Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Menu Plan and a No-Spend Grocery Month

I'm finally getting back to posting here!  I kind of got off track with being home for the summer, taking on more professional responsibilities, and learning to navigate life with a toddler who's into everything.  I've missed this blog!

For our October menu, we'll be basing it around the last of our CSA subscription (I think we have three more weeks left) and our pantry, fridge, and freezer stash.  Since it's the fall, we know we can count on potatoes, winter squash, winter greens, and root veggies like beets and carrots in our CSA. (If you're local, we love Creeksong Farms!  Jeff has been awesome!)  We're trying to spend as little of our grocery budget as possible this month so we can stock up on holiday sales for things like baking items, cranberries, and meat.

So, here's the plan for the month, making the best use of what we have.

Breakfasts:  baked oatmeal using homemade applesauce and dried fruit, lemon poppyseed muffins, whole wheat banana muffins (using bananas we got for free over the summer that are now in the freezer from a food pantry surplus), egg and cheese sandwiches (yay for free eggs from friends!), grits with cheese and roasted tomatoes (using the last of the CSA tomatoes), and toast and jam using this French bread

Dinners:  swiss chard soup with grilled cheese or garlic toast, winter squash and chick pea salad, veggie stir fry, black bean tacos or quesadillas, vegetable soup with garlic or cheese toast, pasta with pesto and salad, fried rice with egg and sesame seeds, chili and cheesy corn bread, loaded baked potatoes, rice pilaf with herb butter and roasted veggies and applesauce, potato soup with cheese and bacon, winter squash chili with black beans, breakfast for dinner (eggs, bacon, grits, applesauce), pumpkin pancakes and fruit from the freezer and applesauce, corn chowder and corn bread

Lunches will of course be leftovers, though sometimes on the weekend we do have breakfast for lunch.  Sometimes we add in yogurt or cottage cheese and fruit as fillers.  Since we won't be purchasing these this month, we'll fill in with applesauce that we've put up in the freezer.

Snacks will be roasted squash seeds (like pumpkin seeds), homemade cookies, toast and jam, and applesauce.

The only thing we'll need to purchase at the grocery store will be milk, some fruit for little man, and any freebies we find with coupons.  We're pretty well stocked on cheese, flour (yay, Costco), oil, rice and beans.  We try to buy all of these at their rock bottom prices.  The lowest price I've seen for an 8 oz block of cheese locally has been about $1.80.  We may buy some Halloween candy on sale at the end of the month to fill out stockings for Christmas.

I'm looking forward to the challenge of a no-spend month again, and it'll help free up a few hours over the month to finish up some house and yard projects before winter sets in (and it's looking like it'll be a big one around here).

What about you?  Are you spending less this month in preparation for holiday sales?  Are you trying to reign in your grocery spending by buying in bulk?  I'd love to hear from you!

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