Starting this month, I'm joining some other bloggers to focus more closely on our food budgets. Emily Levenson put out the call and it spoke to me because I have been meaning to focus more closely on actual budgeting for our household. Right now, we track everything and are pretty responsible. But there's some guesswork and trust and impulse spending that goes on too.
We are generally focusing on clearing clutter and getting the kitchen more user-friendly, so I'm aiming to use a stricter budget to encourage some creativity with our frozen meal stash and pantry items. I'm also floundering with meal planning and having a hard time sticking to a routine. Lots of waste and some unsatisfying meals result.
Our other issue is the ease with which we resort to meals out. We are each buying lunch at work way more often than I'd like to admit. So this whole food budget focus will also be a bit of a meal plan focus to make sure we have breakfasts and lunches more frequently at home.
As I've mentioned, our meal planning and consuming challenge is that we have a really short window from when I get off the train until the first little one needs to go to bed. I've been somewhat successful with my bulk cooking/defrosting on the weekends and then having some kitchen clean up nights along the way. And then it all falls apart.
So, Project: Food Budget. I'm committing to a weekly food budget of $150. I'm committing o posting here weekly with my budget progress, my meal plan and some lessons learned. In this process, I'd like to lean on my freezer and pantry, but also (if budget/time/energy allow) refresh the freezer stash and keep a nice cycle going. I'm craving routine and structure in this area and I'm looking forward to giving this project a go.
This Week's Menu:
- Monday: kitchen clean up (mainly Slow Cooker Thai peanut chicken, zucchini, broccoli and rice)
- Tuesday: Fish Tacos with red cabbage slaw and avocado (from Prep Dish meal plans, which I am trying out free this month thanks to a podcast special from The Lively Show)
- Wednesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce (freezer stash) and roasted brussel sprouts with bacon (from Prep Dish meal plans
- Crockpot Dish: Cranberry pork tenderloin (freezer stash)
- Thursday: Cranberry pork with arugula, Asian pear and cranberry salad
- Friday: Leftovers
Breakfasts and Lunches and Baby Food, oh my
- Sausage, goat cheese and spinach frittatta (also from Prep Dish)
- Leftovers (gluten-free [for me] pasta with meat sauce, hot dogs with cut up vegetables)
- Little Bird's food: organic garnet yams, sweet English peas, bananas, apples, oatmeal, yogurt, turkey meatballs and steamed zucchini chunks
Please check out other blogs participating in this project if you'd like:
- Emily Levenson
- McGinnis and Bean
- Red Pen Mama
- Erra Creations
- Eryn Says...
- Gardening in High Heels
- Melissa Firman
- Copy & Post
- Rachel Olive Miller
For more on this topic, check out the whole Project: Food Budget series!