Frugal Foodie Mama: My $15 Seven Day Grocery Budget Challenge: Wrapping It Up

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My $15 Seven Day Grocery Budget Challenge: Wrapping It Up

Overall, I think my $15 Seven Day Grocery Budget Challenge was a success!  It IS possible for a family of 3 to make it on about $15 worth of groceries for an entire week.  Now of course, this is only possible if you already have a decently stocked pantry and freezer.  I think that we could maybe do this once every month to every month and a half.  This is definitely not possible every single week.  So, what did we eat Monday through Friday??  Here is the line-up:

Monday- We had Baked Buffalo Chicken Strips (Click for the recipe here.), celery and ranch dressing, and corn on the cob.  I already had everything on hand to make this except for the celery, ranch, eggs, and corn.
Tuesday- We had breakfast for dinner- pancakes!  I already had everything on hand to make them.  
Wednesday- Well, we had breakfast for dinner yet again. ;)  Breakfast for dinner is a great way to get more bang for your dinner bucks and is fun too!  My son absolutely adores when we have breakfast for dinner, so two nights in a row was a real treat for him.  We had cheddar cheese omelets and homemade home fries.  To make the home fries, just dice 3-4 potatoes and fry them in a combination of olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.  When they start to brown, add about 1/2 of a diced onion and continue to fry.  Season with salt and pepper while still hot and then serve!  I had everything already to make this except for the eggs.
Thursday- I "roasted" to 2 large split chicken breasts in my Crock Pot (Get the recipe here.).  Once roasted, I broke down the chicken breasts and used half of it to make homemade Chicken and Dumplings for dinner (Click here for the recipe.) The other half of the chicken, I put in a quart sized freezer bag & froze to use later.  I had to buy carrots, celery, and milk to make this.  I added chopped celery to the recipe instead of the frozen peas.  
Friday- The Chicken and Dumplings made a large enough pot that we had plenty leftover to eat for dinner this night.  (And I may have also had a bowl of it for lunch that day. ;) )

Now it is confession time.  I didn't exactly make it under the $15 budget.  

As those of you who have been following along with me all week recall, I had $4.01 left after my trip to the grocery store last Sunday.  Andddddd.... I had to stop back at the grocery store the next day for a carton of milk and a loaf of discounted bread from the bakery.  Yep, I went 46 cents over my budget.  So, 3 people ate for $15.46 cents for seven days.  I am not going to exactly call that a failure. ;)

Want to try a grocery budget challenge of your own?  Make sure to take stock of your pantry and freezer first and then start your menu planning from there.  I mostly only had to buy fresh items like vegetables, eggs, and milk.  Utilize your leftovers from each of the meals for lunches the next day instead of eating out.  Be prepared for a few small sacrifices.  My husband went without his cola habit for the week so that we could stay around our $15 grocery budget.  Now, we didn't completely suffer.  I realized a few days into the challenge that I had everything in my kitchen to make these.... ;)