This is how it started...
We got paid on Friday, and on Sunday I paid the bills and balanced our checkbook and realized that our funds were surprisingly low for having just got paid and since we are going on vacation Mid-May, we were not anxious to go digging into our savings and diminishing our vacation budget to pay for food for the next couple of weeks. So, we decided to see if we could live out of our pantry for the next three weeks (as much as possible). This became our challenge.
We had been talking a lot the last few months about our bad spending habits when it comes to food. And during the early queasy months of pregnancy, I really got away from my menu planning and actual meal preparation and ended up reverting to fast food way too frequently. So it was a good time to try to reestablish better meal planning.
Before beginning I evaluated what we had in stock and made of list a possible dishes that could be made with what we had. Then I made a quick trip to the store for some important missing essentials. I ended up spending $30 on stuff like butter and milk.
Sunday night I had a long anticipated "comfort food" meal of minute steaks, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans.
Monday for lunch we ate leftovers and then I made sausage soup and dinner rolls for supper.
On Tuesday we had leftover soup for lunch and then in the afternoon I used some rhubarb that I had in the freezer from last summer and made a rhubarb crisp to have as a dessert. For supper I finished off the head of cabbage I had by making a cabbage burger casserole.
On Wednesday, Russ was out of town and we girls had dance so lunch was a bit more rushed and eclectic. I literally just ate pieces of bacon for lunch. (Not very healthy, perhaps, but 'yum, yum!') The girls had sandwiches & chicken nuggets. For supper we had more leftovers.
Thursday for lunch, Russ finished off the leftovers, Eden & I had bacon sandwiches, Jasmine had a salami & cheese sandwich, and Acacia had chicken nuggets. Russ ended up spending $2.50 at Sonic during Happy Hour to bring us a couple of drinks in the afternoon. For supper I finished off some opened pizza sauce from the fridge and we had a homemade pizza with our favorite homemade crust.
Yesterday we had a lazy lunch. Russ had a late breakfast of eggs so didn't have lunch, I had a frozen french bread pizza, and the girls ate bowls of cereal so by supper we were all very hungry. I made some zucchini bread using shredded zucchini from last summer that I had frozen and I made meatballs and scalloped corn. Yum!
Today was the hardest day so far because I went out a couple times and driving by the restaurants and smelling their food made me really crave something fast and MSG laden. But we stuck with the program and had boxed "Back to Nature" macaroni and cheese for lunch and I made bean enchiladas for supper. I did spend $2.50 for fresh tortillas from the tortillarilla.
We've eaten better than we have in months and I'm pretty excited about how well we've done so far. I realize that it is the next week that is really going to present the challenge as we begin to run out of items like juice & cereal and we begin to feel the pull of cravings a little harder. I'm pretty sure that we may have to buy a few things again in a few days to help get us through but I'm hoping to keep this to an absolute minimum.
I decided to blog to help me remember this experience and to keep me more accountable for my actions. The ultimate goal is to keep from stocking up on groceries until after we get home from vacation. That means we still have two weeks of this before we leave town.