Monday, June 20, 2011

The $18 Challenge

Recent life shake ups left me with the opportunity to reevaluate many aspects of my life.  At the beginning of this month I reworked our family budget.  Like communism, it looked great on paper.  In reality, it needs a lot of tweaking.  When adjusting a budget the most important thing is keeping ALL the receipts.  This will tell you where the money is really going.  When I went through our receipts I realized that our allotted funds for groceries and home upkeep needs to be changed.
I have $18 for this weeks worth of groceries for a family of three.  Two of which can finish a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread in a little over a day.  Time to get creative!  First step figuring out what I have to determine what I need.  I have in the freezer: Shepherd's Pie and stuffed pepper fillings and a batch of Roasted Red Pepper Soup already made; along with assorted seafood, meats, cheeses and veggies.  As far as staples: pastas, spaghetti sauce, dried beans, rice, canned tomatoes, tuna and BBQ sauce.  Fresh stuff, I've got; cauliflower, lettuce, summer squash, carrots, potatoes, onions, cottage cheese and tortillas.  Along with cereal and eggs for breakfast, apples, peanut butter, pretzels and popcorn for snacks, I can do this!
Yesterday I made tacos and used ground beef, lettuce, onion, cheese, tomato and some of the tortillas.
Monday (today) we will have honey mustard baked chicken with carrots and roast cauliflower.
Tuesday I will use the pepper filling to stuff the summer squash and serve with garlic bread.  Might need to make a loaf of bread for this.
Wednesday BBQ pork chops with frozen lima beans, corn and roasted potatoes sounds good.
Thursday I'm thinking about tuna casserole with peas.
Luckily, Friday is pay day, or I could really challenge myself and make lasagna, red beans and rice with cornbread or blackened Tilapia with black beans and corn. 
All I have to buy now is a couple gallons of milk!  This is totally doable and I might even be able to spring for a six pack of beer for my honey.
Having a fully stocked pantry and freezer has once again saved my budget!

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