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Planning Ahead is Cheaper Eating

Last post Sat, Jan 18 2014 7:53 PM by babsagain. 15 replies.
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  • Thu, Dec 26 2013 12:13 PM

    Planning Ahead is Cheaper Eating

     To prepare ahead in the kitchen and to stock foods when they are cheap can mean lower food expenses. It's a new year soon, a great time to change your approach and create new habits to spend less money in 2014.

    The overwhelming part is getting started. There is so much information out there; which method should you use?

    Use the one that works best for you. We don't all have the same stores, the same kinds of kitchens or storage spaces. Evaluate the needs of your family and the time you have to spend on food prep and how much space you have for food before you commit to a plan that works for someone else.

    On this topic, I found a great site with some information that may help you to consider where to begin in planning and stocking for yourself. Over the next few weeks, I hope to have more about all this around this forum.

     

    What to eat every day

    $ Dollar Stretcher Community Manager $
  • Thu, Dec 26 2013 6:43 PM In reply to

    Re: Planning Ahead is Cheaper Eating

    I like Wisebread, I run into it occasionally when I am surfing the web. ;-)

    I try to see what is in my pantry and then plan accordingly.  Its kind of hard because sometimes I just don't want what I have.  I try to reign in my wants and keep an eye on the bigger picure.   Money for my kids golf!   If I don't watch my spending, she can't golf.  Period.  That kind of motivates me to keep it pretty frugal in the food department.

    I always look at the loss leaders before I shop.  Lately I have been trying to eat down my pantry before going shopping at all.  That saves me so much.

    I hardly ever eat lunch out, I would say 2 or 3 times a year.  Coworkers stopped asking me years ago if I wanted to go or if I wanted anything.  I just don't do that.

    I eat dinner out more, but again, maybe once a month,  sometimes 2 times, but rarely.

    This coming year I am going to try to adhere to my already frugal way of eating to ensure I have keep it frugal!

    Henry Ward Beecher wrote, "It is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich."

  • Thu, Dec 26 2013 8:41 PM In reply to

    Re: Planning Ahead is Cheaper Eating

    I too like the WiseBread site. Thanks for this opportunity to look at my menu planning in a way that strikes me as helpful just now. AM
  • Fri, Dec 27 2013 12:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Planning Ahead is Cheaper Eating

    so  true !  I always look for sales but need to use up stuff in my cupboards and freezers more.

  • Fri, Dec 27 2013 1:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Planning Ahead is Cheaper Eating

    I'm not a planner in the way others are. However, I do stock up on sale items and I always have a freezer full of items to use. It normally takes 2 days to fully thaw something I've frozen, so I have to think at least that far in advance. Jill
  • Sat, Dec 28 2013 12:25 PM In reply to

    • brenl
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Jun 4 2008
    • Wayne county
    • Posts 2,426

    Re: Planning Ahead is Cheaper Eating

    I am so going to do this. Some times I am not the planner I should be, but most of the time I am the planner. I bought my groceries once a month. So yes I don't get a lot of fresh produce. But when you have only a set amount you do what you can. So I use can vegs a lot. I try to can as much as I can out of my garden. The garden helps me a lot on my food bill.
  • Mon, Dec 30 2013 9:13 AM In reply to

    Re: Planning Ahead is Cheaper Eating

    For those of you who feel you are mostly frugal but thus helps..we all get off track at times or find more ways we can save when we see fresh ideas.
    $ Dollar Stretcher Community Manager $
  • Tue, Dec 31 2013 11:06 AM In reply to

    Re: Planning Ahead is Cheaper Eating

     Here are some of our older discussions that may be helpful for those looking for information on cooking ahead, freezing and food stocking..

    Cooking ahead -  http://community.stretcher.com/forums/p/2444/24483.aspx

    Preparing Ahead Instead of Cooking Ahead -   http://community.stretcher.com/forums/p/16193/166803.aspx

    Freezer meals - http://community.stretcher.com/forums/p/29104/291076.aspx

     

     

     

     

    $ Dollar Stretcher Community Manager $
  • Wed, Jan 1 2014 9:43 AM In reply to

    Re: Planning Ahead is Cheaper Eating

    Bulk cooking can be nice however I have changed a few things to assist w/ this plan after previous bulk meal plans this works best for our family.

    Created a master list of all the main dish item & ingredients needed per each main dish (1/2 pound ground chicken) then wrote that out under each main dish so when shopping I knew how much to purchase for each meal so if I planned to make 4 batches of spaghetti sauce to freeze then I knew what I needed to search for in the cabinet at home & shop for at the store.

    Another important item is meat we only eat chicken be it boneless chicken breast or ground chicken nothing else so no extra meat shopping plus we only eat a half a pound per meal.....We also grind our boneless chicken breast I buy it when it's on sale usually for around $1.69 per pound in 30 pound batches cost is around $60 this meat will last us (family of 2) for about 3 months..When I grind the chicken we grind and indiviudual baggie it into half pound portions to avoid WASTE.. We have been doing this for over 6 months and it works great plus saves me lots of money around here phoenix one pound of ground chicken breast in the store is usually $6.99 per pound VS $1.69 that is a great savings..

    Side dishes (Mexican rice) I would 2 double batches and then portion into the amount we eat per meal so no waste plus if I wanted brown rice & DD wanted white rice no issues I just grab 2 baggie one of each and the sides are ready to nuke for dinner in less then 5 mins. Bulk only then amount planned to use for 2 months that way if you have a freezer mishap you don’t lose too much food plus you have space for special sale items when on sale...

    So how does this work when it's dinner time your asking right? We create a 3-4 day menu for the days I work and the other 3 days I am off and I cook things we can't have on the nights I work due to dinner/sleep time I only get about 4 hours home before bed so it has to be acid & tomato free foods.... Example Menu maybe Southwestern Mini Eggrolls..w/ mexican rice.

    So DD goes outside to bulk freezer grabs a baggie of ground chicken half a pound /baggie of corn/baggie of black beans/ baggie of spinach all these items are individually baggie ready for meals in 1/2 cup portions so no waste.. DD will cook the ground chicken w/ taco seasoning & then grab out the wonton shells and place them in to muffin cups and load w/ the other ingredients including shredded cheese from the frig then into the toaster oven & then that will cook until ready 30 mins & then we nuke the rice on our plate and dinner is ready in 30 mins.. and no waste...

     

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  • Wed, Jan 1 2014 2:46 PM In reply to

    Re: Planning Ahead is Cheaper Eating

     I need some help using pantry items and sales.  I think one of my issues is my fridge is kind of small, and I shop two or three times a week to get milk, I get one or two gallons at a time.  I have a habit of buying a few more things, and will just pick up something new that I am hungry for and I know the kids will like for dinner.  I need to have some time to look at my pantry and make some food from scratch.  I am going to make some time for this in 2014!  

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