Monday, November 17, 2014

Finding Christmas Money in a Tight Budget

We have lived on a tight budget for years. However, this year the budget is much tighter because of the costs associated with providing our daughter, Goldilocks, with mental health boarding home care. Our monthly co-pay after insurance is a fourth of our income. Last year I tried to supplement our grocery bill by eating out of our freezer to clear up Christmas money. While I saw the value of my plan, I hadn't thought of it soon enough to really stockpile. This summer I realized that, if we were going to have Christmas and extra heating bill money, I was needed to half our grocery bill each week from mid-November to Christmas. So, I made a real effort to add one extra thing to the freezer and one extra food item to the pantry each week. We will see how I did.

Week One ~ I spent $90 on groceries to start this week. I usually spend about $180. I hope that I do not need to buy anything more. Our groceries include food and household products. This week I needed a new mop head which set me back $4.70. I also am in charge of providing snack for Lego Club this month. I am feeding the 20+ kids a 3 oz. cup of Whole Grain Goldfish and a 3 oz. cup of grapes. We try to eat as organically as possible, and all of our meat is cage free and as grain free as possible. We eat very little organic dairy.

Menu Plan ~ 

  • Homemade chicken pot pie
  • Chicken drumsticks with rice and salad
  • Spaghetti with meatballs and peas
  • Colcannon with diced ham and peas
  • Pancakes with sausage and oranges
  • Baked potato bar
  • Leftovers a few times
  • Homemade bread and fruit salad
  • Nut and veggie platter
  • Cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches
  • Banana bread with oranges and nuts
  • Waffles with apples
  • Oatmeal with apples
  • Homemade pancakes with oranges
  • Smoothies (frozen fruit and Greek yogurt) and toast
  • French  toast with oranges
The only things I took from the freezer was a can of orange juice and a bag of smile potatoes which will supplement the kids' luxury liquids when they get bored of tea and cashew milk. We drink water with most meals and snacks.

Here is what our freezer looks like on November 17.

Right side of Freezer

Left side and top trays
If I don't need to spend any more grocery money this week, we will have saved $90. That money will pay some of the donation shipping cost on our Operation Christmas Child boxes and offset the cost of an emergency repair our furnace needed this weekend. The rest of the money for the furnace repair will come from switching cars with my husband this week. He drives much less than me and had almost a full tank of gas. 

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Great planning. I am doing the same thing. Buying the bare necessities like fresh fruits and emptying my pantry and freezer. So far so good.I still have a few items that we will definitely consume this Thanksgiving. I am basically buying a ham and some potatoes, everything else will come from my pantry and freezer.

  2. Hello! I am finally getting caught up on my blog reading. I'm supposed to be doing chores but I wanted to get caught up on your posts first. Looks like we both had furnace issues. Ours went out on a Saturday night. Thankfully we were still up and Trey and I stockpiled wood and got the fireplace going. We have two plug in heaters. He took one up to his room and the girls and I used the second along with the fireplace to keep warm. I was up every hour putting more wood on the fire but the house stayed at 64, chilly but doable. So glad you got yours fixed! Praying for a peaceful Christmas season for you!