Before I share what we've eaten and spent for the 1st-4th, I do want to let you know that we eat alot of deer (DH hunts), fresh fish when he can get away or when BIL stops by with extra from his fishing and beef (we butcher our own), so that helps the grocery bill quite a bit. We also have a garden (though nothing from it yet due to severe weather), apple, pear and cherry trees, gooseberry, strawberry plants and wild chokecherries that we get alot of our fruit from.
Also, I need to clarify something. The $200/month is for food only. I've rec'd comments/e-mails from readers thinking it was for anything bought at a grocery store. We have separate budgets for misc (toilet paper, shampoo, etc), fuel, entertainment (eating out), clothing, etc.
In case there is anyone out there who wants to try to live on less and/or cut their grocery bill, I will try to be as detailed as I can. I will list the menu for that day and then comments if they apply. If you have any questions, just ask and I will answer you all.
Because it is so hot, a lot of our meals are not going to require the oven. I am having to be very creative as I am so use to doing lots of baking.
Here is what we ate Aug 1st-4th. (B-Breakfast, D-Dinner, S-Supper)
B- Waffle Cinnamon Rolls
I picked up a pkg of generic cinnamon rolls in a can several weeks ago in the discount cooler at our local grocery store for $1.39, a pkg of 8 made them 17¢ each. DH & I each had one and Aaron 2, so there is enough to have again. These were so fun to make. I will definitely be watching for sales on these as they would make great school breakfasts'. Quick and easy, just and add fruit and milk.
I had my setting between light and medium and cooked for 3 minutes (2 they felt a little doughy) and they were completely done and for a "fake" cinnamon roll, pretty good and a great way for a treat when it is way too hot to bake!
D-Leftovers: spaghetti with meat sauce, lettuce salad, and garlic bread for the guys chicken salad on lettuce for me
apples w/ caramel dip
When I make chicken salad, I usually bake a whole chicken and that is part of one meal, then tear up the leftover meat for chicken and noodle and this salad. So out of one chicken, we can get 3-4 meals).
The bread was free! Local grocery store (LGS from now on) makes fresh bread and marks it down day after. They mis-marked this pkg of French Bread for 99¢ with $1.00 off. I asked if that was right and it wasn't, but they let me have it since I let them know there were others marked the same. I just cut slices, buttered both sides and sprinkled with garlic pdr. I "fried" it in a pan and after flipping it once added a little mozzarella cheese.
Snack: Orange Julius, popcorn
Chicken Salad (I made 1/2 recipe)
4 c. diced chicken
1 pkg dry Italian Dressing Mix
2 T. prepared mustard
1/2 c. mayo
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 c. halved red grapes
1/3 c. chopped walnuts
Mix all together and refrigerate. (*note: I did not have the Italian dressing mix on hand, but did have Italian Dressing, so added that and less mayo and it still tastes great)
1 6-oz can orange juice concentrate
1 c. milk
1 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
8-10 ice cubes
Blend for 30 seconds.
The apple caramel dip has been in the refrigerator for a LONG time! I looked at the date and it said "best if used by 6/30/2011"! BUT it was still very good.
S-Deer steak gravy (cut up deer steak fried and then a gravy made)
I know people who don't like deer steak because it is too "gamey". The "gamey" taste comes from the fat. DH does all our butchering and cuts out every piece of fat. It does have a different taste, but is lean and very good.
**No cost for today's meal. It was all food we already had on hand. "Shopping" from your freezer, cupboards, pantry is always best first so that food doesn't go to waste.
B-made rest of Cinnamon Roll Waffles
D-Aaron & I ate in town as we had lots of shopping and parts to get, DH ate leftovers
S-fried egg & cheese sandwiches
orange juice, milk
D-grilled chicken roll-ups w/ tomato/basil tortilla w/ swiss chard
the roll-ups are easy, just fill with any meats, cheeses and veggies you have. I had 2 teriyaki marinated chicken breasts left over, grilled them, then added shredded cheese, sour cream thinly sliced onion and red pepper, chopped tomatoes, swiss chard and rolled up.
S-BLT's (used Swiss Chard instead of lettuce)
We have a local bakery that gives you a free donut/roll when it is your birthday. I hadn't been in town when they were open until today and he gave me 4 rolls! (Thank you Joey from Westside Bakery!)
My guys like eating cereal for snacks. I have a rule for cereal and refuse to pay over $2/box. This used to be easy, but now is really hard to find cereal for that, but if you are patient and wait it does happen. Local grocer had Corn Pops marked down to $1/box. I got 3...guys were happy. Ü
B-cereal, milk, orange juice
sweet potato chips
S-ate at Pizza Palace to celebrate Benjamin's birthday
snack: Cheddar Chex Mix
Sloppy Joes were left over from 4th of July that I had frozen. There is still enough left over for another meal or 2. To make sweet potato chips, I just slice fresh sweet potato and fry, then salt with sea salt.
farmer's market sweet corn $2.50
sweet potatoes 2.28
cottage cheese 2.00 (.75 coupon)
farmer's mkt tomatoes 4.00
gallon of milk 3.23
tomato/basil tortillas 2.18 (had $1 off coupon)
Corn Pops (3 boxes) 3.00
Cheddar Chex Mix 1.55 (.60 coupon)
Bakery Rolls (8) 1.99 ($1 off for being a day old)
farmer's mkt swiss chard 2.00
total spent: 27.73 (several of the above items are still left so will be used again in this week's menu)
(found out you can use this in sandwiches. Have
never had it before. We really like it. It was a LARGE bag full that will last us awhile)