Something new...prep day, monthly meal plan, pantry challenge

I LOVE to coupon. I think it's in my genetics. My mom used to coupon when I was little. She would proudly proclaim how much she would save a trip. I would be amazed at this. WOW $20 free.

Now I have been couponing for about 6 months. Mr. C was very supportive and proud...until the last 2 months. I may have spent WAY over my budget and there is food everywhere! I mean duck as you open the cabinet because you don't know what might hit you. So, this month we are doing things a little differently.

1. I have been meal planning for about 3 months. It's been going ok. We sort of follow it. It goes better than if we had not been trying to use one. I read in one of my cheapo blogs to use google calendar. This is a great idea. With google calendar you can give something a label and then in the details link up recipes so when that day comes along you have everything there for you. Also google will email you the day before so you can remember if you have to get anything or go to the store, so on.

2. We are going to do a "Pantry challenge." Lots of blogs did this in January to kick off the new year. We didn't. We really had no reason to try. BUT now we do. 1. We need to control this act of defying death everytime we near the kitchen cabinets. Also, we are REALLY going places this month. I'm going to Florida. Kyle and I are going to California for a whole week and there is a Nashville trip in there. Now I am going a whole month without shopping (and I do believe that the Lord will give me strength in this venture!) and will save money so we're not so stressed about it constantly.

3. The final key to pulling off this month challenge is a freezer cooking day. I think this is the third key element to making the pantry challenge workable. I first learned about it here: Basically you make a meal plan and spend a whole day cooking and putting together recipes to make life easier to stick to the meal plan. I did this last month for the first time. It worked really well. Last month I made muffins for breakfast , homemade veggie broth from Fresh from the vegetarian slow cooker, homemade mushroom soup, and beans in the crock-pot and I froze all of them. It was hard work but went well and we have been using these items throughout the month. I intended to make applesauce but didn't end up having enough apples.

These three things are my food plan. Post to follow on specifics

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