Monday, January 11, 2021

Tuesday, Saving with meal planning

 Do you meal plan?  I know some of you are very good at this.  I am very bad at it.  I have tried and I just can't make myself stick to a plan.  But what I have become good at is making sure I have some kind of protein thawed for the day. I just went out to the freezer and found a corned beef that needed to be cooked.  I know I have a head of cabbage and red potatoes to use up.  I also found 6 hot dogs that also need to be used, these will be good for Hubs lunches.  Then I pulled out a bag of frozen chicken parts.  Have no idea what I will do with them but I do have some peppers that need to be used so perhaps chicken fajitas in a couple of days?

If you are in a debt and trying to get out, you will find that most of your expenses are fixed.  You have to make your payments, so you will find as I did that one of the only areas where you can cut back is on groceries. If you want to cut back on groceries you will likely have to meal plan.

You have to know what your family likes to eat and then make those meals.  It will always be cheaper to cook from scratch or at home than to eat out.

I purchased the corned beef last summer on a close out so now I am going to cook it up.  It will be more than enough for two meals and a few  sandwiches. When I go to the store on Wednesday I will pick up some dark rye and make Ruebens as there is come sour kraut to use up in the fridge also.

I suggest shopping your cupboards first.  What do you have on hand and then build around that. I also think you need to have basic meal ingredients on hand at all times. Pantry staples that you replace weekly or monthly depending on your resources.

I just looked at Albertsons add for last week.  Loss leaders were  A dozen eggs for .69 limit one.  I already picked these up! They also had good heavy bread for 1.49 a loaf and gallons of milk for 1.79.  These would be great deals if you had a family.  Their only good meat deal was the thick sliced bacon which comes in 3 lb package.  I bought one to put in the freezer.  That was it,  Not very many good deals. 

Therefore most of my food budget was spent at Winco.  This week I will purchase, brown bread, lettuce, carrots 5 lbs., radishes, celery,triscut, tortillas. I can't think of anything else we need.  But as the new adds come out on Wednesday I will check to see what is a loss leader and buy that if I use it and need it.

Kim's refrigerator basics                                      Pantry staples

potatoes                                                                flour                                      peanut butter  

carrots                                                                  sugar/white/brown/powder   jellies

onions                                                                  corn meal                               pasta Assorted

celery                                                                   rice white/brown                    canned tomatoes  

salad fixings                                                        corn starch                             canned or frozen veggies

milk                                                                     crisco                                     broths/bullions

butter/ margarine                                                 cooking oil                            dried beans all kinds

eggs                                                                     baking powder/soda              canned soups   

cheese assorted                                                    salt/pepper and spices           tuna   

condiments                                                          yeast if you bake                   cake mixes

                                                                             cereal/oatmeal                      crackers/buns

In your freezer have a few packages of meats, burger, chicken, pork, Things you can choose from to make meals. With the above ingredients you should be able to put together any meal.

I picked up several cases of veggies right before Christmas as they were 3/1.  For now it will be the corned beef and then later in the week I will plan what to do with the chicken, but I am thinking tortillas as I need to use up the peppers in my fridge.  So I will cook up the chicken one night and serve it with potatoes and vegetable. The left over will be made into chicken fajitas.

This system works for me. If I am craving something I add it to my grocery list.  But by buying what is on sale and stocking up a few things a week you should be able to build a good pantry.

What dishes do you cook regularly for your family?  DO you have favorites?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.



  1. I sorta use the pantry principle The Tightwad Gazette talked about in the 90’s. When I use something up, it goes on list, and I replace when the cost is low. Except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am not usually cooking and transporting family meals. I have lots of pantry, canned, dried foods because of hurricanes and tornadoes. In other words, I am single, alone, and opening up a can of green beans, with cheese toast works for

    1. I swear if it wasn't for hubs I would live on popcorn, chocolate and diet coke.

  2. Great post. Having a well stocked pantry is the key to making meal planning easier. I keep track of what we actually had for dinner each week to keep it different but I don't meal plan. I do keep in my head what we have and what needs to be used first. So the day before I check out what fresh veggies we have and then if I want meat to go with it I thaw that out that morning. I always have a few homemade soups, stews or pasta meals in the the freezer for the days I don't want to spend a lot of time cooking. Breakfast for dinner is my go to if all else fails. Home made is always cheaper, healthier and tastes better. We rarely eat out.

  3. I keep a well stocked pantry so we don't run out of things. I also buy a few items when they are on sale (meat, particularly). We have a few family favorites: tacos, beef & chicken kebabs, chicken curry, etc.

  4. Each night after dinner, we or I, decide what is for dinner the next day. Until there are no protein or veggie options left, I do not go to the store.

    I have tried planning for a week or a month. It doesn't work for us as we sort of need to be "in the mood" for many things we like on occasion. I've wanted to be that meal planner, but I let it go.

  5. Thanks for the reminder on using up sauerkraut by making Reubens. Your reminder came just in time:)

  6. Cooking for one is a challenge for variety, but I generally rotate my meals. This week I made homemade cheese broccoli soup that I am eat with home egg bits. I generally have grains, beans, and canned tomatoes at any given time. I do need to pick up some more beans.

  7. I plan my meals based on what is in my fridge and freezer at the beginning of the week. At one point I couldn't do this, but as I became a better shopper and built up a stock I was able to do this with ease. I also preplan leftovers to be made into other meals. Works for us. I even get to try some new things out instead of the same old, same old every so often. Harvey has decided he likes Butter Chicken. Next I am going to try Tikka Marsala....

    God bless.

  8. I do choose a meat to thaw and cook around that, unless I have vegetables I need to use up, then I choose a meat to go with that. I always have cocoa for baking. But, since I never bake since moving here, it is I buy chocolate chips for treats. A half dozen or dozen chocolate chips is a good treat at night. Tommy likes having them around, too. I may plan several days ahead, but often I think I took out a meat and did not! We eat balanced meals and both enjoy what is here. Except for not finding the one can of tomatoes, I always have on the shelf what I need. Finding that one can saved me a quick trip to the store! I have 7 cans of tomatoes and will just wait on sales to buy more.

  9. I am so glad I can my own tomatoes, it does save a lot, but I buy tomato sauce on sale.