Menu Plan Monday - Week of December 30 and Pantry Challenge!

Birthday Dinner for My John - Crab Legs!

Can you believe 2012 is almost done?  I'm not sure I'm ready but the last half of the year has been a bear and I'm definitely ready for a fresh start!

One of the things that we're doing for January is an eat from the Pantry Challenge.  We haven't done a ton of grocery shopping the last few weeks - picked up some milk here and there and only did one "real" shopping trip between Thanksgiving and now but for some reason, our freezers are packed to the gills (John put the stew meat I bought Saturday in our upstairs freezer - the one attached to the fridge - and said "Don't open that! Everything will fall out!") and so is our pantry and our kitchen cabinets.  They're also a mess and need to cleaned out. 
So for January, our grocery/toiletry/paper product budget for the month is $50. 
Yep, you read that right - $50.  I already put together a menu for January using what we have and we have veggies, meat/protein and starches basically covered so the only things we'll need to get are fruit and milk and anything that we see that's a really good deal!  We've done it before and we can definitely do it again!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, December 30:
   Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
   Lunch: Breakfast Tacos, Apples, Blueberries
   Snack:  At the Movies (a friend gave us 4 passes to see Rise of the Guardians, so we bought
   Dinner:  Scalloped Potatoes and Ham, Pineapple-Melon-Blueberry Salad

Monday, December 31:
   Breakfast:  Oatmeal with Blueberries and Almonds
   Lunch:  Hot Buttered Noodles with Parmesan Cheese, Oranges
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner:  Homemade Pizza and Bread sticks.
   Desert:  Chocolate Dipped Orange Slices and Christmas Cookies

Tuesday, January 1, New Year's Day:
   Brunch:  Cinnamon Buttermilk Coffee Cake, Orange and Grapefruit Wedges, Baked Eggs
   Snack: Yogurt Parfaits
   Dinner:  Swedish Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Tossed Salad, Pineapple-Melon-Blueberry Salad

Wednesday, January 2:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Almonds
   Lunch: Apple Slices with Peanut Butter, Yogurt, Carrots or Tomatoes, Pretzels, Cookie
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner:  Turkey Pot Pie, Tossed Salad, Pineapple-Blueberry-Apple Salad

Thursday, January 3, John's Birthday:
   Breakfast: Pancakes with Blueberries
   Lunch: Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
   Dinner: Crab Legs, Steamed Carrots, Orange and Grapefruit Wedges
   Desert: Birthday Cake

Friday, January 4:
   Breakfast: Tropical Smoothies, Toast
   Lunch: Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup and Apple Slices for the Children, Date Night Out for the Adults

Saturday, January 5:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins, Orange Wedges
   Lunch: Tuna Wrap Sandwiches, Carrots and Celery, Apple Slices
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner: Chicken-Wild Rice Soup, Baking Powder Biscuits, Apple-Banana-Orange Salad

A couple of quick notes:
* Eating out is a separate part of our budget and we usually only eat out once a month and then usually it's just John and I.  We typically spend about $20, though we've also definitely spent less, for dinner for two, either using a coupon or going to a local place that has great soup and sandwich combos at a terrific price. 
*The crab legs are what John typically asks for as his birthday present - good, fresh seafood is hard to find here in the mid-west so these come from our gift budget rather than our food budget.  They're a splurge but that's a great birthday treat once a year and we usually have enough crab left over to make crab cakes later in the year too.

For more information on the what a "pantry challenge" is, visit Jessica at Good (Cheap) Eats.
For more menus visit Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie!.

And Happy New Year!



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