DonnaYoung.org

Cheap meal ideas

Posted by: mimzie Mar 28 2006, 11:47 PM

Since Jessica's post on saving money else where, I've realized I spend way too much on our food bill!!

I dont know where to start on cutting it down either? I use to go to Sam's and buy the meat etc and run to the store daily for the rest (#1 problem!)

The hardest thing for me is planning meals for the month/week/... even the next day! Usually at supper time it's like "OK, what can I cook tonight?" Our meals usually arent expensive meals, no prepackaged or anything but I realized that I spend about $500 a month on groceries! That seems like a lot compared to what others are saying. I do feed 3-4 adults and 4 kids but these are young kids so they really dont eat much.

So I guess my biggest question is, will planning meals ahead really save money? Does freezing meals save money in the long run? We hardly ever eat out so I know that isnt the problem either. I just dont know where all the money goes I guess. I do not buy snack foods (chips cookie etc) veggies are usually snacks around here and that's about it. So I guess I need some suggestions on what to buy! I have the meats covered but what do I make with it? LOL

Posted by: Nana Mar 29 2006, 12:17 AM

Me too I am waiting to hear the answers to this one.. I need help in this area also.

Nana

Posted by: Appliejuice Mar 29 2006, 12:36 AM

QUOTE(mimzie @ Mar 28 2006, 10:47 PM)

Our meals usually arent expensive meals, no prepackaged or anything but I realized that I spend about $500 a month on groceries! That seems like a lot compared to what others are saying. I do feed 3-4 adults and 4 kids but these are young kids so they really dont eat much.
I feed six people and I spend more than that. I think it depends on where you live and the cost of food.

It also depends on you. Are you the kind of person who likes to try new recipes that call for different ingredients that you normally don't have on hand. Like fresh dates and then once you buy them you don't remember why? Oh wait, that's me. whistling.gif

My favorite cookbook for cheap meals is Misery Moms. Can't remember the author at the moment. I like it because it is simple "normal" meals from scratch.

I did find that planning meals well in advice (that's 1 1/2 weeks for me), does help. I am not running out to the grocery store or to a resturant. smile.gif

I don't know about freezing meals. I do freeze some, but not a lot. I only freeze when I make extras. I don't go out of my way to freeze special meals. Now, I will be freezing some things for our up coming meals, but that is only for treats.

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 12:51 AM

We utilize a lot of 'ground' meat vs steaks or chicken breast, etc. I can get ground turkey at the Super Walmart for $2.49 a lb I think it is, in 3lb packages, and then I usually divide that in half and freeze 1.5 lbs sizes.

What to make with it?

Meatballs, swedish or spagetti, also sweet and sour over rice, but still tinkering with a recipe DH will like better
lasagna
spagetti with meat sauce
hamburger helper (walmart brand)
burgers
meat loaf (I can actually make a turkey meat loaf that my family requests over beef)
tacos
sloppy joes
burgers of course


Make your own hamburger helper type meal with mac & cheese, ground hamburger, and peas.

We usually do our own tuna helper this way, 2 cans walmart tuna, a family sized box of walmart mac & cheese, and either broccoli or peas, usually one bag frozen. The tuna and mac & cheese will cost you $1.69 and then the cost of the veggies.

Pancakes are another cheap meal here, I buy the baking mix from Aldis (bisquick knock-off for 99cents a box) they have a recipe on it that calls for eggs, a spoon of sugar, and a spoon of vanilla, the kids go nuts for. I do spend extra for the sugar free syrup because DH goes crazy with it, and he's trying to loose weight. But the 99 cent box of mix will get us 3-4 meals. Try topping with diced warmed peaches instead of syrup!

If you do have some chicken in the freezer, I've made chicken fingers from seasoned bread crumbs. Just coat the chicken in some water or beat egg with a pinch of salt (helps break up the thick part of the egg so it's all runny)

If you're just going to pan fry, grill, or bake your meat, try marinating it. Serve with some white rice, or a nuked potato, and some steamed veggies, you cover all the food groups and it's a no-thought meal, you can just pull out whichever veggie you feel like for the night.

If you're not a big advanced planner, try making a turkey or a roast. You have it hot as-is the first day, and then turn it into sandwiches, hash, or turkey-ala-king for leftovers. Warm up your turkey in a fry pan and top with cheddar cheese and throw it on a bun or bread with mayo, yum!

OK, I think I'm just delirious with exhaustion, Abby hasn't been sleeping well, she has a double ear infection, so I've been dreading getting into bed with her and DH. Maybe I'll just go sleep in her bed, lol.

If you've made it this far in my ramblings, I appologize! good night!

Posted by: mimzie Mar 29 2006, 01:25 AM

Thanx for the ideas so far! I wanted to say, I buy hamburger meat from Sam's, like $1.89 a lb and very little fat, dont even have to drain it!

I'm going to have to try the chicken stuff, I have chicken breast that have been in the freezer for a while cause I didnt know what to do with it.

I hardly ever cook from recipe books, just cause it always contains ingrediants that I dont have LOL

These are some of the meals I make though:

Mexican corn bread: 1lb hamburger cooked, 4c corn meal mix (2 batches) and all the stuff to make the corn bread, 1 can of corn and velvetta cheese, throw it all together in the corn meal mix and cook according to corn bread instructions. Kids love it!

Goolash?? (how the heck do you spell it?) LOL 1lb hamburger meat, 1 bottle of cheap spaghetti sauce, ranch style beans (2 cans usually) 1 spaghetti sauce bottle filled with water, sometimes a bit more water, add macoroni (dry) and cook til macaroni is done. Add velvetta when it's done and let it melt, stir and serve Kids love this too

Ranchers soup (I think it's called) 4 cans of minestrone soup, 1lb hamburger meat, 6tbsp greek seasoning, 2 cans kidney beans (I prefer pinto beans though) 1 can tomato (or 2, I dont like tomatoes) a can or 2 of water. Serve with crackers or corn bread. This stuff is really good! I had the recipe but lost it so not sure of exacts or even if this is all that goes in it but this is how I cook it lol This feeds a lot too and kids love it

Hmm that's all I can think of right now, I've cooked these in the last week so they are fresh in my mind lol

Rachel

Posted by: Tressa Mar 29 2006, 01:37 AM

Yes! A menu makes a big difference. I plan 2 weeks in advance. Well, to be completely honest, I haven't been very good about it lately and I am paying the price. whistling.gif If you make a menu and your grocery list at the same time, you will have everything you need on hand to make your dinners. My poor hubby has heard many times, "Don't eat that! It is for a recipe!" biggrin.gif He has learned to ask. laugh.gif

For easy recipes that don't take a ton of ingredients, I like Saving Dinner and 6 Ingredients or Less. They are my favorites. They have easy recipes with few ingredients.

To save time with menus, I keep mine in a 3-ring binder. After I have a few weeks of menus I rotate them. On my menu page, I write the cookbook and the page number that it is on. That prevents me from digging through the cookbooks looking for the recipe again. I don't make a side dish menu because my sides are usually the same. They are salads, rice, potatoes or veggies and sometimes rolls.

Before we moved I was doing serious coupon shopping to save myself even more money, but I haven't started back up since we have been here. I need to build my coupons back up. I was saving a lot of money planning sales and coupons. But, it is a lot of work and I don't know if I am in the mood for that right now. laugh.gif It can be fun though. yes.gif

Posted by: mamamia Mar 29 2006, 08:14 AM

500 dollars a month! That's cheap for me, I usually spend about 800-900 a month omg2.gif and I don't buy sweets, I make my own.

My advice would be shop for a week at a time. Make a list and stick to it. Don't buy anything that isn't on the list. That's where the problem lies.

Good Luck! smile.gif

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 08:29 AM

QUOTE(JessicaN @ Mar 28 2006, 11:51 PM)

We utilize a lot of 'ground' meat vs steaks or chicken breast, etc. I can get ground turkey at the Super Walmart for $2.49 a lb I think it is, in 3lb packages, and then I usually divide that in half and freeze 1.5 lbs sizes.


I buy the baking mix from Aldis

I try very hard not to purchase ground meat unless it is about $1.50 per pound. You mentioned that you shop at Aldi........Aldi has ground turkey in the freezer section for $1.69 a pound. I shop at Aldi for everything.....that they have.......then and only then do I shop elsewhere. I realize that not everyone has an Aldi near them. The next cheepest place to shop is Save-a-lot. I also know that many people are picky about what brands they eat. That.......to me.........is sad. If a budget needs tightening, then buy store brands, or Aldi or something like that. Eventually, they will eat it. If not, they can go hungry. That is just my philosophy. It is also what you get used to.

For example, my mother who is always saying they don't have enough money, only buys Campbel(?) soup.....we only get Aldi. My mother is always shaming me because I don't buy the "good stuff" for my kids. One day we were over there, and my mom fixed some soup for the daughter and she didn't like it. It didn't "taste as good as Aldi brand"........my mom was shocked........that she didn't like the "good stuff"......

Most times the store brands come right off the same line as the name brands....different label. One thing I also learned........Aldi.....over in Europe........is like Kroger/Big Bear here in America.

Posted by: mimzie Mar 28 2006, 11:47 PM

Since Jessica's post on saving money else where, I've realized I spend way too much on our food bill!!

I dont know where to start on cutting it down either? I use to go to Sam's and buy the meat etc and run to the store daily for the rest (#1 problem!)

The hardest thing for me is planning meals for the month/week/... even the next day! Usually at supper time it's like "OK, what can I cook tonight?" Our meals usually arent expensive meals, no prepackaged or anything but I realized that I spend about $500 a month on groceries! That seems like a lot compared to what others are saying. I do feed 3-4 adults and 4 kids but these are young kids so they really dont eat much.

So I guess my biggest question is, will planning meals ahead really save money? Does freezing meals save money in the long run? We hardly ever eat out so I know that isnt the problem either. I just dont know where all the money goes I guess. I do not buy snack foods (chips cookie etc) veggies are usually snacks around here and that's about it. So I guess I need some suggestions on what to buy! I have the meats covered but what do I make with it? LOL

Posted by: Nana Mar 29 2006, 12:17 AM

Me too I am waiting to hear the answers to this one.. I need help in this area also.

Nana

Posted by: Appliejuice Mar 29 2006, 12:36 AM

QUOTE(mimzie @ Mar 28 2006, 10:47 PM)

Our meals usually arent expensive meals, no prepackaged or anything but I realized that I spend about $500 a month on groceries! That seems like a lot compared to what others are saying. I do feed 3-4 adults and 4 kids but these are young kids so they really dont eat much.
I feed six people and I spend more than that. I think it depends on where you live and the cost of food.

It also depends on you. Are you the kind of person who likes to try new recipes that call for different ingredients that you normally don't have on hand. Like fresh dates and then once you buy them you don't remember why? Oh wait, that's me. whistling.gif

My favorite cookbook for cheap meals is Misery Moms. Can't remember the author at the moment. I like it because it is simple "normal" meals from scratch.

I did find that planning meals well in advice (that's 1 1/2 weeks for me), does help. I am not running out to the grocery store or to a resturant. smile.gif

I don't know about freezing meals. I do freeze some, but not a lot. I only freeze when I make extras. I don't go out of my way to freeze special meals. Now, I will be freezing some things for our up coming meals, but that is only for treats.

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 12:51 AM

We utilize a lot of 'ground' meat vs steaks or chicken breast, etc. I can get ground turkey at the Super Walmart for $2.49 a lb I think it is, in 3lb packages, and then I usually divide that in half and freeze 1.5 lbs sizes.

What to make with it?

Meatballs, swedish or spagetti, also sweet and sour over rice, but still tinkering with a recipe DH will like better
lasagna
spagetti with meat sauce
hamburger helper (walmart brand)
burgers
meat loaf (I can actually make a turkey meat loaf that my family requests over beef)
tacos
sloppy joes
burgers of course


Make your own hamburger helper type meal with mac & cheese, ground hamburger, and peas.

We usually do our own tuna helper this way, 2 cans walmart tuna, a family sized box of walmart mac & cheese, and either broccoli or peas, usually one bag frozen. The tuna and mac & cheese will cost you $1.69 and then the cost of the veggies.

Pancakes are another cheap meal here, I buy the baking mix from Aldis (bisquick knock-off for 99cents a box) they have a recipe on it that calls for eggs, a spoon of sugar, and a spoon of vanilla, the kids go nuts for. I do spend extra for the sugar free syrup because DH goes crazy with it, and he's trying to loose weight. But the 99 cent box of mix will get us 3-4 meals. Try topping with diced warmed peaches instead of syrup!

If you do have some chicken in the freezer, I've made chicken fingers from seasoned bread crumbs. Just coat the chicken in some water or beat egg with a pinch of salt (helps break up the thick part of the egg so it's all runny)

If you're just going to pan fry, grill, or bake your meat, try marinating it. Serve with some white rice, or a nuked potato, and some steamed veggies, you cover all the food groups and it's a no-thought meal, you can just pull out whichever veggie you feel like for the night.

If you're not a big advanced planner, try making a turkey or a roast. You have it hot as-is the first day, and then turn it into sandwiches, hash, or turkey-ala-king for leftovers. Warm up your turkey in a fry pan and top with cheddar cheese and throw it on a bun or bread with mayo, yum!

OK, I think I'm just delirious with exhaustion, Abby hasn't been sleeping well, she has a double ear infection, so I've been dreading getting into bed with her and DH. Maybe I'll just go sleep in her bed, lol.

If you've made it this far in my ramblings, I appologize! good night!

Posted by: mimzie Mar 29 2006, 01:25 AM

Thanx for the ideas so far! I wanted to say, I buy hamburger meat from Sam's, like $1.89 a lb and very little fat, dont even have to drain it!

I'm going to have to try the chicken stuff, I have chicken breast that have been in the freezer for a while cause I didnt know what to do with it.

I hardly ever cook from recipe books, just cause it always contains ingrediants that I dont have LOL

These are some of the meals I make though:

Mexican corn bread: 1lb hamburger cooked, 4c corn meal mix (2 batches) and all the stuff to make the corn bread, 1 can of corn and velvetta cheese, throw it all together in the corn meal mix and cook according to corn bread instructions. Kids love it!

Goolash?? (how the heck do you spell it?) LOL 1lb hamburger meat, 1 bottle of cheap spaghetti sauce, ranch style beans (2 cans usually) 1 spaghetti sauce bottle filled with water, sometimes a bit more water, add macoroni (dry) and cook til macaroni is done. Add velvetta when it's done and let it melt, stir and serve Kids love this too

Ranchers soup (I think it's called) 4 cans of minestrone soup, 1lb hamburger meat, 6tbsp greek seasoning, 2 cans kidney beans (I prefer pinto beans though) 1 can tomato (or 2, I dont like tomatoes) a can or 2 of water. Serve with crackers or corn bread. This stuff is really good! I had the recipe but lost it so not sure of exacts or even if this is all that goes in it but this is how I cook it lol This feeds a lot too and kids love it

Hmm that's all I can think of right now, I've cooked these in the last week so they are fresh in my mind lol

Rachel

Posted by: Tressa Mar 29 2006, 01:37 AM

Yes! A menu makes a big difference. I plan 2 weeks in advance. Well, to be completely honest, I haven't been very good about it lately and I am paying the price. whistling.gif If you make a menu and your grocery list at the same time, you will have everything you need on hand to make your dinners. My poor hubby has heard many times, "Don't eat that! It is for a recipe!" biggrin.gif He has learned to ask. laugh.gif

For easy recipes that don't take a ton of ingredients, I like Saving Dinner and 6 Ingredients or Less. They are my favorites. They have easy recipes with few ingredients.

To save time with menus, I keep mine in a 3-ring binder. After I have a few weeks of menus I rotate them. On my menu page, I write the cookbook and the page number that it is on. That prevents me from digging through the cookbooks looking for the recipe again. I don't make a side dish menu because my sides are usually the same. They are salads, rice, potatoes or veggies and sometimes rolls.

Before we moved I was doing serious coupon shopping to save myself even more money, but I haven't started back up since we have been here. I need to build my coupons back up. I was saving a lot of money planning sales and coupons. But, it is a lot of work and I don't know if I am in the mood for that right now. laugh.gif It can be fun though. yes.gif

Posted by: mamamia Mar 29 2006, 08:14 AM

500 dollars a month! That's cheap for me, I usually spend about 800-900 a month omg2.gif and I don't buy sweets, I make my own.

My advice would be shop for a week at a time. Make a list and stick to it. Don't buy anything that isn't on the list. That's where the problem lies.

Good Luck! smile.gif

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 08:29 AM

QUOTE(JessicaN @ Mar 28 2006, 11:51 PM)

We utilize a lot of 'ground' meat vs steaks or chicken breast, etc. I can get ground turkey at the Super Walmart for $2.49 a lb I think it is, in 3lb packages, and then I usually divide that in half and freeze 1.5 lbs sizes.


I buy the baking mix from Aldis

I try very hard not to purchase ground meat unless it is about $1.50 per pound. You mentioned that you shop at Aldi........Aldi has ground turkey in the freezer section for $1.69 a pound. I shop at Aldi for everything.....that they have.......then and only then do I shop elsewhere. I realize that not everyone has an Aldi near them. The next cheepest place to shop is Save-a-lot. I also know that many people are picky about what brands they eat. That.......to me.........is sad. If a budget needs tightening, then buy store brands, or Aldi or something like that. Eventually, they will eat it. If not, they can go hungry. That is just my philosophy. It is also what you get used to.

For example, my mother who is always saying they don't have enough money, only buys Campbel(?) soup.....we only get Aldi. My mother is always shaming me because I don't buy the "good stuff" for my kids. One day we were over there, and my mom fixed some soup for the daughter and she didn't like it. It didn't "taste as good as Aldi brand"........my mom was shocked........that she didn't like the "good stuff"......

Most times the store brands come right off the same line as the name brands....different label. One thing I also learned........Aldi.....over in Europe........is like Kroger/Big Bear here in America.

QUOTE(Tressa @ Mar 29 2006, 12:37 AM)
My poor hubby has heard many times, "Don't eat that! It is for a recipe!" biggrin.gif He has learned to ask. laugh.gif

So has mine!!! blush.gif I also don't.........as a general rule........go out and purchase something specifically for only one recipe. I generally make plain meals, filling, but plain.......with ingredients that you can find at Aldi blush.gif

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 09:09 AM

QUOTE(chocolatechic @ Mar 29 2006, 07:29 AM)

I try very hard not to purchase ground meat unless it is about $1.50 per pound. You mentioned that you shop at Aldi........Aldi has ground turkey in the freezer section for $1.69 a pound.

Most times the store brands come right off the same line as the name brands....different label. One thing I also learned........Aldi.....over in Europe........is like Kroger/Big Bear here in America.
So has mine!!! blush.gif I also don't.........as a general rule........go out and purchase something specifically for only one recipe. I generally make plain meals, filling, but plain.......with ingredients that you can find at Aldi blush.gif



I have to add that the ground turkey I get is national brand stuff, and it's one of the few places we do spend our money for national brand food. I like to know what is in my meat, I used to work in a meat dept of the food store, and I could tell you some stories that would make you hurl. sick.gif We don't generally use beef in our house because I'm allergic to it. And I have tried some of the generic ground turkey, but we've had really bad luck with it being fatty, containing bits of bones, cartelige, etc. I think they use animal fat other than turkey in their ground turkey too, which opens me up to a lot of food allergy issues. But anyway, I just wanted to say that we HAVE looked into generic meat, it's just not something we're willing to cut from our budget. And I really think it's about the ONLY thing we still buy national brand of.

We never use coupons, because we always buy store brand on everything. I've spent so much time cutting coupons, only to get to the store, compare sale prices WITH double coupons, only to find out the store brand is STILL cheaper. We get the coupons from our mothers after they have gone through them, and if by chance there is something we need that I can't find in an off brand, we can still get the coupons without paying for the paper.

Oh, there's another idea for saving money, if you have family nearby, share the newspaper and coupons!


Posted by: Appliejuice Mar 29 2006, 09:11 AM

Good advice, CC. I wish we had some of those low cost grocery stores here. We usually shop at Sam's for our bulk items and then Publix. Yes, Publix cost more than Food Lion sick.gif or Winn-Dixie, but the extra cost in fuel to get to those stores, is more than the cost at Publix. So, you do need to keep fuel cost in shopping at different stores in mind. smile.gif

My hubby is the one who shops at Sam's. He stops by on the way home from work. He came home the other day and said Sam's had rearranged everything and raised prices, so now we have to compare prices again. thinking.gif

Using up leftovers is another way to safe. I think that is our biggest mistake. I don't always use them up.

I do stop by the grocery store about 3 times a week, to pick up fresh fruits, vegies and milk. Once a week or every two weeks does not work for us.

Posted by: praise_singer Mar 29 2006, 09:14 AM

QUOTE
My favorite cookbook for cheap meals is Misery Moms. Can't remember the author at the moment. I like it because it is simple "normal" meals from scratch.


I LOVE Miserly Moms! I just printed a recipe off of their website. Here's their webpage for lots of ideas on how to save money:

http://www.miserlymoms.com/

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 09:15 AM

Oh and for goulash, our recipie is:

boil the pasta in a seperate container.
brown the meat in anther.
Then the sauce is whatever I have on hand, but it's USUALLY a couple of big cans of diced tomatos. I have also used spagetti sauce and added a small can of diced tomatos.

Then, after mixing the pasta with the meat, noodles, and tomato products, and making sure it's HOT! ladle into bowls, with mozzarella in the middle so the last ladle of hot goulash melts the cheese. My son will also add parm cheese on top. Great with garlic toast!

Posted by: praise_singer Mar 29 2006, 09:16 AM

QUOTE
Using up leftovers is another way to safe. I think that is our biggest mistake. I don't always use them up.


That's our biggest problem here....our leftovers usually go out to the dogs. dunno.gif

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 09:25 AM

Miserly Mom's is written by Jonni McCoy.

I also like the "Tightwad Gazette" books by Amy Dacyczyn.....some of her ideas are a bit much/off the wall for me, but her principles are very sound.

I do most of the stuff she suggests......not all......especially the dumpster diving thing. She is very funny as well.

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 09:26 AM

QUOTE(Appliejuice @ Mar 29 2006, 08:11 AM)

Good advice, CC. I wish we had some of those low cost grocery stores here. We usually shop at Sam's for our bulk items and then Publix.


Do you have a Super Walmart? Sometimes even a regular Walmart will have food staples. That's where we do most of our off-brand purchases. Moslty because it's convenient, we save up our shopping list and go twice a month. There's a Super Walmart, and a BJs (like Sams) in the same plaza. So we can get our Walmart shopping, our Grocery shopping, and our Bulk shopping all done at once, no running around. I've just learned that I can't send hubby, he picks up the national brand stuff vs the store brand. I think his mom has brainwashed him. That woman couldn't buy a generic item if her life depended on it!

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 09:30 AM

One thing I will caution you on.......

For General Merchandise......NOT groceries at Walmart, vs. SuperWalmart.......

If you compare.......SuperWalmart's prices are a good .20 higher per item than a regular Walmart. I noticed that when our store switched over. It is that way........generally, everywhere.

So.......if you just need regular things, not groceries and need to go to a Walmart........go to a regular one.

Posted by: Grammie Mar 29 2006, 09:33 AM

I watched my mom for years, making menus and then making her grocery list. A trip to the grocery store was an all day thing for her. She was reading labels before it was THE thing! We always knew when she had gone shopping because dinner was: hot dogs, pork n'beans, and cottage cheese. Anyway, she taught me a lot and I always made menus (trying to use what I had) and then my grocery list. I did a lot of meals that I could double the recipe and then freeze half for another meal. We usually did leftovers on Friday nights, but we called them "Had 'ems".

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 09:34 AM

I have compared prices, and that doesn't seem to be the case where we are. dunno.gif

Posted by: wings Mar 29 2006, 09:59 AM

We spend around $150 per week that means around $600 per month averaging up. We feed 3 adult appetites and 4 children appetites and this is a kosher diet. This includes everything. Toiletries, paper products, gardening items, kitchen needs, cleaners, etc.

We use mainly turkey, chicken, and fish. I stock my pantry with things I like to eat and cook I meal plan but sporadically. It takes time and I find it helps but I do not get bent out of shape if I change it in the middle and shift meals to other days extra. You must have balance.

It sounds like you are in the ball park with budget. I enjoy gardening and that helps the budget when you eat as many vegies as we do. Also if you can you can buy seasonal at the farmers market or local organic garden and can the items. For example I don't buy apples except by the case. We eat a lot of them and by the case they work to around 40 cents a pound and this is for high quality apples. At wally world they are minimum for 2nd or 3rd grade $1 a pound. Even if I find a few bad ones I am saving big time.

So since I didn't get green beans in this season I will purchase a case and can and pickle them. My kids love pickled snacks and that is a favorite.

As for individual meals my only suggestion is keep them simple and don't focus on the meat of the meal but the vegetable. If you focus on the meat your going to go up in cost. If your children and you love green beans do a meal of orientle stir fried green beans and rice. No meat required especially if you toss in a few almond slivers with the beans. This is one of our favorites. If I want it fancy I add my Egg Flower soup.

I they like greens and they are in season, Palak Paneer with rice or paan and butter. Potatoes, bake them and cover them with broccoli and cheese and chives.

Ber

Posted by: hs4hmom Mar 29 2006, 10:00 AM

I have "Dinner in a Bag". I made it last night and the family really likes it.
I brown 1 lb of ground meat (turkey or hamburger)
with chopped onion (I used 1 Tbsp of onion powder), some celery (I used 1 tsp of celery seed) and 1 tbsp of chili powder.
Open two cans of diced tomatoes (13.5 oz?)
Add the tomatoes to the ground meat when it's cooked.
Add 2 cups of dry macaroni. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes and it's done. A one pot meal. For a little variety, add veggies of choice.

Posted by: Sherinova Mar 29 2006, 10:31 AM

Many years ago, I watched some lady on TV who fed a hoard of kids for less than $100/month. She was a master at the coupon/rebate game....practically making money on them. She stocked up on grocery store's leader items. The phrase that sticks in my mind all these years later: "Meat is a condiment." I think that's why their meals were so cheap....they were not vegetarians, but they didn't eat much meat....and I don't recall how they got adequate protein for their children, but they were a healthy looking lot. Wish I could remember more....

Anyway, the ultimate 'meat is a condiment meal': BEANS!

Rachel: I don't think your budget sounds out of whack and you are doing a lot to keep it in check. Ours is about $500/month for 2 adults & 2 growing boys. My biggest budget saver: DON'T TAKE HUBBY GROCERY SHOPPING! Keep up the good work!


Posted by: wings Mar 29 2006, 10:40 AM

I love it! The only issue when Hubby goes is to understand he is going to get those chips so your errand boy is going to cost mabey $5. and there are many days it is worth it!!! biggrin.gif Especially if he takes both the boys!!! That is a cheap hour on my own or quiet bath.

I tried the coupon thing, I spen hours and hours going through papers, books, sorting, clipping etc. Not worth it in my experience. That was for a few dollars here and there due to my purchasing grocery store brands when kosher and most of Wally Worlds are now. I do clip easy coupons like on the back of the Matzah box or for things I do buy regularly but that is not a lot.

A cheap and healthy snack is Hummus, it last days and can be made in a large batch. That and some cheese is a nice noon meal.

I love these ideas though.
Ber

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 10:42 AM

For groceries........2 adults and 2 teens.........I spend about $150.........a month....

Posted by: mimzie Mar 29 2006, 10:43 AM

Sheri thanx and I so agree, my dh was not meant to shop!! omg2.gif rolleyes.gif I try to keep snacks outta the house, send him and he comes home, happy as can be and proud of his 15 grocery bags of junk! LOL!!

But I must brag on him too, last weekend I was fed up with meals, I was tired of cooking the same ole thing OVER and OVER! He got in the kitchen and actually cooked a meal that I hadnt thought of yet! It wasnt all junk either lol

I've very bad about thinking there's nothing to cook when the pantry is over filled and so are the freezers dunno.gif but nothing seems to go together, give dh 5 mins in the kitchen and he's got 4 meals planned stunned.gif Its weird too cause growing up, when there was "nothing" to cook.. that meant the pantry was bare!

I think we do definitely need to cut down on the meat! We eat a lot of hamburger meat and although it is very lean, it still isnt the greatest for us so I think I'm going to start a menu and see what I can come up with (HELP please!! lol) My family LOVES beans too so that's a good start, I dont know why I dont cook them very often? I usually forget and think I dont have enough time.

All the replies are giving me great ideas so keep em coming!!

I think I'll start using more chicken too, DH *hates* chicken because his mom use to always cook "Chicken and rice" (Hear him say that and watch him nearly puke lol) then he joined the military for 6yrs and ate a lot of chicken!! lol But hopefully he'll be able to handle once a week or so.

Rachel

Posted by: kpmom Mar 29 2006, 10:50 AM

QUOTE(chocolatechic @ Mar 29 2006, 09:42 AM)

For groceries........2 adults and 2 teens.........I spend about $150.........a month....


wreck.gif

Share, please! (That's my weekly amount!)

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 10:52 AM

They also make a poultry italian sausage, it will save you maybe 50 cents on the pound over traditinal pork sausage, at least around here it does. Our grocery store sells a mean chicken apple suasage. It's pricey, but I buy it only for myself for lunches. I refuse to spend extra money on the 'good stuff' when DH and DS don't appreciate it! Same goes for cheese. Occasionally I buy a champagne cheddar cheese, and I HIDE it! They get the $1.50 a brick cheddar, because they DON"T CARE. I've found that men don't notice these things as long as you don't TELL THEM. I switched from Bisquick pancakes to the generic baking mix from Aldis, and just told them I tried a new recipe using the same bisquick mix. They liked it better, LOL. I also used to buy store brand chocolate milk powder, and pour it into the old Nesquick container. As long as the kids saw the bunny on the box, they were happy!

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 10:58 AM

Basically, we shop at Aldi........

And the biggest thing for us..............we only eat one portion of food.....If you look at an actual serving size........it isn't as much as what you most likely eat. That is how I have been able to lose so much weight.....NO SECONDS!!!

One serving of meat is 4 oz.........that isn't much at all.

We also eat soup...............a lot!!! At least 3 times a week.

One other thing that ..........when we can afford it........is to purchase 1/2 a beef...........it is cheeper per pound for everything and that generally lasts about a year...........we haven't been able to do that in awhile. I only buy meat if it is under $2 a pound, chicken if it is .49 per pound, ....... blush.gif except every once in awhile.........I splurg and get me a sirloin......that is my favorite cut of steak......med. rare.....:essen.gif: blush.gif

We don't snack.......at all.......cause it isn't worth it.... blush.gif one serving is only 12 chips.........How in the world are you supposed to enjoy 12 chips???? It can't be done, I tell you!!! laugh.gif Although we do pop corn on the stove.

Rice....beans........rice......beans!!!

Posted by: Nana Mar 29 2006, 11:19 AM

QUOTE(JessicaN @ Mar 28 2006, 10:51 PM)
meat loaf (I can actually make a turkey meat loaf that my family requests over beef)
OK I want the recipes PLEASE

QUOTE(Tressa @ Mar 28 2006, 11:37 PM)
To save time with menus, I keep mine in a 3-ring binder. After I have a few weeks of menus I rotate them. On my menu page, I write the cookbook and the page number that it is on. That prevents me from digging through the cookbooks looking for the recipe again. I don't make a side dish menu because my sides are usually the same. They are salads, rice, potatoes or veggies and sometimes rolls.
If you can could you please scan a page and upload it so we all can see it.

Thanks in advance

QUOTE(wings @ Mar 29 2006, 07:59 AM)
So since I didn't get green beans in this season I will purchase a case and can and pickle them. My kids love pickled snacks and that is a favorite.
You buy a case of canned beans or fresh? I got confused here. and Where do you get them?


Thanks everyone
Nana

Posted by: mimzie Mar 29 2006, 11:22 AM

*note to self* Move rice and beans up to twice a week but do not cover head with blanket at night... whistling.gif

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 11:51 AM

QUOTE(Nana @ Mar 29 2006, 10:19 AM)

OK I want the recipes PLEASE

Thanks everyone
Nana


I do it by 'feel' but I'll get some more ground turkey next time I'm at the store, and make a batch, measuring it all this time, and write it down for you, lol. Basically, I add a ton of seasoning, I throw in dry parsley, breadcrumbs, an egg, and then brown sugar, ketchup, and garlic powder. And then I make a sauce for the top out of brown sugar and ketchup. Oh, and I forgot, Oregano, if I have it in the cupboard, I need to get some mroe though. It's really a great herb to go with Beef (try a bit in your hamburgers!), which is why I think it works well with the 'mock' meatloaf.

Posted by: Tressa Mar 29 2006, 12:32 PM

Nana, I scanned a page. I will try and post it in my blog. I don't know how well it will turn out though, as I usually write in pencil. smile.gif

I wish I had an Aldi around here. We don't have a Sav-A-Lot either. Fortunately, I do have the commissary, but it isn't a very big one. I can usually do pretty well there. I still shop sales locally, though.

About the coupons..I buy them. I know it sounds weird because how are you supposed to save money when you buy coupons, right? blush.gif Well, I only buy coupons for products that I know I am going to use such as toothpaste, cheese, shampoo, cereal, and stuff like that. One month I spent $9 in coupons and saved $70. Of course, I was stocking up, too. I also check the sales and purchase coupons to match the sales. It is a lot of work, though, and it works for me because the comissary sells mostly name brand products. It is only going to work with name brand products that you buy. I realize that for a lot of people couponing is not going to work.

I also wanted to say that we eat a lot of frozen vegatables. I will buy fresh only when they are in season. They usually go bad here because I forget about them. The farmers market starts here next month and I am anxious to see what the prices and selection are like. That might change things a little.

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 12:45 PM

I remember the other thing I was going to say.......either on this thread or the other one that is similar...on saving money.....

I don't purchase cereal. Cereal doesn't last long in the stomach, and it is much less expensive to get eggs, or oatmeal. It lasts longer with you in the day, and better...........so much better for you than cereal or pop tarts type stuff.

It takes me a grand total of 16 minutes to make cheesy scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuits in the morning.

Posted by: Tressa Mar 29 2006, 01:12 PM

QUOTE(chocolatechic @ Mar 29 2006, 11:45 AM)

I don't purchase cereal. Cereal doesn't last long in the stomach, and it is much less expensive to get eggs, or oatmeal. It lasts longer with you in the day, and better...........so much better for you than cereal or pop tarts type stuff.


This is the weakest part of my food budget. bonk.gif I buy too much cereal. I agree. It doesn't last long in their stomachs and by 10 AM they need a snack. Every time I go to the grocery store I tell myself that I am not going to buy cereal and we are going to eat better breakfasts and I never do it. I always cave. They won't eat oatmeal because I have spoiled them too long with sweet breakfasts. I am kicking myself now.IPB Image

Posted by: jessicasmom Mar 29 2006, 01:13 PM

We only spend around $150 or less a month on food for 2 adults 1 child. We buy family packs of meat when they are on sale and divide it up into 4 or 5 packages to freeze. We never let ourselve run completely out of something; we keep certain things on hand all the time so we don't have to buy something when its not on sale. We keep chicken breasts, pork chops, at least 2 steaks, hamburg, whole chicken, pork roast, beef roast, frozen tortallini, frozen ravioli, frozen veggies, different types and shapes of pasta, canned tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, different types of beans, ect... on hand at all times, so when we need to buy something for a recipe all we need is the small cheaper things. smile.gif

Posted by: foxchild Mar 29 2006, 01:53 PM

We spend between $150-$200 a month. I get stuff on sale, at Sam's Club, and Marc's. My biggest weakness in our budget, is pop. Of course our youngest is on WIC and that covers some of what we would spend on milk and juice and cheese.

Posted by: AKHomemom Mar 29 2006, 03:03 PM

QUOTE(Tressa @ Mar 28 2006, 08:37 PM)

Yes! A menu makes a big difference. I plan 2 weeks in advance. Well, to be completely honest, I haven't been very good about it lately and I am paying the price. whistling.gif If you make a menu and your grocery list at the same time, you will have everything you need on hand to make your dinners. My poor hubby has heard many times, "Don't eat that! It is for a recipe!" biggrin.gif He has learned to ask. laugh.gif

For easy recipes that don't take a ton of ingredients, I like Saving Dinner and 6 Ingredients or Less. They are my favorites. They have easy recipes with few ingredients.



I saved a lot of money back when I did the menu planning/shopping list thing as well. I'm bad about impulse buying especially if I have the DH or Dc with me. It is difficult to get them to not find stuff that isn't on the list. If I can go in w/a list, get just what I have on the list and only have enough money for what's on that list then I do very well indeed. yes.gif

I find some great recipes from the http://www.reimanpublishing.com than almost anywhere else. My DC are even more likely to eat these than from other sources. dunno.gif

QUOTE(mamamia @ Mar 29 2006, 03:14 AM)

500 dollars a month! That's cheap for me, I usually spend about 800-900 a month omg2.gif and I don't buy sweets, I make my own.

My advice would be shop for a week at a time. Make a list and stick to it. Don't buy anything that isn't on the list. That's where the problem lies.

Good Luck! smile.gif


You know I really don't know what I actually spend on groceries each month. I need to get that figured out. yes.gif

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 03:42 PM

QUOTE(Tressa @ Mar 29 2006, 12:12 PM)
They won't eat oatmeal because I have spoiled them too long with sweet breakfasts. I am kicking myself now.IPB Image

Have you tried Kelley's baked oatmeal. That is sweet....

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 04:37 PM

We only buy whoe grain cereal if we do get cereal, my kids like shredded wheat, which comes in vanilla and Brown sugar favors. But that's our staple for breakfast food, we usually do old fashioned oats, cream of wheat, or eggs too. They actually say that more people need protein and the good fats in their breakfast, that if you don't start out with that good hearty breakfast, that's what throws you metaboism out of whack for the day.

Posted by: foxchild Mar 29 2006, 04:58 PM

An inexpensive meal we have is stew meat with Uncle Ben's beef rice. You cook the meat in the butter the rice calls for and then add the rice and water and seasonings and cook for 20 min. It is easy and not very much since you only use about a pound of meat for a family of 4.

Oh Tuna Fish Cassarole is also cheap to make. We use one 12 oz bag of wide egg noodles cooked, 2 cans of Cream of mushroom soup, sometimes peas, and one can of tuna (although we now only use canned chicken because I can not eat fish).

A friend of mine would make taco meat (I imagine you could use any ground meat) and then add it to mac and cheese. It was not too bad.

Posted by: Nana Mar 29 2006, 05:48 PM

QUOTE(chocolatechic @ Mar 29 2006, 10:45 AM)
It takes me a grand total of 16 minutes to make cheesy scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuits in the morning.
Come on over and make some for us... I could not getany breakfast with eggs and such done in that little time

QUOTE(chocolatechic @ Mar 29 2006, 01:42 PM)
Have you tried Kelley's baked oatmeal. That is sweet....
Any one have the recipe?


BTW I do not buy cereal either but get 72 oz each month on the little girls WIC..Though I DO get Grits, Cream of Wheat on it some times

Nana

Posted by: TiffinKY Mar 29 2006, 07:15 PM

Unfortunately I've never been wild about beans. The only exceptions to that would be chili beans in chili and black beans in enchiladas.

As far as my grocery bill is concerned, I keep it down by buying off brands whenever possible, planning menus for the week, and making my own snacks and sweets. Sometimes I'll cut back portions: if a recipe calls for 1 lb of ground beef, I might substitute 1/2 lb instead. Also, I'll use my spices in place of whatever ingredient that I don't have on hand, and I think that comes out cheaper in the long run as well. For example, the past couple of days I made recipes that called for minced garlic. I use garlic powder instead. The flavor is the same.

/div>
My poor hubby has heard many times, "Don't eat that! It is for a recipe!" biggrin.gif He has learned to ask. laugh.gif

So has mine!!! blush.gif I also don't.........as a general rule........go out and purchase something specifically for only one recipe. I generally make plain meals, filling, but plain.......with ingredients that you can find at Aldi blush.gif

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 09:09 AM

QUOTE(chocolatechic @ Mar 29 2006, 07:29 AM)

I try very hard not to purchase ground meat unless it is about $1.50 per pound. You mentioned that you shop at Aldi........Aldi has ground turkey in the freezer section for $1.69 a pound.

Most times the store brands come right off the same line as the name brands....different label. One thing I also learned........Aldi.....over in Europe........is like Kroger/Big Bear here in America.
So has mine!!! blush.gif I also don't.........as a general rule........go out and purchase something specifically for only one recipe. I generally make plain meals, filling, but plain.......with ingredients that you can find at Aldi blush.gif



I have to add that the ground turkey I get is national brand stuff, and it's one of the few places we do spend our money for national brand food. I like to know what is in my meat, I used to work in a meat dept of the food store, and I could tell you some stories that would make you hurl. sick.gif We don't generally use beef in our house because I'm allergic to it. And I have tried some of the generic ground turkey, but we've had really bad luck with it being fatty, containing bits of bones, cartelige, etc. I think they use animal fat other than turkey in their ground turkey too, which opens me up to a lot of food allergy issues. But anyway, I just wanted to say that we HAVE looked into generic meat, it's just not something we're willing to cut from our budget. And I really think it's about the ONLY thing we still buy national brand of.

We never use coupons, because we always buy store brand on everything. I've spent so much time cutting coupons, only to get to the store, compare sale prices WITH double coupons, only to find out the store brand is STILL cheaper. We get the coupons from our mothers after they have gone through them, and if by chance there is something we need that I can't find in an off brand, we can still get the coupons without paying for the paper.

Oh, there's another idea for saving money, if you have family nearby, share the newspaper and coupons!


Posted by: Appliejuice Mar 29 2006, 09:11 AM

Good advice, CC. I wish we had some of those low cost grocery stores here. We usually shop at Sam's for our bulk items and then Publix. Yes, Publix cost more than Food Lion sick.gif or Winn-Dixie, but the extra cost in fuel to get to those stores, is more than the cost at Publix. So, you do need to keep fuel cost in shopping at different stores in mind. smile.gif

My hubby is the one who shops at Sam's. He stops by on the way home from work. He came home the other day and said Sam's had rearranged everything and raised prices, so now we have to compare prices again. thinking.gif

Using up leftovers is another way to safe. I think that is our biggest mistake. I don't always use them up.

I do stop by the grocery store about 3 times a week, to pick up fresh fruits, vegies and milk. Once a week or every two weeks does not work for us.

Posted by: praise_singer Mar 29 2006, 09:14 AM

QUOTE
My favorite cookbook for cheap meals is Misery Moms. Can't remember the author at the moment. I like it because it is simple "normal" meals from scratch.


I LOVE Miserly Moms! I just printed a recipe off of their website. Here's their webpage for lots of ideas on how to save money:

http://www.miserlymoms.com/

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 09:15 AM

Oh and for goulash, our recipie is:

boil the pasta in a seperate container.
brown the meat in anther.
Then the sauce is whatever I have on hand, but it's USUALLY a couple of big cans of diced tomatos. I have also used spagetti sauce and added a small can of diced tomatos.

Then, after mixing the pasta with the meat, noodles, and tomato products, and making sure it's HOT! ladle into bowls, with mozzarella in the middle so the last ladle of hot goulash melts the cheese. My son will also add parm cheese on top. Great with garlic toast!

Posted by: praise_singer Mar 29 2006, 09:16 AM

QUOTE
Using up leftovers is another way to safe. I think that is our biggest mistake. I don't always use them up.


That's our biggest problem here....our leftovers usually go out to the dogs. dunno.gif

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 09:25 AM

Miserly Mom's is written by Jonni McCoy.

I also like the "Tightwad Gazette" books by Amy Dacyczyn.....some of her ideas are a bit much/off the wall for me, but her principles are very sound.

I do most of the stuff she suggests......not all......especially the dumpster diving thing. She is very funny as well.

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 09:26 AM

QUOTE(Appliejuice @ Mar 29 2006, 08:11 AM)

Good advice, CC. I wish we had some of those low cost grocery stores here. We usually shop at Sam's for our bulk items and then Publix.


Do you have a Super Walmart? Sometimes even a regular Walmart will have food staples. That's where we do most of our off-brand purchases. Moslty because it's convenient, we save up our shopping list and go twice a month. There's a Super Walmart, and a BJs (like Sams) in the same plaza. So we can get our Walmart shopping, our Grocery shopping, and our Bulk shopping all done at once, no running around. I've just learned that I can't send hubby, he picks up the national brand stuff vs the store brand. I think his mom has brainwashed him. That woman couldn't buy a generic item if her life depended on it!

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 09:30 AM

One thing I will caution you on.......

For General Merchandise......NOT groceries at Walmart, vs. SuperWalmart.......

If you compare.......SuperWalmart's prices are a good .20 higher per item than a regular Walmart. I noticed that when our store switched over. It is that way........generally, everywhere.

So.......if you just need regular things, not groceries and need to go to a Walmart........go to a regular one.

Posted by: Grammie Mar 29 2006, 09:33 AM

I watched my mom for years, making menus and then making her grocery list. A trip to the grocery store was an all day thing for her. She was reading labels before it was THE thing! We always knew when she had gone shopping because dinner was: hot dogs, pork n'beans, and cottage cheese. Anyway, she taught me a lot and I always made menus (trying to use what I had) and then my grocery list. I did a lot of meals that I could double the recipe and then freeze half for another meal. We usually did leftovers on Friday nights, but we called them "Had 'ems".

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 09:34 AM

I have compared prices, and that doesn't seem to be the case where we are. dunno.gif

Posted by: wings Mar 29 2006, 09:59 AM

We spend around $150 per week that means around $600 per month averaging up. We feed 3 adult appetites and 4 children appetites and this is a kosher diet. This includes everything. Toiletries, paper products, gardening items, kitchen needs, cleaners, etc.

We use mainly turkey, chicken, and fish. I stock my pantry with things I like to eat and cook I meal plan but sporadically. It takes time and I find it helps but I do not get bent out of shape if I change it in the middle and shift meals to other days extra. You must have balance.

It sounds like you are in the ball park with budget. I enjoy gardening and that helps the budget when you eat as many vegies as we do. Also if you can you can buy seasonal at the farmers market or local organic garden and can the items. For example I don't buy apples except by the case. We eat a lot of them and by the case they work to around 40 cents a pound and this is for high quality apples. At wally world they are minimum for 2nd or 3rd grade $1 a pound. Even if I find a few bad ones I am saving big time.

So since I didn't get green beans in this season I will purchase a case and can and pickle them. My kids love pickled snacks and that is a favorite.

As for individual meals my only suggestion is keep them simple and don't focus on the meat of the meal but the vegetable. If you focus on the meat your going to go up in cost. If your children and you love green beans do a meal of orientle stir fried green beans and rice. No meat required especially if you toss in a few almond slivers with the beans. This is one of our favorites. If I want it fancy I add my Egg Flower soup.

I they like greens and they are in season, Palak Paneer with rice or paan and butter. Potatoes, bake them and cover them with broccoli and cheese and chives.

Ber

Posted by: hs4hmom Mar 29 2006, 10:00 AM

I have "Dinner in a Bag". I made it last night and the family really likes it.
I brown 1 lb of ground meat (turkey or hamburger)
with chopped onion (I used 1 Tbsp of onion powder), some celery (I used 1 tsp of celery seed) and 1 tbsp of chili powder.
Open two cans of diced tomatoes (13.5 oz?)
Add the tomatoes to the ground meat when it's cooked.
Add 2 cups of dry macaroni. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes and it's done. A one pot meal. For a little variety, add veggies of choice.

Posted by: Sherinova Mar 29 2006, 10:31 AM

Many years ago, I watched some lady on TV who fed a hoard of kids for less than $100/month. She was a master at the coupon/rebate game....practically making money on them. She stocked up on grocery store's leader items. The phrase that sticks in my mind all these years later: "Meat is a condiment." I think that's why their meals were so cheap....they were not vegetarians, but they didn't eat much meat....and I don't recall how they got adequate protein for their children, but they were a healthy looking lot. Wish I could remember more....

Anyway, the ultimate 'meat is a condiment meal': BEANS!

Rachel: I don't think your budget sounds out of whack and you are doing a lot to keep it in check. Ours is about $500/month for 2 adults & 2 growing boys. My biggest budget saver: DON'T TAKE HUBBY GROCERY SHOPPING! Keep up the good work!


Posted by: wings Mar 29 2006, 10:40 AM

I love it! The only issue when Hubby goes is to understand he is going to get those chips so your errand boy is going to cost mabey $5. and there are many days it is worth it!!! biggrin.gif Especially if he takes both the boys!!! That is a cheap hour on my own or quiet bath.

I tried the coupon thing, I spen hours and hours going through papers, books, sorting, clipping etc. Not worth it in my experience. That was for a few dollars here and there due to my purchasing grocery store brands when kosher and most of Wally Worlds are now. I do clip easy coupons like on the back of the Matzah box or for things I do buy regularly but that is not a lot.

A cheap and healthy snack is Hummus, it last days and can be made in a large batch. That and some cheese is a nice noon meal.

I love these ideas though.
Ber

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 10:42 AM

For groceries........2 adults and 2 teens.........I spend about $150.........a month....

Posted by: mimzie Mar 29 2006, 10:43 AM

Sheri thanx and I so agree, my dh was not meant to shop!! omg2.gif rolleyes.gif I try to keep snacks outta the house, send him and he comes home, happy as can be and proud of his 15 grocery bags of junk! LOL!!

But I must brag on him too, last weekend I was fed up with meals, I was tired of cooking the same ole thing OVER and OVER! He got in the kitchen and actually cooked a meal that I hadnt thought of yet! It wasnt all junk either lol

I've very bad about thinking there's nothing to cook when the pantry is over filled and so are the freezers dunno.gif but nothing seems to go together, give dh 5 mins in the kitchen and he's got 4 meals planned stunned.gif Its weird too cause growing up, when there was "nothing" to cook.. that meant the pantry was bare!

I think we do definitely need to cut down on the meat! We eat a lot of hamburger meat and although it is very lean, it still isnt the greatest for us so I think I'm going to start a menu and see what I can come up with (HELP please!! lol) My family LOVES beans too so that's a good start, I dont know why I dont cook them very often? I usually forget and think I dont have enough time.

All the replies are giving me great ideas so keep em coming!!

I think I'll start using more chicken too, DH *hates* chicken because his mom use to always cook "Chicken and rice" (Hear him say that and watch him nearly puke lol) then he joined the military for 6yrs and ate a lot of chicken!! lol But hopefully he'll be able to handle once a week or so.

Rachel

Posted by: kpmom Mar 29 2006, 10:50 AM

QUOTE(chocolatechic @ Mar 29 2006, 09:42 AM)

For groceries........2 adults and 2 teens.........I spend about $150.........a month....


wreck.gif

Share, please! (That's my weekly amount!)

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 10:52 AM

They also make a poultry italian sausage, it will save you maybe 50 cents on the pound over traditinal pork sausage, at least around here it does. Our grocery store sells a mean chicken apple suasage. It's pricey, but I buy it only for myself for lunches. I refuse to spend extra money on the 'good stuff' when DH and DS don't appreciate it! Same goes for cheese. Occasionally I buy a champagne cheddar cheese, and I HIDE it! They get the $1.50 a brick cheddar, because they DON"T CARE. I've found that men don't notice these things as long as you don't TELL THEM. I switched from Bisquick pancakes to the generic baking mix from Aldis, and just told them I tried a new recipe using the same bisquick mix. They liked it better, LOL. I also used to buy store brand chocolate milk powder, and pour it into the old Nesquick container. As long as the kids saw the bunny on the box, they were happy!

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 10:58 AM

Basically, we shop at Aldi........

And the biggest thing for us..............we only eat one portion of food.....If you look at an actual serving size........it isn't as much as what you most likely eat. That is how I have been able to lose so much weight.....NO SECONDS!!!

One serving of meat is 4 oz.........that isn't much at all.

We also eat soup...............a lot!!! At least 3 times a week.

One other thing that ..........when we can afford it........is to purchase 1/2 a beef...........it is cheeper per pound for everything and that generally lasts about a year...........we haven't been able to do that in awhile. I only buy meat if it is under $2 a pound, chicken if it is .49 per pound, ....... blush.gif except every once in awhile.........I splurg and get me a sirloin......that is my favorite cut of steak......med. rare.....:essen.gif: blush.gif

We don't snack.......at all.......cause it isn't worth it.... blush.gif one serving is only 12 chips.........How in the world are you supposed to enjoy 12 chips???? It can't be done, I tell you!!! laugh.gif Although we do pop corn on the stove.

Rice....beans........rice......beans!!!

Posted by: Nana Mar 29 2006, 11:19 AM

QUOTE(JessicaN @ Mar 28 2006, 10:51 PM)
meat loaf (I can actually make a turkey meat loaf that my family requests over beef)
OK I want the recipes PLEASE

QUOTE(Tressa @ Mar 28 2006, 11:37 PM)
To save time with menus, I keep mine in a 3-ring binder. After I have a few weeks of menus I rotate them. On my menu page, I write the cookbook and the page number that it is on. That prevents me from digging through the cookbooks looking for the recipe again. I don't make a side dish menu because my sides are usually the same. They are salads, rice, potatoes or veggies and sometimes rolls.
If you can could you please scan a page and upload it so we all can see it.

Thanks in advance

QUOTE(wings @ Mar 29 2006, 07:59 AM)
So since I didn't get green beans in this season I will purchase a case and can and pickle them. My kids love pickled snacks and that is a favorite.
You buy a case of canned beans or fresh? I got confused here. and Where do you get them?


Thanks everyone
Nana

Posted by: mimzie Mar 29 2006, 11:22 AM

*note to self* Move rice and beans up to twice a week but do not cover head with blanket at night... whistling.gif

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 11:51 AM

QUOTE(Nana @ Mar 29 2006, 10:19 AM)

OK I want the recipes PLEASE

Thanks everyone
Nana


I do it by 'feel' but I'll get some more ground turkey next time I'm at the store, and make a batch, measuring it all this time, and write it down for you, lol. Basically, I add a ton of seasoning, I throw in dry parsley, breadcrumbs, an egg, and then brown sugar, ketchup, and garlic powder. And then I make a sauce for the top out of brown sugar and ketchup. Oh, and I forgot, Oregano, if I have it in the cupboard, I need to get some mroe though. It's really a great herb to go with Beef (try a bit in your hamburgers!), which is why I think it works well with the 'mock' meatloaf.

Posted by: Tressa Mar 29 2006, 12:32 PM

Nana, I scanned a page. I will try and post it in my blog. I don't know how well it will turn out though, as I usually write in pencil. smile.gif

I wish I had an Aldi around here. We don't have a Sav-A-Lot either. Fortunately, I do have the commissary, but it isn't a very big one. I can usually do pretty well there. I still shop sales locally, though.

About the coupons..I buy them. I know it sounds weird because how are you supposed to save money when you buy coupons, right? blush.gif Well, I only buy coupons for products that I know I am going to use such as toothpaste, cheese, shampoo, cereal, and stuff like that. One month I spent $9 in coupons and saved $70. Of course, I was stocking up, too. I also check the sales and purchase coupons to match the sales. It is a lot of work, though, and it works for me because the comissary sells mostly name brand products. It is only going to work with name brand products that you buy. I realize that for a lot of people couponing is not going to work.

I also wanted to say that we eat a lot of frozen vegatables. I will buy fresh only when they are in season. They usually go bad here because I forget about them. The farmers market starts here next month and I am anxious to see what the prices and selection are like. That might change things a little.

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 12:45 PM

I remember the other thing I was going to say.......either on this thread or the other one that is similar...on saving money.....

I don't purchase cereal. Cereal doesn't last long in the stomach, and it is much less expensive to get eggs, or oatmeal. It lasts longer with you in the day, and better...........so much better for you than cereal or pop tarts type stuff.

It takes me a grand total of 16 minutes to make cheesy scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuits in the morning.

Posted by: Tressa Mar 29 2006, 01:12 PM

QUOTE(chocolatechic @ Mar 29 2006, 11:45 AM)

I don't purchase cereal. Cereal doesn't last long in the stomach, and it is much less expensive to get eggs, or oatmeal. It lasts longer with you in the day, and better...........so much better for you than cereal or pop tarts type stuff.


This is the weakest part of my food budget. bonk.gif I buy too much cereal. I agree. It doesn't last long in their stomachs and by 10 AM they need a snack. Every time I go to the grocery store I tell myself that I am not going to buy cereal and we are going to eat better breakfasts and I never do it. I always cave. They won't eat oatmeal because I have spoiled them too long with sweet breakfasts. I am kicking myself now.IPB Image

Posted by: jessicasmom Mar 29 2006, 01:13 PM

We only spend around $150 or less a month on food for 2 adults 1 child. We buy family packs of meat when they are on sale and divide it up into 4 or 5 packages to freeze. We never let ourselve run completely out of something; we keep certain things on hand all the time so we don't have to buy something when its not on sale. We keep chicken breasts, pork chops, at least 2 steaks, hamburg, whole chicken, pork roast, beef roast, frozen tortallini, frozen ravioli, frozen veggies, different types and shapes of pasta, canned tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, different types of beans, ect... on hand at all times, so when we need to buy something for a recipe all we need is the small cheaper things. smile.gif

Posted by: foxchild Mar 29 2006, 01:53 PM

We spend between $150-$200 a month. I get stuff on sale, at Sam's Club, and Marc's. My biggest weakness in our budget, is pop. Of course our youngest is on WIC and that covers some of what we would spend on milk and juice and cheese.

Posted by: AKHomemom Mar 29 2006, 03:03 PM

QUOTE(Tressa @ Mar 28 2006, 08:37 PM)

Yes! A menu makes a big difference. I plan 2 weeks in advance. Well, to be completely honest, I haven't been very good about it lately and I am paying the price. whistling.gif If you make a menu and your grocery list at the same time, you will have everything you need on hand to make your dinners. My poor hubby has heard many times, "Don't eat that! It is for a recipe!" biggrin.gif He has learned to ask. laugh.gif

For easy recipes that don't take a ton of ingredients, I like Saving Dinner and 6 Ingredients or Less. They are my favorites. They have easy recipes with few ingredients.



I saved a lot of money back when I did the menu planning/shopping list thing as well. I'm bad about impulse buying especially if I have the DH or Dc with me. It is difficult to get them to not find stuff that isn't on the list. If I can go in w/a list, get just what I have on the list and only have enough money for what's on that list then I do very well indeed. yes.gif

I find some great recipes from the http://www.reimanpublishing.com than almost anywhere else. My DC are even more likely to eat these than from other sources. dunno.gif

QUOTE(mamamia @ Mar 29 2006, 03:14 AM)

500 dollars a month! That's cheap for me, I usually spend about 800-900 a month omg2.gif and I don't buy sweets, I make my own.

My advice would be shop for a week at a time. Make a list and stick to it. Don't buy anything that isn't on the list. That's where the problem lies.

Good Luck! smile.gif


You know I really don't know what I actually spend on groceries each month. I need to get that figured out. yes.gif

Posted by: chocolatechic Mar 29 2006, 03:42 PM

QUOTE(Tressa @ Mar 29 2006, 12:12 PM)
They won't eat oatmeal because I have spoiled them too long with sweet breakfasts. I am kicking myself now.IPB Image

Have you tried Kelley's baked oatmeal. That is sweet....

Posted by: JessicaN Mar 29 2006, 04:37 PM

We only buy whoe grain cereal if we do get cereal, my kids like shredded wheat, which comes in vanilla and Brown sugar favors. But that's our staple for breakfast food, we usually do old fashioned oats, cream of wheat, or eggs too. They actually say that more people need protein and the good fats in their breakfast, that if you don't start out with that good hearty breakfast, that's what throws you metaboism out of whack for the day.

Posted by: foxchild Mar 29 2006, 04:58 PM

An inexpensive meal we have is stew meat with Uncle Ben's beef rice. You cook the meat in the butter the rice calls for and then add the rice and water and seasonings and cook for 20 min. It is easy and not very much since you only use about a pound of meat for a family of 4.

Oh Tuna Fish Cassarole is also cheap to make. We use one 12 oz bag of wide egg noodles cooked, 2 cans of Cream of mushroom soup, sometimes peas, and one can of tuna (although we now only use canned chicken because I can not eat fish).

A friend of mine would make taco meat (I imagine you could use any ground meat) and then add it to mac and cheese. It was not too bad.

Posted by: Nana Mar 29 2006, 05:48 PM

QUOTE(chocolatechic @ Mar 29 2006, 10:45 AM)
It takes me a grand total of 16 minutes to make cheesy scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuits in the morning.
Come on over and make some for us... I could not getany breakfast with eggs and such done in that little time

QUOTE(chocolatechic @ Mar 29 2006, 01:42 PM)
Have you tried Kelley's baked oatmeal. That is sweet....
Any one have the recipe?


BTW I do not buy cereal either but get 72 oz each month on the little girls WIC..Though I DO get Grits, Cream of Wheat on it some times

Nana

Posted by: TiffinKY Mar 29 2006, 07:15 PM

Unfortunately I've never been wild about beans. The only exceptions to that would be chili beans in chili and black beans in enchiladas.

As far as my grocery bill is concerned, I keep it down by buying off brands whenever possible, planning menus for the week, and making my own snacks and sweets. Sometimes I'll cut back portions: if a recipe calls for 1 lb of ground beef, I might substitute 1/2 lb instead. Also, I'll use my spices in place of whatever ingredient that I don't have on hand, and I think that comes out cheaper in the long run as well. For example, the past couple of days I made recipes that called for minced garlic. I use garlic powder instead. The flavor is the same.

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