01 April 2011

Can I make it on $25 a week?

I've been feeling like a slave to the grocery store lately. You know, where I can't think of what exactly I need to buy, but it's Friday, and I always go on Friday, so I rush to change diapers, pack snacks and load kids in the car.

So today we're starting something new around here. For the month of April, I'm going to be more resourceful with my pantry. My goal is to spend no more than $25 a week on the essentials. Dairy, fresh produce, some meats and coffee. I do, believe it or not, still have my sanity, but given the baby's nighttime feeding demands and my 2-year-old taking the "Up 'n' at 'em" phrase literally with 5:45 am wakings, coffee is considered essential around here.

Here are a few of the ground rules I've given myself. And one more thing to note, you can now find The Dinner Hour on Facebook. This blog will still be the place to come for stories and recipes, but on Facebook you can find out more about what I'm cooking that day, links to food news and other fun kitchen tidbits.

Back to those ground rules:

  • The purpose of my one-month challenge is to be more resourceful with what I've already got in my pantry.
  • I love saving money. No doubt about it. But this challenge is not about finding the cheapest thing possible. I will absolutely shop sales and use a coupon, but I will not spend my Sundays clipping coupons.
  • I last made a trip to the grocery store about a week ago. I spent about $80, our usual weekly bill. I did not do additional stocking up to prepare for this.
  • I shop at regular grocery stores, no Whole Foods, New Seasons, $10-a-pound-cheddar-cheese stores.
  • My pantry is well stocked. I've got pastas, rices, dried beans, at least eight types of flour and a few pork chops and cooked shredded chicken in the freezer.
  • I don't typically buy many processed foods, and that will continue.
  • I serve three meals a day and snacks to my family of two adults, one kiddo and one baby has just started to spit oatmeal all over the kitchen.
  • We treat ourselves to a restaurant meal about once a week.
  • I'm not perfect, and I can't vow that I won't break my own rules. If I do, I'll tell you.
If you've got a great meal idea, shopping tips, similar strategies, let me know. I already admitted I'm not perfect. I might as well also tell you I don't know it all.

1 comment:

Biteofpunkinpie said...

Hi Amy...

Just curious, do you do much crockpot cooking? One of my favorite meals (the kind where 1 becomes 2) works great w/your crockpot (or in the oven if you're home and don't mind).

I go to Sam's and get the 2pack of pork roasts... some days I catch them when they are clearanced and since I'm freezing at least one anyways, it doesn't matter that it's "sale meat". So, I just do a simple pork roast in the crockpot w/onions, carrots, seasoning (we don't care for potatoes from the crockpot, so we make some mashed that evening). Then... the magic... the next day is shredded pork tacos day. My husband makes an easy adobo sauce (tomato juice, seasonings, apple cider vinegar, a little honey) and throws whatever left over pork we have in, and you just let it cook low until the meat is falling apart. We liked eating it on fried corn tortillas, but lately I'm going a little healthier route w/whole wheat tortillas. A little shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa and you're golden. Thought this would bring back a little "Oklahoma" to you.