Friday, January 1, 2010

January meal plan and challenge

Soooo, bloggers from all around the Internet are using January for an "Eat from the Pantry Challenge". This means trying to use this month to limit purchases of new food and using up what you have stockpiled in the freezer and pantry. You can save money by limiting how you buy and meal plan from what you already have on hand.
I haven't done an eat from the pantry challenge before, but I am doing one now! Just don't tell my husband because he might feel 'limited' even though he honestly won't notice a difference since I do the shopping and cooking. Our meals will look the same to him.
This is important to me for two reasons:
  1. My freezer is FULL. I plan on buying bulk grass fed beef soon and I need to make room!
  2. I want to decrease my weekly amount spent on groceries, and this will give me some leeway in the budget.

Right now we budget $70 per week in groceries for our family of five. This has been a very comfortable limit for us for the past year, but I'd like to challenge ourselves a little more in this department. That will give us more money to pay the bills!

I did an inventory of our freezers with the intent of posting it to share. However, I was totally embarrassed to discover we could feed a small country for a year easily. I made our monthly meal plan and realized we will only need to buy bread, milk and salad fixings for the entire month!

I am not going to make many rules for myself during this challenge as I don't want to miss out on any stockpiling opportunities that may arise. I do plan to decrease the weekly budget though as I mentioned before.

That said, here is the January meal plan (by date). Lunch is mentioned on weekends/holiday only. To throw a wrench in my plan, the oven died yesterday. Hope a repairman can fix it next week......

  1. Lunch: grilled cheese or soup, fruit. Supper: spaghetti
  2. Lunch: turkey, veggie and chips. Supper: hot dogs, mac 'n cheese
  3. Lunch: sandwiches. Supper: beef stir fry, rice, peas
  4. chicken breasts, green beans, ?rice
  5. pork ribs, salad, corn, fries
  6. beef stew with mixed veggies
  7. pizza
  8. breakfast for dinner: waffles, ?sausage braid or eggs
  9. lunch: sandwiches. Supper: spaghetti
  10. Lunch: pigs in a blanket, fruit smoothie. Supper: chili
  11. chicken legs, mashed potatoes, beans
  12. pork chops, stuffing, salad, veggies
  13. hamburgers, baked beans, salad
  14. pizza
  15. turkey soup from mix, bread, veggie
  16. Lunch: taco salads. Supper: sandwiches, fruit smoothies
  17. Lunch: lasagna with garlic grands. Supper: sandwiches
  18. chicken thighs, rice, veggie
  19. tuna/cheese melts, veggies
  20. grilled fish, peas and rice
  21. pizza
  22. tator tot casserole, broccoli
  23. Lunch: turkey tetrazinni, Supper: sandwiches, fruit smoothies
  24. Lunch: manwich, chips. Supper: whatever is in the fridge
  25. chicken breast, rice, green bean casserole
  26. pork steaks, salad, fries
  27. homemade sub sandwiches, chips, veggie
  28. pizza
  29. fish sticks, fries, veggie
  30. lunch: taco salad. Supper: sandwiches, fruit smoothies
  31. Lunch: cheeseburgers, baked beans. Supper: spaghetti-Os

Ok, just so you are up to speed.....I have tons of frozen veggies and fruit in the freezer. So if I didn't list it exactly it is because I will just grab whatever I see that day. I may also have something fresh to use if it is on sale that week. Another given is that we may end up eating out 1-2 times during the month. If that is the case, the meal gets bumped.

Well, there you have it. My dirty little stockpile secret is out and I will try to pare down the stash this month. I will also re-post this meal list on Monday's for everyone that uses Monday for their meal planning!

Would you like to join in with the "Eat from the pantry challenge"? If so let me know. We can all share together!


  1. Wow- just when you think you are "catching up" the oven breaks. Hope it is a simple fix or there goes the budget and some of the meals.

  2. I'm loving it! Another person caught the challenge bug. I am getting nervous as my meal plan starts Monday. We have been picky the pantry yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I already feel we are getting creative. I am also using my powdered milk. I mixed my skim with about 1/3 powdered and kids aren't any wiser. I am already almost through my whole bag of powdered milk. I don't know if there is any way I can make it to the 15th (when I was hoping to buy milk next). We will see what happens.