Menu Plan Week 131 - Using What We Have

Hi, Hi! Do you know what today is?? Today is Menu Plan and Meal Prep Day! Sweet!

Ok, maybe it's not all that exciting but it should be! Oh, did I mention it's also the official week start of the Pantry/Freezer Challenge? Even better, don't you think?

Let's get the Pantry/Freezer Challenge out of the way first, shall we?  For the month of July, my goal is to buy ONLY produce, dairy and bread. Mind you, we don't really eat a lot of bread or dairy, but there are a few in the household who eat cereal and make smoothies with milk ... so I got to make sure they are taken care of. The bread? Well, it's only because the boat is back in the water and boating and sandwiches (and beer!) go hand in hand. Beer? Not sure yet about what I'm doing with that. I need to lay off it for awhile but not sure if the other family members will follow suit so that's up in the air still.

My goal is only spend $240 for the month of July on actual groceries, the produce, dairy and bread. I've done this before, quite a few times, and even though its easy in the beginning, I realize now that I get bored ... which is taboo for the budget! Do you realize that's only $60 a week for 4 weeks, which sounds like a lot, but really, it's not! I feed 4 to 6 people consistently with 8 to 10 being frequent. O M G. And I like GOOD food!  FYI ... I had planned on hitting Costco last Monday but the Princess convinced me that we didn't need to go ... I have $240 to spend there (cash back and gift card) so if I was smart, I'd use it instead of actual cash for July but don't know if that would really work?

I've been working on inventorying the freezers and am surprised at what we do have and don't have. And even more surprised that once Hubby heard what July is, he started pulling stuff out to make on Saturday (tbones, egg rolls and cooked beef) ...

Hubby ended up making a last minute trip to Atlanta this past week so we grabbed a bite to eat at my favorite pub last week, and then Wednesday, I was Hangry when I got home so bullied the Boy and girlfriend to stop working out(!!) and go with me to La Bambas ... so NOT necessary. Then Thursday night was on the dock drinking margaritas with two girlfriends til late late night, so not cool on a work/school night ... so needless to say, the menu plan this past week was way off!

So ... with this in mind ... here's the meal prepping I've done for the week and what I hope to get accomplished ... making a batch of the dairy free grain free ranch dressing, "boil" 8 eggs, make mayo, make tuna salad (5 cans), shred cabbages, chop lettuce, rice cauliflower. I have a lot to do, don't I?  ... AND get ready for the Pantry/Freezer Challenge ...

And here's what we are looking to chow down on the week ahead!

Sunday - Ropa Viejo  - will use a package of the cooked beef and Hubby will go to town making that with black beans and rice from the pantry

Monday - Chicken thighs and rice. Both from the MAIN freezer. I think I will aim for the Damn Fine Chicken in the crock pot ...


Tuesday - Taco Tuesday! Will stop at Fresh market and buy some beef and chicken for $2.99 a pound and use my $10 off $50 purchase. I have the balance of the ingredients in fridge and pantry, but DO need to pick up some shells ... will price them at Fresh Market but may need to swing by Aldis to pick them up at a reasonable price (along with avocados, more lettuce, eggs, etc.)

Wednesday - it's the Official Start of the Pantry/Freezer Challenge ... Ranch Pork Chops  in the crock pot ... chops in main freezer, balance of ingredients in pantry. Although Hubby might be out of town tonight. The chops I have are NOT thick cut so might need to only cook for 6 hours or so. Will serve with green beans if there are any left (that were precooked on Saturday)


Thursday - Leftovers or if Hubby is traveling, chips, salsa and guacamole. Chips in pantry, will make the salsa with fresh tomatoes (if we have any left, otherwise I'll make a quick batch in the Vitamix) and will grab a package of the guacamole from freezer.

Friday - I'm thinking simple as its a big weekend and we may have this day off ... if so, I hope we go Boating and floating and then

Saturday - Hubby is wanting to do a BBQ today since he missed out on Memorial Day ... fortunately, I have lots of protein in the freezer! Burgers, Hot Dogs, Brats and Sauerkraut ... score! Will most likely need to pick up buns ... I'm thinking of making a black bean salsa (all ingredients in pantry and freezer), an italian pasta salad (we just saw 2 boxes of the tri-colored pasta in the pantry (yes, we were both looking at stuff together) and maybe some cut up watermelon (counter top) ... and this year, going against tradition and asking guest to bring a side dish! Imagine that!  As always, will ask the guest to please bring what they like to drink and ice!

What are YOU planning for the week??

Looking forward to linking up with Organized Junkie's Menu Plan Monday party ... go check it out!

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