Sunday, March 18, 2018

Another Self Imposed Grocery Challenge

What did we end up eating the last week?

Sunday-leftover lunch, DH frozen pizza, DD2 and I hotel picnic
Monday-DH Chicken Cordon blue(frozen ones to just bake) and rice, DD2 and I stopped and shared assorted DQ items, surpsingy with no ice cream
Tuesday- Baked chicken, mashed potatos, creamed corn
Wednesday-DH and I went out for date night, DD2 leftover chicken cordon blue and rice
Thursday-Ham and cheese toasted on bagette (bought a $0.51 bagette at Walmart clearanced, spinach salad, DD2 ate at her friends
Friday-Spaghetti and meatballs, spinach salad
Saturday-Tuna croquettes/cakes, sweet potato wedges, green beans. DH and I also had some wings with our beers when we joined friends for an ealry evening out 

I'm tallying the numbers after a quick stop for mailing envelopes, milk, bananas, eggs and a couple avocados. I have a tad bit over $106 for the remainder of the month. With what I have already purchased that will go towards Easter, I'm giving myself a $45 budget for everything else for th holiday meal, leaving me with $61 the week of March 18th and 25th. I am going to be tight fisted with my families money-we have big plans and fancy meals at home don't play into them. Humble and satisfying is my mantra. It time for a grocery and household supply inventory. Planning ahead meals with what we have on hand is my starting place. I will need laundry soap, fabric softener, and toilet paper, and  dog food for pup, so should plan to set aside $25 for these items. I also can prorate into April $20 for some health and beauty and baking products purchased in larger quantities to maximize savings, giving me $56 for straight up groceries, or a $28 target per week.

I think it is easiest to start with the main portion or protein when I look at what's on hand to eat from the stocks. Meat proteins aren't that plentiful, since there hasn't been great deals and I've been trynig not to overbuy. Still, there are options to get me started.

1 bag, 22 ounces Simeks prepared meatballs-three meals worth
2 large Smoked Sausages
1 Sausage ring-still lingering around from previous meal planning weeks
1 package hot dogs
1 pound dried navy beans
2 cans black beans
1 can garbanzo beans (but will probably reserve to make a pasta salad with tomatoes for my lunches)
6 cans tuna (though I should reserve a few for lunches when we don't have leftovers handy)
1 dozen eggs
8 ounces cheddar
4 ounces pepper jack
4 ounces Colby
1 pound Velveeta-please, no judgment, bought by DH

We don't have much in the way of canned or frozen vegetables, so I think a lot of the budget will go towards fresh or canned/frozen versions of those items. We also must have fresh fruit, though we do have enough bananas, apples, and honey dew in the fridge for about 2-3 days after this weekend. I also have frozen berries and mixed fruit and canned pineapple.

Looking above, here are a few meal options to get me started. An * means I do not have these items, or we are low and will need to be purchased.

Meatballs and gravy, potatoes* and vegetables*
Penne pasta and red sauce with meatballs
Sliced Smokes sausages in spicy black beans and rice, steamed corn*
Hot dogs on buns* with french fires* and baked beans
Ring Sausage, au gratin potatoes*, green beans*
Navy beans soup, with carrots*, celery* and onions, crackers* and cheese slices
Tuna noodle hotdish, with peas*
Homemade baked macaroni and cheese, mixed vegetables*
Rice crust cheesy quiche with steamed broccoli*, honeydew
Grilled cheese using the Velveeta, again no judgment please) sandwiches and tomato soup
Tuna cakes or croquettes (my croquettes were more like tuna cakes), rice pilaf, and some sort of vegetable*

My * items roughly come to $14 in my head. Add milk and bread, another bag of apples and a few more bananas, I will most likely be at around $23, leaving me a few bucks and several meal options to take into the following week. I am such a nerd when it comes to these things, but the challenge has me fueled. Can I get those items for less than $13? What about my $25 set aside for household items that are not groceries? Can I get pups dog food on sale or find a coupon? Can I creatively come up with a new recipe or two that my family likes and is healthy? What about snacking? Can I maximize my baking supplies, popcorn, and miscellaneous food items for quick on the go snacks without using too much or any of the budget there. The game is on folks.

Someone's pantry-not mine. 


  1. Looks like a fun challenge! I'm back to attempting to restock the freezer & just generally get prepared, after really struggling with meals over the past few weeks. I made a fabulous chicken curry yesterday, that will serve us for mulitple meals, and M will make rice & kebabs this evening. I ay also make a third dish for the freezer - we'll see how productive I am. :-)

    For snacks, I like to make a homemade granola bar that's pretty quick & easy.

    1. I have everything for those bars I believe. I need to prep ahead today a bit.

  2. SAM, I can't wait to read the follow up post to this one and see your success! =) After going over my own (self imposed) lowered grocery budget for March, I too have to get creative. I'm going to try to treat this like a fun challenge...even if I have a picky 15 year old daughter! LOL

    1. My pasta lover though just begged off noodles for at least a few days. I guess I'll start with rice and potato's.

  3. You've got this, even with your busy life. I need to shop for our Easter BBQ (we are doing ribs this year instead of our traditional turkey) which includes pie filling/shortening but other than that I am still eating down the freezer. Hardly made any kind of dent in there at all. The only thing I have put back in is some bacon as got it deeply discounted and some bananas past their eat raw date for muffins later.

    1. My frozen banana stash has grown. I'll be making more bread soon. I just saw hams on special a few places. I hope I can find a 7-8 pound, but if they're all bigger, I'll be ahead for April.

  4. Oh I love playing games like this. I have way too much in my freezer right now and need to do the same. In fact I think I am going to play along and only buy produce and milk. I wonder if I can make it until Easter? I know I don't have a ham in the freezer this year.

    1. Please share what you come up with. I enjoy your pantry challenges.

  5. I have mixed feelings about Velveeta. I like it for some things but not for other meals. I think it has been about ten years since I bought any. Maybe I will.

  6. Hi Sam it’s Wendy not sure what’s happened to my account on google it seems to have disappeared lol what’s velveeta? Never heard of it


Join the conversation. Your respectful comments are welcome. Spam and advertising products or services without permission will be deleted, as will anything deemed hurtful to others. A change, I moderate comments older than three days to be sure I read them all and stay ahead of the spam. If you're a blogger, feel free to include your blog URL.