I'm at $237 for the month of November. I know that sounds huge for a budget of $400, but we are stocked to the gills not only n the food pantry and freezer department, but in toiletries and cleaning supplies. I spent a small fortune on TP-$42 on three humongous packages but won't need to buy again until the new year. I earned a $10 gift card at Target. Likewise, I bought shampoo and conditioner, and earned another $5. I didn't decrease the $15 form my grocery spend tally as I'll use those towards Christmas to help that budget stay in check. I question when I read how some bloggers will discount earnings from what they spent, then later include those same earning cards as "free" spending. To me, it can't be both, so I choose to count what I spend as the spend amount, then later, appreciate the savings when I apply the gift cards or earning values.
Meal options for the week:
- Cheese ravioli with vegetables (crock pot meal)
- Burritos with rice and refried beans
- Goulash with corn (double batch-freeze half to bake later after adding another can of seasoned tomato's)
- Bean soup and ham sandwiches
- Pork roast, mashed potatoes, and green beans (reserve 2/3rd for other recipes)
- Roast chicken, roasted potato's, steamed vegetables (reserve meat and bones for two more recipes)
- Pork fried rice with mixed vegetables and Asian salad
- Thai peanut noodles with pork carrots and celery
- Chicken cacciatore, steamed vegetables
- Chicken noodle soup with vegetables, biscuits
Above are ten different options, so this takes me into next week. Following this plan will leave me with leftovers for a night, portions for lunches, plus three frozen meals. I'll have two meals worth of hamburger already cooked along with some brats and chicken breast still in the freezer, essentially 1/2 the month taken care of. If I reserve $0 or so for extra Thanks giving items, I'll still have a budget of $40 a week for topping off my huge first week shop. This will mostly go towards fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, eggs, and bread, with a few meat items to round out our diets. While menus, grocery shopping and household spending are not exciting, it is here where I feel control. My shopping and meal plan force me to do a lot of scratch cooking this month, but I'll double up and use the crock pot whenever I can to cut the hands on time. Wish me luck and please share your own adventures in meal planning in November.