I’m participating in the Grocery Challenge that Owlhaven is hosting and this is my first update. I was going to do just one post about my menu and my shopping trip but it’s gotten to be too long! So today I’ll share about my menu and then tomorrow or Monday I’ll share about the groceries I bought and how successful – or unsuccessul – I was on staying on budget. Plus I’ll share a bunch of recipes.
I’ve been trying to decide what our goal is and it’s been harder than I thought because I have never kept track of what we spend each month. I feel like such a loser and failure as a wife and mother to even say that. But it’s the truth. And maybe this challenge will help me get on track and start keeping track and managing better what we spend.
Although I’m going to list my budget at $75 a week I’m actually going to try stay around $50 a week. I’m also going to use strictly cash. We’ve tried to do this before – where we go to nothing but cash for gas, groceries, etc, but we’ve never stuck with it because, well it’s hard. It might be hard but it works and so that’s what we’re going to do.
My pantry and freezer are pretty full. So although I feel like it’s kinda cheating we are of course going to use those groceries first. And you might just want to take a look in your pantry too. When I really want to, I’m amazed at what I can find to make by using what I already have. Same for leftovers. I’m usually pretty bad about using leftovers but the past few weeks I’ve tried just a little bit harder to be creative and I’ve been amazed at how much better I’ve used up food.
My menu is actually for the next two weeks. I was only going to do a week at a time but I have to manage it around payday so we’re going with two weeks. It did take me quite awhile to finally get this all figured out. I’ve found that it’s much easier if I do it by following these steps:
1. Check pantry and freezer for what we already have
2. Check sales flyers for what’s on sale – and check coupons
3. Make a list of all the items I want to cook – taking into consideration what I already have in the pantry and what’s on sale.
4. Take list of items and just plug them into each night.
So here goes…
Breakfast: I’m not going to list breakfasts every day. We either have scrambled eggs, cereal, toast or a granola bar on the way to work.
Lunch: Fish sticks and corn dogs
Supper: Date night – I’m not sure how to count this one – usually we go to a movie at the cheap theatre and eat popcorn – and don’t eat supper. The kids will eat at Grama’s house.
Supper: Steak, jalapeno bites (per Hubby’s request), crispy potatoes
Lunch: Keilbosa subs
Lunch: I’m not going to list lunches on work days because we usually take leftovers or a sandwich (egg salad, chicken salad or lunchmeat). I did budget $10 for each of us for the next 2 weeks for lunches in case there’s a day or two we need to eat out.
Supper: Pork roast, potatoes and carrots in crock pot
Supper: Hot dogs and beans
Lunch: Tortilla wraps
Supper: Grilled chicken, grilled potatoes
Lunch: Pasta and veggies
Supper: Event at church – we’ll eat there, no cost
Supper: Chicken Crock Pot and rice
Supper: Hamburger Helper
Supper: Family night at church, $5
Supper: Stir fry and rice
Supper: Fish and pasta
Any guesses on what I spent for groceries for the next 2 weeks? Nevermind, don’t guess. Pat guessed $49 and then I felt like a failure again because it was alot more than $49! Although I was out of a few staple items and stocked up on a few items that were on sale.
So stay tuned – more to come!