Our new budget started Friday. I have to confess, I may have cheated and stocked up at Costco with beans, quinoa, rolled oats, tortillas, olive and avocado oils, almond butter, rice, garbanzo beans, pasta and sauce before time ran out….oh well!! So far, 2 days into it, I’m not doing horrible. I gave Levi what I budgeted for gas money for two weeks, seeing as how he drives the most between the 2 of us. I budget one tank of gas for the van for me and the kiddos to get around.
I have created my meal plan for one week. My plan for feeding a family of 3 1/2 on $150 for the next two weeks relies on my fruit and vegetables delivery. I am having produce delivered to us once a week, on Fridays. I plan out my meals based on what fruits and veggies we are getting. So not only is my produce organic, I am supporting local Colorado farmers, which makes the plan even better. It is also fun to have my ingredients picked out for me. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to go to the store and pick out what I’m going to make. I just never know exactly what I want, and it makes anxious. This way, I don’t have to decide. If I get a fennel bulb in my box, I figure out what I am going make with what I have. I am also looking forward to tasting new things, foods I may not buy on my own.

The box I order costs $42.00 per week, which leaves me with $33.00 to spend at the grocery store every week. I have planned out my meals utilizing the produce delivered and what I have in my pantry. To make this plan successful, it’s important that I keep my pantry stocked as best I can with staples to make meals throughout the week.

The point of this new budget is to get out of debt. With Abagail’s hospital bills and some credit debt from fixing cars (ugh) we aren’t comfortable spending what we are spending while having debt. So any money that is left over after paying bills, giving to our church and buying food is split between savings and credit debt. However, if this new budget goes well, I may keep it after the bills are paid off. The more money we can put away, the better.

Ingredients from my produce delivery:
1 huge red lettuce leaf, 2 zucchini squash, 3 gold potatoes, 2 avocados, 2 tomatoes, 1 bunch of celery, 1 bunch of broccoli, 2 sweet potatoes, 4 bananas, 2 kiwi, 1 mango, 7 black plums, 2 nectarines, and 10 oz of blueberries.

Here is my meal plan for week 1:

Breakfast and lunches are always on a whim for us. Cereal, bagels, toast and oatmeal are breakfasts. Lunch is usually fruit smoothies or sandwiches. All ingredients I buy in bulk at Costco.

Sunday Dinner:
Veggie burgers and broccoli salad

Monday Dinner: sweet potato and black bean burritos

Tuesday Dinner: having guests over for dinner, making BBQ chicken sandwiches, and BBQ tofu, cilantro lime coleslaw and grilled corn on the cob

Wednesday Dinner: grilled potatoes and kale salad (I have really been enjoying this salad with apples, walnuts and quinoa and I make my own dressing for it which saves $5 from buying salad dressing).

Thursday Dinner: veggie burgers and grilled green beans and zucchini.

Friday: new delivery and menu

Snacks: celery with peanut butter, fruit smoothies (using the mango and bananas), granola bars, nuts and carrots.

The hope is also to be eating less food. I sometimes feel that we don’t really need to eat as much as we do, feeding our faces from a $200 trip to Costco. Can we learn to survive on basic foods and still be full and have energy? We shall see!

Until next time…
Have a fabulous day!