Monday, February 8, 2016

Pantry Challenge Week One Recap - Jan 31st to Feb 6th

Ok, I've made it through week one unscathed, and I'm pumped for week two...
Here's my very first summary, that will likely change and evolve, or disappear altogether because it takes a lot of time.  I hope it gives you some great ideas for your own money saving menu!

A few things to note, I'm only documenting what I ate because I can't keep track of everyone.  The truth is the hubby generally eats lunch out during the week because of his job, or he skips it all together.  That come out of his personal budget though, and he's able to write things off at the end of the year, so I don't get involved. 

My daughter usually takes leftovers, or wraps (stuffed with leftovers) or sometimes nothing at all so I'm not listing her meals either.  (Don't judge until you have to live with a teenager.)

Dinners are eaten together, for the most part, so they are the only "family meal" listed here.

Also, I generally do groceries near the end of the week, so this week's groceries will be used towards next week's meals.  Unfortunately I wasn't organized enough to get you last week's list, so you'll have to use your imagination.  Moving forward you'll see what I bought & how much I paid for groceries, to be used the following week.  Make sense?

One last thing - for the sake of simplicity below, "the others" are my family members

Here's what we ate for dinner (and what I ate for other meals) this week:



Haitian Griot, Mixed Bean & Feta Salad, Rice

Sunday Jan 31st
Breakfast - scrambled eggs with tomato & red onion,  2 slices of bacon (the others ate toast as well)
Lunch - skipped
Dinner - Haitian Pork Griot (I ate this with bean salad and zoodles, the family ate it with bean salad & rice)

Monday Feb 1st
Breakfast - my usual week day smoothie (kale, coffee, almond milk, vanilla protein powder, pb2, cocoa powder, cinnamon)
Lunch - KFC paid for by a co-worker (look, we drove 600km today; don't judge)
Dinner - leftovers from Sunday, yum!

Tuesday Feb 2nd
Breakfast - smoothie
Lunch - Butternut squash soup (I make a huge batch of soup on the weekends and portion it out in the freezer for quick lunches)
Dinner - Cabbage Roll Casserole

Cabbage Roll Casserole

Wednesday Feb 3rd
Breakfast - smoothie
Lunch - leftover cabbage roll casserole
Dinner - went out with co-workers because it was my last day at my current job (they paid) - more on that soon!

Thursday Feb 4th
Breakfast/Lunch - leftover cabbage casserole (don't judge)
Dinner - Montana's (another ex-coworker meal.  I'm starting a new job on Monday, my dream job, so I'm getting together with friends now, while I can)


I also made a batch of cookies on Sunday and they were incredible.  You can find the recipe here.





Friday Feb 5th
Breakfast - smoothie
Lunch - went out with great friends (who also paid...I love my girls, and besides, they can expense it!)
Dinner - Roasted Chicken with rice (for the others) and leftover bean salad for me

Roasted Chicken






Saturday Feb 6th
Breakfast - Eggs, toast (for them), bacon
Lunch - leftover Cabbage Casserole (listen - it's good, and I have ALOT left so I'll be eating this for while!)
Dinner - Went out to dinner with friends for a birthday celebration (and yes, I paid this time boohoo)
Sunday Feb 7th
Breakfast - leftover pizza from a very late night on Saturday
Lunch - breakfast was eaten at 1:30pm so...
Dinner - I can't believe I'm admitting this again - cabbage casserole...


My grocery shopping was done at No Frills on Thursday, and the total was $69.22.  I found some pretty amazing meat deals.  See below for what I picked up:

Gatorade 24 pack @ $15.98 (this is one of those non-negotiable items that my athlete of a husband cannot live without)
Red Wine Vinegar @ $1.29 (a pantry item we were out of)
Rice Vinegar @ $2.99 (a pantry item we were out of)
2% Milk @ $4.27
Jalapeno Peppers (5) @ $2.47
Green onions (2 bunches) @ $1.76
Red onions (2) @ $2.56
Bacon @ $3.99 (price matched down from $4.97)
Beef roast @ $8.61 (this was a huge score - the regular price was $20.22, marked down to $12.30 with an additional 30% off)
Sirloin steaks (4) @ $6.62 (another great deal - the regular price was $12.50, marked down to $9.46 with an additional 30% off)
2 bags of chicken back attach with 4 each in the bag - one was $5.72 and one was $4.91

I came in at $30.78 under my budget!  In addition, I got 5400 Pc plus points to go towards groceries (I now have a total of $66.77 worth of groceries saved on my card to redeem).  Not bad for my first week if I do say so myself!

Going forward, I may take the money I save and put it in a separate savings account, maybe a vacation fund, or something of that nature.  I haven't quite decided yet.  Another idea is to just tack it on to our debt repayment each month.  For now, I'll keep in mind I have an extra $30.78 to add to another budgeted item.  I'll keep you posted.


Wow...this was a long post.  I'll have to figure out how to shorten it.  Enjoy your week!