Thursday, August 16, 2012

Week 6 of Feeding 4 on $50 (Pressing the Reset Button...)

We're on Week 6 of the challenge, and it's getting insanely a little tight...

I just can’t catch up after the $20 overspending last week. I tried. I worked and reworked that shopping list, but there just isn’t a way if we’re going to drink milk and eat eggs and meat. (I’m so picky, eh?) … so we’ll just pretend that overage didn’t happen, and start over. 

It’s not called a challenge for no reason. This is tough! 
I’m having a hard time with a few things in particular:

- We’re still a Meat-and-Potatoes family at heart, so meatless dishes are challenging to rotate into our menu. Beans and rice go a long way and are healthy and all that, but I’m still learning how to make them taste good. Let’s just say the kids aren’t the only ones who aren’t excited about meals sometimes…

- Limits. I don’t especially enjoy monitoring milk intake so closely for example. I limit the children to one glass of milk each day, plus two bowls of cereal. (one for breakfast, one for night snack). I hate counting food portions. It makes me feel like a selfish scrooge.
    Thankfully, these are feelings, not facts.   Limits are important. They help us live within our means (a rare lifestyle and skill in our culture), reminds us to appreciate what we have, and prevents overeating.  Those are excellent rewards for minimal sacrifice!

So, beginning back at a $50 budget for this week…

Here’s the menu plan

(note the insane increased amount of rice and beans? It's what I have alot of, so that's what we're eating this week. We are REALLY looking forward to the freezer full of chicken in a few weeks! And pork in November…)


(In rotation)
Bacon and Eggs
Pancakes & frozen strawberries


2x Tuscan Bean Soup
Picnic (sandwiches, fruits, granola bars)
2x leftovers


Edamame Stirfry & Brown Rice
White Bean Chili
2x Pasta and “meat” sauce (hoping to pull of some bean-replacing magic here…)
Pinto Bean Tacos
Black Bean Couscous
Hamburger, Baked Potatoes

Possible exchanges:

-Meatballs, Mushroom gravy, Baked Potatoes. (if there’s enough meat)
- Potato Skins
- Potato Soup

 (stay tuned for links to some of these recipes!) 

Apples (with Peanut Butter)
Potato Skins (if not used as meal)
Pita Chips (pitas from freezer; cut, baked and seasoned)
Homemade Granola Bars (my FAVE)
Fresh Garden Carrots with (store bought) Ranch Dressing
Buns with jam / peanut butter

Here's the Shopping List:

Sour Cream $2.29 - $2 coupon = $0.29
Pullups / Goodnights               = $12.00 
Cheese                                    = $  5.00
Bacon                                     = $  3.00   
Bread                                     =  $  3.00
Tomato Sauce     $1.00-$0.50  = $ 0 .50
Eggs                                       = $  2.00
Taco Kits  x2                          = $  7.00
Ground Beef   $7-$4cpn          = $  3.00
Milk x2                                   = $  9.00

Total:    $ 44.79  

(It'll help too, when nighttime pants become unnecessary...) 

Taco Kits are definitely not a need, but with each package having a $4 coupon for meat, it's almost silly not to! 


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