My pantry challenge

Since I spent over $470 this weekend on food (ok, maybe $430 was food, rest was other stuff), and my freezers are packed and the pantry is stuffed, I figured that maybe I should put myself on a challenge to a) save money; b) prevent waste and c) clean up & organize. So, I'm going to see if I can't survive on $20 a week for the next 4 weeks for groceries. This will include milk, produce and bread. Hmmm. Think I can do it? I think so. Of course, this would NOT include the kids school lunches, that cost $2.50 each, per day, 4 days a week, there went my budget! Figure this: milk is $4.49 a gallon. BUT if I go the extra 2 miles to BJ's, I can get it for $3.79. Don't quite know if it's worth the extra gas (given the price of gas nowdays) to go a little further just to save 70 cents or so. If cvs or walgreens was to put it on sale, then it wouldn't be such a big deal. Bread, $1.19 for the cheapest store brand I can find. Even the bread store hasn't really been able to beat that lately. So, I can either omit sandwiches or use up the hamburger, hot dog and tortilla wraps I have instead of bread. Possible. OR, I can make it which I know how to do, with or without the breadmaker. Produce. Ok, this may be difficult. We eat a lot of salads during the week. Dd 'thinks' she's vegetarian (face it, she just doesn't eat). Head of lettuce is roughly $1.69 for ICEBERG, apples are around $2.09 a lb, bananas are around 59 cents lb. Oranges, not even going there, however there have been some decent sales that come out to about 50 cents lb. Just hate buying package bags of fruit. I honestly think that the the majority of my $20 would go towards produce :( The next step would be to menu plan, all 3 meals plus snacks each day. Sounds easy enough :) But really, need to do inventory first, as nothing is worse than finding out that you have all the ingredients except for ONE major thing :) So far this week, I've done pretty well with what I've had on hand (of course, just spent a buttload of money on food!) ... dh is out Tuesday to Thursday ... me & kids had soup & grilled cheese last night. Granted, it was tomatoe soup from can. Wanted to do the asian chix soup, but dd was at work & didn't want to make it just for me (ds would drop dead if he ate it). Breakfast today is a croissant with sausage patty & fried egg & slice of cheese. Lunch will be leftover pizza with a small salad. Snack of carrot & celery sticks. Dinner is to be loaded baked potatoes, already scrubbed and in oven with oven on timer to come on at 4:45 so they should be ready by around 6ish when I get home. Tomorrow will be same for breakfast, lunch will be salad & leftover tater, dinner will be bbq pork sandwiches ... will toss pork & sauce in crockpot in morning at 5am when I get up ... that way dinner will be ready when dh gets home. Friday, don't know yet. I'm off, kids are off, dh has dentist appt in morning, and we have an appraiser coming out at 4ish for Citi refi of 2nd mtg. Prime MINUS 3/4 ... pretty darn good since the feds dropped the rates this week. Will post when I get that far :)

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