Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Great Grocery Store Challenge...

Last week, I was feeling pretty crummy. My annual respiratory virus had decided to come visit...and I was in no state to figure out simple things like meal planning and grocery shopping. As we were driving home that afternoon, I asked the kids what they wanted for dinner...their response? An excited...

"Mac and cheese!"

To which, I kindly replied, "We don't have the stuff guys. How about leftovers?" I used my most appealing voice...however, they were not impressed.

So, I thought...I have no motivation, and no meal plans for this about I let them do the meal planning this week?

They were ecstatic. I told them that each had $30 to be able to plan the weeks lunches and 4 dinners for our family.

It was so cute to see their faces processing, and reading specials.

They had a blast. I pulled out my iPhone calculator, and they figured it out. I'm not a homeschooler, by any means, but I did think how fun it was to be able to teach them first hand about budgeting and meal planning. I did require that they had some vegetables or fruit at each meal, but other than that, it simply had to be enough to feed our family.

It only took about an hour, and they were so proud to be able to take part.

Here were the meals they came up with (remember, their 5 and 8.)

Monday - Mac n Cheese and Hot Dogs, with apple sauce

Tuesday - Rotisserie Chicken, salad, and rolls

Wednesday - Veggie Tacos

Thursday - Turkey Sandwiches and cous cous, with fresh fruit

They were so proud to later tell my husband what they had accomplished. That our meal was all their idea!

* My tips if you try this: have a calculator on hand, get the coupons so they can understand how things go on special, make sure you have a good hour to shop, and keep them focused on the "meals" and not all the food to choose from - good advice for myself as well!


  1. Those are some pretty tasty meals! Great job kiddo's (and mom). See you tomorrow Melissa.

    1. Thanks, girl! So fun hanging out with you this weekend...hope you had a wonderful time!

  2. Melissa, this is awesome! I love seeing the pics of your kiddos scouring the sales ad, weighing the fruit and smiling like crazy! Will this be a regular event?

    1. Thanks so much. It was so much fun that I really have considered making it a regular occurrence!

  3. You just made me smile reading this and remembering when my kiddos were that age! BTW, since my hubby is out of town this week, our 17 year old and I had mac & cheese with hot dogs on Monday night too. I had forgotten just how good this simple meal can be...even though we didn't have the applesauce.

    1. Thanks, Fonda. Sometimes it's fun to just do those good ol' easy meals!

  4. I heard you on the Simple Mom podcast and loved it! Just subscribed to your blog, and so far this is my favorite idea! I pinned it to my future kids ideas board!