- plan your meals.
- Plan them around the sales.
- But what you need.
- Don’t forget lunch and breakfast.
- Probably get a snack or plan that out, too.
But really though. I grocery shopped for my family for $72.40 this week AND I have delicious stuff planned for these guys.
BREAKFAST is easy. Bars, cereal, oatmeal, yogurt… those things are easy and at least one of them is almost always on sale somewhere.
LUNCH is a tough one. If there is extra money int he food budget, I’ll pick myself up some Lean Cuisines. Otherwise, almost any combo of yogurt, those pouches I make (also good for breakfast!), cheese, fruit, veggies, or some chicken nuggets/hot dogs even (don’t lie, you know you do it) will work.
DINNER has gotten so much easier for me. Here’s why (I know it’s a little blurry):
The point is, it’s a menu. Not only do I not have to think about what’s for dinner, answer any questions about what we’re having, stand there like an ass in the grocery store, figuring out what I’m gonna use some obscure thing for, but I also sound fancy. Who doesn’t want to be organized AND fancy? I know you are tiling your head (maybe even raising an eyebrow) in agreement. Exactly.
How did I come up with all that awesomeness? Well, I looked to see what was on sale and what I had in the freezer, and went for recipes with included those things. Usually, I start with the protein, since meat is usually the most expensive part of a dish, then go from there. I get a lot of recipes online and from other people. This week alone, 3 of the dinners on my menu are either new or something I’ve only had once, at someone else’s house. You can pull recipes from diabetic sites, too. Doing that will hopefully help to curb junk dinners because not only do you make things that are healthier, but you also don’t pick on crappy food or order pizza because you don’t want to deal with the whole “what’s for dinner” pain in the butt discussion.
Some of the things on there, like the roast and stew, are going to use the same piece of meat. I spent 10 dollars on the roast. That seems like a lot until you realize that I’m using it for 2 night’s meals. The chicken (though this time I happen to have leg quarters in the freezer for soup) can be made using one family pack of chicken, split into 2 portions.
The other thing I started doing, which has little to do with saving money and more to do with saving time, is prepping my veggies and stuff ahead of time and freezing it. I know a lot of people don’t like to freeze fresh veggies, but I’m all for it. I have never noticed anything off about them afterwards. Today, I went shopping, came home, put the baby down for a nap, and while she was sleeping, cut all the veggies that I needed for dinner for the week up and bagged them (I labeled the bags with what was in there, the date, and what it was for – you don’t need to). This saves me from messing up my kitchen (even more) when I make dinner and it stops me from having to cut veggies more than once because, really, who wants to prep veggies all the time?