Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sticking to the Plan while Life happens!-Menu Planning

One of our biggest money reducing/saving efforts this month is eating out of the freezer/pantry to reduce at least by half our food budget. So far this month we have spent $294. Honestly, this is the point where I usually have the biggest problem. We are running low on bread and milk, so someone is going to have to go in a grocery store to purchase these in the next several days. The trend is that because I have to buy 2 things, I go ahead and make a list of our wants. The goal is to change this habit. We are starting to run low on snack foods as well as quick/easy items for lunches. But again, I don't want to purchase because that will definitely sink the budget.

Now is where planning and a little next thought takes place. First I am going to share ways we have been trying to waste not, then I am sharing our plan for this hectic week. Yesterday, for lunch, I made tuna salad. We are short on loaf bread so I cut the hot dog buns from earlier in the week in half and made "subs" for the kids. Lily loved it so much she asked if she could have a sub in her lunch as well. Matt and I ate our tuna salad on hamburger buns. Today, I made a Shepard's pie for dinner, adding left over carrots and fruit cocktail to make it a meal to feed 6. The reason I chose the Shepard's pie is that we had a huge bowl of leftover mashed potatoes.

Next is the planning. This week is so hectic with Zach's cardiac appointment on Wednesday and my oral surgery scheduled for Friday in addition to all the regular weekly activities. Another budget buster for us is grabbing food on the run when things get busy. So I went ahead and planned a couple of meals that are quick and easy. First is spaghetti, no preparation just heat and eat. We have some lettuce that needs to be eaten so it will probably be added in on Monday to make this a healthy meal. Wednesday, we have no idea how long we will be at Amos Cottage but previous experiences have said that we need to plan on a long long day. So I have all ready gotten some chicken drumsticks out of the freezer. On Wednesday morning, we can throw in the crock pot with some BBQ sauce, add the rest of the left over mashed potatoes, frozen green beans from the summer and crescent rolls if time and we have an awesome meal. Finally Friday, Matt was concerned about me not being able to eat and needing to buy something. I checked the freezer we have several varieties of soup and also several cans of soup. I also found a couple of boxes of Jello as well as applesauce so nothing else is needed. Tuesday and Thursday, Matt will have to grab something out to grill or a frozen meal but that is not a big deal! Best news of all will be less than $10 at the store for bread and milk.

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