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Three days into no spend month, meal plan?

February 3rd, 2014 at 06:38 am

Well, it's begun! We're officially three days into our low to no spend month. We've budgeted $600 for the month for any expense that isn't a regular monthly bill.

We also have two special allowances for planned events: $30 to cover tickets for the Lego movie for the boys, plus $60 for the school fundraiser tickets at the end of the month. We opted to handle these this way because they were planned in advance, and those amounts will cover part but not all of the events, so we still have to make thrifty choice while we're there.

Anyway, the $600 includes all of our discretionary spending, gas, groceries, entertainment, meals out, etc. The hope is that by being more careful and disciplined, we will free up some cash to throw at the mortgage, put more in savings, and generally hit the thrifty reset button.

So far, hubby spent $25, on Saturday, to take the boys out to Five Guys. Our 5-year-old graduated to the next level in swim classes, and it's customary to celebrate.

I'm working on the meal plan. Normally, I map out the entire week and do a big grocery shop to fill in any blanks and buy fresh produce. This week, it's kind of weird. I'm trying to use up what I have in the freezer and pantry, conserve as much of our monthly budget as possible, and cut down on trips to the store. I only have three days planned so far. My routine is already messed up!

So far, we're eating

Mon: chicken fajitas and quesadillas for the kids
Tue: beef roast from the freezer, with carrots, potatoes
Wed: Chick/veg soup from the leftover chicken
Thur: MAYBE spaghetti, meatballs and homemade sauce

After that, I'll likely have to shop for milk, so I'll just go all at once to get what we need.

I have decided that any and all 'treats' will have to be homemade. I don't want the kids to feel like they have to go totally without, and I would like to encourage them to help me more in the kitchen, so maybe more homemade cookies is the cure for that. And budget friendly.

So far, the weekend has been pretty much business as usual. We had a birthday party at our house Saturday night for Dh and my sister. We already had liquor and beer on hand, and everyone seemed to bring something as well, so the only output was in food, and most of that counted toward last month's food bill. I think we spent maybe $50 on food? Everyone had a good time, so it was worth it.

Yesterday, we had a kids' birthday party to go to that included a pizza party lunch, then we drove to my mom's house for a special birthday dinner for hubby and sister. All of our meals were covered!

3 Responses to “Three days into no spend month, meal plan?”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Good plans so far!! Good luck.

  2. snafu Says:

    Good job holding on to your Frugal February plan including celebrations for DS, birthday DH, DS, kids Pizza party and driving to mom's to celebrate. www.cooks.com might help using up foods already in freezer and pantry. Just use the 'Search' box for an item at hand and adjust to what your family likes. I bought a sack of oranges that were exceptionally bitter but cooks.com had 20 + pages of suggestions to use oranges I'd never considered.

    In the hope of being helpful...

    I find home made soup added to meals help extend entree and side dishes by filing everyone. Better yet it helps use up limp vegetables and bits of leftovers. Any bones cooked over night in the crock pot/slo cooker in a cup of water creates a healthy, flavourful broth so good as a base and excellent for a healthy liver. Many people store vegetable peelings & ends in a jar in the fridge to make vegetable stock which add nutrients to meals. My favourite budget stretchers are all the different dried beans. I use a crockpot for the monotonous over night soak and long cooking process.

    With snacks available DKs won't resent Frugal February. Cookies, muffins, jello, tapioca and rice pudding with powdered milk, banana & zucchini bread, popcorn, Chex party mix for example. Our DKs were always willing to make or help make snacks and dessert. Apple crisp or any fruit cobbler is delicious.

  3. ThriftoRama Says:

    Hmmm. Chex party mix. Hadn't thought of that. Thanks for all the tips!

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