Budget Challenge and Weekly Meal Plan

So yesterday I joined a budget challenge for the month of February.  It involves cutting back spending to $75 per person in the family for the month.  That gives me $375 to work with for the month, which is only $85 less than I usually spend.  Often, my monetary creativity would make this easy, but I have a couple of obstacles. 

First, I normally use cloth diapers for Nicholas.  I just like them.  We use gdiapers (www.gdiapers.com) with cloth inserts.  They are super cute, easy for me to keep up, environmentally friendly, and when we were trying to figure out how to afford losing my income, I thought what better way to cut out a chunk of our spending each month than to not have the expense of disposable diapers and wipes.  It was a good call, because like my other two loves, little Nick has super sensitive skin as well and these keep his little bum soft and rash free!  However, with all the sickness in our home over the past month and with two birthdays within a week of each other, I failed to strip the diapers, which if you know about cloth diapering is necessary.  Anyhow, I had to buy a pack of disposables.  I had a coupon so we’re only talking about an extra $6.99, but I am competitive and want to do well at saving this month.  I do love the art of cloth diapering and will be back to our routine by Wednesday at the latest.

Challenge number two is weight loss. It is easy to save money if you aren’t concerned with health, but I generally am and as Matt and I are also competing with one another to lose our baby weight over the next 90 days, our menu has to be a little different.  I actually don’t have to alter my cooking much but in order to save money and lose weight I am cutting back how much I cook.  I noticed last week I threw out a lot of leftovers.  So I am cooking enough for the meal and a one or two person lunch of leftovers

That being said I spent $102 on groceries, toiletries and cleaning supplies this week.  I only saved 45% of my total bill, but bought a lot of veggies and special food for Matt’s birthday.  Not bad, considering I bought Matt a new razor and bought extra contact solution since I had a great coupon that was about to expire. I hope I can do this!

Without further ado, here is our menu for the week.

Sunday: Garlic chili chicken legs with rice and broccoli
Monday: Green chicken enchiladas with black beans
Tuesday: Shrimp Victoria, rice, asparagus and Caesar salad
Wednesday (Matt’s b-day): Steak, braised cabbage, tomato gratin, wedge salad and Bavarian Apple Torte (mmm)
Thursday: Lemon skillet chicken, warm green bean, tomato and feta salad
Friday: Jamaican jerk chicken with broccoli and roasted potatoes
Saturday: Red beans and rice with turkey sausage and sweet cornbread

Hopefully we’ll find a babysitter one night and get to go out to celebrate Matt kid-free style!

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