Sunday, September 27, 2009

Matthew 25:35 Challenge, Menu Plan

I wanted to post my menu plan for our first week trying to live on a Food Stamp Allotment. Since the challenge was to go the whole month of October on a food stamp budget, I went ahead and started this week, since there are few days of October this week. Before I share my menu plan, I just wanted to say that it's not too late to join me. I know I have talked to several of you readers in person or on facebook. If you decide that you will join our family this month, please leave a comment on this blog so I will know for sure! Thanks!

First of all, I have to say that this has been a real challenge for me already. I have a hard time trying to think of a good variety of recipes that would meet my family's varied dietary needs (my kids cannot have anything with any form of milk in it) as well as palates. I have found the web to be an invaluable resource as I planned this menu. However, I don't think that many people who are truly destitute have access to the internet whenever they wish. That's why I think it would be so wonderful to accumulate a bunch of very frugal, yet nourishing recipes to make into a cookbook of sorts that can be distributed at food banks and church food pantries. That said, if you encounter a great, cheap recipe that you would like to share for my "cookbook" project, please post it in the comments section.

And now to the menu:

I am going to need to make homemade bread and several quarts of homemade chicken stock (which will also leave me with a lot of shredded, cooked chicken) this weekend.

Monday: Carrot, lentil and rice soup with homemade bread (I may end up adding other veggies to the soup as well.)

Tuesday: Tuesdays are always rushed around dinner time, so something in the crockpot is always in order. We're going to have goulash.

Wednesday: 1/2 sandwiches with a veggie salad

Thursday: Chicken and rice casserole (with homemade cream of chicken soup)

Friday: Warm red potato salad and sandwiches

Saturday: Chicken and black bean enchiladas (I will be doubling the recipe so we can have a freezer meal for next week after my son has surgery.)

Sunday: Veggie omelets and shredded potatoes

For breakfasts, we'll be doing things like eggs, oatmeal and fruit.
For lunches, we'll have simple sandwiches, fruits, veggies and leftovers.

So, what is your family going to eat this week? Please remember to sign up if you wish to join me in the challenge, and also remember to post frugal, nourishing recipes--whether or not you will be joining me! Thanks!

Edit: I went grocery shopping and I think I did a good job. My goal was to spend only $104 to feed my family of 6 for one week. I ended up being a dollar over, which was my fault since I added one impulse buy to the cart (cider! Seriously, it's not fall unless you've had real apple cider!). I didn't buy anything processed--I stuck to whole foods, and I was able to get some good whole grains like brown rice and stone ground whole wheat flour for my bread. I bought lots of veggies and fruits--both fresh and frozen. And I was able to get 1 lb. of lean ground beef and 2 whole free range chickens, plus several other things. So, overall, it wasn't that bad. I usually try to buy a lot more organic and local things, and I wasn't able to do it on my budget, but I think I came out with a good amount of high quality food. Here's the receipt from my trip to Wal Mart (you should be able to click on it to make it bigger):

Okay, so there you have it. Week one's shopping trip was a success. Stay tuned for more throughout the week. And remember, you have a few days left to sign up to take part in this challenge with me. Would you consider joining my family in blessing needy people this month?


BFree said...

what a great idea! :)