With a $350 target, I had a much larger cushion than the $140 I wrote about-then, I forgot about items I bought for DD2 before she left on her trip. Last night, neither of us felt like cooking as it approached 6:30, but were hungry after having a light lunch at a grad party then getting tasks done at home all afternoon. We dodged throwing in the spending towel and not eating out by frozen pizza, but other items such as chicken strips (DH's favorite kind) and assorted other basics and non-basics jumped in the cart. (OK when Old Home French Onion chip dip is on sale for $ .80, you must buy two and potato chips to go with it. It is Minnesota law.) Now, I really do have a tight budget to the end of the month of $136.
We now have pizza and chicken strips in the freezer and I had to make room so took out some frozen soup and a loaf of deeply discounted bread. Supper is sorted for tonight now. I know DD2 will get bored quickly with lunches once home, so I want to reserve some of the funds to go towards some brainstormed easy meals for weekday lunches. A challenge within a challenge is to come up with enough main dish meals, hopefully with leftovers, for the 14 days left in June once she returns for $100. No, make that $80 because I'll need a bag of apples and bananas each week as well. That's an average of $5.71 per meal, for three people.
I see veggie curries and fried rice in our future, but I'm not complaining as I love them both. I've the week to plan for so will scour some frugal cooking sites for inspiration. I'll hoard meat portions for DH who might complain. I'll keep track of costs and quantities of ingredients. In the meantime, please share your ideas. This challenge is gun for me, but know this narrow budget planning is a necessity for many.