March 2023 Groceries and Meals We Ate (Big Family Food!)

Here’s the big March 2023 groceries and meals we ate post we all love!

March 2023 Groceries

I had shopped late in February so we had a large stockpile of food heading into March. So we had a lot of groceries to work with as we headed into the month.

During the first half of March, I bought our girls’ WIC items (free to us, such a gift!) plus some meat that I found marked down. On my first trip, I found and bought two pork roasts that had been marked down to $1.79/pound. They were around $8.00 each and I plan to stretch them into 5 meals like this. AMAZING SAVINGS!

Another day when I went to get formula for Baby#11, I found ground beef for just $2.49/pound. That’s incredible right now! I bought 30 pounds, plus a few items of produce, spending $97 total that day. (I have a separate post coming soon to share what I did with all this ground beef!)

I got a Walmart pickup order somewhere in there, buying mostly fresh and frozen produce – but I forgot to take a picture!

Another day when I went to get more WIC items (we have four kids who qualify for WIC), I grabbed two pork loins marked down to just $4 each. It takes two of those to make one meal for us, but $8 for delicious meat!!

Because of the meat I’d bought in February plus the meat I picked up marked down early in March, I was able to mainly buy fruits and vegetables as needed and avoid the stores otherwise. It was kind of awesome! Toward the end of the month, I put in one more Walmart pickup order to get more fruits and veggies, plus cream, peanut butter, and apple juice.

I came in WAY under budget this month and we’ve been having a great time working our way through our pantries and freezers. But as always when I do this, I will likely go over budget next month when I make a Lincoln Costco trip to restock our staples. Look out April! OH, and we have an adoption party plus two graduation parties coming up, so April’s total is likely to be ridiculous, ha. At least I have some of March’s budget to work with!

A note about my grocery budget

I keep going back and forth about whether or not I can keep us at a $1,200/month budget for the 10 of us eating every day at home. This month gave me hope that I can make it happen!

There are some months that I go over, but then there are months like this one where I stay way under and make up the difference. Grabbing marked-down meat and focusing on fruit and veggie side dishes has really been a budget saver! Plus I’ve had plenty of ingredients on hand to make a variety of baked goods, which stretches our meals too.

So, for now, I’ll stick with my $1,200/month grocery budget goal. As the littles get bigger, I may need to adjust.

Ready to see all the meals we ate in March?

Meals we ate this month

Late February I put together three pans of lasagna. Two are in the freezer and we baked one early in March. We ate it with green beans and caesar salad (the big salad mix from Costco – so good!)

Around Thanksgiving last year, I picked up three huge turkeys for $0.98/pound. I thawed one early in March and baked it. We ate one meal from it that night and put away nine other bags of prepped turkey to use from the freezer as needed. Plus, the next day I made two and a half gallons of broth from the bones. Talk about a super good way to save money! From our $26 turkey, we’ll eat eleven meals! 

Matt gladly turned on an audiobook and deboned the turkey for me. :)

The night our turkey was fresh, I made mashed potatoes in the crock pot, roasted veggies, and turkey gravy, plus sliced fruit.

Last month at Costco I bought a huge bag of thin chicken breasts. I used these to make two pans of Crunchy Ranch Chicken Strips – one for dinner that night and one for the freezer. I put the rest of the bag of chicken into freezer bags and poured on some of the marinades I had in the fridge. Those went into the freezer for easy meals later.

For lunch one Sunday, I used some of the turkey broth and cooked turkey I’d made and made Turkey Noodle Soup. I prepped it on a Saturday and we warmed it and ate it the next day with salad and fruit.

The kids had spring break this month, so we bought a year pass to the Lincoln Children’s Museum so we could enjoy a special outing. (The amount it costs to pay for all of our kids to go just once almost covers an entire year’s family pass – so buying a membership was a no-brainer!). After we played and played, we met Asa, Eva, Justus, and Kelsey at a Hyvee grocery store. They have a large seating area there, which was a good spot for us to all eat (14 of us there that day). I had packed peanut butter and jelly sandwich fixings and applesauce, then I ran through the store and bought some treats like juice and chips to go with it. Meanwhile, the grown-ups grabbed sushi from the prepared food options the store had available. :)


One day for breakfast during spring break I scrambled 15 eggs, made sausage links, sliced some kiwi, washed blueberries, and threw out some Gogurts. The kids gobbled it all up!

Malachi was in a homeschool melodrama early in March. It was HYSTERICAL seeing Malachi play “Grandpa.” These kids are so talented!

The other drama-mamas gave me a lot of grace this year since we have so many littles at home, including a newborn! But I did try to help with food for the melodrama cast as much as I was able. A friend of mine and I tag-teamed making a “Breakfast for Dinner” meal for the cast, crew, and directors so they could eat before a show. We made Egg Casseroles, muffins, and yogurt parfaits. It was a hit!

I also volunteered to make brownies for the concession stand (I made these). We won’t talk about how I also signed up to make rice krispie treats and then FORGOT!!! :( Praise God for my friend Jenny who bailed me out of that one. :)

Here’s a picture of my brownies as I was packaging them up for concessions, along with a box of individually bagged chex mix I made to go with our breakfast for dinner meal. Plus kiwi, plus our coffee pot, plus baby bottles, plus my marker board where I attempt to write meal plans for each day. I promise that we had more than “Guac” that Tuesday, haha!

I made two dozen Bran Muffins one day and the kids ate them in two days. I was able to enjoy a couple of them with my coffee those mornings also. :)

One of our former foster sons was with us for a week in March. There are a lot of foods he doesn’t like, but he does love muffins! So in an attempt to get him to eat something with meat, I made an adapted version of these Corndog Muffins. It didn’t work, ha – he didn’t fall for my schemes. But the rest of us enjoyed them. Ack – do you see my bottled ranch in this picture? {Laura hangs her head} Alas, I’m in the survive life by buying ranch season of life. :) :) :)

We also ate carrots with peanut butter, peaches, and Cream Cheese Salsa Dip with chips.

Another day, I made a second double batch of Bran Muffins and served them as a side dish with one of the pans of Crunchy Ranch Chicken Strips I had made.

We go through these Mudballs like crazy for breakfast and snack options. One morning as I made this recipe x8 I took this picture of the peanut butter, honey, and chocolate chips melted together in a pan before I added the dry ingredients. That’s one big pot full of goodness there!

Last month I bought 8 pounds of grass fed hamburger meat from Aldi (this was before I found that awesome deal I mentioned above on the 30-pound of ground beef!). I pulled the 8-pounds of meat out of the freezer one day and browned it like this in my Instant Pot. This is one of my favorite fast Instant Pot tricks. (From frozen to cooked – 8 pounds of meat – 30 minutes!)

After it was cooked, I crumbled it and poured off some of the excess liquid.

I bagged up 5 freezer bags and saved the rest for a casserole as you’ll see below.

I used some of the cooked ground beef to make a huge Green Bean Casserole. Here’s a picture of the cooked green beans, cooked meat, prepared cheese sauce, and stick-of-butter rice (minus the butter, hahaha, because I wanted to save the $) that I made to add to the casserole to make it stretch extra far. (For the record, it took me the entire morning to get all of this done. I made pieces of the casserole bit by bit as I had a free moment to start something else cooking.)

After I assembled the huge Green Bean Casserole, I covered and froze it to bake the next time we offer a college student lunch.

One lunch with just a few of us home, I pulled some Chicken Burritos out of the freezer and baked them. I was out of fresh fruit so we ate mandarin orange cups as a side dish.

I used some of our cooked turkey to make a Turkey Hashbrown Casserole. It turned out delicious, and we ate it with roasted broccoli.

I often pick up a 4-pack of Beef Smoked Sausage from Sam’s. I cut it and put it into a small crock pot to heat all afternoon. We ate it that night with baked beans, cream cheese corn, and peaches or pears. The sausage with the corn was SUCH a delicious combo!

One Friday evening, I made a dozen hamburger patties with some of the beef I’d picked up that day, so we ate cheeseburgers with grapes and carrot sticks. It was a perfect Friday night dinner!

I had a few minutes one afternoon while our four littlest were napping, so I made a triple batch of Pumpkin Muffins/Bread. ACTUALLY, after they turned out weird, I realized I x3 some of the ingredients and x6 some of the ingredients because my brain no longer works correctly. :/ Good thing my muffin eaters liked them anyway!

One day for lunch, I sent Brayden and our Bonus Girl (age 7) to school with a cup of peanut butter, sliced apples, carrots, and a chocolate spinach cupcake. Bonus Girl came home from school and declared those carrots to be extra delicious (likely because she dipped them in peanut butter). I share this to tell you not to give up giving your kids veggies. She hated all veggies when she first moved in and now she’s finding ways that she actually likes them or even claims them to be “extra delicious.” So exciting!

One Sunday I made a pork roast and a huge amount of crock pot mashed potatoes. We had the leftovers later in the week along with steamed peas, strawberries with cheesecake parfait.

My niece baked rolls and dropped them off one day so we also had those with our pork roast leftover meal. I cut them, buttered them, then warmed them in the oven.

One morning before school (poor kids have to leave for the bus stop at 6:53), I made “eggs in a nest” for Brayden and Bonus Girl. They each have time to eat 1 1/2 of these plus a “circle toast” as they rush out the door.

One of my favorite dinners this month was Bbq Chicken Legs, cream cheese corn, baked beans, roasted asparagus and carrots, and sliced oranges. We all devoured this and maybe I was just extra hungry that night but it all tasted incredible to me!

For lunch one weekday, I got crusts out of the freezer and made pizza. There were only six of us eating that day so we all ate our fill and I saved the leftovers to send in Brayden and Bonus Girl’s lunches the next day.

I made Breakfast Sandwiches for us to eat one Saturday morning, so while I was at it, I made an extra 17 sandwiches for the freezer.

Our friend had given us some pulled rotisserie chicken, so I made a pan of Stick of Butter Rice and added salsa, beans, cheese, sour cream, chicken, and spices to make a bunch of Chicken Burritos for our freezer.

One afternoon while I was prepping dinner, I mixed together a triple batch of Peanut Butter Honey Rice Krispie Bars. These are so nice to have on hand for breakfast and snacks.

That night, I warmed up some of the above-mentioned rotisserie chicken (which the kids dipped in barbecue sauce) and served it with roasted broccoli, mac and cheese, strawberries, pears, and muffins.

We made breakfast for dinner one night with 18 eggs (with spinach), 20 hashbrown patties, sausage and bacon, clementines, and strawberries.

One morning, our big kids were at school, BabyBoy#11 was napping, and the three little girls were unusually calm. I decided to take advantage of the moment and see what I could get ahead on in the kitchen while they played. They eventually came in and helped (there’s no better help than a 3-yo and a 2-yo old who are eager to crack eggs, am I right?!). But the morning went much better than most so I was able to make not one but THREE breakfast/snack items to offer us some convenience!

My happy little helpers…

Remember those pork loins I had picked up on sale? We baked them one night and ate them with baked beans, corn, and green beans. SO GOOD. (And it might be apparent by now that we have a lot of corn and beans on hand because as we eat through the pantry, those keep showing up!!)

At the end of the month, I thawed the Crunchy Ranch Chicken Strips I had stashed in the freezer. We made it with rice, peas, corn, and peaches.

I thawed another bag of cooked turkey (we’re enjoying that bird so much!) and made Turkey Ranch Cheese Melts with Smoothies.

Toward the end of the month, we enjoyed several guests one evening. There were 13 of us eating that night. I made a big batch of spaghetti and sauce, which we ate with roasted broccoli and carrots, corn, strawberries, grapes, and a few clementines that needed to get finished off.

We made it through the month easily with our big store of food, but it won’t be long before I’ll need a big Costco and Sam’s run. You can look forward to those details in May!

The post March 2023 Groceries and Meals We Ate (Big Family Food!) appeared first on Heavenly Homemakers.

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