Is January Over Yet?

We are in the home stretch of the Eat From Your Pantry Challenge, and I think we’ve done pretty good!

I haven’t saved as much as some of the others who are taking the challenge as groceries seem to be so much more expensive here in Canada than they are in the States. When I see the amount that Money Saving Mom and $5 Dinner Mom are able to save and spend on their groceries I am blown away. I spent a fair amount of time this month researching couponing in Canada and we just don’t have the same kind of system. We rarely can get FREE groceries by stacking coupons – most stores here just don’t let you double (although thanks to Taya at Simply Frugal I did find out that London Drugs will accept an instore coupon as well as a manufacturer’s coupon – thanks Taya!) I just feel lucky when by chance I have a coupon for an item that I need and it’s on sale somewhere! I do review the grocery store flyers on the weekend and make my lists according to what on sale. And this month since I didn’t need to buy any meat I saved about $100.00 on our groceries, so that is positive. But milk and produce and diapers still are expensive! (I actually saw on one blog a photo of a 2L carton of milk marked at .75 cents! I can’t even get a 250 ml container fo that cheap! Sheesh!) Anyway…I’m not complaining, I’m just sayin’. Finally, I am thinking one of the reasons for my grocery bill remaining higher than I expected was not getting creative enough with breakfasts and lunches, so I think that will be my next challenge – source out some new recipes and new ideas to save a bit of $ there!

In summary, I learned a lot this month and I felt really organized. I did save money and I did use cash, so I met a lot of my goals! All in all a success I would say!

So here is the final menu plan for January (it’s a pretty easy plan to make up…I’m just slotting in the final unused meals from my original 20 meals!)

Monday: Meatloaf with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Peas ( I didn’t make this last night as we ended up going out for dinner with my MIL – a nice surprise!)

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner…Pancakes, Bacon and Scrambled Eggs.

Wednesday: Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Veggies and Dip (I also didn’t make this last week as I was down with flu-like symptoms after getting the H1N1 vaccination and didn’t feel like cooking at all. We had soup and sandwiches instead.)

Thursday: Leftover Buffet

Friday: Weekly Pizza night – I always feel like this is a cop-out, but my boys don’t complain!

Saturday: I am at an all-day/evening crop so I am leaving one of the Baked Spaghetti casseroles I made mid-month for Shane to heat up for himself and the boys. (PS…Usually I try not to do two pasta dishes in the same week, but these are extenuating circumstances!)

Sunday: Chicken Broccoli Divan with Rice and Salad.

As always…visit I’m an Organizing Junkie for lots more menu plans! And read about the successes (and failures?) of those who “Ate from the Pantry” this month over at Money Saving Mom!

I made it…now what’s the plan for NEXT month???!!!

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