After a long week, the last thing most people want to think about is what they’re going to eat the following week.
Meal planning can get expensive, time-consuming and tedious without an actual plan.
According to a 2018 study by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, the average Canadian family is going to spend $411 more this year on groceries. Roughly, this means food prices are projected to increase between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent.
This is when a budget comes in handy, and while we’ve done similar meal idea stories for people living on their own, families can be a whole other challenge.
With the help of Desiree Nielsen, a registered dietitian based in Vancouver, we’ve come up with a week-long meal plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. She has also included some alternatives for kids.
WATCH: The importance of creating a budget for groceries
Below, we’ve included a grocery list (this was based on prices at a No Frills in Toronto the week of Feb. 4), ideal for all three (or four) meals of the day. Note, the final price of this list can change depending on where you live in the country. We have also not included taxes.
Frozen blue berries $4
Large cartons of white eggs (24 eggs in total) $5
4L bag of milk (2 per cent) $5
Packaged whole wheat bread (two) $4
Plain Yogurt $2
Bananas (two bunches) $5
Peanut Butter $6
Instant oatmeal $2
Sweet potatoes (three pounds) $4
Rice long white grain rice $6
Broccoli florets (two) $7
Snow Peas $4
Baby bok choy (bag) $3
Carrot bag (three pounds) $2
Cooking onions (10 pounds) $6
Three mushroom containers $9
Large container of spinach $5
Chicken breast club pack $26
Roma tomatoes (three pounds) $3
Zucchini (two pounds) $6
Cans black beans (two) $2
Cans of lentils (two) $4
Bottle pasta sauce (two) $6
Whole wheat penne (two) $4
Six small avocados $4
Large bar of cheese $4
Frozen green peas $2
Quinoa (two boxes) $8
Firm tofu (two packages) $6
Salmon burgers PC (four burgers) $12
Market mini cucumbers $4
Apples (4 pounds) $5
Large hummus $6
Celery stalks (two) $3
Soda crackers $2
Total price: $186
Breakfast: Yogurt with blueberries and a banana
Lunch: Avocado tomato cheese sandwich with hummus and celery for snacks
Dinner: Tofu stir-fry with baby bok choy, snow peas, onion, broccoli, mushrooms on rice
Breakfast: Toast with peanut butter and banana
Lunch: Leftover stir-fry with rice
Dinner: Salmon burgers topped with avocado, cheese, caramelized onions, and served with spinach and blueberry salad
Breakfast: Oats with blueberries and peanut butter
Lunch: Carrot apple salad and egg salad sandwiches. For kids, serve carrot sticks and apple slices with sandwiches.
Dinner: Chicken breast baked in tomato sauce, served with sautéed zucchini and rice
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with cheese, black beans, tomato and roasted sweet potatoes
Lunch: Quinoa, spinach, apple, cucumber salad with avocado and chicken breast. For kids, snack packs of avocado, chicken breast, cheese, carrots, apple, hummus and crackers.
Dinner: Pasta with lentil tomato sauce with mushrooms, any leftover spinach and onions
Breakfast: Smoothie with milk, yogurt, instant oats, banana and peanut butter
Lunch: Leftover pasta with sliced vegetables
Dinner: Frittata with zucchini, peas, onion and roasted sweet potatoes