First, I have decided that our "food budget" needs to be more than $500 a month. Gluten free groceries (bread, bagels, pasta, cereal bars) can be close to $100 or so on their own. So for February I am going to set $600 as our budget.
Second, meal planning did make a difference. I know I should know that by now, but it was so much easier to shop, budget and cook with a plan. I have decided on a loose plan for each week:
- Monday - Hodgepodge - Which at my house means we eat up the leftovers and such from the fridge.
- Tuesday- Pasta Night - Kid #1 has basketball practice on Tuesdays. A nice pasta meal will give him fuel for practice.
- Wednesday - Soup and/or Sandwiches - We are at church late and a quick meal is perfect for Wednesdays. I have made soup or we have had it out of the can. I am going to try more soup recipes in the slow cooker.
- Thursday - Poultry night - roasted chicken, chicken bites, chicken/turkey breasts, ground turkey something or turkey burgers. Poultry will be the main ingredient on Thursdays.
- Friday - Breakfast for dinner - During the pantry challenge we have had french toast, waffles, and pancakes. It is again a night Kid #1 has piano, so a yummy breakfast meal as a family is great before Little House on the Prairie.
- Saturday - Treat night - We will have pizza (homemade or takeout depending on the budget), nachos or tacos, Thai or Chinese food (again depends on the budget). As a kid we always had one night were we could eat something yummy.
- Sunday - Big Family Meal - I will make a dinner with all the trimmings.