Monday, December 31, 2012

menu plan monday & pantry challenge


I know.

It's been a while. As usual, things have been keeping my on my toes, when I'm not flat on my butt and being dragged behind a locomotive.

The time has come to refocus and get serious. It's New Year's Eve ~ that time of year when everyone gets retrospective and reevaluates their actions and goals. I'm no different. At times I want to reject the obvious and trite here, but it really is a good thing to reflect and plan. This is as a good a time as any.

Since school started in August, I have had a lackadaisical attitude towards menu planning. Sure, while making my grocery list I jotted down a few menu items and generally made those during the week. But I wasn't serious about using the list to guide my shopping in a money saving way. It was mostly so I didn't forget supplies for dinners. You know that budget I have for groceries?

Pfft! What budget?

Not a healthy attitude.

To start the new year off on the right foot, I am back on the planning-and-sticking-to-the-budget wagon.

This we are having:
  • quesadillas
  • chicken taco casserole
  • baked potato soup
  • beef stroganoff 
  • creamy jambalya pasta (new)
  • bbq chicken pizza & side salad

We have a tradition of eating out on New Year's Eve and getting home before anything crazy happens on the streets, so we will be doing that.

For the last couple of years, January has been the month of the Pantry Challenge. Yup. Doing it again. 

These are my Pantry Challenge 2013 goals (very similar to last year):

1. Use items from the pantry and freezer.

2. Stock the pantry. Our grocery store has case sales in January. While I'm going to take advantage of the case sales for some things, I'm not going crazy. We still actually have some items left over from the last case sale this past summer.

3. Save money. This goal is a two-part goal. My primary goal is to absolutely stay within my weekly budget of $140 (or $700 for the whole month of January with 5 grocery shopping trips). My secondary goal is to spend only $100 per week (or $500 for the month). I did the shopping for week one yesterday. I came in under my primary goals by $15! But, since there was not a morsel of ground beef or sliver of chicken in the freezer I had to do a little bit of stocking up on meats. There are some other meats that will be featured in meals this month, but none of our go-to staples.

What about you? Are you meal planning? Are you taking part in the Pantry Challenge?

I'm linking up with and Good Cheap Eats.