I’ve had some inquiries as to what our menu this month looks like. The funny thing is, our no-spend month menu doesn’t look too different from our menu in a regular month.
We regularly feed our family of five on less than $300 each month. Much of our food budget is used to stock up. When there is a good price on peanut butter, I might buy enough so that we don’t have to buy it again for 6 months. We also buy fresh produce and other staples with our food budget. If we ever eat out (which is very rare) the money either comes from our food budget or we use a gift card.
So far in our no-spend month, this has been what we’ve eaten.
- Pancakes— We make pancakes regularly from our homemade pancake mix.
- Strata— We recently tried a breakfast casserole with milk, eggs, cheese, and bread that was getting dry. It wasn’t as good as the strata I remembered from my Girl Scout days, but we’ll work with it. Maybe it just needs some sausage.
- Zucchini Bread— At the beginning of the month I made three loaves with frozen shredded zucchini from last summer.
- Oatmeal— If we eat it too many days in a row, everyone gets tired of it, but we try to keep oatmeal exciting with some fun mix-ins (fresh or dehydrated fruit, berries, raisins, sometimes even mini chocolate chips).
- Puffed Pancakes— Pretty much the same as German pancakes, it’s made with eggs, milk, flour and sugar. My kids LOVE it. I’ll share the recipe soon.
- French Toast— Nothing beats French toast made with homemade bread. It’s the best thing to do with the last loaf of bread (since I make 4 loaves at a time, the fourth is always a little dry by the time we get to it).
- Fruit Sauce— We have home-canned applesauce, pear sauce or plum sauce with our pancakes or French toast.
- Bananas— We’re almost out, but we had bananas for the first week of our no-spend month.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches— I make everyone sandwiches with homemade bread with homemade jam. Even my husband takes PBJs to work.
- Apples or Bananas
- Dehydrated Pears and Craisins— We dehydrated pears last year.
- Homemade Yogurt–– I can send yogurt in my husband’s or daughter’s lunch using these containers because they don’t leak.
- Zucchini Muffins— I use the zucchini bread recipe, just in muffins instead.
- Pumpkin Muffins— If I feeling nice, I put in mini chocolate chips.
- Quesadillas— We either make triangle pieces or cheese-roll-up style.
- Tomato Soup— I made from tomato puree that I canned.
- Potato Soup— We love potato soup. I use potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bullion, and spices with a little cheese and sour cream (or yogurt) on top.
- Meatless Taco Soup— I use tomato puree, pinto beans, white beans, onions, spices, sour cream cheese. I cook beans in bulk in the crock pot, then freeze them in about 2-cup portions instead of using canned beans.
- Homemade Pizza— We use homemade tomato sauce made from our canned puree. Usually we just put pineapple on them. I buy the #10 cans of pineapple at Sam’s club and freeze it in smaller portions, which is cheaper than individual cans of pineapple.
- Bean Burritos— We have dehydrated refried beans in our food storage. They are so yummy. With cheese, sour cream, and lettuce from the garden, these are something we all enjoy. When tomatoes are in season we add fresh tomatoes as well.
- Creamy Tacos Casserole— This is a family classic comfort food. I made sure that we had some corn tortillas so that cream tacos could be a part of our no-spend month.
- Mock Lasagna— This is another comfort food for us. I made sure we had some cottage cheese before we started our no-spend month so that I could make (and share) this recipe.
- Leftovers— I always make a lot, so most dinners last two nights. I try to mix it up though, so we don’t have the same thing two nights in a row.
- Asparagus— My father-in-law shares asparagus fresh from the garden with us.
- Green Beans— We have plenty of canned green beans from last year’s garden.
- Green Smoothies— We have a smoothie with dinner nearly every night. You can read about how we save money on our green smoothies.
- Muffins— We make zucchini muffins and pumpkin muffins on a regular basis using frozen zucchini or frozen pumpkin puree.
- Apple Slices— We’re almost out of apples though.
- Dehydrated Pears— We dehydrated pears last year when pears were in season.
- Frozen Peas— My kids think these are fun. They don’t like them as much when they are cooked, but they like them frozen.
- Graham Crackers— Sometimes I frost them or put chocolate hazelnut spread (I found some cheap at Grocery Outlet)on them .
- Marshmallows— At Christmastime I got bags of gingerbread and snowman marshmallows for 50 cents a bag. They were a potty training treat for my 2-year-old and now they are an occasional snack.
- Homemade Cookies— I like to try out new cookie recipes. Sometimes they are healthy-ish, sometimes they are just plain good 🙂
You carnivores are probably noticed something is missing. For my dad, a meal wasn’t a meal without meat. For us, meat is an occasional treat. We have some in the freezer, but we usually only eat meat once a week, though some weeks we don’t have meat at all.
What are your frugal, go-to meals? We’re always open to new ideas!
Other Articles in the No-Spend Month Series
- Planning a No-Spend Month
- No-Spend Month Update
- No-Spend Month Update- Easter Edition
- Does a No-Spend Month Really Save Money?
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Featured in Lifestyle Carnival #102 at My Life, I guess, Personal Finance Carnival at Aspiring Blogger