I gave myself a challenge this week. Create a meal plan utilizing what I had on hand and allot a $50 budget for whatever else I needed. I wanted to stretch that $50 as far as possible. The month has just begun, but I feel like I’ve been successful in my plan.
I have to admit, the challenge came about as necessity. Although I’m cheap, I’ve not been vey good about sticking to budget. Sure I save a lot and stretch every single dollar, but sometimes I still live pay check to pay check. *gasp* Well, oftentimes I live pay check to pay check. We make more than enough money to live comfortably.
Our vice is food. It’s so easy to eat out. My husband works right next to several great restaurants. The wonderful aroma wafts in the air as early as 11 am, so he’s faced with that constant temptation. Where I work, there’s a cafeteria on site that I have to walk through to get to my office. These things combined with our laziness and lack of self control leave us pretty much doomed…
So this $50 challenge arose. How could I help our budget and finances for the month by stretching $50?
This is what I came up with:
I didn’t quite make it the month mark, but hopefully I’ll have leftovers I can utilize to stretch it to the month mark.
If you’d like to download a copy for yourself, you can go here to download.
To create my meal plan I followed a few steps.
- Take inventory of everything I had on hand
- Check coupon deals for $1 or less deals I could make into meals (not many sadly)
- Make a list of known needs (Staples like eggs, bread etc)
- Browsed Pinterest for cheap meal ideas
- Finished my shopping list based on what I had and what I needed
While shopping, I did come across a great deal on ground turkey and on chicken leg quarters. I was planning to get chicken breast, but seeing Manager Markdowns got me excited. My best deals were a pound of ground turkey for $1.95 and two big packs of chicken leg quarters for about $3.70 each. Each pack of chicken will feed the two of us for at least 2 meals, which really helped my budget!
I found some neat recipe ideas that I can’t wait to try. Like Hobo Grilled Chicken! Really need to use our grill more often.
Have you ever made a meal plan? What are your favorite recipes? How far could you stretch a $50 grocery budget?