So there are five weeks in December. I know that every month does not have exactly four weeks, but since being married it has ended up being pretty easy to do the "four weeks per month"grocery shopping.
Well, it's finally caught up. My budget is $400/month, and I know that should be pretty easy to do. But I plan on being able to spend about $100 a week, so that's how I've been shopping. This week I spent a little more because I included buying a pair of work pants for Alex. If I need to I can put that money into the "spending" account.
Anyways, I keep an excel spreadsheet of all our spending on a monthly basis. I put in the amount and realized "This is how much I have left, and it's only the amount for one week, but there are still two weeks left in December!"
Thus begins the search for super cheap meal plans for the next couple of weeks. I shop for the week ahead of time, so this is for the weeks of Christmas and New Years. Thankfully there are the Holidays in these weeks, so some of our meals will be with family. I will be contributing, but I will not be planning the whole meal. I still have to decide what I'm bringing to Christmas breakfast and lunch with my in-laws....
I am finding some interesting ideas! Some I will probably never do because they include things I don't really want to eat or ever care to try, but some have great ideas. This week I'm already using some leftover whole wheat spaghetti to make a casserole-it's a kickback to the "spaghetti blanco" I made in home ec in 7th grade. Alex should like it because it has sausage in it.
One last story. I thought I might be snowed in on Monday, and I REALLY needed to go grocery shopping. Just in case I didn't, I made a "lots of" bean and no meat chili. Here is the recipe.
My husband informed me before we got married that he does not like chili. This was my first attempt, and I was a little nervous because there wasn't any meat in it. I didn't include meat because the only meat left in the house was one tiny leftover hamburger.
He like it! He actually got a second bowl of it! I did put cheese on top, and brought out the oyster crackers, but he actually liked it! Easy, cheap, pretty healthy, and enjoyable. I felt proud.
There will be more meals like this in the future.