Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January's Pantry Challenge

Every January, I map out our menus for the month, partly to watch our spending after Christmas, and partly because it's a L-O-N-G month that requires a little more negotiation to make our income stretch. You can see what we actually eat each day right HERE.

When I inventoried our freezer to prepare for the month, I discovered that we've really been doing a great job of eating down the freezer - that is, using what's in there instead of buying more.  We had 2 steaks, 1 pound of ground beef, and a turkey in the way of meats.  Pretty slim pickins to last a month.  We had broccoli, green beans, bell peppers, corn and collards from past gardens, so we're pretty good on veg (except for fresh).  And the pantry was in decent shape with a range of pastas, rice, and baking materials.

So, I really needed to get some proteins for the month.  In the past two days, there have been 2 sales which afforded me the opportunity to get ground beef and chicken breasts for good prices.  This should enable us to eat well while keeping spending to a minimum.

Here's the list of meals, which may be shifted from day to day:
1 - Mom's lasagna, tossed salad, Pioneer Woman's Cheese Bread (on homemade Rosemary Olive Oil bread), apple pie (from a fundraiser earlier this year) and homemade whipped cream
2 - 15 bean soup with the ham bone from Christmas dinner  (this is a change from the initial menu)
3 - Queso, Refried beans, Pollo asado (also a change)
4 - Grill steaks, sausage & chicken, tossed salad, roasted potato wedges
5 - Open at the moment.  Either chili or leftovers.
6 - Back to Work.  Sticky chicken, collards, cheese & cracker salad, fried okra (purchased when Airman Son was home for Christmas)
7 - Breakfast for Dinner: cheese grits, bacon, eggs, fruit smoothies
8 - 11:  Mom is out of town at a conference.  It is the sincere wish that the guys will eat some leftovers, but if they go out, I will not be surprised.
12 - Back home.  Spaghetti and cheese bread.  Salad if we have the fixin's for it.
13 - Italian sloppy joes 
14 - Beef tips and whole wheat egg noodles, broccoli
15 - Frozen pizza
16 - BBQ chicken, collards, homemade mac'n'cheese (with butternut squash mixed into the cheese sauce), fried okra if I feel like making it
17 - Macho nachos
18 - Roast turkey, mashed potatoes, greens
19 - Burgers, homemade fries, baked beans, corn
20 - MLK Holiday, but ds#3 has a trip to the orthodontist.  Homemade tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches
21 - Open-faced turkey sandwiches, green beans
22 - Leftovers
23 - Melissa d'Arabian's Potato Torte, salad or leftover soup
24 - Tacos, Mexican rice casserole, refried beans
25 - Turkey Pot Pie
26 - Pasta fagioli
27 - Breakfast for Dinner
28 - Loaded Nachos (using leftover taco meat)
29 - Farfalle with sausage, tomatoes and cream (or maybe just tossed with some veg for Mom)
30 - Leftovers or frozen pizza
31 - WE MADE IT!  OUT TO EAT!!!!!

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