The Ultimate Costco Meal Plan | Part 1

You need to think about food budgeting

America has a food obsession. We have grocery stores at every major intersection, restaurants on every corner and fast food chains to fill the gaps in between. I have talked to many of my neighbors and those conversations mirror the statistics I read online. Most of middle-class America’s disposable income goes to food. Grocery and the food budget can range anywhere from $500 to upwards of $1200 especially when restaurants and alcohol are added in. Food budgeting can change all of this

Once a Month Meals

I have signed up for probably three to four of these food budgeting programs that give you the shopping list and all your meals.


  • OAMM (Once a Month Meals)

They work exactly as advertised and if you follow it, you will save 1000’s of dollars each year on groceries. With these food budgeting programs you typically make all of the food for the entire month split up over 2-3 days.1

So what’s the problem?

I liked all of these food budgeting programs and for the first month I was a rockstar, but by the end of the second or third month, I have stopped using the service. They work as advertised but I found it to be mentally exhausting constantly learning new recipes. Each new recipe added a small amount of stress to my life. Most of these meal plans seem to be tailored to the stay at home husband or wife who has the time to in-source most of the work. My wife and I both work and this simply didn’t feel sustainable. By the time one of us has a day off, it’s time to do laundry. And since I work every other weekend I really don’t want to sacrifice my free remaining weekend cooking all day.

The solution? Repetition

I needed a meal plan that’s simple, I needed a plan that only required me to put in 30-60 minutes twice a week and would provide meals that are healthy, delicious and can be eaten again and again without growing old. Simplicity is the key. The meal plan couldn’t take up all my time and it couldn’t be too exhausting to think about.

I don’t mind eating a lot of the same things, in fact, I suspect that most families have patterns that they stick with. Why not use that to your advantage?

If you can crush your food expenses and reduce it to $300 per month the money you save could easily offset the cost of a car payment. In contrast, if you are following our guide it could speed up your journey to financial independence. Our Crushing Expenses 101 class will have many ways to reduce your COL (Cost of Living) by $10-20 per month, but 1st we have to address the elephant in the room. And in America The biggest bill after shelter is food

I always like to project the financial implications before I make a big change in my life so here it is

Food Budgeting
The true cost of a bloated Food budget


  • you follow the plan and it saves you $500 per month
  • You invest the savings for at least 10 years
  • You earn an 8% annual rate of return on your investment

Jeepers!!  For middle income America this one change guarantees that by the time you are ready for social security you will have $1 million stashed away. Conversely for the ERE/FI  crowd not only will you need 150,00 less to retire but you will have an extra 100K in the bank working for you . Magical isn't it!

I have developed a template that allows my wife and I to easily eat for less than $300 per month with money left over and I plan on sharing how you can implement a similar plan in your own life. this meal plan is adaptable and should work for families with 2 children as well

Read The Ultimate Costco Meal Plan – Part 2 

food budgeting


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10 thoughts on “The Ultimate Costco Meal Plan | Part 1”

  1. I found your podcast on Itunes and am really enjoying it. In fact, just today I bought a bread machine, inspired by you. (I ended up getting the SDK because all the amazon reviews showed that they have excellent customer service. Also, it’s only me, so I need to be able to make smaller loaves for the most part (but I have the option to make larger when needed). There was another brand that had lots of good reviews for making excellent bread but customer service seemed to not be there.) Anyway, I am enjoying your podcasts and started at the very beginning. I took a break to finish up an audio book, but plan to continue soon. Makes for a fun bike commute and pumps me up for living frugally. Thanks very much for starting this and I think the bread machine suggestion is a great idea! My dad used to make bread years ago and the house would smell wonderful. I never realized it could also be a great money saver. I will also be checking out these Costco ideas. (By the way I think it would help if you linked to both Parts of the Costco articles on both articles since I could find the 2nd one but it took a while for me to find Part 1.) Thanks again, wish you the best on your FIRE journeys.

      • Hi again, just another note, I really love your podcast, the topics you cover and your natural way of chatting. 🙂 I plan to will leave a nice iTunes review. I am still making my way through your many podcasts but now I’m jumping around. The bread has turned out wonderful, although I’ve only made the wheat bread for right now. I still want to try the recipe you posted.

  2. Still haven’t tried your recipe (I have a lot of wheat flour to get through) but I did just leave a 5 star iTunes review! It’s under my name somewhere on there. Still working through all your podcasts. I will try the travel reward credit cards at some point, gotta re-listen to those episodes. I shared the link for those ones with my sis who has a family of 6 and could really use the savings. Thanks again for doing this podcast! Your enthusiasm inspires me. 🙂

  3. I think this is a good idea for people who want groceries on a budget. I think this meal plan is very doable and is smart for young people who don’t want to spend a lot on groceries but also want nice available meals.

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