Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekly Menu Planning – July 27th

Mon. – Homemade mac & cheese, mixed veggies, apple sauce
Tues. – zipper beans & rice, honey glazed carrots
Wed. – vegetable or chicken potpies, sweet potatoes
Thurs. – creamy potato soup, broccoli
Fri. – homemade pizza (cheese and pepperoni), bread sticks, salad
Sat. – roast chicken, baked tofu, orange soufflĂ©, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies
Sun. – sesame chicken or tofu stir fry, oriental veggies, rice

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Weekly Menu Planning – July 6th

Mon. – Homemade mac & cheese, hot dogs/tofurkey, green beans
Tues. – Spaghetti, garlic bread, salad
Wed. – Veggie rice casserole, bread, fruit
Thurs. – Black bean soup, tortilla chips (purchased last month)
Fri. – Bagel pizzas, salad
Sat. – Meatballs & rice, bread, green beans
Sun. – Greek salad, tazhiki sauce, pita bread

Monthly Challenge – Unprocessed Groceries

I’m a little late in posting this, but I decided to give myself and/or my family a monthly challenge. I thought it might be fun to have a goal to work towards each month.

After reviewing last month’s grocery spending and realizing that it was WAY over budget, I thought that a grocery-based challenge might be a great place to start. Over the past few months, our grocery spending has been all over the place. For some reason, it is one of the most variable areas of spending in our budget. I think that it is primarily because I find myself stocking up on groceries when they are on sale, which then results in higher food bills.

So this month, we will not be purchasing any prepackaged goodies, snacks, cereal, and the like, in hopes of lowering our grocery spending and eating more healthily. We already eat a primarily process-free diet, eating a majority of our meals at home, made from scratch. We will really just be cutting out some of the extras. It shouldn't be too much of a loss. I plan to buy in bulk (from our natural foods store), make all of our snacks (such as granola bars), and try to do some preserving of goods from our garden.

According to a 2007 USDA Publication about the average food costs of individuals and families, it is suggested that our food costs should fall between $631.20 and $1236.10 each month for a family of our size. Now, these figures are for the thrifty plan and the liberal plan. In our efforts to keep to the most frugal ways possible, I would like to see our grocery costs fall between the thrifty and the low-cost plans. The low cost plan would put us at $820.40 per month for our family of five.

An average of the thrifty plan and the low-cost plan puts us at $725.80. My goal is to get our food costs down to $650. I think that is an attainable goal. Let’s see where we are at the end of the month and see what adjustments we need to make.

So far this month we have spent $115.07 on groceries. I’ll keep you updated.