Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My personal challenge.

Well.. it's come to my attention over the last couple days with all the shopping I did and trying to fit everything into the freezer and moving things around to make the stockpile shelves fit everything I bought that I really need to "dig in" to my stockpile. Seriously. (ok longest run on sentence followed by the shortest sentence ever) I still have most of the boxes of 100 cal packs I bought in August during Meijer's back to school deals.

Here is a list of my over abundance of goodies.

One of the first things I noticed yesterday is that I now have more pork than I know what to do with. Somehow I've ended up with I think 4 packages of just pork chops. I also have a pork roast. I also have a good stock of chicken. I have some burgers which I can make into other things such as chili, meatloaf, or for spaghetti. I'm going to aim to clean out the freezer first of meat and then I can start buying other meat. I probably have enough meat in there to last my 25 days.

OMG somehow I've managed to gather a ton of soup, and not just already made soup but those packets of soup, cup of soups (both little packets and little cups), not to mention Ramon noodles, chicken stock, bullion cubes and the like. whew.

Because of that sale I have a huge over abundance of frozen veggies. They are all in steam packages, however, I have been using them over the past few days in various other ways. I actually partially steamed the sugar snap peas and used them as dipping veggies. Didn't work out that great because they were limp and soggy, but it was a yummy treat with no chips! lol!

Those Smart Taste coupons came in handy and I used em! lol! It was BOGO at $2.29, so I got two boxes for 29 cents a couple weeks ago. The sale before that was 10/$10 and I used up what coupons I had at that time. Not to mention I started out with a good amount of pasta in the house. But now it's just out of control. Same with Pasta sauce. Lots of it!!

wow.. not sure where they all came from (yeah I do, don't let me fool you) but boy do I got boxed potatoes. I have plenty of mashed potatoes and au gratin potatoes to last a long while. I would say I would save these to use for the cookie exchange party, but I like making plain potatoes and letting everyone put their own toppings on. All the boxed mashed potatoes I got are all flavored.. hmmm guess I could use the cheese ones.. who doesn't like cheese? lol!

Currently I think we have around 15 boxes of cereal. Which for other hounders probably isn't a huge amount, but for us I think in 4 weeks we can make that last

As I mentioned above we have plenty of 100 cal packs and pretzels from 10/$10 sales and also a scary amount of tortilla chips.

I will allow myself to buy dairy. I know I'll need milk, sour cream, cream cheese, and regular cheese this month. Fresh produce mainly fruit but also a few veggie items like lettuce and cilantro for other meals. Meat I will allow myself once my stockpile gets smaller as I mentioned above.

One little strange thing about this is that my last day is the day before my cookie exchange in my neighborhood. I usually make PB balls and one or two other types of cookies. I've already bought the PB and I have a ton of chocolate. I'm pretty sure I have plenty of powdered sugar so I will be okay in that area. Maybe for my other cookie I'll make cake cookies from cake mix. Easy and yummy.

But the fun doesn't end there with the cookie party. It's a neighborhood fun night and I invite neighbors from my hood to come over, eat munchies, and spread Holiday cheer with the cookie exchange (this includes MEN!), ornament exchange, and usually lots of good ol fashion gossip and of course explaining our cookies to everyone else! Some years I've spent a ton of ca$h buying boxed appetizers and the like.. last year I pulled back the reigns because of credit card debt. This year I'm going to do my best to find some cheap 2 liters of pop and I have to do my mashed potato bar for sure. Included in this I will have to buy sour cream, bacon, cheese and veggies. I will do boxed mashed potatoes so I think just the food/drinks should be a pretty minimal amount.

This DOES NOT mean that if I can get something for 25 cents or less that I won't buy it.. it simply means that I need to cut back and start using the stockpile. There is no reason to have a stockpile if I'm not going to use it right?

I normally count my eating out into our food budget but I also combine our grocery budget with entertainment and household items because with hounding it's hard to separate what was cleaning products and what was food. I have SEVERAL coupons from restaurant.com that I had purchased so when my son is visiting (which is when we eat out the most) we'll have those to go out to eat with.

Luckily we have Thanksgiving tucked in there. This year my family is not celebrating basically because my sister/mom are both nurses and always work the holidays for the extra money. My mom will be out of state for Thanksgiving and my son is actually going out of state with his dad. My sisters boys will be with their father and his family out of state as well. We do have dinner with my husband's uncle on the 15th and of course Thanksgiving at his grandparents on Thanksgiving day. So both those days are automatic freebie days for us!

This is tricky.. because I really need to figure out what I've spent so far THIS MONTH on food. As I said I combine Entertainment and household items into our food budget so I'll have to figure this out tomorrow. I was originally thinking $80 for 25 days which I think is possible. I will need $6 for milk this month, $10 other dairy items, $10 produce, and between $14 & $20 for the cookie exchange party. This puts me roughly at $46 however this doesn't include my great deal buys of 25 cents or less.

I do have $15 in CATS from the Jewel shop and also around $40 on my WAGS card. That money I will not count towards this month. Those are essentially my freebie dollars.

As some of you already know, I get very excited when I make entire meals from the stockpile. I also try to figure out how much it cost me for the whole meal and each serving which sometimes is hard considering I don't remember exact prices. I'm going to try my best to blog daily to let you know how I did the day before!! Wish me luck!!


Lisa B. said...

Cookies from cake mixes are so much fun and one of my favs! The mashed potatoe bar sounds like so much fun also.

Lindsay said...

I love the idea of a mashed potato bar!!! How do you do it (keep everything hot?)- just have the potatoes made and everything else out?

I've been thinking the same thing about using my stockpile - it's good to take a step back and look at everything once in awhile! :)

Phoebe said...

Awesome! Good Luck on your challenge!

You can do it! :)

Melissa said...

Mashed potato bar ~ Learned this from a great neighbor of mine ~ I know it's cheating but it's how I do it.. I make an entire small box of mashed potatoes in my small crock pot (I don't even know the size it's a tall round one, the inside is the circumfrance of a dollar bill I'd say??) then I put out goodies like bacon I make earlier and crush up, cheese, sour cream, green onions, regular onions, salsa, butter etc.

Melissa said...

oh I make it about an hour before the party so it has time to heat up. I make them per the regular directions with the same butter, salt, water, milk measurements the box tells you.

Then I put it on warm or low during the party. I try to keep an eye on it because eventually the bottom will start to burn. So mix it up from time to time and I've even turned it off for 20-30 min at a time. At the end of the night whatever is left I throw in little storage containers and freezer for dinners another night.

Angie said...

Good Luck with you Challenge! I tried last month to get my budget to $250 but didn't make it. Guess I need to stock up a little more. I am going to remember the mashed potato bar. Sounds yummy!