Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grocery Budget & Meal Planning

We've recently decided to drop our grocery budget down. According to Dave Ramsey, your grocery budget should be about 5-15% of your income. Ours was at 15% so we decided to drop it down to 10%, which is a decent chunk of money. It's been an interesting couple of weeks for me, as I am horrible at meal planning. It's worked out pretty well so far though. Last week we bought a whole chicken and a beef roast. I cooked the chicken in the crock-pot (yay, crock-pots!) and we had some for dinner. The carcass got used for making stock, and the leftover meat got used for chicken salad sandwiches and chicken soup (with the stock I made). Three meals out of one $7 chicken (which by the way was "organic" and "cage free" and all that goodness)! The roast I made in the crock-pot (did I mention I love cooking in the crock-pot?) and we had some for dinner with lots of tasty gravy...yum. The leftovers got used for French dip sandwiches and fajitas. How tasty is that? So we got 6 meals out of two cuts of meat, and I hardly had to do any cooking! Tossed some stuff in the crock-pot a couple of times, but that's about it =)
This week, we've used up some meat that was given to us (thanks for giving us your castaways, Mom and Dad!). We had ribs last night then I made a stock out of the bones which I used today to make a beef stew. I even managed to eat it without thinking of bones! Again, all made in the crock-pot ;) We have lots of leftover rib meat, which I plan on using for some kind of Mexican dish, and lots of stew leftover for Daniel's lunches.
These last couple of weeks have certainly been a good way to learning the benefit of meal planning and how to make foods stretch. One of the best parts about it though, is that we've been doing all our shopping at Pilgrim's. So not only are we spending less on groceries, but we are supporting local business and purchasing organic produce and organic/free range/pastured meats. In case you haven't figured it out by now, I'm rather proud of our progress (thanks for reading my blabbing). Hopefully we can continue to lower our grocery budget!


Taylor said...

Good job, Jessy! It is so hard to stick to a budget, especially when trying to cook for a family. Sounds like nothing but deliciousness for you guys over there! Although, since you are being so frugal, you probably should've taken me up on that free bat. It was completely and utterly cage free and even organic. :)

Lani said...

Menu planning is not fun at all- but completely necessary if you are on a budget!! Good Job!!
If you want to feel really good about yourself, look at the USDA's Low Cost food plan. We spend $320 less PER MONTH than their "thrifty" (lowest cost) food plan. :) Look at it. It will make you feel even more frugal! :)

Sharyl Williams said...

I love it! I did those things too when you kids were little. There is such a rush you get when you are frugal and good stewards with your food! (At least it was a rush for me - maybe not for everyone!) It definitely takes time and creativity though!