This week I shared how to create your holiday budget and how important it is to do so over at Valpak.com. (You can check out the article here.) I know for our family, our budget will be much higher heading into this week with all the entertaining that we’ll be doing. Plus, we’re hosting a 1st birthday party for family in honor of our little one.
Today, I wanted to start by sharing how I create my budget and keep things organized during this time of year.
(By the way, don’t forget to check out my Turkey and Ham price comparison list for our grocery stores!)
First Step – Set the Amount I can spend.
Our budget this year is $150 for the week. This will include everything I need to feed our family and my in-laws for 5 days, the 1st birthday party meal for 10 adults and 3 kids and cake, as well as the side I’m providing for Thanksgiving.
Second Step – Create a Meal Plan and list everything I’ll need to buy.
I created a list of meals I’ll be preparing and then visited my stockpile to figure out what items I have on hand and what items I need to buy. My meal plan is based on using as many items from my pantry as possible to cut down on my costs. I also plan to be very flexible with breakfast and lunch so I’ve listed a number of items I plan to have on hand to cater to what our family is in the mood for.
Breakfast (flexible) - Cereal, Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Need to buy: Milk, eggs
Have already: Cereal, Coffee, flour, cinnamon, sugar, butter
Lunch (flexible) - PB&J, Fruit, Milk, Sandwiches, Chips
Need to Buy: Milk, Bread, Fruit, Chips, Bread, Lunchmeat
Have already: PB&J
Dinner – Breakfast for Dinner
Need to Buy: Nothing
Have already: Sausage, Pancake Mix
Late Night Snack (when in-laws arrive): Cheese and Crackers
Need to Buy: Cheese, Crackers
Wednesday (Party Day!)
Dinner (Birthday Party): Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread, Cake, Ice Cream
Need to buy: salad, tomatoes, cucumbers, bread, cake mix, confectionary sugar, milk, ice cream
Have already: noodles, sauce, ground beef (see cow), ricotta, mozarella cheese, vanilla
Dinner: Cucumber Salad
Need to buy: cucumbers, sour cream, red onion
Have already: vinegar, dill
Dinner: Homemade Pizza, Salad
Need to buy: ham, basil, “real” mozarella cheese, salad, tomatoes, cucumbers
Have already: bread flour, yeast, olive oil, mozarella cheese, pizza sauce, onions, peppers
Need to buy: nothing!
Third Step – Compile all needed items into one shopping list.
Salad (lasagna dinner & pizza night)
Cucumber (Cucumber salad)
“Real” Mozarella Cheese
Lunchmeat for lunches
Tomorrow I’ll share how I’m going to take this list and create my shopping plan! I have to admit, I’m not as overwhelmed now that I have a list of what I need. It helps to be bringing a side to Thanksgiving! Thanks mom! :) I also think I’ll be under budget so I’ll have some extra money to spend on decorations and maybe a few more additional fun items!