Monday, June 13, 2011

Menu Monday: $ Money Saving Challenge

All You magazine has issued their annual grocery challenge and I'm going to give it a try.  The challenge was highlighted in the June 19, 2011 issue of the magazine.  You can also find it online here:   While I will be relying on what I currently have in my pantry and freezer, in addition to what I buy, I will not be using any items I buy to stock up the pantry in the coming weeks.  I hadn't intended to stock up, having planned to simply spend the challenge amount of $25/per person per week but Chance asked me to continue to add to my pantry and freezer with an eye towards the future.  So I'm going to have the items separated at the grocery store and get receipts so I can be sure to stick with, or as near as possible, to the challenge amount for the coming four weeks.  Where I expected to see some savings from the coming month I'll likely channel that into pantry/freezer items instead.  I think it's an excellent opportunity to stock up without trying to 'find' that extra money, don't you?

Okay...On to menus for this week.

Monday:  Chicken Curry, Saffron Rice, Carrot Salad, Watermelon
Look familiar?  Yes, it is the same meal I served to company.  I had plenty of leftovers and it seemed reasonable to have some today.  I put the fourth portion of the chicken and rice into the freezer for a future lunch for me.
I got raves on the carrot salad, which was my take on a middle eastern inspired Carrot and Raisin salad.  I grated two carrots, added a tsp or so of lemon juice, a sprinkling of cinnamon, some raisins, grated sweetened coconut, mayonnaise and a handful of salted roasted pistachio nuts.  It really was delicious and I was pleased that my experiment worked out well.  Since I made it on Friday, I can vouch for it's keeping well over the weekend.

Tuesday:  Salmon Patties, Green Beans and Red Potatoes, Coleslaw
Any meat entree would work well with the rest of this menu, but I happen to have three cans of salmon and thought I'd use one.  By the way, this is a great item to keep on the pantry shelf.  The can I pulled out has an expiration date of 2016!  The vegetable part of this meal is my idea of good summer eating.  It reminds me of the way we ate when the garden began to produce when I was a child.  Fond memories, good food.

Wednesday:  Peccadillo, Rice, Green Salad with Avocado, Brownies
I found this recipe Friday as I sorted through my notebook of recipes and set it aside. Peccadillo is a nicely spiced dish with raisins and tomatoes and garlic.  It makes a nice change from chili and is very tasty.  I'll use just 1/2 pound of meat, which will be plenty for Chance and I.  Since I tend to freeze ground meat in 1 pound packets, I'll save the other half pound to use to make another meal. 

Thursday: Tomato, Basil and Fresh Mozzarella Omelet, Home Fries, Green Salad, Bread and Butter
Omelets are so easy to make and require little cooking.  They are light and filling.  If fresh mozzarella is too expensive, I'll substitute another white cheese, perhaps feta.  Simple sides are enough to make a meal.

Friday:  Chicken Tacos, Corn on the Cob, Peach Sorbet
Breasts from the freezer will be boned and cooked with homemade taco seasoning.  I'll fill soft flour tortillas with the taco meat, add chopped tomato, shredded lettuce and cheese. I'll try my hand at making my own sorbet.  Just frozen fresh peaches, a wee bit of sweetener in the blender.

Saturday:  Crock pot Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Toast, Easy Tiramisu
I think I'll make a meal in the crock pot on Saturday.  I have all the necessary ingredients on hand right now.  I'll make the tiramisu using cream cheese, homemade vanilla pudding and vanilla wafers dipped in strong black coffee.  I need only to purchase some whipping cream to put on top.

Sunday:  Barbecued Beef Ribs, Squash casserole, English Pea Salad, Ice cream cones
Leftover cooked squash was frozen last week.  I'll just thaw and drain well before using.  English Pea Salad is something Mama used to make and it's an easy make ahead meal.  Using ice cream cones (or making homemade ice cream sandwiches) is a great way to extend ice cream.

The items I'll need for this week's dinner menus: fresh tomatoes, peaches, fresh mozzarella or feta cheese, a baguette, flour tortillas and avocado.

This week I'll also list what I plan to have for breakfasts and suppers.

Breakfasts:  Peanut butter toast
                    Pancakes and Turkey Sausage patties
                    Steak biscuits (steak is in the freezer)
                    Scrambled eggs/Blueberry Muffins
                    Cinnamon Rolls and Fruit Salad
                    Grits and Eggs
                    Cold Cereal

Suppers:      Steak sandwiches (leftover from making steak biscuits)
                    Egg salad sandwiches
                    Tomato sandwiches
                    Nachos with black beans (using leftover tortillas to make chips)
                    Creamed Mushrooms over toast
                    Pepperoni Pizza (using leftover baguette)
                    Chef Salad (using leftover salads and makings, boiled eggs and cheese sticks,croutons)

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