This is it.
A week from today is . . . PAYDAY!!!
When I heard about the Pantry Challenge that Moneysavingmom and Lifeasmom were hosting, I decided to do it because it was something I had been thinking about anyway.
January is always a difficult month for the grocery budget since hubby gets paid early in December, and this adds at least an extra week to the month’s budget. With Christmas usually involving extra grocery trips and more “special” items, we’re often stretching it by the end of January.
But this year, we have 100 dollars extra leftover from the month’s grocery budget to put in our emergency fund! And all because of commitment and a plan.
The cupboards are getting pretty bare. At breakfast yesterday hubby glanced at the open pantry door and said, “I know we’re planning to eat at home for lunch today, but is there anything to eat?”
Turns out, there was. It was a bit hodge–podge, but we had plenty. And there are still several more cans of soup in there!
So this week’s menu is meant to use up those last items that could get overlooked if I don’t make an effort. I looked over the list of meal possibilities that I made at the beginning of the month, and if I follow the plan this week, we should have no problem checking everything off of the list. The only item that we can’t do involves a pantry item that I’ve already used up!
Monday – Crockpot beef tips over rice. I have had this on the menu every week for months. It always gets pushed off because I forget to put it in the crockpot early enough. Today I solved that problem by getting up from the computer and doing it RIGHT NOW. (Kids and hubby are off today so I’ve somehow justified getting on the computer before lunch.)
Tuesday – Chicken fried rice. I’ll make extra rice on Monday so it will be dry enough. I made this on week 1 of the challenge and the entire family requested that I make it every single night of the week. I’m thinking that two weeks later isn’t too soon.
Wed – Quesadillas with chicken fajita meat that I dug out of the freezer. I normally can’t make this on a weeknight because it doesn’t produce enough leftovers for hubby’s lunch. But, since I cooked up some brown rice last week, I’ll be able to throw together a lunch for him easily.
Thursday – Spinach lasagna. LOVE this stuff. Where we used to live, two ladies that my husband worked with would pay me to make this for them. It’s pretty much that fabulous, and I don’t know why I don’t make it more often. It’s also a great one to have the kids help make, especially if you don’t precook the noodles, since it’s mostly assembly. Makes them much more willing to eat the spinach!
12 lasagna noodles
1 c. low-fat cottage cheese
3/4 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
1 c. grated part skim Mozzarella
3-4 c. spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb spinach, thawed and drained
2 egg whites
In a medium bowl, combine spinach, cottage cheese, egg, and 1/2 c Parmesan cheese. In another bowl, combine remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
Preheat oven to 350.
To assemble, spoon 3 tbsp sauce into the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Cover sauce with 4 noodles, breaking them as needed to fit, 1/2 of the cottage cheese mixture, 1/3 of the mixed cheeses, and 1/3 of the remaining sauce. Repeat to make second layer. Cover with the rest of the noodles, top with remaining sauce and cheeses.
Bake 40 minutes. Let stand 15 min before cutting.
Friday – Birthday dinner out! MINE!!!
Saturday – Birthday date with hubby! (We’ve been saving gift cards for this.)
Sunday – Taco soup
I’m linking this as a Pantry Challenge update at Lifeasmom.com and our weekly menu at Orgjunkie.com. Go check out both places for great ideas.