The Line-up

So I have spent the last week going through cookbooks, scouring the internet and asking other people to find some recipes for the month of September.  I think I finally have the final line-up!  This would be easier if we weren't such picky eaters.  We don't really eat seafood so there's no fish dishes and my husband doesn't care for weird/healthy ingredients! LOL But it will be good for us to expand our horizons somewhat and I will get to try my hand at making a bunch of different things.  I don't think I'm great at cooking but I can manage. 

I've yet to organize these recipes so that they make sense in a calendar view so I know what to get at the grocery store and stuff.  I plan on making a spreadsheet with all the ingredients so I can kind of use similar ingredients during the same weeks.  Thursday will be my shopping day!  I'm actually kind of excited for this, I hope to stick to it, I found a lot of recipes that sound so yummy.  I only picked out 26 recipes for the month because we may eat out a couple times yet and there's things like frozen pizza or some of the meals I made and froze when I was pregnant.

So here's the line-up in no particular order!!!

Bacon Cheeseburger Chicken
Baked Ziti
BBQ Beef Cups
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Buffalo Chicken Calzones
Cheese Stuffed Chicken
Cheesy Chicken Roll-Ups
Chicken Enchiladas
Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice
Easy Chicken Pot Pie
Fake 'Em Out Ravioli Lasagna
Herb-Simmered Beef Stew
Jalapeno Beef & Corn Bread Pie
Lasagna Primavera
Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese
Pumpkin Patch Stuffed Shells
Shepherd's Pie
Simple Salisbury Steak
Sloppy Joes
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
Taco Pasta
Tater Tot Hotdish
Unstuffed Pepper Bake


30 Days of Dinner

So like many other people we are on a limited budget and we're trying to pay off credit card debt/student loans/mortgage.  We have never been good at sticking to a budget....we've tried everything but we always veer off course and end up starting over again and again.  We don't make enough money and we spend too much!  So along with making yet another budget, trying to find little ways to make extra money and sticking to it all we are trying to cut back on eating out.  This has ALWAYS been our downfall, ever since we started dating 8 years ago.  Every week we would go to a local restaurant that had 2 for 1 burgers...go out to lunch a lot...go for desert after supper...and so much more!  It became a terrible habit of ours and has been the hardest for us to break.  I don't mind cooking and my husband loves to grill but for some reason we like to eat out as well.  He grew up in a family where they went out to eat A LOT, and they still do.  If we ever hang out with his mom or dad it is always going out to eat....unlike my parents who treated going out to eat like something special.  My mom made a lot of homemade meals or we always just had simple things like sandwiches, soup, cereal, etc.

So to try and stick with it this time I figured I would make it a game and blog about it, I will share each recipe I use including where I got it from, pictures, and how we enjoyed it.  I hope this will keep us accountable.  I plan on using recipes of my own, recipes from online and recipes from my oodles and oodles of cookbooks I own.  I figure we will have to spend a little more at the grocery store but it won't compare to what we spend eating out.  Plus it will go way farther than eating out does.

So to be fair I went through our bank statements to see how much we did spend on eating out.  This obviously doesn't include if we used cash but we usually use our debit card.  This will include if either of us ate out for lunch or we went out to dinner or ordered in.  Then I will compare September's statement at the end of the month and see the difference!

June: $263.41
July: $204.03
August: $258.07 (so far)

WOW!!  We had absolutely no idea that's what we were spending every month.  I'm assuming July was a little less because that's when I had my baby so we didn't go out much the first couple weeks. 

So this motivates us even more....even if I spend $50 more at the grocery store we will still come out ahead!  I will start the 1st of September which works out great cause my husband will get paid that day so it's my usual grocery day.  So as I scour my recipes over the next week leave me a comment with your favorite cookbook or website you get your recipes from!!

See you all in a few days with my dinner plan for the month of September!!