Sunday, March 24, 2013

The $12 a Day Menu

BLT's w/ Pepper Jack
Broiled Salmon
Broccoli, Chicken, Tomato Bake
Chicken Burritos
Eggs, Bacon, & Potatoes
Eggs and Pancakes
Fish Sticks
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Hot dogs
Mac n Cheese
Spaghetti squash Spaghetti
Steak and Potatoes
Taco Salad
Thanksgiving Dinner
Turkey Burgers
Veggie Lasagna
Added since original post
Pizza balls
Shrimp & Veggie Stir Fry
Pigs in Blankets

Sloppy Joes

Wow. I watch a lot of cooking shows but the above list is just about everything we eat in our home. Pretty basic. Granted, my husband has a lot of weird eating rules: not too much sodium, no cream sauces, he doesn't like chicken (ground chicken is fine though), very little pasta, not too carby, NO MSG, no salad dressings or soups or sauces (because of sodium), no avocado (this one makes me the most sad), no cooking with fruit, no meat on the bone; let's just say he's a picky eater.

Okay so it's not a gourmet cook book but my goal in compiling this list is to not feel so boxed in when it comes to meals. Does anyone else do the, "what's for dinner" battle every day? You rack your brain for something to make that sounds half way appetizing but NOTHING comes to mind (yes I might have a disorder). After all the pressure of trying to think of one single meal to prepare you snap and just get Taco Bell. Then you're like, "that was not too yummy, and wow, it cost a lot more than I remember Taco Bell costing and I kind of feel like I just ate, nope, not one single healthy item. Way to go!"

With my every other day NO SPEND challenge for the rest of the month my goal is to have enough food for three of the above meals in the house at all times. Yes, that is kind of a big deal for me. Honestly we do not have enough food in the house for one meal at many points in time throughout the week. I still can't do the week long meal plan thing. We end up throwing SO much food away when we try that. It's a nice idea but when you have a weeks worth of fresh food in the house and you eat out once, twice, three times, and decide that dish doesn't sound yummy right now, or now, or now, or now, well you end up throwing the no longer fresh food out. I'm way, WAY better off having two, three meals worth of food on hand. That's just how it is.

Well today will hopefully be a NO SPEND. I have to pick three meals from my lovely list for tomorrow's grocery shopping adventure. Fun, fun.

Average daily spending: $14.34


  1. I think the worse part about cooking is deciding what to make.

  2. My solution was: make a list of everything in the house and make a list of 5 meals for that week. Using as much as possible from our stock. (I only cook 5 times a week. Boyfriend dearest does the weekends and luckily no picky eaters (except my son, who just likes to wine about food, while he does like a lot))
    But that just makes the 'thinking about whats for diner' time only a once a week thing. And that takes away loads of stress...

  3. Oh, this is inspiring! :)
    I keep meaning to make a list of the dishes I could make in order to use up some stuff in the pantry. Lists definitely help.
    2-3 meals at home sounds good and doable.
    Good luck with the grocery shopping tomorrow!

  4. Wow, your dh IS a picky eater!
    You can make your own salad dressings, soups and sauces to keep the sodium down or out. Maybe try a salad dressing yourself and if dh balks you can show him everything that went into it, including NO salt?

    Dh eats turkey, right? So substitute turkey for chicken in chicken recipes?
    How about pork meals? You can use boneless/loin pork cuts. Will he eat pulled pork? You can do that with a light sauce, or just smoke the spice rubbed meat and serve with sauce optional?

    He eats salmon and fish sticks....why no other fish? Catfish is very flavorful broiled with some lemon and spices.

    If the reason you can't make a weekly plan, buy all the food and stick to it is because of dh's tastes and such, I'd give him a list of options at the beginning of the week and let him pick out at least some of the meals....make him commit to them. Maybe he'll take ownership of his eating that way.
    Heck, I'd tell him he is now in charge of cooking if I had to jump through all those hoops!lol

    I'll tell ya....I don't envy you cooking for someone who is so hard to please. And with a baby around, it might get hard to get your baby to have a wide and accepting palate and try new foods if he sees his dad being so narrow in his choices. Not to scare you or anything here. My father was even more narrow in what he would eat and my mother had a devil of a time making sure we kids ate a well rounded diet. Luckily, my father had to travel for business so she'd cook forbidden foods for us when he was out of town. ;-)

  5. Wow! I'm amazed that you never eat pizza or soup. There are many low sodium options available now. Also, its much easier to avoid sodium if you make it from scratch. Its pretty easy to substitute other things for salt to get the flavor, like garlic or paprika. I just think it would get exhausting to be buying food three or four times a week.

  6. Love your list. Mine is very similar. The easier the better. I am the picky eater in our house, so it's best that I do all of the cooking :)