Your College Student’s $20 per week Aldi Meal Plan

AldiCollegeMealPlan1

     My oldest ventured off to her freshman year of college a couple years ago. Lets call her O. O’s a responsible girl having never gotten herself into any serious trouble while in high school. Her worst crime was forgetting to check in with her father or me after arriving at a destination. O has been working after school and on weekends part time since she was fifteen. So, all and all, she’s a pretty good kid that has made responsible choices throughout her high school career.

     The college O is attending offers on-campus apartment housing in lieu of traditional dorms. A full kitchen is standard in these apartments as they would be in any off-campus apartment. This allows kids to cook for themselves, making meal plans optional. I did the math. The price per meal with the college-offered meal plan is $7. Call me crazy but that seems a little high. We decided it would be better for O to take advantage of her full kitchen and cook for herself.

     Because of O’s history, her father and I chose to give her an allowance. She would receive a deposit into her account bi-weekly during the first semester. She was under no pressure to find part time employment during this time. The money we deposited was to cover gas, groceries, and fun. She quickly learned she would like to have as much money as possible for fun and spend as little as possible for food. That’s when she asked me to create some super low cost meal plans for her.

     I quickly obliged her request. Some people knit or scrapbook as a hobby. I make meal plans with price goals in mind. You can add weirdo to the list of appropriate words to describe me.

     Here’s the first meal plan I sent her. It’s a two week meal plan that leaves one dinner out each week. We figured she would eat out at least once per week. We would soon learn she would be eating out for free more often. Many of the local churches offer bible study groups for college age students during the evening. Dinner is included. O enjoys bible studies so this was a win-win for her. The Baptist Student Union also provides free lunches accompanied with a Christian musical performance on Wednesdays.

     Of course, this is an Aldi meal plan because I have a love of Aldi. Prices vary by store and season.

Breakfast is either yogurt or an English muffin

Lunch is leftovers or ramen noodles

Dinners:

Grilled chicken and veg over rice with soy sauce x3

Grilled cheese and tomato soup x3

Spaghetti with ground turkey x3

Shredded chicken with taco seasoning and cheese quesadillas

Cheese and veg quesadillas

Ground turkey, veg, and rice with soy sauce

Ramen noodles $2

Bag of rice 1

Chicken breasts (3 lb bag-divide into 4 meals) 6

Bag of frozen veg (2 bags-divide into 5 meals ) 4

Soy sauce 1

American cheese slices .99

Loaf of bread .89

Tomato soup (3 cans x .59) 1.77

Yogurt 3.12 (8 yogurts @ .39) 3.12

English muffins .99

Jelly .89

Spaghetti noodles 2.97

Spaghetti sauce 2.97

Ground turkey (2 lbs. Use 1/2lb per meal) (1.89 x 2) 3.78

Taco seasoning packets (.35 x 2) .70

Cheddar cheese block 1.89

Tortillas 1.99

Bag of apples or other fruit for snacking 2

Microwave popcorn for snacking 1

Total $39.95

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7 Dinners 4 People Around $50 (2)

7DINNERS2

ABOUT MY MEAL PLANS

     I use Aldi for my meal plans. I have yet to find a more frugal option and my goal is to provide the most affordable meal plans I can.

     You will not find organic, paleo, or gluten free meal plans from me. My goal is to come up with meal plans that feed a family relatively healthy for cheap. Aldi does offer many organic and gluten free products. You are welcome to make substitutions if you so choose.

     My meal plans are designed to have little waste. The same ingredients may be used in multiple dinners.

     Below you will find a week of dinners for your family of four for around $50. Be aware prices change regularly without notice. Prices also vary by region.

Aldi Meal Plan (2)

This week our menu includes:

Grilled Cheese With Tomato Soup

Baked Penne with Salad

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetable of Choice

Breakfast For Dinner: Waffles, Eggs, Bacon, and Fruit

BBQ Baked Chicken With Salad and Biscuits

Pizza and Salad

Loaded Baked Potatoes

Grocery List:

1 loaf 35 calorie bread 1.29

16 slices American cheese .99

2 cans condensed tomato soup .59 x2

1 box penned pasta .89

1 jar spaghetti sauce .99

1 block mozzarella cheese 1.89

1 lb frozen ground turkey 1.89

2 heads lettuce .99 x2

1 bag carrots .99

1 other veg of choice for salad 1.00

1 bottle of salad dressing 1.19

4lb skin/boneless chicken breasts 8.00 (1.99/lb)

1 box baking mix (Bisquick alt.) 3.29

1 canned vegetable of choice .65

1 dozen eggs 1.29

2 packages bacon 3.29 x2

Fruit – in season .99

1 jar BBQ sauce 1.29

1 Large Take and Bake Pizza 5.99

1 10 lb bag potatoes 2.99

1 block cheddar 1.89

sour cream 1.19

1lb butter 2.39

1 gallon milk 2.50

Total: $53.32

Grilled Cheese With Tomato Soup

Self explanatory.

Baked Penne with Salad

Cook half box of penne according to package directions minus 2 minutes. Drain penne. Brown ground turkey. Drain. In casserole dish mix penne, turkey, and pasta sauce. Top with grated mozzarella. Bake 20 minutes or until warmed through. Serve with salad: lettuce, carrots, other vegetable, and dressing.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetable of Choice

Slice chicken breasts into quarters. Place chicken into slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Fill slow cooker with water 2/3 full. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Do not remove chicken. Combine 1 cup baking mix with milk to a dough consistency. Drop dough by heaping tablespoon into slow cooker. Continue to cook 30 more minutes. Serve with vegetable of choice.

Breakfast For Dinner: Waffles, Eggs, Bacon, and Fruit

Prepare waffles according to directions on baking mix box. Serve with eggs, bacon, and in-season fruit.

BBQ Baked Chicken With Salad and Biscuits

Slice 2lbs skinless boneless chicken horizontally to make four servings. Place in casserole dish and cover with bbq sauce. Bake at 350* 30 minutes or until cooked through. Prepare biscuits according to directions on baking mix box. Serve with salad.

Pizza and Salad

Self explanatory.

Loaded Baked Potatoes

Bake potatoes at 400* for 50 minutes or until fork inserts easily to center. Top each opened potato with cooked bacon, cheese, butter, and sour cream.

See week 1 here.

Seven Dinners For Four For Around $50 (1)

7DINNERTITLEPIC

ABOUT MY MEAL PLANS

     I use Aldi for my meal plans. I have yet to find a more frugal option and my goal is to provide the most affordable meal plans I can.

     You will not find organic, paleo, or gluten free meal plans from me. My goal is to come up with meal plans that feed a family relatively healthy for cheap. Aldi does offer many organic and gluten free products. You are welcome to make substitutions if you so choose.

     My meal plans are designed to have little waste. The same ingredients may be used in multiple dinners.

     Below you will find a week of dinners for your family of four for around $50. Be aware prices change regularly without notice. Prices also vary by region.

This week’s dinner plan includes:

Salmon with Brown Rice and Green Beans

Chicken Tacos

Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, and Salad

Hot Dogs, Fries, Salad

Ground Turkey Tacos

Slow Cooker Chicken Over Pasta With Salad

Breakfast For Dinner

Salmon, Brown Rice, Green Beans

Sprinkle salmon with lemon pepper seasoning. Broil for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Serve with brown rice and green beans.

Chicken Tacos

Place one pound of skinless boneless chicken breast in slow cooker. Sprinkle chicken with one packet of taco seasoning. Pour ½ a jar of salsa on top. Cook 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Shred chicken. Serve on tortillas with lettuce, shredded cheddar, sour cream and optional jalapeños.

Spaghetti, Bread, Salad

Brown one pound ground turkey. Add one jar of spaghetti sauce and ½ jar of salsa. Top spaghetti noodles with meat sauce. Salad consists of lettuce, carrots, onion, dressing and optional jalapeños. Serve with toasted garlic bread.

Hot dogs, Fries, Salad

Boil, grill, or broil hot dogs. Toast hot dog buns. Follow oven directions for ½ bag of fries. Make salad same as spaghetti night.

Ground Turkey Tacos

Brown one pound ground turkey. Add one envelope taco seasoning following directions on package. Serve on tortillas with lettuce, shredded cheddar, sour cream and optional jalapeños.

Slow  Chicken over Pasta, Salad

Place two pounds of skinless boneless chicken breasts in slow cooker. Top with one Italian seasoning envelope, an 8 oz block of cream cheese, and two cans of cream of chicken soup. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Slice chicken into bite size chunks. Serve over pasta with a salad on the side.

Breakfast for Dinner: Eggs, Bacon, Toast, Cantaloupe

Cook entire package of bacon in oven on broiler pan, flipping bacon halfway through. Fry 10 scrambled eggs. Serve with toast and cantaloupe or other fruit that is in season.

Shopping List:

Aisle One

$1.69 1 Jar of Salsa

1.19 1 Jar of Jalapeños

.70 2 Taco Seasoning Envelopes

1.69 Bag of 20 Tortillas

1.00 1 Bottle Salad Dressing of Choice

Aisle 2

1.00 Lemon Pepper Seasoning

.69 Italian Dressing Seasoning Packet

Aisle 3

1.98 2 Heads of Lettuce

.99 1 Bag of Baby Carrots

.99 1 Bag of 3 lb Bag of Onions

Back Wall Refrigerated Case

8.07 3 lbs Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts

1.99 1 Block Cream Cheese

Aisle 4

.89 1 Package of 8 Hot Dog Rolls

1.50 Cantaloupe or other in season fruit

1.38 2 Cans Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

Aisle 5 including Refrigerated and Freezer Case

3.38 2 lbs Frozen Ground Turkey

3.97 1 lb Salmon Fillets

.88 2 lb Frozen Green Beans

1.29 Sour Cream

1.99 Bag Shredded Cheddar

1.19 1 Jar Traditional Spaghetti Sauce

1.78 2 Boxes Whole Wheat Spaghetti Noodles

1.00 1 Loaf Frozen Garlic Bread

2.50 1 Package of 10 Beef Hotdogs

1.89 1 Bag Frozen French Fries

2.99 1 Package Bacon

1.39 Dozen Eggs

1.29 1 Loaf 35 calorie Fit & Active Wheat Bread

$51.29 Total for 7 Dinners

Check out another week’s meal plan here.