Monday, January 2, 2012

menu plan monday ~ pantry challenge month ~ week one

Woo! Ready for a new year?

Here at the Robinson house, we are working on getting back on track with things ~ like menu planning.  I actually have been menu planning for most of the ending weeks of 2011, I just didn't post about it.

On the menu this week:

  • baked potato soup
  • king ranch chicken
  • chicken spaghetti
  • slow cooker beef stew
  • cream cheese chicken
  • meatloaf
  • vegetable soup

Most of the items on the list are the exact items from my list last week, but I bought a ham at the grocery store at the last minute, so we had ham and scalloped potatoes plus some other recipes involving ham. That sure did make menu planning for this week a piece of cake.

Along with the weekly menu planning, we are participating in the Pantry Challenge. Here are my goals for the Pantry Challenge:

1. Use up items from the pantry and freezer. Right about now you're saying, "Uh, hello, isn't that why it's called a Pantry Challenge?" Yes, yes, it is. My hope is to use items that need to be used before throwing them away. For example, we have a nearly full, large container of fried onions left over from Thanksgiving. Since it is already opened, the window of usage is coming quickly to a close. I'd rather find a way to use it besides green bean casserole than throw it away. Check back as the month goes along and I will share with you how I used a few those odds and ends.

2. Stock the pantry. Oh, I'm really confusing you now, aren't I? When we participated in the Pantry Challenge last year, we realized that our grocery store has case sales in January. The store will be having case sales again this coming week. There is no better time to stock up on pantry staples than during a case sale. All the same stuff you're going to eat anyway, only cheaper. By focusing on clearing the pantry of older items, I am freeing up grocery budget money to stock up for later. See? Not so crazy after all.

3. Save money. When Greg took over the family accounting and bills over a year ago, he gave me a grocery budget based on what we'd spent in the previous months. That number was $132 a week. This is basically groceries only. I have a separate budget for household items from Costco and Target. For 2012, he has increased my budget to $140 a week. However, for the month of January my goal is to spend only $100 a week, or $500 for the whole month. Since we do our grocery shopping on Sunday or Tuesday, there are 5 shopping times in January. So far, I've spent $130. This is over my weekly January budget, but I plan to make up the difference in the coming weeks.

So how about you? Are you taking the Pantry Challenge this month? Are you menu planning?

I'm linking up with Organizing Junkie (menu plan) and Good Cheap Eats (Pantry Challenge).


1 comment:

kbeeps said...

Saw your link on orgjunie. Your menu looks great! I haven't made King Ranch chicken in many, many months - it is so good. I should add it to my menu!