After three weeks, we have spent $106.58 of our $200 budget. Part of this is due to using a $30 Dominick's gift card, but most of it is simply eating what we have.
What did we eat this week?
Breakfast: toast, eggs, bacon, cereal, oatmeal, and blueberry-clementine muffins
Lunch: leftovers, canned soup
Dinner: leftover clementine pork chops, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, pasta e fagiole (from the freezer), gnocchi with smoked sausage sauce
Snacks: chocolate chip peanut butter cookies, hot chocolate, cheese crackers, cheese, frozen blueberries
For the most part, we ate as we normally would. Yesterday I considered buying real Italian sausage to go in the pasta sauce, and then decided to experiment and use the Italian-style smoked sausage I had in the freezer. It worked just fine. Perhaps not the tastiest sauce I've ever made, but definitely edible. My deeply suspicious toddler ate some.
Due to the $30 gift card we received, I've decided to reduce our overall budget goal for the month to $170. Given that I still have $15 left on the gift card and $63.42 left in the budget with 9 days remaining in January, that shouldn't be a problem. The only hiccup will be if daycare sends more a snack list today.
I have a smoked turkey defrosting in the refrigerator, and that will make several meals for us this week, supplemented in part by some of the pantry extras I acquired at Thanksgiving (using Catalinas).
So what does the pantry look like now? I've been able to condense a few boxes, and there is slightly more room in the garage freezer than there was, but three weeks of pantry cooking has barely put a dent in our supplies. I'll take some new pictures at the end of the month, but I think that it would be worthwhile for us to have a pantry cooking week each month for awhile to make sure items are getting rotated regularly.