Saturday, June 19, 2010

All You Challenge: Pre-Challenge Post

Today's post will be sort of a challenge preview post. I'm going to give you my menu and the ingredients I have stockpiled to use. So here goes!!

I've made a dinner menu of 22 dinners to cook at home (allowing one dinner per week at a kids eat free night and 2 take out pizza nights!). I've tried to make the 22 dinners different, and healthy and something our family enjoys. I find that it's so much easier to guarantee that I'll get a dinner on the table when it's something I look forward to eating. So here's my list (in no particular order):

  • Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread
  • Parmesan chicken pasta with carrots and broccoli
  • Asian peanut noodles with chicken and broccoli
  • Pepperoni pasta bake with fruit
  • Chicken tortilla soup and fruit
  • Chicken noodle soup, biscuits and fruit
  • Pasta e fagioli soup, garlic bread
  • Tacos with black beans, rice and corn, pineapples
  • Pepperjack chicken with rice and corn, pineapples
  • BBQ pulled pork potato skins with green beans
  • Cheddar cheeseburgers with homemade fries
  • Polka dot chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans and applesauce
  • Crock pot roast with carrots and potatoes
  • Sausage sandwiches with sauteed potatoes and carrots
  • Homemade chicken tenders with mashed potatoes and corn
  • Larosa's style hoagies with chips and fruit
  • Grilled pork chops with homemade mac n cheese, broccoli
  • Blueberry pancakes with sausage links
  • Grilled hot dogs, corn on the cob, chips, fruit
  • BBQ chicken sandwiches, baked beans, chips, fruit
  • French toast with bacon, berries
  • Chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, green beans, applesauce

For lunches we have lots of choices including: grilled cheese with tomato soup, packaged noodles (either alfredo noodles or mac and cheese) with peas and fruit (mac and cheese also gets tuna), hot dogs, deli sandwiches, pb&j sandwiches, pizza rolls, canned soups, salads, etc. I try to add a serving of fruit and a serving of vegetables with each lunch. The fruits we regularly eat are apples, applesauce, fresh assorted berries, bananas, pineapple (fresh and canned), peaches (fresh and canned) and pears (canned). For the vegetables I usually add carrots, peas, green beans, corn or broccoli.

For breakfast we eat cereal most of the time and I've narrowed down our choices to Cheerios, Wheaties, Corn Flakes or Kix. We also eat oatmeal, cream of wheat, scrambled eggs or toast. The kids have a glass of orange juice with every breakfast as well.

And for snacks and desserts, we usually have on hand, chips and salsa, yogurt, cheese sticks, ice cream, popsicles, pudding. Every now and then I'll make a cake or some brownies.

Oh and drinks wise, the kids drink orange juice in the morning, and then they have one glass of milk and one glass of 100% juice a day with their other two meals and then they drink water in between meals. Steve and I drink milk, iced tea, water and we each have one canned soda a day (our little treat!). I do have a box or two of Capri Suns that I got last year for like .59 a box or something that I use if we're going to be eating in the car or out at like the Reds game or something. But when those run out, I won't be buying more. Let's just say I had 4 boxes of them this time last year and I still have two boxes!

These are things I've stockpiled at rock bottom prices over the last few months. When something is at that low price, I try to stock up on enough to at least last me until a similar sale comes around again. This includes:

  • Frozen veggies (corn, broccoli, mixed veggies, green beans, peas)
  • Pasta (spaghetti, penne, etc.)
  • Rice (boil in bag brown rice)
  • Hot dogs
  • Spaghetti sauce (different varieties for different meals)
  • Canned veggies
  • Canned fruit (either in 100% juice or the lite variety)
  • Applesauce (no sugar added)
  • Chicken stock and broth (no MSG)
  • Beef broth (no MSG)
  • BBQ sauce
  • Salad dressing
  • Ketchup and mustard
  • Beans (dry and canned; black, kidney, pinto and great northern)
  • Pepperoni
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Ice cream toppings
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Biscuit mix
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking needs (baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt, cornstarch)
  • Cheese (shredded and bars)
  • Iced tea bags
  • Crackers
  • Taco shells
  • Salsa
  • Boxed mac n cheese
  • Tuna (canned and in the pouches)

I usually only shop for meat every 2-3 weeks because I go to a local market that's about 35 minutes away and that has locally raised, chemical free meats, so at any given time I have a small stockpile of meats.

So my weekly shopping is usually purchasing fresh fruits and veggies, fresh dairy, fresh breads and buns, anything I need for a particular recipe and then I use whatever money I have left to get "the deals"!!

I've actually been able to also stockpile formula, bottle liners, diapers and wipes for our baby using coupons and following sales. I have enough of all of that to last the length of this challenge, although they said babies don't count towards the total anyway.

Well I think that's all of the pre-challenge info I have right now. Tomorrow starts the contest, so I'll be posting our meals for the day and how much I've spent. My goal is to share our days menu in the evening every day, with it's recipe, and then keep a running tally on the sidebar of how much I've spent. Hopefully I'll be able to keep up!! See you tomorrow!!

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