After indulging a little bit last month and eating out quite a few times, Adam and I have decided to challenge ourselves during the month of November!
Our first goal is NO EATING OUT. We probably average buying dinner out once per weekend, with the occasional coffee or sandwich thrown in there once or twice a week. So while we don't eat out a lot, the bill can be quite high for 4+ people! We are hoping to use the money towards Christmas that we would have spent on eating out. Another obvious benefit is our health. Cooking at home is almost always healthier than eating out in a restaurant. Smaller portions, lower sodium, etc etc. Adam and I have been following our 21 Day Fix container diet since November 1st, and we're both already down a couple pounds and feeling great.
Our second food goal is to stick very closely to our FOOD BUDGET. For our family of 5, that means no more than $150 per week on food. $600 per month sounds like a ton of money to me, but in case you didn't know, groceries cost a TON! I would love to get this number down to $125 per week, or $500 total for the month. But I'm just not sure that's possible with the way food prices keep rising.
Our third goal, and the method I'm going to use to keep our grocery budget under control is the "CLEAN OUT THE FREEZER" method! I did this before in October 2013 and again in August 2014 before we moved. (Those are links to my previous blog posts) There must be something about this time of year that makes me want to be more frugal with what I have! Basically, I am going to shop only for necessities (produce, dairy, school lunch food), and rely more heavily on what is already in my pantry and freezer. I haven't had time to go through everything and create meals based on what I have, but off the top of my head, I know I have the following in my freezer:
4 lbs ground beef
3 lbs stew meat
2 small packages chicken breast
1 lb bacon
1 lb ground turkey
2 marinated chicken breasts (homemade)
Homemade Beef & Bean Enchiladas
Homemade Pepperoni Lasagna
In addition to the above list, we've got plenty of rice, pasta, couscous, and canned goods in our pantry. I'm pretty sure we won't starve.
I'm excited to see how much money we can save this month by cutting back on eating out and sticking to a strict grocery list. Do you ever use this "clean out the freezer" method?