This week’s menu plan is brought to you by zombie mama. I am TIRED. With 3 days of birthday celebrations and all of the prep work that preceded it, I could use a bit of a spa day. Yeah, that’ll happen.

I tried to squeeze our food budget tight, tight, tight this week due to extra expenses that I’ll go into in this week’s budget/money management post. 

First, I took an inventory of all the food in the house. This is a critical step to menu planning on a budget. I went through the pantry, fridge, freezer, and deep freezer and wrote down everything that could be a meal component.

Then, I sat down and tried to use every item on the list to stretch the ‘free’ food as far as it would go without resorting to too many grains. We’ll be eating a couple of grain dishes this week to use up some leftovers from the weekend. This would normally be a no-no, but I loosened the rules in the effort to not waste food and squeeze the budget a bit more. If there was any question of it compromising our health, I wouldn’t even consider it. I would try to save money in other areas.

Once I created all of the meals and snacks I could from that list, I supplemented with a shopping list of low cost and/or nutrient-dense items and poultry for the cat. She’s a strict carnivore and also on a REAL FOOD diet that accommodates her food allergies.

Hubby is going to hit the grocery store on his way home from work tonight for the missing items. That means you will see a post with the back half of the menu plan tomorrow. I will list the kitchen inventory and grocery receipts to show what tools I used to pull the menu together and the total cost. The grocery bills should be around $45.

This post is part of Monday ManiaTraditional Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday.

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