Thursday, November 5, 2015

November Shopping and Meal Plan

This month is the month for us to stock up!  If you're into baking, it's prime time to build up that baker's pantry again and fill it with your favorite flours, brown sugar, and all the baking things you'll need for a joyous and yummy holiday.  For us, it is also the time for a big Costco trip and maybe a repeat order with San Francisco Herb Company, where we stock up on bulk spices, seeds, and herbal teas.

With travel plans this month, that can mean spending less on food because you're away from home and visiting family, or it can mean spending more because you're traveling.  For us, it's the former, which gives us some more wiggle room in the grocery budget to stock up.  If you're traveling, consider packing your own snacks (homemade roasted pumpkin seeds are an obvious choice) to save the frequent stops for fast food.

For our Costco list this month, we're stocking up on the basics:

  • powdered sugar (we've price checked and it's cheaper than coupon prices)
  • store brand dish washing liquid (we go through it making our own shower spray)
  • chicken sausages (they don't have phosphates or nitrates, which means they're safe for baby #2)
  • ketchup 
  • frozen fruit for smoothies (we're slowly working through what we put up this spring/summer)
  • block cheddar cheese
  • dried beans
  • frozen ravioli (a treat, but really convenient for nights when I'm tired and we need dinner quickly)
  • maybe fresh fruit or carrots, depending on price
  • sweet potatoes (we'll go through these in soups, sides, and love them in tacos)
  • tortillas (hopefully whole wheat and/or organic)
  • dried fruit (raisins, hopefully apricots)
Our grocery plan is to keep things to the bare minimum since we're stocking up at Costco.  We will restock our baking pantry this month, since things will be so much on sale.  I'll also stock up on cranberries to load in the freezer and for Thanksgiving, and probably some herbal teas and cocoa mix (though I'll make my own too) if they're on deep discount.  (They do make nice stocking stuffers.)  We'll get our organic milk and will probably pick up a few frozen veggies too (corn for corn chowder and maybe broccoli for broccoli cheddar soup)

For our menu plan this month, we'll make the most of the root veggies we have around, such as the last few beets from the CSA and potatoes and carrots.  Tis the season for the crockpot, so we'll put Mrs. Cleaver (thank you, Barbara Kingsolver, for that lovely crockpot name!) to work for cooking winter squash, baking potatoes and beets, and lovely soups and stews.  We'll also make leftovers into entirely new dishes; think turkey enchiladas, butternut squash and chickpea salad, sweet potato quesadillas, etc.

Breakfasts: oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts/seeds, egg and cheese sandwiches on homemade bread, breakfast burritos, winter squash muffins, zucchini and flax muffins, winter squash pancakes/waffles, smoothies

Lunches:  leftovers of course, tuna or egg salad sandwiches, quesadillas

Soups/stews:  lentil and sweet potato soup, potato soup, corn chowder, broccoli cheddar soup, winter squash black bean chili  (all served with homemade bread and/or veggie side such as carrot sticks), turkey and wild rice soup

Crockpot:  loaded baked potatoes, sausage w/ peppers and onions on noodles or bread, roasted root veggies

Stovetop meals:  veggie stir fry, breakfast for dinner (usually eggs, smoothies, and some sort of bread), waffles with fruit, chicken sausages with cabbage, apples, and cranberries, quesadillas, turkey and bean enchiladas, leftover turkey with orange glazed carrots and rice pilaf, veggie pesto pizza, ravioli with homemade pesto and roasted root veggies

Snacks:  roasted pumpkin/squash seeds, dried fruit, sliced apples, carrot sticks and dip, popcorn, homemade muffins/oatmeal & whole grain cookies

How is your November shaping up?  I'd love to hear your plans for living and saving green in this holiday season!

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