I have been getting a ton of questions about our Operation slash the food budget in half pursuit this month. It's going great! Better than great, actually, and I wanted to answer the many questions in one place so I can refer people back to it. I'm going to give a bunch of information, and hopefully hit all your answers, therein. (And probably bore you to sobs.)
The first thing I did, was scour my cookbooks, and write up 30 days worth of meals in the form of a menu. I printed it and hung it on the fridge. I accounted for leftovers (meals I knew would serve a crowd or have enough for freezer extras) and special events. (Such as St Patrick's Day, Easter, and Joe's birthday.) I wrote up a grocery list and double checked all my pantry staples, spices, cleaning supplies and toiletries to make sure we had enough for the month. I figured out what recipes I could buy fresh items, prepare and store in the freezer, and what items I'd need to have ready cash a few days before making, in order to purchase fresh produce, etc. Once my list was complete, I withdrew cash and headed out.
I stopped at Costco and stocked up on things for kid lunches, chicken breasts, milk, and other items we like to purchase in bulk. Then the grocery store.
Once home, I shared in this post, how I organized everything. I am not going to lie. Those four bags that we pull out weekly to restock, have been the smartest thing I've ever done. Seriously. I want to smack myself for not thinking of it sooner.
After completing our big grocery shops and doing all that prep, we had $100 for the month. (Keep in mind a ton of things went into the freezer chopped and prepped and that eliminated many trips to the store throughout the month. Which was the entire genius behind that plan.)
I had to show my little grocery shop above. I had a bag of Alexis sweet potato fries in there too (I had a great coupon for that) but they were melting so I popped them into the freezer before this photo. I only splurged on one thing and that was my shampoo. This "fun brand" was on sale and I needed some anyway. I spent three extra dollars to get the kind that makes my hair smell like Hawaii. Couldn't resist. The item I wouldn't have normally bought were the kettle chips, but I had a coupon about to expire AND they were on sale so I grabbed them. Everything else in the bag was basically produce.
didn't veer off my list for even one item. And I came in under budget, which is great because my refrigerator light just burned out and I forgot to buy salt. Oops. So there ya go.
Many of you have wanted to know exactly what we have been eating. Here you go. I pasted it directly from the menu I printed up. Enjoy.
TH: rotisserie chicken, sw.potato fries, green salad
F: rice wraps with thai peanut sauce
S: holli ice cream cake/ veggie quesadillas
S: corn and black bean salad with bbq chicken
M: bean curry and rice
W: green curry chicken, rice, green beans (frozen)
F: eggs, sausage, etc.
S: greek vegetable stew
S: ST PATTY’S rotisserie, dijon taters & brussel sprouts
T: stir fry with chicken and veggies
W: leftover stew
TH: stew or stir fry leftovers
F: garden vegetable soup
S: Brisket, roasted potatoes and asparagus
M: salmon patties, sweet potato fries, random veggie
T: FAMILY SEDER/ Latkes, honey mustard chicken, asparagus and charoset with matzah, etc.
TH: JJ BDAY! Carrot cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting /pancakes & bacon
F: teriyaki turkey burgers, veggie and plain rice (leftover peanut sauce)
S: leftovers and resurrection cookies
S: EASTER! Eating at mama's house!
M: frozen leftover garden veg soup
W: FRIDGE/FREEZER clean out!!
TH: GROCERY DAY!!
silly camera saga, my man thinks he has come up with a plan. I'm gleeful with anticipation. And also, one of my besties, Betsy, has rescued me in the mean-time, with her spare camera. Have I mentioned that I have amazing friends? Indeed I do. I have been so lonely this winter, barely seeing friends that I used to see frequently. After a while of that behavior, people kind of give up on you and quit calling you so I have decided to put a proactive plan into action because when you are going through hard things, they (whoever "they" are) say that you tend to isolate yourself. Umm... guilty! Anyway, my plan. I am making a huge effort to begin calling, texting, emailing, inviting or making plans with my local girlfriends over the next couple of weeks. (If you are my local friend, be warned. I am coming. Muwhahahahaha!)
Speaking of my precious friends. I want to wish my girl Trudy a tremendously happy early birthday. Girl, I love that we've been friends through thick and thin. I miss having you next door SO MUCH, but I love that we still have "porch time." I love giggling with you about how weird it is to watch our boys becoming little men. And I love that you put polka dotted straws into my water just because you know I like them. I love you my friend.
While I'm here, I also have to send out another big happy birthday to my sweet sis-in-law, Holli. I am so thrilled that you are in my family and can't wait to see how the next few years unfold. Love you girl!!