what has happened to me?

We are now in our second two-week dinner menu. I would say that my husband is VERY happy. Why? Because I am not only “cooking” more, but also adding sides to our meals. I grew up with sides on the table. We always had a salad on the table and fruit or vegetables or rolls. I, however, am a one dish woman!

With a growing family, however, I see the great need to help stretch our main dishes by adding easy sides to the mix. And, honestly, it is yummier. And I have cultivated great little chefs in the kitchen to help me. So, I am RESOLVED!

This week’s menu:

Cheesy Chili-Mac
w/garlic bread and corn

Turkey Jo’s
w/ sweet potato fries and fruit salad

Baked Potato Bar

w/potatos, green salad, and dinner rolls

Chicken Kebobs
w/ rice and peaches and pears

w/ rice-a-roni, applesauce, and green beans

w/ chips and salsa and corn

………and so and so forth. See, nothing spectacular. Just yummy staples that everyone loves. But I’m sticking to it. And that is the very best part. Well, I’m off to boil pasta for our Chili Mac.

how did we do?

Well, we have one month of couponing and sale shopping down. And it turns out that I am pretty darn good at it. Who knew? So we spent more money than our new food budget allows, but I knew that would happen. I have to build up a base of supplies and coupons first. I figure the first two or three months will be spent in stocking the pantry and adjusting the budget. Although we went to lunch a few more times than we should have, we have not eaten dinner out with or without the kids this entire month–Awesome!!! Creating an excel tracking sheet is just what I needed to remind me how much eating out cuts into the budget.

Total Value: $1560.82

Total Spent: $600.35

Total Saved: $900.01

% Saved: 58%

Our total spent including eating out was $709.74. That is still far less than I know we were spending before. I feel satisfied that I am doing some really great things to help my family succeed financially.

Funny side note–our kids hate to eat out, especially for dinner. If we say we are going to go eat, they beg to stay at home instead. It is so weird to me because going out to eat was such a treasured treat in our house. But my pocket book is definitely not complaining. :)