Eating On A Tight Budget: March Challenge Menus
Just a quick reminder of the leftovers I had after last challenge I can manage all breakfasts for this week and two supper entrees without touching our newly purchased items. I have placed the full canister of oatmeal I purchased this week on my larder shelf. It's a true beginning on my pantry.
I started my week making a recipe of bread (2 loaves) and 1 batch of biscuits.* My plans fail already. I can make bread or I can make biscuits and tortillas right away and then make bread during the week. I need six cups flour for the bread. I have about six cups left. I'll make both bread and biscuits just not all from the leftovers. So for breakfasts we will have oatmeal three mornings, peanut butter toast three mornings and eggs and biscuits one morning. We have a few leftover biscuits. Honestly these would do for snacks. In long past days, I used to serve leftover biscuits as dessert. The kids ate all they wanted with jelly. As a diabetic, I could still eat one as a snack but would need to swap out a 1 ounce piece of cheese for the jelly. I have pizza and chicken noodle soup to serve for two suppers.
So first I'll start with my items that were leftover. I've marked through those items I have already planned to use:
1 c dried black beans
1 can refried beans (I didn't make dip, didn't use on pizzas either as I'd thought I might at one point)
1 pound of potatoes
about 3 1/2 pounds sugar (or about
tomato paste about 2 ounces (or 1/3 of the can)
1/3 cup of margarine
I bought these items:
5# AP flour
3 strip pack of yeast
1 # margarine
8 ounces cheddar cheese
6# roasting chicken
1 15 oz jar peanut butter
1 doz eggs
1 can tomatoes
2 can green beans
2 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
1 # frozen sweet peas
1 # frozen broccoli
1 pound carrots
1 bunch turnip greens
1 jalapeno pepper
1 # brown rice
1 3# bag of apples (that's 9 apples in the bag)
1 1# can pineapple slices
1 box (100 ct) tea bags
1 gal of milk
1 jar grape jelly
1 # brown sugar
We'll have hot tea for breakfasts and mid afternoon and tea leftover for next week as well.
Saryn asked the total cost of this meal plan. I spent $34.56, $.20 more than reported on the first post, since I forgot to buy carrots at Publix and purchased them at Food Depot where they cost a little more.
I plan my main meals first.
Brown Rice with Chicken Gravy(using pan drippings)
Baked Apples with brown sugar and served with a dollop of Yogurt
Typically we only eat 1/2 an apple each but in this case a baked apple is dessert and since we'll be skipping bread with the meal I can have a whole apple, as can John
Black Beans with Brown Rice
Using 1/2 can of tomatoes, a little diced onion and some of the minced jalapeno
Each challenge I've made something that I haven't made in a long while or have never attempted. Tortillas are something I've wanted to learn to make for a long while. The recipe here says I should get 16 tortillas. One each should be sufficient for this meal.
Pineapple Slices (there are 8 slices in each can and about 1 cup of juice. We'll have two slices each. I could sprinkle them lightly with brown sugar and broil them.)
Chicken, Rice and Black Bean Burritos with Pineapple Salsa*
*(using a little jalapeno, a little onion, and 2 slices pineapple)
Chicken Legs and Wings
Green Beans with Potatoes
I only need two potatoes which will leave enough for one more meal.
Sweet and Sour Chicken over Rice
I've used pineapple juice to make a sweet and sour sauce before. I always had catsup to mix with it in the past and cornstarch to thicken, but I can improvise. A bit of tomato sauce, a little flour...we'll see if that won't make a reasonable substitute. I can add in a tiny bit of brown sugar if it's too tart but I think it will be all right. I'll add in some onions, carrot strips and some of the frozen broccoli to the dish, as well as the last two slices of pineapple.
Hash brown potatoes
Chicken Slices in Gravy over Toast Slices
Green Peas with Carrots
Cake with Broiled Frosting
I may crack open that new container of oatmeal after all. Using my one egg cake recipe that makes an 8 inch square, a little oatmeal, brown sugar and butter can be mixed together, spread on the baked cake and broiled for a few minutes. This is a great recipe if you happen to have nuts or coconut or even a flaky cereal to add to the butter and brown sugar.
Now to plan those suppers:
We'll start with the leftover pizza for one night.
We'll have Chicken Noodle soup (made from leftover noodles and meat and broth, as well as a little onion, carrot, and celery)
then I'll make from the recently purchased groceries:
Peanut butter sandwiches (on homemade bread) with tomato soup*
*make soup from leftover tomato paste, small can of tomato sauce and milk and water
Refried Bean Quesadillas with leftover salsas
Tortilla Pizzas (tomato sauce, garlic powder, shredded cheddar)
Boiled Eggs, Toast, Apple Slices
Variety of Leftovers
At this point I have at least 5 apples left. With yogurt and brown sugar or peanut butter we could have snacks all week long as needed. I can also make toast with peanut butter for a snack, getting in that all important protein with the carbohydrate.
I have a glass of milk every night about an hour before I head to bed. I do limit myself to just 1 cup (8ozs). I will also use a little in my tea each morning and on my oatmeal. I'll use 1 cup in the cake. There may be a little leftover at week's end. I'll have to actually measure that to see how much.
Other leftovers to carry over this time shall be:
all but 1 cup of the brown sugar
8 cups AP flour
1 box baking soda
1 can baking powder
1# oatmeal (minus 1/3 cup for the frosting)
2 1/2 cups yogurt
3 packages of yeast
1/4 bunch of celery
1/4 pound of carrots
1/2 pound broccoli
1 cup of peas
1/2 can tomatoes
1 8 oz tomato sauce
1 cup of brown rice
about 2 1/2 pounds sugar
root and top pieces of onion, carrot tips and celery leaves/root end. I always save these to use in cooking my chicken broth/carcass. Why throw it away when you can use it?!
Now I've already made plans for my April challenge week, lol. I am really enjoying stretching my kitchen and budget management skills and imagination with these challenges.