I am mananging my finances fairly tight right now. I am a follwer of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace. I find myself in baby step two – that is getting out of all sorts of debt except the house. Baby step 1 is to save $1000 (and that is tucked away).
This week we had our house payment due (which is more than Mr. Ramsey suggests but I’m in a house I love, in an area I love, in the school district where my daughter will graduate in just a few months – so I’m staying here at least for the short term). Which puts us on what I’ll call Cheap Week.
This is the week of the month that we stay inside and play board games and devise dance party nights – as a solution to any kind of entertainment. We also live in Colorado – so there are a ton of beautiful hikes nearby that will cost NOTHING.
The most difficult part of this week is my teenage daugher who is having a hard time understanding my “no” to her asking if we can take a walk to the store for chocolate. Which apparently she’s got a craving for. The most difficult thing so far is her no’s. I guess easy to tell myself no – harder to say it out loud to someone else. I really see why if I was in a position to do this with a partner, we would really need to be on the same page and say no to each other.
Here’s what our cheap week dinner menu looks like this week:
Chicken Bowls – I got a giant bag of potatoes at the store (5 lbs) for just $1. We will make some mashed potatoes, put some chicken nuggets on top, canned corn, and a bit of gravy or cheese (or maybe both).
Dressed up Ramen – Thank goodness that ramen is making a come-back! (Was it ever really here)? But we picked out a spicy chicken ramen, we will add a bag of mixed vegetables (we got a bag on sale for just 50 c), I have some chicken still in my freezer so we will take a sizeable breast – cut it into smaller pieces and add to the ramen. My daughter also likes to add a cut up medium boiled egg. Voila! Fancy Ramen. All those restaurants can eat their hearts out.
Frozen Pizza – Wednesday is lacrosse night anyway – so a quick and easy meal is perfect that night. I got a frozen pizza from Safeway using one of their coupons for just $2! (and not the Totinos kind!). I sort of miss the mark of vegetables with this meal but we COULD add veggies on the side like carrots or add something to the pizza!
Sausage and potatoes – Yes, using more of that bag of potatoes, we will roast them and put them with sausage that I got on sale at the store a while back. Does potatoes count as a vegetable?
Spaghetti – Yes, this does make it to our meal plan quite a bit. We can usually get spaghetti for around $1 (and when we’re really feeling it we make fresh spaghetti – which is really just flour, egg and water) and a can of spaghetti sauce for about $1 add some of our own spices (we like more garlic please). Full Meal is about $2. Sometimes I serve with a salad.
Orange Chicken – One of our favorite meals is Orange Chicken from Trader Joe’s for just $5 a bag plus some rice. I usually serve with some broccoli, it is a complete meal for us for about $6!
I do look for sales. I usually don’t have the money to “stock up” and keep things for a long time or have a hoarders kind of kitchen cabinet. I do however, grab things if I think it is a great deal and we will use them in the next couple weeks. Then I make a plan to do so. Especially knowing that the weeks early in the month are hard because of the house payment.
Do you have some great cheap dinner ideas that you’d like to share? We’re happy to try them.