Monday, October 31, 2016
November 2016 Grocery Budget Challenge
It's that time of year again where I challenge myself to keep within a tight grocery budget. We had some extra medical expenses last month and more coming in November so I need to cut back in other areas. We also need to buy a ton of wood pellets to heat our home with (we are working on some right now that are leftover from last year's heating season). I am setting a cash budget of $150 and supplementing it with Walmart Gift Cards that I earn through Swagbucks. I should have about $50 in Walmart gift cards by about the middle of November.
Here is my plan for the month. We celebrate Thanksgiving with our Heather's side of the family. My cousin Jeremy has been adopted into Heather's side of the family as well so that works out great! :) Jaysn and Rachel spend Thanksgiving with her side of the family since the roads are usually still good so they can make the 3 hour drive down to see them. The dinner is done potluck style and after the "mashed potato disaster" one year when someone, who shall remain nameless, really messed them up to the point where they were gummy, I have been asked to take over with those. ;) I also have a large stash of wine here, so I shall be bringing a nice bottle of wine and possibly another side dish.
Another way I will be saving is that mid month Heather, Rachel and I will be having a girl's shopping day (already planned for about 2 months ago) where we are hitting various thrift stores in a large town up north of us. That town also has a Big Lots and a Grocery Outlet. We will be stopping there and I'll be searching for bargains. You never know what they will have in stock but sometimes I hit the jackpot and come away with phenomenal deals.
The last way I am saving is that I am planning most of our meals around what we already have on hand. I will have to pick up some fresh produce, dairy and a few other items that we need, but for the most part, we will just concentrate on what we have on hand. Jeff and I have already got the first week's menu planned. Here is what we are having for dinner this week:
~Sweet Italian sausages baked with sweet potatoes, sliced pears, green salad
~Chicken and green chili enchiladas, green salad
~Teriyaki venison meatloaf, brown rice, green salad, carrot sticks
~Tilapia cooked with lemon, green beans, brown rice (leftover from the night before), sliced apples, tomato slices (from our garden)
~Homemade soup and crackers (whatever sounds good at the moment and I pull out of the freezer since I have quite an assortment in there)
I realize the menu above is heavy on the green salads but that is because we have a large container of mixed greens to use up before they go bad. It is healthy for us and is one of the things that my husband really enjoys so who am I to argue. ;) We have the grandkids spending the night this Saturday so I may just grab a pizza from the Walmart deli and serve that with apple slices. They love pizza! I also have lots of yogurt and some of those mixed berry muffins (that I also froze) for breakfast while they are here. Next week Jeff and I will sit down again and make out another menu together. I find that my husband has wonderful suggestions about different side dishes especially and if he helps with the planning he looks forward to those meals all week. Win Win! ;)
Is anyone else challenging themselves to a certain budget this month? I'll try to post updates on how mine is going throughout the month and am praying that I don't go over budget. Wish me luck please!