Weekly Meal Plan #10: Pantry Challenge

Sweet Pea supervises her father's baking process

Sweet Pea supervises her father’s baking process

Recent career changes in our home forced my husband and I to take a good long look at our finances. We decided to modify our monthly budget… and by that, I mean we decided to start keeping one. This is still a fairly new concept for us (we always used to “guestimate” where our money meant, by which I mean we were well-intentioned but hadn’t a darn clue).

I anticipate an influx of new posts wholly devoted to budgeting. The relevant news for this particular post is that I’ve got big priorities in the kitchen: to reign in our grocery bill while (a) providing tasty, healthy food that (b) doesn’t take a year and a day to prepare.

And since this is a five-week month and I need to make a Costco trip to replenish staples, I’m trying to pinch every penny until it screams in supplication. Which doesn’t mean I’m willing to give up our autumnal treat! (Especially since we already purchased the sugar pie pumpkins…)

Behold, a week of attempting to eat what we already have around the house.

* * * * *

Pumpkin/Apple Treat: pumpkin pie bread pudding and apple pie (Sweet Pea’s been begging to go to Grandma’s and make pie. Today’s the day!)

October $$$ Saver: making my own bread this week! (I promise to post the full recipe later. Really.)  

The Random: Holy Yum Chicken with beet roesti

Vegetarian: Mark Bittman’s lentil soup

Pantry Challenge: easy cheesy zucchini bake with pork chops and Seeds of Change quinoa (I plan to fry the pork chops with a bit of South African smoke seasoning)

The Big Easy: crockpot lasagna with garlicky beet greens on the side (just chop up the beet greens and sauté them with garlic. So good!)  

Crockpot/Freezer: chicken enchilada soup

Pizza/Pasta: Traci’s macaroni and cheese

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Meal Plan #10: Pantry Challenge

  1. I know I’ve been terrible in keeping up with you but you know but I do follow your blog and facebook all the time. I know you’re burned out and it’s early but you’re pushing yourself so hard! You were the best (not one of the best, THE BEST) teacher I ever had and even though I turn 22 tomorrow I still talk about you all the time. You still are an AMAZING person, mom, teacher. Everything! I promise.

    But why would I post on the budget post of all posts? Because I started budgeting too! I use this program, http://www.youneedabudget.com/ there’s a 34 day trial in here and you in inset your banking statements (it’s like a .ofc and can be downloaded from more web banking places.) It has a free 9 email ‘class’, which was beyond helpful for me. It’s a bit time consuming at first as you label transactions and categorize them but you can trim it down to around 15 minutes a month if you try. It shows you where and how you spend your money, and you get a better idea of where you can cut down… but you have to be realistic with it, just like any other budget. I seriously recommend giving it a go. 🙂

    I’m always here if you need words of encouragement just drop me an email, or a line on facebook. ❤

    • Ariana,

      How lovely to hear from you! And thank you for the words of encouragement. They mean more than you know. Seriously. When I have a tough day at work I sometimes close my eyes and think about the class of 2010. I remember how amazing you were as students. I flash back to some of the best Apples to Apples games we played. And then I think about the amazing things you’re all doing with your lives and I think, “Okay. It’s worth it.” That goes doubly for you, Ariana, when I think of all the challenges you’ve overcome! I am so proud of you, and so honored to have been part of your education.

      Also: we’re also using YNAB! We got it in August, so I’d say we’re still in the learning phase. But you’re right. It’s a great product. I was thinking about doing a whole post on it, actually.

      Drop me a line when you’re on Winter Break. I’d love to see you! (I’m due New Year’s Eve, so hopefully I won’t be in process of having a baby right when you’re back in town…)

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