This is our 2nd time doing a NO Spend month and last time we ended up saving $1200! Whoa! This time we are hoping to save even more but I’m not sure that’s possible as we’ve added in quite a bit since then as far as our budget, including a membership to our local Athletic Club which I’m excited to use this month as we can swim, work out and play tennis too!
One struggle last time was the grocery and meal planning part of the NO Spend month. I tried to stock up on a few things over the past couple of weeks but somehow we ate most of it already. Oops!
Last time I did prepare a meal plan, at least I think I did, if so I didn’t blog about it. So I came up with a list of about 20 meals a few weeks ago and FINALLY yesterday I was able to inventory my pantry, cupboards, freezer and deep freeze. I found a few surprises which was nice, I forgot about some pork chops I had frozen along with taco meat. We purchased a turkey for Christmas but then ended up needing to go home to Michigan for a family member’s short notice heart surgery so that will give us a few nice meals this month. I’m thinking maybe we will have a nice turkey dinner for Valentines Day with eclair dessert.
I spent probably a good two hours working on the inventory of food, writing it all down, figuring out what I could use with what I had at home already and what I still needed to purchase to make it through this month. I’m curious if there is a food inventory system out there that works well. I may look into it.
For my groceries I usually shop at Target, Aldis and Costco. Tonight, the hubby and I went shopping and purchased a good majority of our food at Aldis. The total was $76 and I feel like we ended up with a lot of food. There were a few things that Aldis didn’t carry that I needed so our next stop was Target. For fun we took our Aldis receipt in with us and then wrote down prices for comparable items at Target. I used the Target brand for most of it even if that’s not what I normally would buy. The target total was $115 before the 5% savings with a red card. Most of what we purchased was also not on cartwheel so there really weren’t any savings there this time. Aldis came out about 33% cheaper than Target for groceries which is quite a bit when you add that up over a few shopping trips.
Between Aldis, Costco and Target tonight, I spent $198. Ugh. That’s without buying much produce or stuff for kids lunches. I was hoping to do $300 for the month in groceries and I’m going to try my hardest to do it but I’m really doubting we can make it the next 28 days with $100 for produce, milk, eggs and bread with some lunch meat for the kids. I should be all set for dinners though for the month, here is what I have planned for dinners over the next 28 days!
Turkey, mashed potatoes, biscuits, green bean casserole, stuffing, corn, éclair dessert
Turkey Pot Pie
Porkchops in the Slow Cooker with egg noodles
Fish – Salmon and Beer Battered Cod with baked potatoes
Chipotle Dinner – Chicken or Pork Carnitas, Cilantro Lime Rice, Black Beans & Corn Salsa
Brinner – (breakfast for dinner) Pancakes, hashbrowns, sausage
Spoon Roast & baked potatoes
Tator Tot Casserole
Chili & corn bread
Chicken Rice Soup
Kielbasa Potato Soup
Pulled Pork & Buttered Noodles
Pulled Pork Mac N Cheese
Rice & Beans
Wish me luck! The (entitled) kids and well parents too are probably not going to like this month very much. I’m also excited to assign my kids each a country to research on the poverty and also what a typical meal is so that they can prepare a dinner for us and then we can discuss it and maybe glean some insight into how spoiled we are in the US of A.