My grocery bill for the past 8 days was $23.53. This includes lunches and dinners for 4. Let me clarify - that is what I spent at the grocery store to add to what we had in our home to feed us for 8 days this past week [all our breakfast needs were met by having a full pantry for that stuff]. I bought 2 lbs of hamburger, 1 1/2 gallons of milk, 1 lb of bologna, 1 bag of chips, 1 bag of pretzels, 10 apple juice boxes, 1 bag of 10 apples and 2 loaves of bread.
Lunches this week for the kidlets were: Bologna sandwiches, pretzels, apple, apple juice and 3 girl scout cookies [yeah, have a lot of those :) -they are so cute I can't resist]. Dad has had leftovers all week. Mom had bologna sandwiches or soup.
Here is why - Well, after paying all the utilities two weeks ago I discovered that we kind of had our behinds kicked a little bit -[A $358 gas bill? Meh, but this month it is only $175 -yay Spring]. I refuse to tap savings if we can manage otherwise.
Anyway this meant - no monies in the monthly budget to do our weekly grocery shopping trip.
Ta-Da! Pantry diving. Which is basically going through the freezer and the pantry and seeing what you have stocked up on [sales/coupons] and make meals from that. I discovered I hoard food. LOL. Seriously, if I see rice on sale I buy two. Vegetables? Canned/Frozen - an extra goes in the cart if I have the coupon or they are on sale. Canned soup [which I abhor, but is a quick fix for a fast grilled cheese/soup dinner or lunch for Mom] always goes into the cart when on sale. I even used coupons a few months ago for stuff I would never otherwise buy, but looked good and surprise! They made great dinners. Oh, and I always have spaghetti sauce and pasta [lordy we would never starve for the pasta I keep in the house]. We even had all the ingredients to make doggie biscuits from scratch last Saturday.
Here was our menu from the past week [like y'all care!]:
Thursday: Baked Potatoes stuffed with Steamed Fresh Veggies and homemade cheddar sauce
Friday: Grilled Cheese and canned soup for me and Dad since the girls were out at "Teen Night"
Saturday: Breakfast for Dinner - Pancakes, Sausage, Fried Eggs and Spiced Apples
Sunday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Monday: Salmon Cakes, Chicken Rice A Roni and Steamed Fresh Broccoli
Tuesday: Chicken Mozzarella over rotini with marinara sauce and side of canned corn ***
Wednesday: Fried Shrimp and French Fries
Thursday: Fish Fillets w/Tartar sauce, Rice and canned peas
Friday: Grilled Cheese and canned soup again for me and Dad because of "Teen Night"
I think I could've thrown Tuna Casserole into the mix if I wanted to.
Now before you judge any of this - I know, I know...that is a lot of canned/frozen food and the healthy content is a bit lacking, but none of these meals took longer to prepare then 30 minutes - all were filling and there is some nutrition in there. I think :).
Alas, now my pantry and freezer are a bit depleted. I will spend the day studying the ads for sales and clipping the coupons. I just hate the idea of not having food in the house.
But, as I said, there is always pasta :). ***and y'all want this recipe, trust me.