Monday, February 23, 2009

Shopping With Intention

Today we met at the United Way offices to kick off the challenge and I was surprised to be the only one there who is cooking for an entire family. Anyone else out there?

Before the challenge started I did what I do every week - I made a menu. The difference was that this week it took quite a bit longer to come up with the plan and there were MANY changes along the way.

$100 Menu for Four
For breakfast, I decided we'd have oatmeal or eggs. However, I realize now that I'll probably have to pick up some more of each or improvise something else by the end of the week. I did splurge on a pack of bacon for Sunday breakfast because I had to keep the family happy, but that came at the expense of the fruit I should have bought. Making the oatmeal meant I had to get out of bed early this morning, so that's going to get very old by the end of the week.

Lunch won't change much. My husband and children take lunch every day as it is. The difference is that instead of cheesy crackers, chips, and other tasty packaged snacks, they're eating saltines with their sandwiches. And as I already mentioned, the fruit bowl is very low this week! I usually grab whatever's left over in the fridge, or graze on pantry items, which are not there this week! Maybe I'll lose a little weight...

Dinner is the toughie. I need to make sure everyone ends up fairly full and happy. Here's my plan:

Saturday - Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Sunday - Cheesy Beefy Noodle Casserole
Monday - Chicken Pot Pie (made with the dark meat from the deli chicken)
Tuesday - Leftover Casserole
Wednesday - Chicken Soup and Cornbread (same chicken)
Thursday - Stir Fried Veggies with Black Beans over Rice
Friday - Beans and Rice

Shopping With Limited Means
Shopping was definitely a different experience. I took my daughter with me and she kept a running balance as we shopped. I tried not to be embarrassed when she called out the total and asked how much left we had to spend. The most difficult part was the produce section. I usually just wind through, picking up whatever I want. I knew fruit was expensive, but I didn't really know exactly how much things cost. Now I know you only get 3 apples or pears for $1 - IF they're on sale. And strawberries? Forget it!

I only spent $95 so that leaves $5 for emergencies. When I got home and took the picture above, my husband remarked that it looked like quite a bit of groceries for $100. I'm sure it won't seem that way by the end of the week.

No comments: