This is my first shot at planning a full month of dinners. I picked a good month for it because I’ll be out of town visiting my family for a week and will be leaving Jason and his mom to their own devices. I never plan breakfast, we’re all grazers in the morning and are happy with a bowl of cereal. With Jason having switched from the day shift to nights, we’ll be switching our main meal of the day from evening to lunch time so that he can have a good filling meal with the family before heading off for work at 3 pm.
Here are our September lunch plans:
Tuesday, 1st: Tuna salad sandwiches, chips & dip, & fruit.
Wednesday, 2nd: Monterey Chicken.
Thursday, 3rd: Pot Roast with carrots and potatoes.
Friday, 4th: Chicken & gravy with corn and Rice-a-Roni.
Saturday, 5th: Shake & Bake pork chops with crash potatoes.
Monday, 7th: Spaghetti with garlic breadsticks.
Tuesday, 8th: Pork Roast with mashed potatoes and applesauce.
Wednesday, 9th: Chicken Noodle Soup
Thursday, 10th: Tacos and green salad.
Friday, 11th: Roast turkey breast with baked potatoes and skillet fried corn (the way Mimi made it).
Saturday, 12th – Saturday, 19th: I’ll be in California visiting Jeremy for his big 3rd birthday. Jason and his mom are on their own.
Monday, 21st: Chicken Pot Pie
Tuesday, 22nd: Cheese enchiladas and rice.
Thursday, 24th: Chicken Noodle Soup
Friday, 25th: Leftovers with fresh bread.
Saturday, 26th: Eggs, fried potatoes and fruit.
Sunday, 27th: Baked Ziti
Monday, 28th: Chicken and gravy with carrots and rice.
Tuesday, 29th: Hamburgers and tater tots.
Wednesday, 30th: Pizza
Jason and I took our detailed list to Sam’s Club and Winn Dixie, spent about $275. Our regular food budget is at $450 now (same as it was in California) and I’d love to get that down to the $300 or less range. Hopefully changing from weekly to monthly menu planning will help out with that. I’m considering September as our first month with a real food budget. We moved into our house on July 31st, and our August grocery receipts are bloated due to stocking up on stuff like flour and sugar, pasta, and other such things that we keep on hand all the time.
Now that we’re done with the initial “moving in” stock up, I can start analyzing our regular grocery receipts to see where I can cut costs and help out with coupons. I’m already getting pretty good about shopping sales and making the best of our Sam’s Club membership. The biggest thing that has helped with our budget in the past nine months or so is that I’ve been cooking more from scratch. It tastes lots better, costs much less, and is far healthier. We very rarely eat out anymore unless it’s a special occasion and we stock almost no convenience food.
When I first started menu planning a year or so ago our food budget was $600, or more depending on how much we ate out – which was way too often. We’ve made big strides to get to $450 and now we’re working toward $300, half of our original budget. I’m feeling good.
Visit OrgJunkie for lots more menu inspiration.