So far (all 2 days of it!), we've been pretty good in the "Eating from the Pantry" challenge. I'm trying to remember "it's all about attitude" and think of my new grocery budget as an adventure rather than a restriction.
I'm going to keep track of what we're eating to keep myself accountable. I won't be keeping up with our breakfast dishes because we always eat at home (or not at all in my hubby's case). I am forcing myself to eat up some things I'm not really crazy about, like Instant Oatmeal...today's flavor, Peaches n Cream. Let's just say I'll be very happy when all those packets are finished & won't be buying more anytime soon.
Here's what we've had so far:
Lunch - Leftover Chinese (yum! I love the Lee Family!!)
Dinner - Shredded Beef Tacos w/ Rice
Note: I combined the leftover rice & beef with some black beans I soaked overnight & cooked today in the crockpot to create a small "Fiesta Casserole" to store in the freezer. So, another "pantry" meal ready for later this month! All I'll do is top it with cheese & cook, then serve with shredded lettuce, sour cream, & salsa. Yummy!
Lunch - Ham & Cheese Loaf w/ Waffle Fries (All from the "pantry"...had half a French Loaf leftover in the freezer, so I defrosted it & put some spicy mustard on my half, then topped with leftover Thanksgiving Ham and mozzarella cheese. Wouldn't have been my first choice of cheese, but it's what we had & it was really tasty!)
Dinner - Pizza & Game Night with friends...so tonight was a "splurge" on the pantry challenge. Our good friends came over w/ their 2 little ones & we ordered pizza. I could have made pizzas from scratch w/ all the ingredients I have here, but I didn't. Oh well. I did pay with cash from my Christmas money, so we'll see at the end of the month if I choose to include this in our food bill (& reimburse my Christmas fund) or treat it as a Christmas splurge. =)
I made an "emergency" trip to the grocery store today because we were out of YoBaby Yogurt & Applesauce. Staples in my child's diet. I also bought some beer because the hubs wanted some with his pizza & I needed two for some Beer Bread mix I plan on using up this month. Total spent $15
Tomorrow I'm hoping to have some "alone time" & check out a few grocery stores (Walmart, Aldi, Sam's Club) prices in making my "Price Book". This is a concept Mary Ostyn highly recommends in her new book, which is awesome for the frugal cook. According to her book, she thinks you can spend $75/person/month on groceries. This means that our food budget should really only be $225/ month. I would be ECSTATIC if we could get our budget that low, but my goal for now is just to stay under $400. Baby steps...