Budget Buster!

I have always had a problem coming up with lunch ideas. I’m fine with pulling some random stuff together  for lunch (a piece of fruit, some cheese and crackers, and a few nuts), but my husband needs something more substantial, and so do my kids. My husband can typically count on left overs two or three lunches a week, and is able to pull something together the other days. Last month however, the leftovers must have been in short supply as there was a need for him to run to the store and buy lunch on several occasions. It’s crazy how quickly $5 here and there adds up. And what’s the point in sticking to budget in one area if it just causes you to go over in another area.DSC_0932

So after discovering the issue I had to come up with a solution quick! I don’t like buying microwave dinners as they typically have junk in them and cost a crazy amount for the ones that don’t have junk. Even at Grocery Outlet, the Amy’s frozen entrees are $2.99, and that just doesn’t fit in out tight $80 a week budget. So after taking a quick inventory of the freezer, fridge, and pantry, I came up with a few microwave meals of my own. Here’s what I came up with.

Something like a tex-mex casserole. It had brown rice, canned pinto beans, frozen corn, fresh cilantro, sour cream, grated cheese and hot sauce. I was able to make 2, 2 cup servings

Enchilada casserole. It had leftover corn tortillas, canned pinto beans, frozen corn, sour cream, grated cheese, and a very small amount of enchilada sauce. 1 serving

Butternut squash zitti. It was made from left over homemade butternut squash ravioli filling, ricotta cheese, Italian herbs and whole wheat penne. 3, 2 cup servings

Curry. This was made from brown rice, organic frozen peas and carrots, organic lentil curry soup, additional curry powder, and fennel seeds. 3, 1.5 cup servings

A couscous dish made with whole wheat couscous, canned chick peas, organic spinach, Italian seasoning, lemon juice, 4 greek olives with additional juice, and a very small amount of feta cheese. 3,2 cup servings.

So by getting creative and spending an hour or two I managed to make 12 frozen lunches ready to just grab and go. Hopefully this will supplement all of this month and I can actually plan some out for next month.

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