January, Week One Meal Plan (Take Your Best Guess!)

2011 has been full of ups and even more downs.  Me and the family have been focusing on each-other and our future for the past couple of months and plan to start 2012 fresh in all areas, including financially.  We are starting Dave Ramsey’s financial plan beginning of 2012 and that means cutting costs everywhere, including groceries.

I’m a horrible meal planner to be quite honest but I hope, with your help, I can become better at it.  I realize it’s an essential part of saving money so I’m determined to make it work.  The meals will be basic most of the time but you gotta do what you gotta do to make the budget work right?

To make it more interesting for you guys, I’ve decided to make this a weekly post for accountability for me, and I’m gonna do something fun for you!  This is how it will work!  Every week, I’ll post my weekly meal plan.  I’ll provide you with a list of ingredients that I’ll have to buy to make the meals and the person who comes closes to the actual amount spent without going over, will win a small prize.   I’ll share my receipt and all so that you can see it.  During the next week (every Saturday), I’ll share who won, the actual cost, and the next meal plan..so on and so on.  This will encourage me to buy ONLY the ingredients I need to make the meals, stick to my budget, provide you a little fun, and a chance to win a prize.

A couple of things you should know; 1) I have a family of 5 – me, my husband, 18yr old, 15yr old, and 5yr old.  We live in the middle of Texas.  2) Our beef is part of our income so we have a chest freezer full of it.  Most recipes will include beef but I’ll throw in chicken and such from time to time. 3) All the kids are in school so these meals are for our evening supper.  Me and the hubs will eat whatever we can find during the day.  If I have extras that need to be bought that week, I’ll post them as ‘ingredients’, which you’ll include in your total when calculating cost.

Week One, January 1-7 2012

  • Pot Roast, Mash Taters, Corn
  • Hot Dogs
  • Fajita Steak Sliced & Cooked with Bell Pepper with Rice and Brown Gravy
  • Enchiladas and salad
  • Hamburgers & Fries
  • Slow Cooker Short Ribs with cubed/baked tater chunks
  • Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches


  • 10lb bag of Taters
  • Rice
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Campbell’s Brown Gravy & Onion
  • 1 package Hamburger buns
  • Sub type rolls for roast beef sandwiches (probably 2 pkgs, not sure how many come in one)
  • 1 head of Lettuce
  • 6 tomatoes
  • Package of sliced cheese (24)
  • 2lbs of cheddar cheese
  • 1 package corn tortillas
  • 160z sour cream
  • wieners
  • can of chili (family size can)
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • Campbell’s condensed french onion soup

Extras to buy for the week include:

  • 2 Loaves of bread
  • Box of Cold Brew Tea
  • Stick Butter (2 pkgs)

How much do you think those ingredients will cost?

In a comment below, leave your best guess of what you think these ingredients will cost.  The person that comes closes without going over, will win this sharp Chef’s knife from Chicago Cutlery.  It’s professional stainless steel, forged blades, 8″, and has a full lifetime guarantee.

You have until Friday evening of January 6th, 6pm CST to take a guess.  Good luck!  Also, if you have a budget friendly meal idea, please share along with your guess. I’d love to have more ideas for my future meal planning!

P.S. Congrats to Mary G from North Carolina. She was the winner of the Clorox Gift Basket and Williams & Sonoma Gift Card! 


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  1. Sandy says

    Happy New Year! Learning how to save money on groceries is one of my New Year resolutions, too. I look forward to seeing how it goes for you.

    My guess on how much that load of groceries will cost is $60, maybe a bit over.

  2. says


    We are on the same plan for 2012. We paid off a ton of debt years ago with Dave Ramsey’s plan and now we are going to use his budgeting tools to hopefully pay off our house.

    I am also focusing on meal planning this year, I’ve never done it!

    Good luck, I plan on following along for motivation and inspiration.

  3. says

    $47.79. :) I think you’ll like the Dave Ramsey program. We did it a few years back and I like that you could start anywhere. We were able to start in the middle of the book, but keeping track of expenditures was very helpful. It would probably be a good idea for us to do it again. It’s nice to know where your money goes. It ended up being like a game and it was amazing to see how much could be saved! It’s all in your perspective and figuring out the difference between wants and needs. At least that was the case for us.

  4. Kacy says

    My guess is $64.
    Meal planning is something I started doing along with money envelopes. I made some cute cloth ones I found on the web. The cash helps me not to impluse buy. I plan a week at a time then with other ideas keep a monthly meal calendar that I can add to as inspiration strikes.

  5. Wendy Huelsman says

    Wanted to give you a meal idea, too. My husband and sons like this modified version of Hamburger Pie.

    Brown ground beef and place in the bottom of a casserole
    Top with creamed corn, then layer mashed potatoes over the top to cover.
    Bake at 350 degrees 20 — 25 minutes to warm all ingredients through.

    I will add onions and bell peppers to the ground beef when I brown it depending on which of the guys is home. You know, likes and dislikes!

  6. Melissa Miller says

    Happy New year!!!

    My guess at the total will be $45.76. Thanks for the meal ideas, I am going to add some of these to our meal planner.

  7. Linda Johnston says

    My New Year’s goal is also to save money at the grocery store. So this morning the first thing I did is to print a January calendar. When I did my shopping for this week, my grocery store had ground turkey for a dollar a pound. I normally pay $2.99 a pound so I picked up 3 pounds. It will be fun to look in every week for hints. Good luck to everyone! I say that your grocery bill this week was $64.17.

  8. Gina O'Connor says

    I say $58. You can do it…..I am in the same position as you. I am a horrible meal planner, money being wasted in so many areas. We want to move and need to get it together in order to do so. I wish you luck and health in 2012 !

  9. Deb says


    I really want to try that program as a family member has made a significant dent in their debt. Good luck.

  10. Wendy says

    I live in Alaska… so food is more expensive here. I ALWAYS plan a menu.. then write a list. It is a excellent way to save money and actually very helpfull…you always know whats for dinner!!

    I would guess $51.75