Budget Challenge

Hey Everyone,

So the other day I posted on Facebook about a challenge Sarah asked me to try.  It was to look at what we had in the pantry and freezer to figure out a menu for two weeks to limit our spending as much as we could.

Now you have to understand my issue here.  I LOVE to cook, but my tastes run a bit higher on the budget than Sarah’s.  She has been encouraging me to learn to cook gourmet dinners but on shoe string budget.  I don’t always do so well, but I’m getting better.

So this menu was a huge challenge for me.  In the midst of my, “ugh”, i actually found myself curious if we could do this.  So I accepted.  Now came the work.  Sarah and I and a couple kids dug through the pantry to see what we had.  Worked up a list of available meats from the freezers and what veggies we would possibly pair with them.

After looking through recipes from my personal ones to websites and blog sites we made a preliminary menu.  Now don’t think this menu was budget approved out of the gate.  Sarah and I did some edit work and some rethinking of ingredients but we finished the two week menu.

Now after some shopping and even some more editing, in the store I might add, we spent $40.

That being said, here is the menu ( I reserve the right to re-organize the order of meals):


Fettuccine Alfredo with grilled chicken breast with a side salad with home made vinaigrette

     ( Home made sauce and noodles)

5 Bean Rice and Beans

Mini chicken Pot Pies with mixed vegetables

Spaghetti ( Home made noodles and home made sauce) with salad

Venison stroganoff (Home made noodles – venison was a gift)


Pigs in a Blanket

Taco soup

Baked potatoes

Mini chicken pot pies with mixed vegetables

Spaghetti ( Home made noodles and home made sauce) with salad

Baked Potatoes

Zuppa Toscana

We had 6 lbs of venison, 1 lb of ground beef, and 3 lbs of chicken left in the freezer and a 16 pack of hotdogs in the fridge.  Its amazing what you can do on a budget when you put your mind to it.

See the biggest part of this challenge wasn’t the budget for me – it was thinking outside of my recipe comfort zone and realizing that the budget wasn’t limiting me in my ingredients but pushing the boundaries of creativity and taste.

Thats enough for tonight.


PS. Recipes to be posted soon.