Monday, August 9, 2010

Six 1/2 Meals vs. One Month

It is very easy to grab a quick meal and not think about the cost when you are in a hurry.  In the summer months especially we eat out more than any other time of the year for a variety of reasons.  In the scope of things I am much more frugal than I have ever been in my adult life, but I still have plenty of room for improvement.  As I have posted previously, my food system keeps me on budget and I will spend much less on food than eating out for sure. 

With the new school year quickly approaching, and our household schedule about to go from the lazy days of summer to chaotic, it's time for me to stop loafing around and buckle down and get my menu on track.  I had become sidetracked this past month due to summer traveling.

To get back on track, I started by making a menu, checked the pantry for the items I needed and made my shopping list.  I visited a market this week that I don't usually shop in.  I was comparing prices which I like to do occasionally to touch base with what other supermarkets have to offer.  I did not find them to my liking and went to my normal market to finish my shopping.  Between the two markets this is what I purchased for my menu for the month.

I will be purchasing additional milk and bread and a couple dozen eggs from another market.  There are trays of ground beef not pictured, and *gasp* yes, those are boxed dinners you see!   On nights when I am studying and things are crazy my dh or I can make a box dinner.  It's still much more economical than eating fast food.  I used to think that serving a box meal to my family after being a stay at home mom was horrible.  Surely I could find the time somehow to make every meal from scratch...  I have since stopped worrying about trying to juggle it all and let June Cleaver go back to TV Land.  Trying to be "perfect" was wearing me out. Simply concentrate on doing the best I can with the crazy schedules we have and put dinner on the table is what matters right now.  In a perfect world every single meal would be home cooked with love.  Well, this is for all of you that struggle with this too.  It may not be made from scratch, but it is cooked at home, with love for anyone dining with us!  It is what I can do and... we are sticking to our budget and not eating out yet another budget breaking meal.  

So how many meals can I get from the food I purchased plus what I had in the pantry, and what did I spend????  Lets do a breakdown;  I spent $150.93 on food and plan to spend an approximately $20.00 more for eggs, milk and bread. I will spend approximately  170.93 on food this month. From the menu alone  I will be able to make the following meals and serve these dishes for our family of four two adults, and two children with left overs.  The number in front of the dish is how many times our family will be able to eat this meal.  The boxed dinner's are not listed.  They are for nights when I am not cooking unexpectedly.  The average per meal is approximately $5.03 purely from what I spent divided by 30.  This is intentionally a very rough estimate to illustrate a point.

On the way home from the market I stopped to purchase fast food for the four of us since it was near a meal time.  The total for the four of us for ONE meal was 26.44.  One entree each, and two large drinks and two med. sides to share.  With the items in my pantry from past bargain shopping and pantry stocking I am making 30 main meals this month not including the breakfast, snack, and lunch supplies I have on hand as well.

If we ate the meal I stopped and bought for $26.44 roughly 6 1/2 times it would equal the cost of our grocery bill that I am spending this month!  If that doesn't make you stop and think....  When I  am finding myself starting to get off track I will remember this and keep myself in line!

I planned these meals:

2-Spinach Manicotti
2-Hungry Man Crock pot
3-Fred's Favorite Meatloaf
2-Crock  Pot Chuck Roast
2-Cheesy Chicken Rice Casserole
2-Prospector Stew
2-Cajun Rice and Sausage
1-Chicken Quesadillas
1-Tomato Pie
2-Stuffed Green Peppers
1-Spaghetti with meat sauce
2-Hungry Man Crock pot
3-Chicken Noodle Soup with mashed potatoes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you ever gone to the site: She is a homemaker keeping to a certain amount of $ used for grocery shopping per week. She is challenging herself. She has many good ideas and many link to her with their recipes and such too. I like this site. Sarah