Monday, January 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Four Weeks of (Being) Frugal!

It’s a new week, and that means a new menu! You know the song, the “Twelve Days of Christmas?” Well, this is kind of similar... only we are going to call it the “Four Weeks of Frugal Eating!” This week’s menu is going to kick off a round of themed menus on this blog – and the theme is “let’s see how much money we can save on groceries and food, since I overspent so much on the holidays this year!” LOL!

Due to some (ahem!!) excessive spending over the holidays (not to mention excessive eating), one of my goals for January and February is to see how many yummy, creative, healthy and yet-still-frugal meals we can squeeze out of what is currently in my freezer and pantry. It’s really just a challenge to myself, but I also have another motive – it is that time of year when we defrost and clean the freezer, and also remove everything and thoroughly clean the fridge. I do my “spring cleaning” in the winter, because by early March we are covered up in pollen here and can’t open doors or windows for a while. So, in the name of economy and winter cleaning, I decided I had better figure out just exactly what has been lurking in my freezer and pantry – and eat it! The first week will be easy. I figure by week 4 we will really be scraping the bottom of the barrel, but we shall see!

I hope to be able, for at least four weeks in a row, to avoid buying much of anything at the store except groceries (non-food items) and a few perishables that we go through quickly, like milk and sandwich bread. Also, of course, we will need seasonal produce to go along with each meal, but that is not generally the area where I run over budget. I go over on “fun” items, like expensive cheeses, treats like chocolate, bargains I just can't refuse, etc.

So, let’s see how I do! Want to come along and watch? I will try to report back each week and ‘fess up to whatever I’ve had to buy for these menus. I hope it will help me be aware of what we’re buying and spending. Feel free to follow along and keep me accountable!!!

Week 1: Dinners

Sunday: Pepper Steak, Brown Rice (movie night)

Leftover Pepper Steak, Brown Rice, and Broccoli

Tuesday: Atkins Park Pork Tenderloin, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Sautéed Green Beans

Wednesday: Burgers, Baked Beans, Garlic and Rosemary Oven Fries

Thursday: Tilapia with Baby Lima Beans, Garlic Toast (hmmm… lots of garlic on the menu this week!)

Friday: Halibut with Artichokes, Herb-Buttered Noodles, Wilted Greens (probably Chard)

Saturday: Visiting with friends

After reviewing the pantry and freezer situation, we had everything we needed for these meals except for a can of diced tomatoes (I know, I don’t know whether it’s wonderful or terrible that I have this much food hanging around the house, but it’s just hubby and me so we don’t eat things as quickly as some!). We also needed milk and eggs and a couple of grocery items, but all in all I think we did pretty well on our grocery budget for the week.

(It’s a good thing, too, because whatever we saved on groceries, we promptly spent on the other side of Target, buying junk for the house... but we won’t talk about that right now ;-)

I’ll report back on how we do. For more menu-planning inspiration, check out Menu Plan Monday over at OrgJunkie! Hope you all have a great week!!!

Love, Dahrlin’


Connordog said...

We've been on a fit cleaning out the fridge, pantry and freezer too! I hardly bought any candy making ingredients during the holidays since I had bought a bunch on sale last year!

So I know the feeling. It feels good to get it all cleaned out though!

Lora said...

I love getting creative with what's on hand--I usually find stuff that I'd totally forgotten about.

Michelle said...

Yeah... I've got a few things that need to be cleaned out of our freezer. Like if school actually is called off tomorrow... I think we may be having beef stew! :)

teachermomof2 said...

Your menu sounds great. We just cleaned out our cupboards when remodeling, so we've been using what we have and saving a few dollars.

Live.Love.Eat said...

Wishing you luck on your frugal journey. I would be so bad at this. Your menu sounds great. Garlic is our friend!!!!!!!!

Angie's Spot said...

Good job on the grocery budget cutting! And isn't Target evil like that. I've stayed away as I NEVER get out of there without spending at least $20. And those trips are few and far between.

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