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*September* Home-Cooked Challenge!!

post #1 of 221
Thread Starter 
Hey mama's!

So...like most of us, I'm trying to save money. I just realized the other day that I spend (on average) about $200 a month on meals out, treats out, etc. That's a whopping $200 a month that could (and should) be in our savings! I'm just wondering if anyone interested in doing a "home-cooked" challenge with me?

Say...for the month of September you vow (haha) to prepare all meals at home - and, you know, stick to your grocery budget (whatever that happens to be). I'm not saying everything has to be made from scratch (unless you like it that way)...even store bought convenience foods are cheaper than a meal at a restaurant...

Anyway, is anyone in - besides me??

This thread can be used for meal ideas, recipes, oh - and don't forget to post what you made! (I'll probably just post dinner, unless I make something "fancy" for breakfast or whatever...).

1) Vegan Sloppy Joes, sweet potato fries and Salad.
2) BBQ tofu, baked potatoes, green beans
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Well...I hope some of you join me so I don't look like a *total* nerdball posting this
post #2 of 221

I'm In!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
Hey mama's!

So...like most of us, I'm trying to save money. I just realized the other day that I spend (on average) about $200 a month on meals out, treats out, etc. That's a whopping $200 a month that could (and should) be in our savings! I'm just wondering if anyone interested in doing a "home-cooked" challenge with me?

Say...for the month of September you vow (haha) to prepare all meals at home - and, you know, stick to your grocery budget (whatever that happens to be). I'm not saying everything has to be made from scratch (unless you like it that way)...even store bought convenience foods are cheaper than a meal at a restaurant...

Anyway, is anyone in - besides me??

This thread can be used for meal ideas, recipes, oh - and don't forget to post what you made! (I'll probably just post dinner, unless I make something "fancy" for breakfast or whatever...).

1) Vegan Sloppy Joes, sweet potato fries and Salad.

Well...I hope some of you join me so I don't look like a *total* nerdball posting this
I'll join you! I love this idea!! i have even started making my own tortillas b/c DH eats a ton of them & they cost a lot less to make... Ok here goes my first dinner posting

1) Lengua (from grass-fed organic beef), Pinto beans & tortillas for DH
DD had mac-n-cheese with tuna, DS had his mac plain...
post #3 of 221
Oh, I'm in!

I need motivation to cook at home.

When I get busy canning I usually end up resorting to take out.

September is the month I most need to be careful about cooking at home!

1. DH made venison pepper steak and rice with steamed green beans from the garden.
2. Pancakes, strawberries, and bacon
post #4 of 221
I need this, too. Especially since this is a super tight month for us (property taxes, car insurance) and we wanted to buy $100 worth of stuff from the produce stand to turn into $250 worth of processed (canned/frozen) food. So a super-duper tight month, basically.

9/1:
Breakfast: Soft Boiled Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Veggie/Beef Cheeseburgers and Steamed Green Beans
Snacks: Fruit, Cereal

Plus $5 spent on my snack at the grocery, and Taco Bell for DH.

9/2:
Breakfast: Strawberry Muffins & Coffee/Juice
Lunch: Carrots and Homemade Ranch Dip, Deviled Eggs, and Leftover Muffins
Dinner: Zuchinni Pancakes & Succotash
Snacks: Fruit, Cereal, PB&J
post #5 of 221
I'm in!
1-vegan vegetable soup with all veggies frm market/garden/leftover cut-up pasta/a jar of salsa on its way out:
2-Vegan Tofu green curry on rice/cut up cukes/tomatoes from garden
3-Vegan stuffed zukes(not sure what I'm stuffing w..possibly the leftover rice from last night(unless it gets eaten)), roasted baby red potatoes, salad
4-Work over dinner so making enough stuffed zuke to take. The Boys will prob have eggs or miso soup.
5-There's talk of some family thing happening so unsure
6-
post #6 of 221
i am in too. august was hard and only got harder by an unexpected c-section. We have spent way too much eating out. Time to get back to normal. I was so good at meal planning and cooking from scratch before the end of the pregnancy.

We get 1 or 2 take-out or restaurant meals a month as part of our entertainment budget. I can't live without Thai food and I simply can't make it so it tastes right.

1. Grilled chicken with broccoli
2. BLTs on homemade bread and garden tomatoes
3.
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6.
7.
post #7 of 221
I'm definitely in. August was a ridiculous month for eating out. I need to get my act together so that DH and I can throw all our extra $$ at the debt snowball.

1~ baked ziti (DH picked up Italian bread on his way home and in true DH form, also bought Chips Ahoy: )
post #8 of 221
I'm in. We don't eat out alot anyways and I do make most of our meals from scratch. The last few months my grocery budget has been $200-$300 a month and I'd like to keep it that way.

Here's my meal plan for the month:
1-hashbrown casserole/sandwiches
2-dinner at my mom's
3-out at the fair
4-out of town
5-out of town
6-out of town
7-dinner at my mom's
8-roasted chicken, potatoes, veggie
9-baked potatoes
10-breakfast - sausage patties, eggs, toast, hashbrowns
11-pizza, bruschetta, veggies or fruit
12-out
13-pork roast, mashed potatoes, corn
14-dinner at my mom's
15-spaghetti, salad, bread
16-tacos
17-finger steaks, fries, veggie
18-pizza, veggie or fruit
19-meatloaf muffins, roasted potatoes, veggie
20-ham, potatoes, green beans
21-dinner at my mom's
22-panini's, chips, veggie
23-leftovers
24-taco soup, nachos
25-pizza, veggie or fruit
26-steak, baked potatoes, salad
27-hamburgers, fries
28-dinner at my mom's
29-baked trout, rice, veggies
30-

So far, since it's all of the 2nd , I've actually stuck with it.

Sept grocery budget: $0/$300
post #9 of 221

Heck, what's one more challenge?

Sure, count me in. I was planning to try to cut back to eating out 5x in September (working our way from 2-3 times a week to 2-3 times a month) but in the last 24 hours, I changed my mind.

For one thing, we ate out last night and it wasn't so fun. DS is 3 months old now, and I guess he's past the stage of just snoozing away in his car seat when we eat out? Anyway, we had to hold him the whole time: I held him until the food came, then DH held him while I ate my meal, then I held him again while DH ate *his* meal. Why exactly did I think this would be fun, again?

Then, this morning, DH had a dental emergency that required a tooth extraction. It doesn't seem that insurance is covering this, although what the HECK are we paying for dental insurance for, if not for dental emergencies? : DH is dentist-phobic thanks to the royal-UAV army dentists that yanked his wisdom teeth and hasn't been in like 20 years. So of course they pointed out some other work that needs to be done ASAP or else he'll be back in with another painful emergency. Anyway it was a $250.00 downpayment today, and assuming that Southern Health ignores the rest of it, will be another $500.00 when the bill comes, plus whatever the rest of the work costs. Budget? WHAT budget?

So why not. Let's try to cook at home the rest of the month, unless DH really wants to go out for some reason. I have NO meal plan, was supposed to go grocery shopping today but spent half the day in the dentist waiting room, bouncing DS around in my arms, then grabbing a few things while getting the scrips filled. I need to re-work the nebulous plans I *did* have, since he can't chew for a few days now...

09/01: ate out at Baja Bean.
09/02: scratch fettucini alfredo
09/03: lentil or split-pea soup
09/04: ???
09/05: ???
09/05: ???

Guess I'll add this one to the "September No-spend" challenge and the "September accountability" challenge...
post #10 of 221
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!!!

We set aside a few days to go out of town so that's in the budget. But this is the plan:

1: Beans and cornbread
2: Hamburgers
3: Salmon Patties and Rice
4: Pork and Bean Tacos
5: Fried Chicken
6: Beef Quesadillas
7: Oriental Pork Chops
8: Chicken Tortilla Soup
9: Chili
10: Spicy Fried Pork Chops
11: Chicken Pesto
12: Spicy Oven Fried Tilapia
13: BBQ Pork Chops
14: Stuffed Baked Potatoes (bbq chicken and bacon)
15: Sausage and Beans
16: Chicken Italiano
17: Cajun Chicken
18: Nachos
19: Brazilian Chicken
20: Chicken and Dumplings
21: Breakfast Tacos
22: Chicken Fried Steak
23: Chorizo, Egg, Bean Tacos
24: Out of Town
25: Out of Town
26: Out of Town
27: Out of Town
28: Hamburgers
29: Stuffed Baked Potatoes
30: Salmon Patties and Rice
post #11 of 221
Count me in, too!! I so need this thread right now. August was a crazy month, and we got in the habit of eating out all the time. I don't even want to admit how much we spent on take out!! Not only does it waste a ton of money, I feel cruddy when we eat out a lot. The worst part is, we live in a smaller town that doesn't have many options for take out, so when we eat out we run over to the next town to grab something, but once you take the time to drive there, pick up the food, and drive back, we're talking like a 30-40 minute trip! I could totally have made a simple dinner in less time than it took to pick something up, so it's wasting our time (and gas), too!

1. homemade mac n cheese
post #12 of 221
I'm in. We might go out for a few meals because the 7th is DH's bday and the 9th is our anniversary, but other than that we should be good.

Here's our plan so far:
1) Ribs
2) Fish Tacos
3) Shrimp and Grits
4) Spaghetti and Meatballs
5) Out of town
6) Out of town
7) Out of town
post #13 of 221
I am in, as well. We are extremely tight on the budget until February time frame, so this could be useful.

Note: This could vary from my meal plan as I am posting what we actually ate each night.

1: ham, romaine, and cheddar sandwiches with carrot sticks
2: salmon, sweet potato, and broccoli chowder
3: leftover soup and sandwiches
4: bbq pork chops and veg-all casserole
5: fish fry at my mom's
6: leftovers from fish fry
7: we all ended up having fast food at different times, as I had an unexpected trip to the ER and was there until 11 PM...DH and I were absolutely starving so he got local fast food for us. DD ate with my mom.
8: sandwiches
9: blt's with summer pasta salad
10: sweet & hot drumsticks, raw veggie sticks, leftover pasta salad
11: grilled bbq chicken and corn
12: homemade waffles
post #14 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFWife View Post
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!!!

We set aside a few days to go out of town so that's in the budget. But this is the plan:

1: Beans and cornbread
2: Hamburgers
3: Salmon Patties and Rice
4: Pork and Bean Tacos
5: Fried Chicken
6: Beef Quesadillas
7: Oriental Pork Chops
8: Chicken Tortilla Soup
9: Chili
10: Spicy Fried Pork Chops
11: Chicken Pesto
12: Spicy Oven Fried Tilapia
13: BBQ Pork Chops
14: Stuffed Baked Potatoes (bbq chicken and bacon)
15: Sausage and Beans
16: Chicken Italiano
17: Cajun Chicken
18: Nachos
19: Brazilian Chicken
20: Chicken and Dumplings
21: Breakfast Tacos
22: Chicken Fried Steak
23: Chorizo, Egg, Bean Tacos
24: Out of Town
25: Out of Town
26: Out of Town
27: Out of Town
28: Hamburgers
29: Stuffed Baked Potatoes
30: Salmon Patties and Rice
Wow! Maybe planning ahead is part of the game... What a fun menu!
My problem is that I don't have enough room to store more than 2 weeks of food supply... That and I am a horrible planner!
post #15 of 221
Can I join? I never hang out on this forum but probably should as we are both students with extremely limited income and are currently spending way too much of DP's student loan (of course anything is too much ). We don't have a "budget" except for as cheap as possible while still being healthy. I think this thread might help me to keep tabs on that better, I'm not very consistent at writing things down on paper. Plus it'll make never eating out more fun

Sept 1: Tuna salad on rye bread, roasted brussels sprouts with olive oil
Sept 2: Cream of carrot soup, homemade bread, organic cultured butter that we splurged on but hey it's still cheaper than eating out right?
Sept 3: Not sure yet, hoping to stop by the farmer's market tomorrow...
Sept 4: Not sure

Btw, are we supposed to keep editing our original posts or add new ones every so often?
post #16 of 221
I'm in. I will admit we will probably eat out once a week, as part of "date night", but otherwise I would love to stick to this. We spend to much on meals out, the kids fight, fuss, through tantrums, the food "usually" is not very good, and way overpriced.
As another Mama mentioned, it seems like a convienence to get take out or go out to eat, but after the travel/waiting/screaming kids, it is so not worth it.

September 1st- homemade vegetable soup/grilled cheese
2nd- talapia/rice/salad/veggie
3rd-
post #17 of 221
9/1 Thai curried eggplant (very inauthentic but it tasted okay) with rice
9/2 Tofu Pot Pie
9/3 Leftovers
9/4 Vacation, fed by friends
9/5 Vacation, fed by friends
9/6 Vacation, fed by friendsw
9/7 Oatmeal (got back late)
9/8 Tomato Pie, chard, corn on the cob
9/0 Areapas, chard
9/10 dinner at work event
9/11 Eggs in Purgatory
9/12 Chicken stew with bread
9/13 Sausage, Chard, mashed potatoes
9/14 Stoffers Mac and Cheese (this is an oops), chard
9/15 Homemade Veg Soup and Bread (back on the wagon!)
post #18 of 221
Thread Starter 
YAY!:

Welcome everyone! It's great to have a place to go where people will help you reach your goals.

Should we just update our posts or copy/paste to a new post? I think most other threads do the copy/paste thing...right? Hmmm...Opinions?
post #19 of 221
Thanks for starting this beansmama. I need this! I have so many reason to not go out to eat this month.

9/1: Turkey stoganoff, garden green beans & biscuits.
9/2: We all just ended up eating various things.
9/3: Chicken nuggets and mac 'n cheese
9/4:
post #20 of 221
Wow, this is exactly the thread I need right now. I'm embarrassed to say that we have been spendin over $1000/month on food and we are a family of three with a 13-month-old. If I can stay within our $800 budget for all food expenses (including the fancy wine and beer we like to get) I will be so proud at the end of the month.

Here is our meal plan

1-pasta with alfredo, watermelon
2-squash and bell peppers with rice or soy noodles
3-boccoli, mushrooms, onion, garlic with rice noodles and tempeh
4-fish and salad and rice
5-husbands birthday
6-egg salad sandwiches and split pea soup
7-tacos or enchladas (with spinach/mushrooms/beans/cheese)
8-salad and spinach soup
9-pasta
10-stir fry and rice
11-fish and salad/rice
12-Pizza
13-sandwiches and soup
14-beans and rice

OK I'm done planning, we'll see where we go from there
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