Usually I do a menu for 1-2 weeks. Last week, I decided to come up with 20 meals, and go ahead and get whatever groceries that we can for those meals (anything that won't go bad before we plan on cooking it). I did this because I have 3 1/2 weeks off for Christmas, and I won't get paid during that time; but this past check, I received 3 weeks instead of 2 weeks. So, I decided that it would be best to stock up on what we need the most: food. We also received a free turkey and ham from the camp, so I incorporated those in as well.
So, here are the meals that I created. I made a specific menu, but I decided that it was most important to share the meals, not the dates :). I just did 20 meals for the month because we're going to be out of town a lot, and we will eat in the dining hall some as well.
Eggs and toast (homemade bread)
Organic honey nut o's
Dining Hall or Leftovers
Organic Mac N Cheese (boxed- Annie's brand)
Baked Cheese Pasta
Chicken and Dumplings and green beans with tomato and onion
Crockpot Chicken and Rice
Turkey, stuffing, yams, green beans
Turkey Pot Pie
15 Bean Soup
Ham, Homemade Mac N Cheese, a veggie
Cheesy Ham Casserole
Crockpot Potato and Ham Soup
Pinto Beans and Rice
Lasagne and veggie
Homemade Chicken Soup
Lemon Pepper Chicken and couscous salad
Mini Meat Loaves and veggie
Penne Pasta Casserole
Let me know if you would like any recipes! I tried to make many meals that incorporated some of the same ingredients. That saves money! :) Some things we bought at Sam's: meat, milk, and eggs all contain no hormones, and are MUCH cheaper than HEB or Walmart; in fact, the eggs are cage free, roaming chicken, brown eggs. We also bought coffee, real butter, yeast, and shampoo there because they are much cheaper. We bought most everything else from HEB. I found that frozen, organic veggies are not a bad price at HEB. They are only about 10 cents more than the regular!! So, I got some frozen veggies there (these also last much longer than fresh, and are organic!). I also found that buying the 32 oz organic yogurt (Horizon brand) is cheaper than buying individuals (Stoneyfield Farms), and Karis seems to really liked it. It also lasts quite a while. I got most things from HEB. I didn't do quite as well as I would have liked on how much I spent for the month, but it is still cheaper than getting groceries every week or two weeks. And, I think I will get better as I do this more and more. This was our first time to buy for such a long amount of time! All we will need to buy each week or 2 weeks is milk, eggs, yogurt, and fresh produce. Everything else we have either frozen, in the pantry, or in the fridge (and it will last long enough!). It was a fun challenge!! I can't wait to do it again! :) If things go well, we might do this every month. It feels good to be prepared!