REALISTIC Trader Joe's Shopping List & 5-Day Meal Plan

vegetable flat lay

Earlier today I was watching a YouTube video about a $120 grocery haul from Aldi. I was intrigued because although I don't typically spend that amount on groceries, I always like to watch grocery hauls to get more meal and snack ideas. Well, her video basically included a bunch of snacks and ingredients for literally ONE meal. I was discouraged because I thought, "seriously? $120 and ONE meal idea out of all that?" I get it, not everyone has time to cook dinner every single night, especially if you're a mom. Honestly my meal plans don't look perfectly planned out every single week. Sometimes "grab-and-go" is more your style, whether you have kids or not, and that is perfectly fine. I am always an advocate for finding what works best for you.

For me, cooking is basically a hobby. I've said before how being in the kitchen is my little nightly  "getaway" where I can watch a YouTube video or listen to a podcast while I'm cooking. I am also home during the day and usually have the time to cook before I go to work (and sometimes I leave Jack instructions and HE will make dinner) So, for someone like me, those types of 'haul' videos and posts can bum me out, because what I thought was going to be a realistic grocery haul & meal ideas was something that wouldn't really work for my family. So, for this post I have my Trader Joe's receipt and meal plan next to me, and I wanted to share a realistic shopping list, prices of everything, as well as our 3-meals-a-day meal plan from Monday to Friday. Everything on this list is easy enough to make regardless of how much time you have in the day. Some of them could even be prepped ahead of time, so all you'd need to do is toss it in the oven/onto the stove. Hope you enjoy!

vegetable flat lay pin


Here is everything I bought this week, most of it is from Trader Joe's with a couple of things I had to pick up from Target. As you'll notice, I buy a pretty even balance of organic/non-organic items. I am willing to pay more for kosher or organic meats/produce in most cases, or if I feel it's necessary (I try to buy organic meat almost always.) Prices and tax may vary in your area, but I've added the prices of everything & what I spent, just to help you get an idea. I know budget is an important factor when grocery shopping!

1 bag frozen broccoli florets - $1.69
1 red onion                            - $0.99
10oz organic cherry tomatoes - $3.29
2lb bag sweet onions             - $2.99
1 bag frozen stir fry veggies  - $2.99
2 green bell peppers               - $2.99
10oz white button mushrooms - $1.99
2 bags salad spring mix          - $3.98
1 head of cauliflower              - $2.79
1 hothouse cucumber              - $1.49
1lb bag organic carrots            - $0.89
kalamata olives                        - $2.99

2lb bag of grapes                    - $4.99
1 lemon                                   - $0.49
4 bananas (19 cents each)       - $0.76
1 pink lady apple                    - $0.79

gluten-free frozen chicken breast nuggets - $4.99
pork loin roast                        - $10.79
1lb organic ground beef       - $5.99
kosher organic boneless/skinless chicken breasts - $11.46
kosher chicken leg quarters - $6.35

8oz cream cheese                   - $1.69 
strawberry yogurt squishers - $3.29
crumbled feta cheese            - $2.69
herb goat cheese log             - $2.99
1/2 gallon organic whole milk - $3.49

organic apple carrot pouch (4 pack) - $2.79
pita bite crackers                        - $2.49
classic hummus                          - $2.99

frozen blueberry waffles             - $1.99
fresh dill                                      - $1.69
wisconsin cheddar mac & cheese - $0.99
organic tomato paste                    - $0.89
Thai green curry simmer sauce    - $1.99

wide egg noodles                           - $0.99
(good substitute for these is the Trader Joe's pappardelle noodles but they were out)

nature's own multigrain bread        - $3.19
(I don't like buying TJ's bread because it seems to spoil quickly - you do you!)

TOTAL: $109.83
*not including tax

Here is my 5-day meal plan using the ingredients above. Assuming you have common pantry staples like salt, pepper & other spices, vinegar, cooking oil, butter, nut butter. I also always have rice in the pantry and eggs on hand because they last a while (I am usually the only one eating them). You'll notice there's no leftovers on this meal plan - my husband usually takes our leftovers in his lunch for work. I've also included a few modified meals for Ezra. We are slowly introducing egg into his diet, so he does not eat plain eggs, but can eat baked goods and other foods that contain eggs. Otherwise, he eats what we eat!

Click here for the printable PDF!

meal plan

  1. This is excellent! I love grocery hauls for the same reason and I so appreciate that you also shared your meal plan! It's easy to get into a rut with meal planning!

    1. So thankful this could be helpful for you, Mary!

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