One of my favorite blogs to read, Good Cheap Eats, is hosting a Panty Challenge this month! We have some specific financial goals in mind for this year, and getting my grocery budget back under control can help us get there faster for sure! I usually am a once a week shopper and average about $100/week for two adults, a 6,5, and 2 year old(food, cleaning supplies,etc.). At least that is what I thought. The last 2-3 months with all the holidays and activities I've been in and out of stores more times than I care to count for "just a couple things" and wow, has that added up. Plus an impulse trip or two to Sam's and it's been a little out of control!
The pantry challenge for me will be trying use up what we already have on hand in the pantry or freezers, with minimal purchasing of new food. I'm going to set a goal to spend just $50/week, most of which will probably be for milk, cheese (we eat a lot of it, bread, fresh fruits and veggies.
To make my meal plan for the month I looked at the calendar and marked off all the days I wouldn't need to prepare a meal for various reasons which left me with 19 days where I'd need to prepare something for dinner from now until Jan 31!
Tuesdays x 5--My husband coaches basketball, and games are Friday and Tuesday nights, so I'm on my own those nights about 6 months of the year. My middle daughter has gymnastics from 4-5 on Tuesdays and it just happens to be right down the road from our local Chick-Fil-A who has famliy night on Tuesday night. Free kids meals with the purchase of an adult meal, plus they usually have some sort of fun activity for the kids. Then we all head home for showers and reading followed by bedtime, and it makes that night so much easier on me! We don't always go, but if we don't we will just have mac n cheese or sandwiches at home, so I'm not palnning for those nights.
Fridays x 4--I work at a local hourly daycare facility most Friday nights. The kids get to come with me for free and eat there too, so it's a win-win for us. We all get out of the house and I get to make a little extra money! :)
My daughter's 7th birthday is also this month, so I didn't plan for that night since I will let her choose something special when it gets closer!
So my 19 meals mostly based on what I have on hand, in no particular order, are.....
2. Sloppy Joes
5. Marinated pork chops
6. Alice Springs chicken
7. Chicken and Dumplings
9. Marinated chicken/pasta
10. Mini pizzas
11. Frozen pizza
15. Pork Loin
16. Chili Dogs
17. Tuna helper (don't know why it's in my pantry, totally grosses me out.....)
18. Chicken/stuffing bake
19. Breaded pork chops
I like to pull from my list on the particular week depending on what we are in the mood for. Plus certain days need bigger meals to make sure my husband has leftovers for lunches!