menu plan monday: 09|19 to 09|25

Monday, September 19, 2011
In March of this year, my son and I moved in with my boyfriend and his daughter, of whom he shares 50% custody.

In May, our family grew by one as we welcomed our daughter together.

In August, we decided that it was high time we got a budget going and we turned to YNAB, a program we had both used somewhat in the past when we were still in separate houses. Having never budgeted for a family of four before (the baby needs surprisingly little as a cloth-diapered, breastfed little person), we guessed on the figures for many of the categories, Groceries being one of them. At the end of August, we were almost $200 over our budgeted figure for that category. I think it's partly that we budgeted too little but also partly that the money wasn't spent as wisely as it could have been and the dollars weren't stretched to their full potential.

September's grocery budget is the same as August's was with a few changes. There will be more couponing, more meal planning, more cooking-from-the-pantry-and-freezer self-challenges, and more cooking from scratch. There will be more price-matching among grocery stores and more shopping from the sale fliers. There will be more personal Make It Instead challenges too.

This week I am making many of our menu items from our existing pantry and freezer stock. Here's what we'll be eating until next Monday.

Thursday: roast in the slow cooker with potatoes, Garlic Mustard Green Beans, carrot sticks
Saturday: Slow Cooker Mushroom Barley Chicken with spinach, corn

If you're stumped for ideas or just want to mix up your meals a bit, head over to for Menu Plan Monday. Each week Laura links up hundreds of bloggers, each posting their own weekly meal plan and recipe links.


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