Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No Spending Money for 2.5 Weeks!

No Spending Money for 2.5 Weeks!

I am doing a budget where I spend cash at the grocery store and dining out, no longer using the debit card for those purchases. Well, I got a little 'buy-crazy' with some vegetables that I planted in my garden and I used my grocery money for that because, well, it's going to be food.. one day.. I hope. Honestly, I should have used my 'blow money' on those purchases but I didn't and I'm not going to buy anything else this month with regards to food!

I do have about $40 left to go out to eat so on the following Monday's in May, we are going to Sonny's (BBQ joint in Pensacola) through their drive through and ordering a pulled pork sandwich, since they are B1G1 (buy one, get one free up to 5 deals). That will save me a day to plan a dinner and I can use up the money in my restaurant envelope. I will buy 3 and get 3 free, saving the meat for lunches.. Not too bad for about $10!

I know I'll have to buy the baby some more milk but that's the only thing I'll spend money on the rest of the month.
So, if you're ever in this situation, here's what I recommend.
1. Take inventory on every food item you have, whether it's frozen, fresh or pantry items. If it's food, write it down.

2. My inventory sheet consists of these categories.. you do what you'd like but this is how my mind wants to see the items:
Protein, Veggies, Fruit, Fats, Miscellaneous

3. Write down every item you have under each category. My list has separate pages so it doesn't create a visual cluster.

4. If you're a weirdo like me type it out using a columns to make life easier. I don't want to flip through pages when I can just check out the columns on one piece of paper.

5. Print out your inventory sheet. 'Nuff said.

6. After you've inventoried everything, plan a menu around what you have.
*If you don't have a particular item, such as an onion, ask a family member or neighbor if they have a surplus they'd like to get rid of. Also, if you know any generous gardeners with an abundance of fruits and veggies, ask them to give you some. As a novice gardener, I want all of my surplus to go to my family and friends that will eat it instead of it being thrown away. Ask! The worst that could happen is someone saying no.
*If you have a lot of veggies and fruits but hardly any protein, ask your family or friends if they'd like to get together for a meal. Tell them what you have and ask them to bring over the protein. Nothing like spending time together eating good food, right?

7. Do a meal swap! If you have plenty of one item, make enough to pass out to one or two others. When you have a side, they can provide another side or two proteins (one per person). That way, you'll be consuming three total meals just for giving them a side dish.

8. Freeze away! If you have a surplus of some items that will go to waste if not cooked, freeze it. Using the flash freezing method, you can easily store away a ton of veggies. You can also flash freeze proteins, fruits and baked goods by lining a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut the baked goods into individual servings and freeze up to 1 hour then transfer to a freezer-safe container. With the fruits: wash, peel, chop, dry and then freeze on parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 1 hour then transfer to a freezer-safe container. For proteins: I prep it by rolling out meatballs, or making hamburger patties or butterflying chicken breast then freeze individually up to 1 hour then transfer to freezer-safe container.

9. Don't fret! If this is your first time doing an inventory on your foods, don't fret. If it becomes overwhelming, step away and come back to the list or menu at a later time. Food is your friend :)

10. This will save you money! I promise, if you have a small stockpile of foods, you will save money by eating out of your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. I was thankfully given some fresh vegetables from a friends garden. If you don't know anyone with a garden, and you don't have one yourself, think about doing something called square foot gardening. Lots of information online about it.

Later on, I will be making a menu from my inventory and will provide that with the recipes (if any aren't already blogged) and will link that back to this blog post.

Make your food, and your money, work for you! Do not be a slave to it. You are the owner of it and no one can take that knowledge away from you. Manifest Destiny!!!!!!!! :)

Good luck!


  1. Great Idea! I am going to give this a try since I have been trying to make my money work for me. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Awesome, Sharonda! Please let me know if you do inventory and eat from your pantry. It doesn't have to be for 2.5 weeks.. do it a week at a time. Instead of going out to eat, resist the temptation and have a meal planned at home and stick to it! I'll be posting my inventory and menu tomorrow sometime.