Yes we are day three of April before we could put together a meal plan, but better late than never. You will notice a huge trend in this weeks menu…LEFTOVERS! Not exciting but a necessary part of our food lives. I spent a huge amount of money in the month of March on food so the focus for the entire month of April will be to keep grocery spending at a minimum. By menu planning for the entire month at one time, I was able to determine that other than fresh fruit and veggies, we have no needs right now. I hope this translates into very little spending in the next several months. This week will involve a little bit more effort than normal as the kids are out of school and Matt is at home until Friday.
Breakfast- Saturday-Gravy and biscuits , Sunday- Church provided. , Monday Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs or left-overs, Thursday- Pancakes or waffles depending on the mood.
Lunch- Saturday- left-overs , Sunday- Dinner with my Family , Monday- Ham salad sandwiches, Tuesday-Friday Leftovers!
Dinner – Saturday- Leftovers , Sunday- Left-overs Monday- Grilled chicken breast with left over sides , Tuesday- Chicken nuggets and French fries(kids choice) , Wednesday-Rice Kreole , Thursday- Beef and Broccoli, Friday- pulled pork.
I ended up with half a snow day today so decided to add dessert and homemade mac and cheese to the menu. Both turned out well and we (the kids and I) spent some quality time together.
Breakfast- Saturday-Cereal and left-overs , Sunday- Breakfast bowls (leftovers turned into burritos) , Monday Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs or left-overs, Thursday- Baked oatmeal
Lunch- Saturday- left-overs , Sunday- Stuffed Green Pepper soup , Monday- Pigs in a blanket. The kids are taking 2 day of sandwiches and 2 grab and go days. I plan to eat at work a couple of times this week as they have my favorite sandwich.
Dinner – Saturday- Ground beef enchiladas , Sunday- Breakfast including gravy and fried eggs. Monday- Chicken Nuggets, mac and cheese, pears and peanut butter cookies, Tuesday- Leftovers, Wednesday-Hamburger Helper, Thursday- Country style steak or chicken from Costco, Friday- Pork chops or pulled pork.
Find out the day that your local supermarket reduces the meat and that is when you shop.
I can honestly say, I have heard of this way to saved money but did not believe it was true until this week. I had planned to shop at Food Lion this weekend due to Lunchables being on sale for $1 each. These are quick and easy lunches that my kids consider a special treat. In the past, I have been able to stock up on these just prior to school starting but that was not the case this year. My mother was with us and helped to find some of the deals. I was able to purchase over one hundred dollars worth of meat for $66. This is a 40% savings on meat!
I grabbed several packets of thin steaks for Fajitas, a pack of steaks, several pack (ok 6 packs of chicken nuggets with cheese, meatballs and both chicken and pork bites. These are not the typically way we would eat these items but I am super excited that we have a chance to try some new and different things without breaking the bank.
This meat deal could have not come at a better time for us as we will be purchasing a whole cow in the next 2 months in addition to 80# of chicken from Zaycon. But in the meantime we still need meat and the kids insist that they have meat at least 2 of the 3 meals
What good deals have you found lately? Leave a comment to prove you read!
Thankful we have food prepared and will start making more quick and simple meals over the next couple of weeks.
Breakfast- Saturday-Cereal and breakfast burritos , Sunday- Cereal and milk , Monday Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs or left-overs, Thursday- breakfast burrito bowl.
Lunch- Saturday- pizza snacks , Sunday- meal at Red Robin , Monday- Chicken salad lettuce wraps for everyone . The kids are taking 2 day of sandwiches and 2 grab and go days. I plan to eat at work a couple of times this week as they have my favorite sandwich.
Dinner – Saturday- Ladies Banquet , Sunday- Chicken enchiladas Monday- Shepherd’s Pie, Tuesday- Chicken pie with Broccoli salad and squash casserole, Wednesday-Hamburger Helper, Thursday- Country style steak or chicken from Costco, Friday- Breakfast casserole or tater tot casserole. .
My mother has always said that “in order to get to church on Sunday, you have to start on Saturday night.” This is really the case for us and even more so when it comes to living with our crazy busy schedule right now. Throw in the fact, that today, Sunday was also Matt and I only day off together this week and it has been really busy but productive. We did decided on Saturday night, that we would eat out for lunch today. Instead of rushing home from church, grabbing some lunch, changing clothes and then heading to Winston, I warned everyone to wear comfortable shoes for walking to church. We ended up eating lunch at Red Robbin. It is always a fun treat for us to eat out.
After picking up an on-line order at JCPennys and finding a new glove for Zach at PlayItAgainSports the real preparation for the week began. Our menu plan is already made for the week but I realized that we have fallen behind on meal preparation. I used the instapot to cook chicken breast and threw in the Kitchen Aid mixer to shred. We ended up making 2 complete batches of Chicken Enchiladas, one for dinner and a second for March. I also made a chicken pie for later in the week. On plan has a Shepherd’s Pie for Monday. As I started to gather up the ingredients , I discovered 5lbs of potatoes that had started to spout. These were peeled, diced and became mashed potatoes. I used some to top the Shepherd’s Pie and the rest is in the freezer to grab for some quick easy meals. In a span of about 2 hours, we made a total of four meals that need just to go in the oven.
One of the things that is a given on Sunday afternoon is the kids picking out clothes and lunches for the week. I usually check the weather and decide what type of clothing they need to pick out. The clothes are placed outside of there rooms so no changing around is done. We also decide what is going to be taken for lunch and prepare as much of it ahead of time as possible. Matt and I also made our lunches for Monday as well. This saves us so much time that I can’t imagine doing it any other way.
Yes this is the “day late and dollar short” version of 5 Things Friday. I will be the first to admit that the last couple of weeks have been very stressful and emotionally exhausting in addition to being financially straining.
Yesterday, was our first full paycheck for the month of February. The good news is that we were able to catch up from the snow week. I have a plan in place for both our tax returns and am very hopeful that this will allow us back on a slow but steady track to paying down our huge debit this year. We are working to reduce both our electric and water bills to a more normal level. Matt and I have already worked out a Menu plan for the month which means we should be able to keep the grocery bill on a lower than usual level. Another positive is that Matt has been selling vinyl decals on a very steady basis this month. This is definitely helpful as we have lots of unexpected expenses.
I am battling left-overs in our fridge. Our super bowl party is always fun but we end up with some interesting left-overs. This week, I made an effort to make meals of left-overs and strongly suggested that Matt and Lily eat left-overs for lunch. Today, I am repurposing left-overs, we had a bag of carrots, and a bunch of celery, several cups of rice and some pulled pork. I did a little bit of thinking and decided to make pork fried rice. I chopped up the pork and realized that we had over 4 cups left which is enough to make 2 full meals for us. I let Kendall help chop up the carrots and celery. I added some green peppers and onions and that became our veggies for the stir-fry. One set for dinner and a second set in the freezer for a crazy day of what is for dinner.
Zach has officially started taking piano. He has been asking for over a year but we really wanted him to wait until he was a strong reader before attempting. Kendall started teaching him this week for fun. He even practiced every day without being told. This is definitely an expense that I don’t mind adding.
I am so ready for spring, in fact I have already planned out our square foot garden and added several more containers. I am very hopefully that with a little extra work this year we will have a bumper crop. I purchased trees a couple of years ago to start work on a landscape line. The trees came with a 2 year guarantee. I received an email yesterday that a new peach tree is being shipped this week. My mother has also been growing several pecan trees in her flower bed. So we should be able to finish the border without spending any additional money!
Our busy schedule has returned. Some days, I am honestly thinking how do we actually do this. This week, Lily has practice for her play, 4 nights and a party the 5th night. Kendall has 2 days of extra curricular activities in addition to church on Wednesday night. Matt has also doubled his hours at work for this week. Yikes, better rest up today!
I have to admit that last week’s snow threw a wrench in my meal plan for the week. The good news is that I decided to cook and use items we already had on hand! This week our crazy normal schedule returns with at least 3 days of evening activities.
Breakfast- Saturday-Fried Bologna and scrambled eggs , Sunday- Cereal and milk , Monday-baked oatmeal, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs or left-overs, Thursday- breakfast burrito bowl.
Lunch- Saturday- pizza snacks , Sunday- meal at friends house , Monday- left over pizza for everyone. The kids are taking 2 day of sandwiches and 2 grab and go days. I plan to eat at work a couple of times this week as they have my favorite sandwich.
Dinner – Saturday- Pizza , Sunday- Chicken parmesan with spaghetti noodles Monday- Bacon Ranch Chicken casserole , Tuesday- Taco Tuesday, Wednesday-Left over night , Thursday- Pulled pork or pork chops , Friday- Hamburger and French Fries.
I have always said that menu planning saves us a ton of money, now I have the proof. On Saturday, we headed to Aldi to purchase some items that we were out of, we even added in three boxes of cereal to help with breakfast this week. Our total was $25.57. Matt was working Sunday morning and the kids and I decided that we wanted to make a big “Cracker Barrel Breakfast”. After checking, we need a couple of items to make the things we wanted. Kendall and I took our list and headed to Food Lion. The one meal list cost $25.47. No more special meals for us. Everyone is home on Monday but then it is back to reality. To end on some good news, we have $6.41 left out of our $160 grocery budget.
Breakfast- Saturday- Pimento Cheese and Bacon Biscuits, Sunday- Cereal and toast, Monday- Sausage Gravy and Biscuits, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs or left-overs, Thursday(kids have eye appointment) pancakes or waffles.
Lunch- Saturday- Left-overs/sandwich, Sunday- Baked Potatoes, Monday- Sandwiches. The kids are taking 1 day of sandwhiches and 2 grab and go days. I will be taking left-over soup all this week.
Sunday- Saturday- Chicken Tacos, Sunday- Egg Casserole, Hashbrown casserole and cooked apples, Monday- Pizza Rolls, Tuesday- Chicken Pot Pie (from freezer), Wednesday-Hamburger Helper, Thursday- Country style steak or pulled pork, Friday- Chicken Nuggets and French Fries.
We are eating a lot of quick simple meals and sandwiches this week but it is just what we feel like. The menu may change depending on the weather and my work schedule.
Back on a tight budget means back to menu planning for us! I was able to spend some time on Saturday and get a good idea of what foods we have in addition to doing some extra food prep that should come in handy when things get busy in the spring again. If you want to check out the new recipes I used you can!
Breakfast- Saturday- left-over pancakes and sausage balls from dinner on Thursday. Sunday- Bacon and Pimento cheese biscuits. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday- Leftovers (baked oatmeal or pancakes) or choices. Thursday- Omelet, Friday- Baked oatmeal.
Lunch- The kids have 2 sandwich days, 2 grab and go days and soup. I am taking left-overs each day. Lily has left-overs, mac and cheese or ramen noodles. Saturday lunch- left-over wings and pizza from Amanda. Sunday- Mexican rice and Chicken Enchiladas
Dinners- Saturday- Italian Cream Chicken, Sunday- Lazy Day beef Stew, Monday Spaghetti, Tuesday Salisbury Steak, glazed carrots and rice, Wednesday- Chicken Fried Rice and Friday- Pulled Pork.
So far so great on our grocery budget for the month, we have spent $21.61 which includes the purchase of a Sunday paper.
Today, I am saving time and money by cooking ahead! I am also sticking to items that I have in the pantry or freezer as I have a very small grocery budget this month. Today, I focused on using frozen chicken breast. I was very pleasantly surprised when my instapot was able to cook 10 breast from frozen to done in less than an hour (30 minutes actually pressure time). I shredded those in my kitchen aid and used for a Chicken Taco Casserole and Chicken Enchiladas. I also froze 2 packs of shredded chicken. The casserole is one of our quick easy items to use on a busy day. Chicken Enchiladas will be lunch tomorrow. While the instapot was working, I started dinner for tonight, which was Creamy Italian Chicken. This is a recipe that Amanda has made before so I knew that it was good. That is a total of 5 meals in less than 2 hours of total time.
Matt made a batch of homemade pimento cheese that we will use for breakfast in the morning . I also pulled out the ingredients for a beef stew for dinner tomorrow night. This recipe is from Zach’s calendar so he is excited to try it.
The best part of all these meals is cost today is $0! We used all the ingredients from the pantry and freezer. First week of January behind us with a total of $20 spent in groceries!