As most of you know, I love to meal plan. Even though I meal plan, my love for cooking (my desire to cook anything and everything and my selfishness) exceeds our monthly budget on a pretty frequent basis. I think our monthly budget is fair and a good amount for Patrick and I (plus the friends I feed and baby food for Benjamin). We budget $400 monthly for food. We eat fresh fruits and veggies and I don't buy boxed meals too often. So it may seem that our budget is a little higher than some, but completely worth it for freshness!
My goal this month is to take what we have and make my meals from that list. I'll only buy fruits, vegetables, staples and things for breakfast and some lunches. I try to do this monthly, but when I get excited about making something I usually just go get what I need. I can have fun cooking and be mindful about our budget!
Here is the list of things we have:
*Chicken breasts (8, I think)
*Pork chops (2)
*Homemade meatballs (3 bags of 12)
*Ham steaks (1 1/2)
*Tortellini (small bag)
*Chicken thighs (about 1 pound)
*Drumsticks (3.5 pounds)
*Lasagna (pre-made and frozen from last time I made lasagna)
*Dried beans (5 bags of random beans)
*Homemade vegetable stock
* Frozen Mixed vegetables (2 bags)
*Corn (blanched and frozen from this summer)
*Snap peas (blanched and frozen from this summer)
*Green beans (blanched and frozen from this summer)
*Shredded cheese (4 bags, bought on sale a few weeks ago)
*Plus - canned fruit, vegetables, beans and tomato products
Whew! Last night I went through and planned out 13 meals using these items. Here they are:
*Cinnamon oatmeal pancakes
*Slow cooker chicken stew
*Meatballs with tortellini and corn
*Lasagna with snap peas
*Pork chops with sauteed vegetables over cous cous
*Ham steak with smashed winter squash
*Ham and vegetable soup
*Spaghetti with meatballs
*Chicken tortilla soup
This is two weeks of meals if we didn't eat leftovers and have a date night. Also, I haven't found a drumstick recipe (or 3) that I'm excited about yet. I can probably get these meals to go into week three if I plan well with leftovers (as in twice a week for dinner, plus lunches). I'm excited to try some new recipes, which meets my need to cook and experiment. Even more, though, I'm excited to challenge myself to stay within our budget and cook well and healthy!
If you have an drumstick recipes, let me know! More "Food Thoughts" coming soon.