LJWorld.com weblogs Shop Talk with Jenn and Julie

What Saving Money Looks Like at the Dinner Table


All of this talk about coupons...how to use them...where to use them...and still some people don't get it. That's okay. It took me a long time to be convinced that when put into practice, the theory of stockpiling would be beneficial...that coupons would yield me food that I still found fit for my family.

I've shared local deals, I've shared places and ideas to help you find coupons for organic...or less advertised foods. One other question I get asked on a fairly regular basis is this: "What do your menus look like? What do you feed your family?" So here it is....my family's menu for the week:

Sunday: Chicken Enchiladas w/ Homemade Enchilada Sauce Monday: Grilled Turkey and Cheese, Various Soup Tuesday: Tilapia in Mustard Cream Sauce Wednesday: Spicy Black Beans and Rice Thursday: Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Home Fries Friday: Pizza w/Homemade Pizza Crust, Veggies, Veggie Crumbles, Cheese Saturday: Penne and Chicken w/Spiced Tomato Sauce (Using Quorn in place of Chicken)

Not too shabby for a chick who uses coupons and stays on a $50/wk budget for her family of five. Some of the tricks I use:

  • Chicken for the enchiladas was leftover from a Sticky Chicken I cooked for the family last week. Originally I bought the chicken (and like 10 others) on sale at Target for roughly $2/each.
  • Tilapia I purchased at Aldi's...great fish and for about $1 per serving. I've also purchased fresh Tilapia, Salmon, etc on "clearance" at Target right before its Sell By date..and then freeze it.
  • All of the sauces I use are homemade....so much more flavor and much less cost...not to mention more nutritional value.

Follow along as we show you how to put the theory of stockpiling and couponing to work for you! It really DOES work...and you can still have a healthy, diverse menu plan for your family. Interested in seeing some of the recipes that I listed? You can view the links on our LJWorld Blog, Shop Talk with Jenn and Julie...or visit my personal site, SuperJenn.com.

A couple of other sites to visit if you are looking for frugal menu planning:


Nathan Anderson 8 years, 6 months ago

Tilapia is crap. Might as well eat bacon grease instead.

mom_of_three 8 years, 6 months ago

$50 for a family of 5 is great, but I wonder how old the kids are, because that makes a difference in how much they eat and how much you have to buy. I have teenagers who sometimes eat everything in sight.

AnnaUndercover 8 years, 6 months ago

Great info for this born-again budgeter. Thanks, Super Jenn. :)

Aside: I recently tried making my first sauce (cucumber dill--over grilled salmon). Can't wait to try your mustard cream sauce w/ tilapia recipe.

Katara 8 years, 6 months ago

Awesome blog, Jenn! And very true! Stockpiling is so handy and it saves so much money and time. How great is it that you don't have to run out to buy something that was forgotten?

Menu planning is an awesome way to save money too. And you don't have to scramble at the last minute to fix dinner. I know you are a SAHM which gives you a bit (but probably not much more) more time than working moms to make things from scratch but it does make a difference not only in the budget but in nutrition. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ mom_of_three (Anonymous) says… $50 for a family of 5 is great, but I wonder how old the kids are, because that makes a difference in how much they eat and how much you have to buy. I have teenagers who sometimes eat everything in sight. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I hear ya there, mom_of_three. I have what seems to be 3 locusts living in my household. I've managed to stick to a budget of $75/week for a family of 4 but as they get older, they seem to develop hollow legs.

SuperJenn 8 years, 6 months ago

Oh how true, how true. My kids are young...almost 2 and 4. I'm seeing food disappear more and more quickly...and I forsee our budget growing soon.

Dill sauce on salmon is YUMMA! Salmon is one of my favorites. Aldi actually has a good price on wild caught salmon!

backyardwino 8 years, 6 months ago

this made me think i should go drop a yard bird in the slow cooker.

mom_of_three 8 years, 6 months ago

when my kids were young, 2, 4 and 7, I did this to save a little money. I would get the gerber graduate coupons and wait until they doubled or tripled (as they didn't always do that), and then buy the fruit, which was cubed in single servings, which I could get very cheap. Didn't matter that two of mine weren't considered toddlers, it was fruit, bite size in small portions. saved a lot of money and was in resealable jars.

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