Sunday, November 4, 2018

Just a Boring Menu Planning Post

I'm trying to get organized for the week. I think I'll go back to just listing meal possibilities rather than trying to assign a meal to a specific day. Things worked differently last week, but still worked out so the flexibility of knowing there are meals  ready to go, help. I hope to do some meal prep before we head to a concert later this afternoon as well. I'm soaking beans for soup, those will go in the crock pot in the morning tomorrow with vegetables and broth, much frozen later for future meals. DD1 and I are going to a Blogger event on Wednesday a kick-off holiday event for a floral, d├ęcor, and gift center. We get "wined and dined" (snacks and punch) and get to create a take home little arrangement. Social media is part of her knew job, so she is hoping to make local connections. With that in mind, I need something easy for DD2 and DH to heat up since I won't be home. I have  frozen chub of ground beef, three pounds to cook down today and ready for multiple meals. 

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. 

14 comments:

  1. Several weeks ago, our local store (a Kroger company) had whole chickens discounted at $0.48/lb. Those are going to figure in greatly this month, as I am also trying to clear out our freezer in preparation of our move. In fact, this afternoon's Sunday dinner is a roast chicken. I know the family will be "fowled out" come Thanksgiving, as they put it. For DH's part, he says food at that price tastes better, even though he is not much of a fan of chicken. Here at my house, we are heading into "Holiday Food" season. I think the Chex Mix will get baked next weekend, and DH will pick up a summer sausage at Costco. I am STILL picking apples. I think later this week we will have a pork roast slow cooked with sauerkraut and apples.
    Have a great week, Sam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At that price, I'd risk my family being fowled out! I'll keep my ey out for the holiday staples sales as well, but if I buy for that, I have a holiday food item budget for Christmas. I found recently though that unless the Chex brand gets really discounted, I'll just use store brand as over a dollar a box difference is huge when you need three boxes. Same with items like baking chocolate-if the cocoa % is the same, the quality of my finished stuff seems just the same. Pork and cooked apples sound so good!

      Delete
  2. Are you still able to get ground beef at a decent price? It is so expensive here, I have cut right back on red meat (not a bad thing). We are eating a lot more pork and chicken and less meat altogether. In my grocery tally I include any savings I get ie my budget is $575 CAD and I came in at for example 550. I had really came in at $575 less coupons/points I used so my true tally is $550.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I count what I physically spend at the stores as the out of pocket cost, including coupons, sale prices etc. but not the "bonus" cards for future spending. For example, this month so far I was givien $15 in Target cards. I don't decrease what I say I spent by $15 now, but later, when I spend those free $15, I'll count the savings because it will decrease my out of pocket at that time. What I have read is that a person spends $50, gets a $10 gift card, so then will say they only spent $40. Then later, when they use the gift card and get say $20 worth of stuff for $10, they'll say again, they saved $10. They still spent $60 on $70 worth of stuff, but their calculation make it sound like they think they only spent $50. I digress. YEs, beef is ridculoulsy expensive. This 3 + chub of meatcame to $2.50 per pound, which is t least $150 less than had I bought it fresh. It seems to be about the same quality as the 75-25 that sometimes goes on sale for $3.33 for a non-frozen 3 pound chub. We too are eating more chicken and pork, partially because the tariffs have created a situation where pork farmers are not able to sell as much internationally, thus there is a lot on the local market (While they lose money-sad) Meatless meals, or greatly reduced amounts of meals with meat will factor heavily on our menu.

      Delete
  3. I've got 9 dinners in my head(and on paper now)for Nov.(not counting the turkey day one). Throw in a few leftover nights and I'm calling it 12 nights planned. Time will tell if I'm successful or not. lolz

    I've got 16 packs of TP in the garage but when it cost me $2 after sale and Qs I still bought 1 more. lolz

    I save all my rebates, cash refunds, etc. for Dec. and apply them then. It's more fun that way to save them up and feel a big success when one doesn't spend as much(or anything if one is lucky)on a whole month of food shopping.
    I track my savings rate all month/all year on what I pay OOP vs. buying full retail price but really, I hardly ever buy anything full retail price at the grocery store. It irks me when I need to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always enjoyed how you track-the right way! Just like when people justify spending beyond their budget to earn freebies-they still spent more than they intended! I know the stores count on that. While I don't have your financial finesse in the stores, I don't fall for that baloney. I'll stock up on things we need and will use, and like you, love the thrill later to be able to shop for pennies on the dollar because I saved my "earnings". Target gift cards and Kohl's cash seem to be about the only place I can do that though.

      Delete
  4. It is nice that you are stocked up. Shoot the time savings of not having to shop is worth a lot also.
    I am not sure if I am even planning anything other than to look in the freezer and fridge and eat whatever needs cooking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tonight I'll do more prep while home alone. I'm trying to plan better.

      Delete
  5. I love reading menu posts; finding out what others are doing on a daily basis is a lovely post indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simple people often have interesting lives-not me but some people.

      Delete
  6. I know what you mean about counting the same saving twice, I know we all play games with ourselves when it comes to budgeting, but it all needs to add up properly!

    My main supermarket is doing a 'collect store points for Christmas' promotion at the moment. Although we don't do all of our grocery shopping there it looks like we'll have enough to pay for our main December shopping trip - not much money as there are only two of us, but it's still a big bonus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we don't shop enough at the stores that do the turkeys, hams etc. but I'll pass on to our church that use for meals.

      Delete
  7. We are planning on a mix of freezer meals + weekend leftovers. Egg roll in a bowl (with rice & potstickers), dragon noodles with leftover burgers, & butternut squash soup, and then perhaps a chicken rice pilaf. We're trying to clear out space in the freezer, so this should work well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope freezing soup flat will help with storage. Your menu sounds really good.

      Delete

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.