and 1 can tomato paste along with the tomato puree.

Week One:

MON: Homemade BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches and fries

TUE: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (pasta from pantry, 1 cup meat sauce) (This meal fed 5 adults and 1 toddler using a whole box of spaghetti)

WED: Egg Sandwiches on English Muffins with Fried Potatoes (3 adults, 1 toddler)

THUR: Mole Chicken and Rice

FRI: Leftover Pulled Pork Sandwiches

SAT: Steakhouse Chili Fries topped with shredded cheese and sour cream

SUN: Pulled Pork Topped Baked Potatoes


Week Two:

MON: Comfort Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes with French style green beans (had in pantry)

TUE: Homemade Chorizo (from bulk pork sausage)-Potato Tacos and Mexican Street Corn (using frozen corn, not fresh)

WED: Pork & Ginger Noodle Soup (using pulled pork from freezer)

THUR: Huevos Rancheros and Mexican Fries (sprinkle with homemade taco seasoning of paprika, cumin, cayenne, chili powder—use seasoning again for Sunday tacos)

FRI: Lasagna (meat sauce and homemade Besciamella sauce)

SAT: Leftovers

SUN: Beef Tacos and Tex-Mex Rice (use Mexican spices and red onion and 1 beef bullion/1 cup water instead of plain water, and frozen corn)



MON: Yucatan-Style Pork (instead of prunes, I use raisins from pantry) & Roast Potatoes

TUE: Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets and Fries (one of my ALL TIME favorite recipes using cut chicken breast chunks)

WED: Homemade Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Meat Sauce (use any mac & cheese recipe, or even boxed)

THUR: Tomato & Sausage Risotto (had Arborio rice in pantry)

FRI: Breakfast for Dinner (eggs, bacon, fried potatoes)

SAT: Leftovers

SUN: Shepherd’s Pie



MON: Beef & Spinach Penne Skillet (just replace with spinach in this recipe)

TUE: Stuffed Sausage Burgers (use this recipe)

WED: Bacon-wrapped Pork Roast (freeze any leftovers for next week) (rub roast with olive oil and sprinkle with preferred spices/seasonings, then wrap with bacon, bake approximately 1 hour)

THUR: Mini Meatloaves with Smothered Onions

FRI: Moo Shu Pork (using homemade Hoisin)

SAT: Leftovers

SUN: Sausage Crepesadillas


Day 29: Drunken Risotta with Sausage & Spinach (using bulk pork sausage)

Day 30: Pork Chili (use leftover Pork Roast with any favorite chili recipe instead of beef)

Day 31: Egg & Bacon Frittata

The eggs I bought are also used for my 2-year old son’s breakfast, as are the French Toast Sticks.


Staples on hand:

Flour/Wheat flour

Powdered Sugar



Instant Potatoes

Dry pastas (spaghetti, lasagna, mac noodles, etc.)

Diced green chilies


Vinegar varieties (white wine, red wine, malt, balsamic, distilled)



Boullion (beef & chicken)


4 responses »

  1. connie young says:

    i like this very much

  2. dmish57 says:

    thanks for the info

  3. shaun aleahcrawford says:

    thanks for posting your budget plan im convicted to budget more! Appreciate your diligence !
    Sincerely, Shaun

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