Budget Menu Planning Challenge

(Sorry it has been a while since I last posted. I’ve been busy being a non-crazy Mom and focused Home Maker)

Here’s the update on us and our diets: We eat about 30% vegan, 68% vegetarian, 2% meat (reserved for when we are invited to friends houses. We try to not be difficult.) The reason we added some dairy and eggs back into our diet is because The Hubby and I lost SO much weight (me 2 dress sizes and him 4 inches) in about a 6-week span, that I didn’t want us dropping any more.

Since adding in dairy again, I’m finding my food budget envelope emptying faster than when we ate strictly vegan, because I’ve added those expensive things, like $15/month on cheddar cheese (Tillamook is the only way to go. And I’m not even getting paid to say that!), among other dairy products.

So, what is a gal supposed to do when she’s got 8 days left before her next payday and only $35 in her food budget?

She get’s creative! (and makes a list. The gal ALWAYS makes a list.)

  1. Inventory
  2. Google
  3. Be Flexible
  4. Shop Wisely

 

Inventory

Here is what I have on hand:

 

Fruit/Veggies

7 apples

1 Roma Tomato

2 Avocados

Strawberries

Frozen Raspberries

1 English Cucumber

5 Red Bell Peppers

1 Green Bell Pepper

2 Red onion

2 Yellow Onion

1 Swiss Chard Bunch

1 Zucchini

Butter Nut Squash

Carrots

1 Eggplant

Cilantro

Broccoli

6 Red potatoes

Dairy

3 eggs

Rice milk

Almond Milk

8oz Ricotta

24oz Sour Cream

Pepperjack

Italian Shreds

8oz Feta

10oz Jack Cheese

Fresh Parm

Beans/Legumes

Kidney Beans

Garbanzo Beans

Green Split Peas

Lentils

3 cans of Black Beans

Grains

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat White Bread

Tortillas

Israeli CousCous

Quinoa

Amaranth

Lasagna Noodles

Penne

Cannelloni 

Angel Hair

Oatmeal

Vital Wheat Gluten

Canned/Jarred

Salsa

Whole peeled tomatoes

Artichoke hearts

Raw cashews

Pasta Sauce

Water Chestnuts

Misc.

Nori sheets

Spring Roll Wrappers

Panko 

Google

Terms like “Budget Meals” are your best friend (I narrow it down by using the terms “Vegan budget meals” and “Vegetarian budget meals”). When scouring the interwebs for budget meals, I look for meals that fulfill the following criteria:

Most of the ingredients should be things I have on hand, and those that I need to buy should be CHEAP ones. This is usually a produce or grain. If you are missing a cheese, just a hint, that’s not the way to stay in your teeny tiny budget. Chose a different recipe.

Be Flexible

Does your recipe call for Italian Seasoning, but you don’t have any? Sub oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, and onion for it!

Does your recipe call for Yellow or Orange bell peppers (which are expensive!!) but you only have red? Use red. Duh.

Do you only have rice when a recipe calls for potatoes? Use the rice!

Shop Wisely

I’ve been shopping at Sprouts, and I LOVE it. I’ve come to find out that Wednesdays are double ad days, which means I get to shop the sales from both the previous week and the current week. Love it. So, check out when your store has the best deals! Safeway, for example, has their $5 specials each weekend. Pair some of those specials with a manufacturer’s coupon, and BOOM, great deal.

But shopping on Wednesdays only means I have to find 2 meals out of what I have on hand since today is Monday and it’s pretty frowned upon by well, everyone, to only feed your kids every three days. (I know there are people, kids included, going hungry out there. But if you, my reader are one of those people, may I be so blunt as to ask you why internet access is more important than feeding your family?)

Stay tuned for my first quick and easy meal that I’ll be making!

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Budget Menu Planning Challenge

  1. Pingback: Budget Meal #2: Calzones | My Daily Bread Crumbs

  2. Pingback: Budget Meal #1 | My Daily Bread Crumbs

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