Menu Plan, March 2, 2014 – Comparing The Numbers

Weekly Menu Plan May 2013


I realized today that I had no idea what we were going to eat this week because I hadn’t planned anything.  This then led to me realizing that if I hadn’t planned it then I also hadn’t posted it.  So here I am at 2:30 a.m. posting our meal plan.  Why at 2:30 a.m. when the normal person is sleeping?  Well, I couldn’t sleep so I thought I would be productive … and my tummy was growling thinking about the chocolate chili we had for lunch today.  It was good, as are most things with chocolate in them.


  1. Shakes
  2. Cereal
  3. Eggs, toast, fruit
  4. Zucchini Bread muffins
  5. Shakes
  6. Oatmeal
  7. Eggs, toast, fruit


  1. Spaghetti and meatballs
  2. Chocolate chili and cornbread muffins
  3. Falafels, salad
  4. Salad
  5. Pizza
  6. Super Fast Salisbury Steak, rice, beets
  7. Grilled Spiced Pork Patties and greens

Tangy Black Bean Soup in bowl


Black Bean Soup and Corn Bread Muffins
Lentil soup and cheddar biscuits

Red Lentil Soup and Cheddar Cheese Biscuits


  1. Cheese and jam sandwiches, tea, fruit
  2. Breakfast – grits, omelet, croissants
  3. Bree’s Lentil-tomato soup, bread
  4. Curried Chickpeas, rice
  5. Curried Butternut Squash Soup
  6. Tangy Black Bean Soup
  7. Leftovers

Grocery Budget Challenge 400X400

I am finding that I am needing even more accountability and encouragement to keep my spending in line with where I want it to be.  While looking for something else online, I came across the Family Balance Sheet blog.  I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for, but did stumble across this while looking around.

My spending this year, all two months of it, has been better than last year.  One thing I have noticed is the lack of a few sales I usually see this time of year.  Especially notable at my house is the lack of the twice a year sale on my husband’s favorite brand of peas.  Thankfully last fall found me canning up lots of pickled beets, which my husband is also fond of.  This has lead to him not really missing peas.  A good thing for the budget at this point.

The amount that a household allots for different areas of their budget is as different as the people themselves.  As I am finding out, sometimes it even changes by the person in the household.  My husband would love to allot more money, I want to spend less.  In the end, this isn’t a point to argue about, as we have the room to spend either amount.


If you are curious about what the average American household spends in different areas of their budget, check out this article from the Wall Street Journal.  It breaks down spending in 2011, as well as noting changes in spending from 2000.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is the agency who runs SNAP (formally called food stamps).  I find it interesting to compare the amount of our spending with what the “officials” say we should be spending.  Here is the table for June 2013 (click here for AK and HI), the month used as the average for the whole year.

My husband was reading an article written by Brett Arends, Eating Well on $4.30 a Day – the average food stamp benefit today (according to the article).  At first $4.30 didn’t seem like a lot to Mr. Arends, but by the end of the 6-weeks time frame, he had learned several lessons about the best way to use the limited funds to eat very well.  He also realized just how much money he had been wasting before.  While talking about this article I compared our numbers to those of an average SNAP participant.  My husband was surprised to hear that we actually spend less than $4.30 per day on food for each person.  The biggest variable – eating out.  It is easy to spend the whole $4.30, or more, on one meal at a restaurant.

A friend of mine, mom of 3 small kids and someone who works outside the home, recently did a marathon freezer cooking session focused on preparing crockpot meals.  After a long day she ended with 50 meals in her freezer.  While I have never done such a large session of cooking, I can see how it would save them a lot of money by alleviating the temptation to stop somewhere after work and pick up supper.  Eating out gets expensive.  Here are some books to look at if you are needing ideas:

Linked up with OrgJunkie.

For more ideas also check out This Week For Dinner.

Also check out Confessions of a Homeschooler’s March’s Monthly Meal Plan.