Monday, February 27, 2012

Menu plan Monday and the why

We've been tightening our belts around here after surviving Christmas and two birthdays within a month of each other. I think my credit card might be speaking to me right now, but I'm not sure. It got a workout.

Every month or so, Hubby will look at the finances and tell me where we fall in a number of categories. Eating out is always our downfall, especially Hubby's lunches at work. But the one category that I have complete and yet zero control is our grocery budget. When he reads me the number at the end of the month, it boggles my mind. It makes me mad. I shake an angry fist at the people who keep jacking up food prices (yes, I get that it is a domino effect and they're not doing it for shits and giggles. Let me have my rant). I watch for sales! I use what coupons I have! I buy generic! What the hey!?

I've been planning my meals by the week for awhile now, thanks to a friend who set up a Facebook group for planning and ideas. It's cut down immensely on the "oh crap everything is frozen what the h-e-double hockey sticks are we gonna eat" nights that end up in take-out. Or the afternoons of me flipping through my recipes and sighing heavily when nothing sounds good.

In January, we took it up a notch: a MONTH of meals, so that we could do one big trip for everything I'd need for the month except for milk and produce that wouldn't survive that long.

It was a success in that I stuck to the plan pretty well, which was great since it took all my energy to even make dinner most nights. The downside is that it still didn't save us all that much. Of course, we had a run to Sam's in there for TP and paper towels and other stuff that we won't need for months. I'm blaming that.

February is almost over and I've stuck to the plan again, but I haven't seen the bottom line to know if we've really saved.

I'll keep doing it for next month too, but it's going to get a little more interesting. Hubby wants to stop stock-piling so it's less to worry about if/when we move. It'll be a short enough distance that we don't need to worry about the freezer, but a full pantry will just be a pain. So no more massive cereal-buying sprees when it's on sale and I have coupons. (Hubby had a bowl for a snack last night and said, "Is it bad that the cereal pile (on top of the pantry) is so high I have to jump to get the one I want?")

And on top of all that, last week No. 3 decided s/he wasn't too keen on dairy, which has made meals and snacks harder for me. Doc says it would be strange for lactose issues to just show up, and said it may be a phase. Um, are babies really allowed to have phases in utero?

So this week, we are mostly dairy-free (Tuesday will be interesting).

Monday: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and green beans
Tuesday: Chicken and rice casserole and salad
Wednesday: Pork chops, stuffing and a veggie
Thursday: Spaghetti with smoked sausage, garlic bread and salad
Friday-Sunday: ski trip with another family. I'm making enchiladas for one dinner and bringing pancake mix and a Butter Braid for breakfast contributions.

1 comment:

  1. I've been really considering renewing our Sam's membership. Specifically for things like TP and papertowels that will occasionally go on a good sale, but hasn't lately. Food is SO expensive. I had this exact same rant last night after hitting up Kroger. I use coupons religiously, why am I still spending so much money! Frustrating.