The meal plan below is for Hubby, me, and our daughter with an occasional guest or family member joining us. For Christmas, we’ll be having a few relatives over for a late lunch. Since we tend to eat the same meal for lunch and supper, I’m including that information below.
NOTE—I often make enough food to freeze or have for another meal. Because of this, leftovers are counted as $0 on the menu. If we go to a restaurant, it counts in a different part of our family budget.
We have so much food leftover from our Winter Solstice gathering on Saturday night! We’ll be eating leftovers for both lunch and supper!
Ways I saved on this meal—Whenever I host a dinner party, I always try to make plenty of food. I never want guests to leave hungry or wanting more. The added bonus of doing this is that I cook once and eat twice, thrice… (yes, I did just use the word thrice in a sentence!)
Approximate cost: $0
Eggs and rice 50cts
Fruit salad $1-$2
Ways I saved on this meal—The rice was leftover from a previous meal. The eggs were bought on sale with a coupon. The veggies that go into the eggs and rice are ones we froze from this year’s garden, making them free. The fruit salad will be an assortment of berries from the freezer that we picked in the wild, from our bushes, and from pick-your-own farms.
Approximate cost: $1.50-$2.50
Pork link Italian Sausage (from a local farmer) $7
Spinach sautéed with parmesan cheese (leftovers)
Any leftover fruit salad
Ways I saved on this meal—I found the pork link sausage when cleaning out the freezer this weekend, and it was such a nice surprise! I bought way to much spinach for a salad that I made for the Winter Solstice party, and in order to use it up before it goes bad, I’ll cook it.
Approximate cost: $7
Tuna Fish and crackers $2
Cup of vegetable soup from the freezer (leftover)
Ways I saved on this meal—The tuna fish was bought on sale. The crackers are Kroger brand, which were cheaper than the other brands with the coupons I had.
Approximate cost: $2
Lamb roast (from a local farmer) $6
I’m sure there will be some cookie tasting, too!
Ways I saved on this meal— Instead of buying the lamb in individual portions, we split a lamb with a friend. We have half a lamb at a fraction of the grocery store pricing. We are also supporting a local farmer and friend by buying it this way. The potatoes and carrots were some I bought on sale. Unfortunately, we don’t have anymore potatoes from our home garden. The bread is super easy to make and very inexpensive. Most of my leavening agents (soda, baking powder, yeast) is bought in bulk, and our wheat is bought in bulk and we mill it at home. Buying in bulk greatly reduces the cost, and if you split the purchase with a friend, you don’t have to worry about storing so much in your home.
Approximate cost: $8
Spiral Sliced Ham $8
Sausage Dressing $2.50
Gravy (just the cost of a little flour or corn starch)
Green Bean Casserole $1.50
Sweet Potato Casserole $4
Cranberry Sauce $1
Homemade bread with butter $1
Deviled eggs 50cts
Gingerbread Men $1
Sautéed pears with ice cream $0
Paw Paw’s Banana Pudding (sugar free) $4
If I get industrious, I also plan to make a homemade red velvet cake or a couple of chess pies.
Ways I saved on this meal—I plan to use a $25 prescription transfer credit to help pay for this meal. I filled a prescription last week and plan to use the $25 when I go shopping this week. I’ll pick up the ham and turkey and just a couple of more ingredients this week. The rest was bought ahead of time as I caught good sales. For savings on the turkey and ham, I have coupons and plan to buy the smallest I can. I bought the sausage last week with the deal on free eggs with a purchase of 2 Jimmy Dean products. The gravy consists of the pan drippings and a bit of thickener. I have some homemade broth that I can use with the gravy. The corn was some that I froze this year that was free after an Earth Fare coupon. The French fried onions for the green bean casserole were marked down at Walgreens, and I used a Friends & Family discount AND a coupon on them. The cream of mushroom soup for that casserole was free after coupon and sale. The green beans were the only expense and they were bought on sale. The sweet potato casserole will be made with potatoes bought on sale, pecans bought as part of a fundraiser, butter that was on sale, vanilla extract that was a gift, and sugars and eggs bought on sale with coupons. The peas were free from Birds Eye after sale and coupon. The relishes were all homemade except for the olives which were bought on sale at Walgreens. The cranberry sauce was bought on sale with a coupon. Homemade bread is super cheap. We’ll most likely use some of our wheat that we mill at home for the flour, reducing the cost even more. The eggs for the deviled eggs were only 48 cts after a coupon and sale at Kroger last week. Homemade cookies are also very inexpensive and fun to make. The pears were given to me by a friend this summer, and I canned them. The natural ice cream was free at Earth Fare last week with a coupon. The banana pudding was relatively expensive because of the special, sugar free ingredients, but I watched for sale, used coupons, and bought marked down bananas.
Approximate cost: $36.50-$25 credit=$11.50
Did you see the meal plan for yesterday????? Of course we’ll be eating leftovers today and probably tomorrow, too! My uncle said he’d like to have us over sometime today, and we have free tickets to a hockey game for the evening.
Ways I saved on this meal—Leftovers are great for keeping it low-key after a big holiday.
Approximate cost: $0