Meal Planning for a Family of 3 with Tony’s Fresh Market

October 30, 2018

I hate to admit it, but I love grocery shopping and meal planning. I don’t know what it is, maybe it just sets the tone for the week and helps us stay organized? Whatever it is, I do it weekly. Sometimes even on a Saturday night by myself? It’s like a night out right? Hah.

I will make a list of the meals first Monday through Friday and then list out all the ingredients needed for each meal. We have our weekly usual meals, but I try to add in a meatless monday meal, a meat focused one and usually ending with pizza on Friday nights.

One thing that helps meal planning go smoothly is grocery shopping, Some things I look for in a grocery store are: 

  • Prices- this is obviously number one right? Are there sales?
  • Selection- how is the produce? Is there a variety of things and is it quality?
  • Accessible- is it easy navigate? Especially with a toddler, diaper bag and groceries
  • Overall experience- is is clean? Is there a bakery? Coffee shop? I look for the whole experience.

Grocery Shopping at Tony's Fresh Market in ChicagoFINALS (12 of 13)Grocery Shopping at Tony's Fresh Market in ChicagoBased on these, I will look for a grocery store that matches these qualifications. When Tony’s Fresh Market reached out for me to come and do my weekly grocery shopping, I of course said yes! We have always gotten our skirt steak for summer bbq’s (might be the best place in Chicago to get it during the summer), but I have never done a full shopping spree there.

A variety of produce at Tony's. Grocery Shopping at Tony's Fresh Market in ChicagoA variety of produce. Grocery Shopping at Tony's Fresh Market in ChicagoFINALS (8 of 13)

I got my meals together and listed out the ingredients I would need. Many of these I adjust for Noah, our toddler, but I included snacks and some meal options for him as well. The meals are:

Monday: Calabacitas (recipe is here.)
I would need:

  • Two zucchini, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 can chickpeas
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 packet Sazon Goya seasoning

Tuesday: Salad
I would need:

  • 1 spinach & arugula salad mix
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 can chickpeas
  • Feta cheese
  • Olive oil- Dressing

A variety of produce at Tony's. Grocery Shopping at Tony's Fresh Market in Chicago

Wednesday: Mediterranean burgers (see them here)- Makes 4 burgers
I would need:

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 6 ounces feta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • Toppings: buns, tzatziki sauce, sliced tomato

FINALS (4 of 13)

Thursday: Whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce- 4 servings
I would need:

  • 16 oz whole wheat penne
  • 24 oz marinara sauce
  • 1 package frozen broccoli
  • 3 links chicken sausage
  • topped with parmesan cheese

Friday: Pizza Friday!
I would need: 

  • frozen pizza

FINALS (9 of 13)


  • Graham crackers
  • 1 container of mac n’ cheese
  • Fresh fruit (bananas, blueberries, raspberries, apples)
  • Eggs
  • bread
  • milk
  • bagels & cream cheese
  • creamer
  • chicken fingers
  • pretzels
  • cookies

FINALS (6 of 13)FINALS (10 of 13)

That’s it! This was my list as I entered the store. I had a $75 budget and was on a mission!

There are 15 locations across the Chicagoland area and I went to the Lincoln Square location. This store is rather large with two floors of parking, large aisles and offers:

  • Hot Foods
  • Baked goods to go (I grabbed a concha- Mexican sweet bread to go, so good)
  • Cheese Bar
  • Floral
  • Juice Bar
  • Lavazza Cafe (some of my favorite coffee)
  • Olive Bar
  • Salad Bar
  • Sushi Bar

One of the first things I noticed was the HUGE produce selection. There was everything from jicama, different squashes, tomatillos, and so on. There’s something about organized produce, it just makes it so appealing to buy! I grabbed a few apples at .99 cents a pound, bananas for .59 cents a pound and a lot more fresh fruit. I had a craving (pregnancy cravings are strong!) for pineapple and picked up a to go container for $2.02 and it was some of the best I’ve had in a long time. Overall, the produce is definitely a must at Tony’s. Everything is fresh, priced very well and organized.

Other standouts were an 18 pack of eggs for $1.99. This is the best deal I’ve seen in months for eggs. As for the selection of food, I found everything I needed. There is a variety of brands from organic name brands to Tony’s own. You could find pretty much anything you need and more for your meal planning.

Another added bonus was I went shopping on a Sunday, which means gameday in our house. So I picked up Tony’s chips, their guacamole and a footlong Italian sub all for $12. Great deal and the guacamole did not last a day because it was so good.

In total, I spent $82 in all (minus the game day food), which came pretty close to my budget. I’d say this shopping spree lasted us about 9 days, so that’s pretty good!

Grocery Shopping at Tony's Fresh Market in Chicago

When I went shopping, I posted a few stories to my Instagram, many of you mentioned that Tony’s has the best cannoli cake! You know I know need to try that soon….with all the holidays approaching, I would definitely keep Tony’s Fresh Market in mind for all your dinner needs. They will have everything you need along with some really good specials coming up.

You also have a chance to win a $100 Tony’s gift card! Share your holiday tradition and enter a chance to win. Click here here for all the details!

As always, thanks for following along and you can sign up for weekly emails here and on Instagram.

Until next time,


This post was sponsored by Tony’s Fresh Market, but all the opinions expressed are my own. 

Photos were taken by Michelle Cox Photography

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