This Month’s Menu: January 2012

Well, our family survived our crazy month of December, and the simple menu really helped me keep my sanity. This is another busy month for us with the launch of Simply Frugal Pittsburgh, several coupon classes, and more visits with family from out of town.

If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, or if you’ve been to my coupon class, you know that it’s always my goal to feed my family for $200 per month with coupons. I’m determined as ever to stick to my budget this year and keep our grocery spending in check. When we returned from our Christmas trip, I fed us for several nights with leftovers from holiday cooking in my freezer. Then we went out of town again to visit my husband’s family for a couple days. So, we’re finally settled at home for the month and I had 20 dinners to plan when I made the list.

Here’s how I prepared our menu for the month:

  1. I determined which nights we’ll actually be at home for dinner this month: 20.
  2. I made a menu for 20 meals, taking into consideration the items I already have in my freezer and pantry. I didn’t assign meals to any particular day, I just made a list of all the meals I intend to make. I kept it very simple. You’ll notice several vegetarian meals on the list – these help save us money and stick to our budget, and they’re yummy, too!
  3. I listed each item I need to purchase to make the menu happen (not a huge list thanks to my fridge and freezer!). I also thought through non-menu items I needed for the month, such as milk, eggs, yogurt, etc., and added them to my shopping list.
  4. I already have everything I need for a number of my menu items, so I’ll serve those first this month. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for sales and coupons on the items I still need to purchase.

 

Here are my meals for this month:

= 20 Dinners

Check out more dinners for $5 or less here.

How about you? Any favorite, frugal menu items to share this month?
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