Menu Plan Monday: Under $40 Challenge

As I alluded to in my New Year's Resolutions Post , I am striving more than ever to pinch pennies and be as thrifty as possible, while staying true to the dietary principles to which I adhere. My main motto has always been "Use what you have, have what you'll use" when it comes to menu planning. This week I gave myself an "Under $40 challenge". Basically, I get to use what I have plus $40 to purchase any additional fresh produce or other essentials. Here's what I came up with:

As you can see, we have a few family dinners out this week, so I'll actually have a lot of extra veggies that will carryover to next week. So $40 was more than enough!


B: Scrambled Eggs w/ frommage blanc
L: roast beef (leftover), cheese, apples
D: potluck @ church: zucchini "spaghetti" and meatballs

To do: Make coconut muffins , defrost liverwurst


B: coconut muffins & kefir smoothies
L: liverwurst, cheese slices, carrot sticks
D: dinner @ Nanna's (for Theophany)

To do: Cook butternut squash, defrost turkey broth


B: butternut squash pudding
L: miso soup w/ shredded carrots, scallions, and sea veggies
D: dinner @ Grandma's (for late Christmas celebration!)

To do: Defrost ground beef and make breakfast sausages, soak white beans


B: breakfast sausages and apple slices
L: veggie saute (broccoli, red pepper, carrots, onions)
D: kielbasa white bean & sauerkraut soup

To do: soak red lentils, prep waffles


B: sorghum/millet blender waffles (recipe coming!)
L: leftovers
D: curried red lentils


B: eggs
L: leftovers
D: homemade gluten-free egg noodles w/ butter, peas, spinach, and parm cheese

For more inspirational , thrifty, gluten-free menus, check out the Organizing Junkie! As always, I encourage you to begin planning your menu and saving money! Take the Under $40 Challenge and leave a comment on how it went!


Iconography Girl said...

We have had to do similar things lately. I love the idea of keeping it to $40 or under!!! However, what I need to figure out, is how to keep expenses down once your pantry is depleted. We were on a super tight budget during the Nativity fast, but by Christmas we spent almost $300 restocking meat in our little freezer (about 20 lbs. of meat and 5 lbs of frozen fruit/veggies), bulk goods for the pantry, etc. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's comments and hearing how it is going for you, C.T.!

Michele @ Frugal Granola said...

I'm pretty sure my menu this week is under $40. :) I spent $17 on the fresh stuff (eggs, cheese, meats, & veggies) at the store, and then I'm using lots of pantry items. Plus I'll pick up the $10 gallon of raw milk.

Your menu looks fun! :)
Thank you for the offer of clothing. That would be wonderful! Hope you have a great week.

Carrie T said...


Hi there! Meat is truly an expense for sure. I think that going bulk is where we really save. I order pantry staples from Azure standard and for meat, I've been buying quarters (but even if I didn't have the space to store a quarter, I know a local source of organic, grass-fed beef, for example, where one can purchase bones, liver, kidneys, oxtain (the less desireable parts) for $1.50 per lb! When "creatively integrated into a meal" one can get a lot of nutrition for a little bit of money. I'm going to research sausage making and try to use some of these cheaper kinds of meat to make sausages for my kids. Sausage makers are very cheap and I find that the "artisan" sausages my kids love to eat really eat up my meat budget!

Also, this local source has org. ground beef and chuck roast for only $4.75 per lb, which is only about $95 for 20 lbs! Ground beef and chuck roast can be stretched for many meals, too !

I would be happy to share this quality source with you,since you're local :)

I hope this helps!


I'm sure you did keep it under $40! I'm not very good at gauging how much we'll really need, so I think I easily purchased enough produce to stretch for two weeks (and dh saw a "great deal" on a bottle of wine, which artificially bumped up the total bill, but it was still less than $40)

Laurie M said...

Hey Carrie,
From someone who has made lots of sausage, I say go for it! Just don't let people talk you into thinking that you actually need a pile of fat to make your sausage taste good. We make Sausage from moose meat which is some of the leanest red meat out there and it tastes great! Occasionally we will add a little free range pork if we are going to be frying it bulk instead of cooking links but not that often. If you are going to do small amounts you can get a sausage stuffer for a kitchenaid. Or you can get a free standing grinder with attachments. I have some great sausage cook books but there are great healthy recipes on the net too. Have fun!

Natalie said...

Carrie, that is a great challenge! It would be very appreciated if you could share your source for liver and etc. I am struggling with food, I go to Whole Foods, and I never leave without spending over $60 twice a week, plus other stores. I truly don't know how you do it! I would LOVE any ideas or sources you can share with me!

Nat =)