Menu Plan ~ Trim the Budget

A few weeks ago my Are Coupons Worth It post started a long discussion in the comments about stockpiling. It seems there are lots of different ideas about how to stockpile and I am always surprised when people say they can’t afford to stockpile. I would argue how can you afford not to stockpile? It doesn’t take a lot of money or space to create a small stockpile of food.

Before I go any further I want to clarify what I mean by stockpiling. I am not talking about storing food up for 6 months to 5 years (that is a whole other discussion). Instead I am talking about buying several of the same item when it goes on sale to last you a few months- or until that item goes on sale again.

Currently I have 12 boxes of our favorite brand of pasta in my pantry. It has been on sale for the past two weeks at our local store for $0.79 a pound. Typically this brand is around $1.19 a pound. I spent $9.48 stockpiling pasta and saved about $5. If we have pasta once a week, this will last us for 3 months, and by then it will have gone on sale again.

My challenge to you this month is to cut back slightly on your grocery budget in order to find a little bit of extra money for stockpiling. My three month pasta stockpile was only an extra $10. By finding ways you can cut back on groceries you will be able to build up a small fund for stockpiling.

Check back tomorrow for more details on the Grocery Budget Challenge!

My goal for the month is to save 10% of our monthly grocery budget. We normally spend about $600 a month on groceries, so I will try and only spend $540 and save $60 for stockpiling.


French Toast

Served with sausage, juice, and milk

Whole wheat pancakes

served with fruit, orange juice, milk

Oatmeal, Cereal, or Breakfast leftovers

Bull’s Eyes

Served with bacon and smoothies

Our Lunch List:

  • Sandwiches
  • Quesadillas
  • Grilled cheese
  • Leftovers
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Smoothies
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit and veggies
  • Baked Potato
  • Sweet Potato


Tuna Casserole

served with salad, fresh fruit

Grilled Venison

served with whole wheat bread, salad, grilled potatoes

Spaghetti Pie

served with Cesar salad, broccoli

Steak Stir-Fry

Seafood (I’m going to wait and see what is on sale before I make this meal)

For more than 300 menu plans each week visit Menu Plan Monday.


  1. Looks so yummy!!!I fully understand that ‘stockpiling’ thing, and yes we should move forward and learn new ways on how to cut our monthly expenses. I hope you can share favorite brand of pasta too.

  2. Great plan for this week, and thanks for the tip on adding to your pantry.

  3. I will try and cut back as well to be able to stockpile. I always stockpile ragu when it goes on sale for and I have coupons. I have to try that bread it looks so good and I love oatmeal. What pasta brand do you use Toni?

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      We use Barilla. Personally, I could eat any kind of pasta – but my husband loves Barilla. It is one of the products that I have to purchase a specific brand.
      He also likes the homemade pasta, but I don’t always have time to make it, so we use Barilla when we need a fast meal.

  4. Can’t wait to try recipe for spagetti pie. Thanks for all the great idea’s.

  5. It must be in the air! So many bloggers I’m following are trying to cut back on their spending, and yep, it’s the groceries that are the easiest to manage.
    I wish we had coupons in Australia. Instead, we accrue ‘points’ through loyalty teams, or through the bank, and can claim a voucher once we’ve reached a limited no. of points.

    Anyway, you were discussing stockpiling, not coupons, lol!
    Yes, stockpiling whilst things are on special helps a lot. I then call a ‘no spend’ week occasionally whereby we live on the stock left. It helps a lot with savings.

    Your dishes look very yummy, too!

    Catherine (aka alecat)

  6. I need to do this again..Our stockpile too a kicking and was pretty well wiped out when hubby was out of work.. need to get it build back up

  7. We travel with my husband’s job and have spent the past 16 months living in our motorhome and didn’t have the room to stockpile anything! We just settled down into a house again last week and I have so much storage. My goal for the month is to see how much money I can shave off what I’ve been spending on groceries while simultaneously filling up our pantry. I’m definitely going to be spending some time nosing around your site. Blessings!:)

  8. I’m starting a new series: Feed a Family of 4 a Green Diet for $15/day. Too many misconceptions that you can only get junk food if you coupon.

    The stockpile is key. I just stockpiled Morningstar Farms at .50 each. I have 8 boxes in my freezer and it makes me so happy cuz I love them for lunch!

    • I am so jealous that you found Morningstar Farms @ .50 My coupons usually expire waiting for veggie protein to go on sale!
      But, I only spent $5 at the grocery store last week.

  9. I try to stop pile where I can. Some of my favorites when they go on sale:
    Chicken broth (a specific brand with no MSG)
    Spaghetti Sauce (a specific brand)
    Cake mix
    Brownie mix
    Boneless Skinless chicken

    Besides the cake and brownie mixes, we can make a variety of dinners from the rest.

    I will be trying your Spaghetti Pie recipe this week. I have never tried ground turkey. Does it taste more like chicken or hamburg?

  10. Hi yes I’m in, this is just what I need. My stockpile is getting a little low so it’ll be good to build it up again.

  11. I found tinned anchovies for 25 cents each today! (The cashier thought I was weird for buying all these anchovies, but they will last me a good long while.)

  12. I recently stock piled on pasta too. With coupon it came out to .25 cents where I normally would have spent 1.20 or more. It does same money to stockpile as long as its things you will eat before expiry, etc. In the past I’ve wasted money by buying to much of something and it expiring before It’s eaten.

  13. Oh. My. Goodness. $600 a month on groceries with nine mouths?!? You are more amazing than I thought before! We spend about that much a month for our family (five mouths and a half–I’m prego again). I am not only motivated to stockpile now–I’m motivated to see where I can do better with the grocery budget!

  14. I prefer to stockpile as well. When things were tight earlier this year, I didn’t do it much, but now that I’m working full-time, we can get the pantry stocked up again.

  15. love your website, wow we have so much in common! Will be visiting often

  16. Sometimes it’s all about changing your perspective, isn’t it? I think if we just look at our grocery budget as a way to get the best deal and feed our families for the longest, we can all make enough budget adjustments to work in a bit of food storage. The economy is not exactly sound, and you never know what challenges are just around the corner, so it is always good to be just a bit prepared. And, like you point out, in the long run you save money anyway.

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