Saturday, September 29, 2018

Grocery check in + reconsidering the menu

I thought I'd check in on our grocery budget this month, & see how we did with our spending. A few notable shopping trips were made, outside of the norm. First, I bought Sam some Trader Joes frozen meal options, as he's been tired of his standard packed sandwich. That added quite a bit to the budget, but I wasn't in a position to stock the freezer with homemade options, given my work hours earlier in the month. Additionally, I stocked up on a few sale items at our local grocery store, buying after school snacks that were on special seasonal markdowns.

Our monthly grocery budget is $625, and we spent $665, so about $40 over our budget. The two out of the ordinary trips noted above were $65, so discounting those, we were on track. I also bought items to make dinner (butternut squash soup with goat cheese crostini) a couple of weeks ago, but M's flight ended up being delayed, so I froze everything. I'll be making that dinner tomorrow instead.

As the weather gets a bit chillier, I also want to adjust our menu planning & get the kids more involved in meal selection & help (when they are available). Homework comes first, so it's rare the kids have time during the week, but they certainly can help more on weekends.

After looking at our fridge & freezer & deciding what we might want to use up, here's the tentative menu plan for the next two weeks:

  • Friday (9/28) - naan pizza, using up pesto & fresh mozzarella, as well as some tomato sauce leftover from another dinner
  • Saturday (9/29) - butternut squash soup (make two, freeze one), and goat cheese crostini. I have the squash & bread in the freezer, and the goat cheese in the fridge
  • Sunday (9/30) - creamy pesto pasta with chicken & broccoli. This is a new recipe, so I'll report back on it, if it's any good. We have chicken & pesto in the freezer, as well as broccoli & cream cheese in the fridge, so costs should be low. 
  • Monday (10/1) - leftover naan pizza
  • Tuesday (10/2) - leftover butternut squash soup + crostini
  • Wednesday (10/3) - leftover pesto pasta
  • Thursday (10/4) - spaghetti & meatballs. We have all of the ingredients for this on hand
  • Friday (10/5) - I think I'll make baked risotto, with any leftovers on hand, probably using up some of the remaining goat cheese, and likely chicken from the freezer. I love risotto, because it's super flexible. The boys will likely eat at their school dance. 
  • Saturday (10/6) - chicken enchilada pasta, likely made with green sauce instead, as I have some green enchilada sauce lingering in my fridge.
  • Sunday (10/7) - Dragon noodles with some sort of meat from the freezer on the side. We shouldn't need anything special for this dinner either
  • Monday (10/8) - Leftover baked risotto
  • Tuesday (10/9) - Leftover chicken enchilada pasta
  • Wednesday (10/10) - Leftover dragon noodles
  • Thursday (10/11) - I'm going to be out of town, spending time at our vacation house with my sister and friend, so the boys will likely go out, using the very last of a gift card
  • Friday (10/12) - I'll be out of town, so I'll pick up frozen pizza for M & the kids. 
What type of fall meals are you rotating in? Any favorites to recommend? I tried the chicken & dumplings recipe, & we LOVED it. Except for M. He doesn't like soup, which I find to be quite limiting. 

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

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