When we got called away in the wee hours of the morning on December 30th, we had just been grocery shopping 2 days before. Which means we left behind 2 full gallons of milk, a new loaf of bread and a full pantry. Not to mention the leftover and yet-to-be-made holiday goodies.
So when we got home on February 14, there was a lot that had to be thrown out. (I am happy to report, though, that my sister rescued the milk the first week in January and she, & Nana & PawPaw & Dale drank what they could before it went bad.)
Of what didn't have to be thrown out, there were lots of meal-making treasures to be found in the pantry and freezer. For 2 weeks now, I have pulled some pretty good suppers out of the hat with just what I had. Well, and the fresh milk, eggs & cheese Greg has brought home. We seem to go through a lot of milk, eggs& cheese at our house. Is that just us?
But today... today, I planned out 10 (TEN!) meals, made a grocery list, loaded up Dale and drove 30 miles to the nearest Supercenter.
And my friends? I've still got it.
I bought what I needed for those 10 meals. I bought breakfast cereal. A few fresh fruits & veggies. Milk, eggs & cheese. And quite a few treats & impulse buys (ice cream cones anyone? specialty coffee?)
And for all that I paid.....
Oh yes, I am good.
Well, ok. I've been taught well and God has blessed. But still... it sure was fun to get all that and only spend $120! Plus it was just fun to be out! Without Alan! In a store! :)
Here's how I do it:
- I almost never ever ever buy name-brand. I usually buy the store-brand, and always check the price per ounce to make sure it is the best deal.
- This time was an exceptionally good trip because this menu is fairly simple. When I search my magazines or watch too much Food Network I end up needing more specialty ingredients and spend a little more.
- I tend to go light on meat. I like to stretch it and make it go further both for the sake of being frugal and for the nutritional benefits of going heavier on veggies instead.
Those are the main things. It also helps that we drink mostly water, and not a lot of juice, soda, etc. I buy frozen vegetables more often than canned or fresh. Mainly green beans, peas, broccoli & Brussels sprouts.
Interested in the Big Ten menu? In no particular order, here's what we have coming up:
Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken, with noodles & broccoli on the side
Crock Pot Pork Chops, with noodles & Brussels sprouts
Polish Reuben Casserole
Black beans, rice & sausage
Sweet Potato/Black Bean burritos
Pintos & Cornbread
Crock Pot Thai Chicken
Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings (made with carrots & onions), with green peas