This month is all about celebration for us. Part of that means that we'll be hosting a few parties, part of that means we'll attend quite a few potlucks and parties. All of that means some fabulous food, easy meals, and lots of leftovers.
We plan to really trim our grocery spending this month. (December and January are historically tough months for teachers in NC because we get paid before the holiday break in December and don't get paid again until the end of January, so it's almost six weeks to make a regular four week check last.) This month we'll only purchase absolute necessities (milk, occasional cheap yogurt), except for placing our spice order with San Francisco Herb Company. We like to purchase dried onions, cocoa powder, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, and other things that we tend to use a lot of from them. They have great prices and the quality has been good for us.
This plan will work because we've been able to stock up on Thanksgiving sales on sweet potatoes, turkey, cranberries, and because our citrus fruit order will be in next week. (We ordered almost 100 lbs of fruit from the school band and orchestra, which will store for months in our unheated section of the basement.) We also have a fully stocked freezer from CSA days this summer, as well as 25 lbs or storage potatoes from our CSA farm.
It's also been really nice to be the recepients of some great food gifts, including some things the local food pantry needed to clear out to make more space in their freezers (mostly bread and bagels, but also some guacamole and salsa, which will be great for chili and Mexican nights). My in-laws also stopped at Costco on the way up for Thanksgiving, so we've got Costco sized portions of some things to last us through this week.
We'll also be having our share of soups this month. I'll try to keep it to only once a week, but we may double up some weeks, just so we can stock the freezer with soup for easy meals later.
Here's our menu for the month, not including the potlucks and parties we'll attend:
Breakfasts: cranberry oat muffins, oatmeal with nuts and dried fruit, homemade yogurt with fruit, toast with jam, egg and cheese sandwiches, French toast, smoothies, lemon/orange poppy seed muffins, winter squash muffins, monkey bread, breakfast casserole
Lunches: leftovers, egg and cheese sandwiches, smoothies using frozen fruit and veggies from summer, fill in with citrus fruit, cheese and crackers, or a small side salad
Dinners: loaded mac and cheese with broccoli and ham, French toast casserole with frozen blueberries and cranberries, chili with corn bread, potato soup, vegetable beef soup, turkey enchiladas, barbecue turkey and chickpea wraps, butternut squash and chickpea salad, turkey and wild rice soup, dinner salads with turkey and hard boiled eggs with homemade cranberry vinaigrette, winter squash and refried bean quesadillas, shepherd's pie, pesto pizza, potato and vegetable hash with sausage, waffles with fruit and bacon
Baking: This will include some holiday baking for gifts. Rosemary olive oil bread x 8, magic cookie bars, candy coated popcorn, chex muddy buddies, sand dabs, gingerbread house (this will be a fun morning with friends and little man!)
How are your holiday grocery and meal plans coming? I'd love to hear how you're living and saving green!