Before I go getting all excited for payday week – I realize that I’m still in the midst of paying off debt. Which means that we don’t celebrate the payday by going out to dinner and the movies this Friday night. Nope, we stay at home and invite people over…for frozen pizza (but even frozen pizza tastes better when shared with friends right?).
We are looking once again at our menu for the next week and trying to keep it as cheap week 2. So here we go with our menu for the week. I also don’t talk about lunch much – because I usually take leftovers and she takes a simple sandwich, chips, fruit lunch.
Sunday – It is Colorado and we are in winter which means that you never know when it will be cold out and a soup will be perfect. Tonight we will have chicken and dumplings. I got a giant box of bisquick at Costco for around $3 and we almost always have chicken in the freezer. This week (since it was payday week – we got another bag of chicken tenders). We also put in carrots and celery to make it a little healthier. We also used bullion for the chicken stock (rather than buy chicken stock – because we already had it at home).
Monday – My friend had so graciously given us a couple really big filets of Halibut a couple weeks back. I still have one in the freezer. This is the perfect week to add the Halibut to the menu again. We like to coat it with some crunched up chips (since we usually have those on hand because of lunches). We will have fried fish filets, french fries (got these on sale for just 99 cents for the bag of sweet potatoes), and garlic/olive oil roasted tomanotes (we had some small tomatoes left from last week). While this meal was REALLY cheap for us because we already had the fish. Fish is not all that expensive – so still a cheap meal.
Tuesday – I know that Dave Ramsey says don’t go to restaurants. But Taco Tuesday is a cheap way for us to have dinner. Tacos at Del Taco are just $1.29 for three of them. We order six and have water (soda costs more). So we have a meal for my daughter and myself for just $2.60. (Less than it would cost us just to buy the taco shells). And tonight is also a night that we have some stuff after school and work – making the quick grab dinner ideal. I order two of the tacos soft shell so I can warm them up for lunch the next day.
Wednesday – Tater tot Casserole. Tater tots are having their moment. (At least so all the cool kids are telling me). This was probably the most expensive meal of the week. We browned 1 lb ground beef ($3); added a can of cream of mushroom soup (79c – cause we use the store brand); added a can of green beans (60c); salt and pepper. Put that in the bottom of a pan. Put a bag of tater tots ($2) on top of that and sprinkled with cheese (we already had cheese – but maybe $2 for the block – we like cheese and used a lot). We put that in over at 350 for 35 minutes. Total meal was $8.39 (but lots of leftovers)
Thursday – Chicken and waffle sandwiches. We used frozen waffles and chicken nuggets. We toasted the waffles and then loaded the chicken nuggets on top (already cooked) then drizzled maple syrup over the whole thing. Delicious and easy. Plus CHEAP. The waffles were made using part of the bisquick box (the same one I used for the dumplings on Sunday) – I happen to have a waffle maker. We also opted for the chicken nuggets but if we wanted to be a bit (ever so slightly) healthier – we could have used the chicken tenders that I said we already have in our freezer. Because we already had this stuff in our freezer it won’t cost us anything. BUT if you are buying waffles they will be around $2 for a box of 8 and $4 for a bag of chicken nuggets (that you can use again for lunches at another time).
Friday – In the round and round that is the weather in Colorado. I hear we are supposed to have more snow on Friday. That is why Friday will be soup day. Safeway has progresso soups on sale for just 77c a can. If my daughter and I can agree on one soup we will have that and share it tonight. If we can’t agree. Well we may just go crazy and open two cans and each choose our own. For under $2 for a full meal.
Sometimes I feel like I really just want to go out to dinner – but I am really finding the cheap meal challenge sort of fun too. Making sure that we are using things that we already have/stock in our freezer as well as staying well under our budget number for food. When we stay under that number – it just means I can spend more paying down my debt.