Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pantry Diving

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.


Yvo Sin said...

I spend $20 a week on groceries for just me... (a bit more if I have a staple that needs replacing)
Actually that's awesome. Steven Shaw just wrote an article recently on living off what's in your pantry instead of the weekly grocery trip and thinks most of us can do it. I've been depleting my pasta supply but know that I could happily live off what's in my pantry and freezer for 2 months (well, I went on a big purge a month ago, so freezer is half empty, a big coup for me), which I plan to do when I am no longer gainfully employed. And your menu sounds fine - not unhealthy! You've got fresh veggies in there! And yeah, you know who cares about reading your menu for the week? I DO I DO :)

Coffeypot said...

Thank God it's just me and Judy. We eat out alot. The stuff in the patry might have expired back in 1987 or there abouts.

Gail said...

You are a very wise woman.

Amy said...

That is such a great post. I think I am going to print it and keep it as a refrence tool, because I have most of those items in my pantry.

I am all about saving money at the grocery store. I am addicted to matching coupons to store circulars. Last night I went and did my weekly shop. I spent $65 and saved $200.00 - crazy!

In NV and UT we have a free site that does it, but if you live outside those states you can use the Grocery Game. I think it costs $5.00/month, but it is so worth it.