Friday, August 11, 2017

$350 August Meal Planning Challenge

I'm  questioning already my ability to stay at $350 for the entire month. DH picks up little extras and I am determined to count those purchases as well because these are the spending leaks that start little, but can derail a savings goal. I know, cut the guy some slack. Other challenge months I've ignored, but criticizing 1/2 gallon of ice cream in a flavor only he likes and  an eight pack of  frozen burritos seems fair. I'm at $204, with a balance of $146 to August 31. Remember, this is to include all household spending as well. 

I was off work yesterday for the funeral, but it was also DH's birthday. We needed to do a little celebration I had signed him up for the Ruby Tuesday birthday promotion so we took him out for dinner, using his free burger coupon. Ruby Tuesday's has always been a favorite of ours. I love the Ruby Tuesday salad bar and the girls have liked the variety of sides, or combinations to put together your own meal. DH and DS , meat eaters, have always been satisfied with their burgers, adding the salad bar on the side to fill any holes in their appetites. We don't have one right in town, so even though just a chain, it feels like a real dinner out when we go there- infrequently. This will be our only dinner out for the month. Today is the college visit, lunch provided for both DD2 and guest (me), so other than gas and maybe a coffee and juice for the road, an inexpensive day. 

I'm going to get boring on you all, but consider this for my own accountability. Below are the meal ideas I came up with earlier in the week. Strike through are meals we have had. Red text means it was omitted, and underlined means it was added as I discovered additional options. I'm putting the country style ribs in the crock pot for tonight's dinner. Counting tonight's meal, my list of meals above should take us to August 24th, with a couple spares, leaving only a week of meals to plan. Of course we need fresh items like fruit, veg, milk, bread, eggs, and yogurt well before the 25th, and likely more sandwich meat. I added a flat bread pizza tot he list-both homemade pizza and soup are great for using up the last of whatever is in your fridge or freezer, while providing a hearty meal. Though seeing the options laid out, what we have used so far and what is remaining, I have better encouragement that I'll ace this challenge. 
  1. Vegetarian Chili 
  2. Country boneless ribs, roasted potatoes, corn.(tonight)
  3. Turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables
  4. Spaghetti and Meat  marinara (no meat)sauce, Italian vegetable blend garlic cheese bread from leftover buns
  5. Meatless mock lasagna with extra vegetables
  6. Goulash with hamburger, green beans
  7. Baked chicken, rice pilaf, corn
  8. Homemade chicken nuggets, cheesy potatoes, green beans
  9. Chicken fried rice and mixed vegetables
  10. Grilled Roasted chicken sandwiches and sweet potato wedges, pasta salad
  11. Bean burritos, with cheese, black bean, corn, and tomato salsa/salad (not the ones DH bought!)
  12. Chicken wraps with peppers, cucumbers
  13. Pork loin, grilled vegetables, pasta salad
  14. Italian sausage on buns, french fries
  15. Chicken Alfredo, mixed vegetables
  16. Vegetable curry and basmati rice
  17. Rice crust vegetable and cheese quiche 
  18. Tuna noodle hot dish and vegetables 
  19. Chicken Cordon Bleu, broccoli cheese rice
  20. Use it up vegetable noodle soup, Homemade wheat bread
  21. Hamburger, onion, veg, assorted cheese(whatever is left to use up)flat bread homemade pizza (since we had spaghetti meatless, I have an extra 1/2 pound of hamburger)


  1. Hubby does the same thing. I try and not ask him to pick anything up but it still happens. I am trying to meal plan for a cabin with a two burner hotplate, minifridge and bbq for all meals for five days :) I am trying to mine the freezer for easy meals. Scallops, hot dogs, steaks and chicken breasts. I am also taking 2 coolers though so might have to buy more ice when I get there.

    1. We are short spaced at lake as well so need coolers.He just thinks on a whim-but I'll try working with what he buys but frozen burritos?

  2. My parents made dinner this week. So far, we've had: chicken enchiladas (with chips & guac), lasagna, & quiche. We've had leftovers once, and we will likely get pizza tonight, as it will be a crazy day for sure. I've spent close to $200 of my $625 monthly budget, so I'm in decent shape for staying on track this month.

    Good luck with your challenge!

    1. Delicous menu. Good for you staying on track.

  3. If your dh is onboard with your meal plan he is old enough to not derail the plan. My dh never just picks up stuff, he hates shopping of any kind. I guess I am lucky. When he does go with me he acts like a kid in a candy store so he lets me shop.

    1. He's amused by my plan and won't see his little stops as derailing.

  4. How often does he get his own ice cream? Does he ever buy what others like? Maybe if you show him the figures, he will quit recreational shopping. Do you ever repeat a meal during the month or strive for a different meal each day? It's just me here, so no one bringing in stray

    1. I don't eat most ice cream and DD2 will eat small amounts of any kind. I don't mind repeating but when trying to use up what I have and sttetch, it just ends up being different. Leftovers are lunches particularly summers when no school.


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