Our week went well. To be honest, I usually plan most of my meals from the pantry anyways, but keeping to my goal of spending only $50 this month is helping me to be even more creative. And that is good.
I'm sharing what we ate each day along with my notes as to changes I made or leftovers I used. The amount of money I spent this week for grocery items is at the end of the post.
Breakfast-leftover oatmeal, apple with peanut butter
Lunch-leftover beef stew, bread and butter, marinated mushrooms, hummus and tortilla chips
Supper-ate at church meeting
Notes: I love using leftovers. The beef stew was left from church yesterday. I added a little water to thin it out a bit and make enough for 2 people.
Breakfast- oatmeal, applesauce
Lunch-grilled cheese sandwiches made in the waffle iron, oil and vinegar slaw
Supper- baked fish chowder, homemade bread, carrot sticks and green pepper strips
Notes: I used the leftover 1/2 head of cabbage to make some slaw. I peeled the broccoli stalks and shredded them along with the cabbage. I also added one shredded carrot. The fish chowder was a new recipe and very tasty! I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it was easy and delicious!
Breakfast- blueberry muffins for him, oatmeal with blueberries for me, sliced apple for both of us
Lunch-leftover fish chowder, bread and veggies
Supper-Breaded pork chops, sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli
Notes: Remember the stuffed mushrooms from last week? I had leftover filling and used it to bread pork chops for supper tonight. Yum!
Breaded pork chops, baked sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli.
Breakfast- cold cereal with milk
Lunch- leftover buffet. All kinds of odds and ends from the fridge!
Supper- Monterrey beans with rice,salsa and sour cream, carrot sticks
Notes: We really needed to use up the last little bit of milk before it went bad, so we had cold cereal this morning. I had plain beans and rice on the menu for tonight. But it seemed so plain and I didn't feel like making or eating it! Then I remembered one of our favorites, Monterrey beans. Yum! I had a few strips of cooked bacon in the freezer from what I cooked up when I cleaned out the fridge last week. Monterrey beans is awesome with bacon added! I didn't have fresh tomatoes or peppers so I added salsa instead. I also added the cooked rice to the skillet and mixed it together. We both enjoyed this meal a lot!
Breakfast- apple-carrot muffins for him, oatmeal with applesauce for me, grapefruit halves for both of us
Lunch- leftover Monterrey beans and rice wrapped in tortillas with extra salsa and sour cream
Supper-Ham bundles made with this dough, tomato soup
Notes: The leftover beans and rice were delicious wrapped in homemade tortillas I had in the freezer. I'll have to do this more often! I made the ham bundles into crescent rolls and they were just as good as ever. My husband really loves these and can't get enough whenever I make them!
Ham bundle crescents.Saturday
Breakfast- leftover ham bundles
Lunch-leftover ham bundle mixture made into quesadillas, apple slices
Supper- leftover brown rice mixed with some peas, broccoli and tuna, bread and butter
Notes: We were out and about all morning and were tempted to go out for Chinese for lunch but decided against it. (We do not use our grocery money for eating out, but instead have a budget category just for that. ) We were starving by the time we got home. Leftovers were pretty scarce. I tried to think of something quick. I took another bag of tortillas out of the freezer and made quesadillas with the leftover ham mixture. They were surprisingly good! I wasn't really in the mood for pizza tonight which was what I had on the menu. If you'll notice, we have had a lot of "bready" meals lately! So I took some leftover brown rice and added a pouch of tuna, some leftover broccoli, a handful of peas. I heated it altogether and served topped with shredded Parmesan cheese. Not bad for something thrown together!
Breakfast- ham bundles, applesauce
Lunch- potluck with church fellowship. My contribution was cookies and mixed veggies.
Supper- hamburgers, sliced avocado, leftover mixed veggies, pickles
Notes: Not really anything to report for today. Pretty easy cooking day! Hamburgers and homemade dinner rolls were in the freezer.
Snacks this week consisted of:
cream cheese on Ritz crackers
chocolate chip cookies
This week's spending:
I did a little shopping this week but spent most on non-food items at CVS and Walgreens. I had some Extra Care Bucks that were expiring and there were some very good deals on things we either needed or will need soon. Walgreens had a few coupon deals that required very little out of pocket expense so I got a few needed items there too.
Walgreens(2 trips): $2.51 for 2 packages of Stayfree pads and 2 Electrasol dishwashing detergent plus received $2 Register Rewards.
CVS(2 trips): $4.78 for 2 Colgate toothpastes, 2 Irish Spring body wash, 1 Colgate toothbrush, 1 GE CFL light bulb, and 4 cans of Oust. I used a good amount of ECB's to pay for these items and now have $10.50 in ECB's to use in the next month.
Earth Fare: $.59 Earth fare sent me a coupon for 2 free grapefruit and a free 8 ounce container of almonds with any purchase. I bought a box of tissues which I had a $1/1 coupon for.
Mexican Market: $3.00 for 6 avocados.
Farmer's Market:$4.00 for 1 dozen farm fresh eggs.
Total week's spending: $14.88
Spending goal for month: $50.00
Amount remaining: $35.12
Edited to add: I failed to mention that I did purchase some grass-fed beef this weekend with some of the money that I am saving by doing the pantry challenge this month. The farmer was running a great special that I really wanted to take advantage of. I am not planning on using the newly purchased beef until February so that's why I'm not counting it in this month's total. The money saved would be used for some beef anyways and it worked out to get it at a much better price now. I'll be using it for next month's freezer day!
For more pantry challenge updates, click on over to Money Saving Mom!