Cooking On A Budget: Budget Meal Planning

Monday, February 17, 2014

Budget Meal Planning

For some people grocery shopping besides being a necessity can be either a pleasant experience or horrendous, depending on which side of the spectrum you are on.
Exactly how do you turn that around? How do you make your shopping experience with a strict budget more pleasurable? I have a few ideas to share with you.
  1. Make sure you check your pantry, refrigerator, freezer and cabinets for anything you use on a regular basis and need at the store and start a list.
  2. Check your grocery store flyer for what's on "sale".
  3. Make a menu plan: meal plan with the idea that if you purchase a protein what can you do with it to make another meal should you have left overs. Take a little time to visit my site or others to give you ideas. Just key in "left over make over meals".
  4. Avoid going to the store when you yourself are hungry. EVERY single items seems so much more attractive when you are hungry. Stick to the list.
  5. Scan the store Kiosk for what your rewards are. Many stores have them now. And there usually is something you will get for really cheap.
  6. And lastly, remember to take all your "green" bags as all stores discount for them and DON'T FORGET YOUR LIST.
My last trip to the grocery store I bought as though I were still feeding four people and I did it all for $105.15 and that included some taxable items. When I went I still had 2 suppers of left overs which we did eat by the way. Also purchased was some fabulous fruit at bargain prices.
I purchased an 8 pound ham which gave us a N.E. Boiled Ham Dinner, a large pot of Split Pea Soup with Ham and there is some ham left for sandwiches or a frittata or omelet. On sale cheese was used in a Baked Macaroni and Cheese dinner. The bone in Country Style Pork Ribs will turn into a braised recipe. The one pound package was on sale for $1.00 per pound, cost us $4.10 and has 8 meaty ribs in the package. The next protein was the most expensive. A spoon roast for $3.99 per pound, a little over 3 1/2 pounds for $17.96. There is enough meat to feed 6-8 people comfortably for one meal or 4 people with left overs for sandwiches (cold or hot opens), or to make beef, peppers and onions over rice.
If you were to shop as I did, here's your menu plan:
  1. New England Boiled Ham Dinner with potatoes, carrots and cabbage
  2. Roast Beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, and vegetable. (I got on sale asparagus - $1.99 per pound.) Recipe to come.
  3. Braised Country Pork Ribs and rice and vegetable. (I have zucchini and mushrooms already for a saute on the side vegetable dish.) Recipe to come.
  4. Macaroni and Cheese
  5. Split Pea Soup with Ham
  6. Potato, Ham and Egg Frittata
  7. Ham sandwiches
  8. Roast Beef sandwiches
There are four main course dinners, two make over meals and sandwiches for lunches in this meal planning.
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