Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Cooking at home is less expensive than eating out or convenience food. By eating at home you will spend less and eat better. I work 40 to 50 hours per week outside of my home and spend roughly $350.00 per month on groceries. I feed 2 teenagers, 2 adults, 3 dogs and 1 cat. I live in a small town so I don’t have the choices for shopping that those in a metropolitan area would have. To make matters even more challenging, I only get paid once a month so for me to keep my pantry well stocked is an important part of keeping my sanity. I would tell you that I am organized but the truth of the matter is that I am not very organized, but I do try to plan ahead.
I don’t really have a meal plan or make menu’s but I do utilize what I have on hand in order to get dinner on the table every night. I stock up on items that are on sale. I make my own salsa, jelly, jam, asparagus and pears…I can them myself. I also have a small garden every summer. In the garden I grow my herbs. I love to cook and my family eats well. I take left-overs to work for my lunch because my food is better than jail food.
I make my own breakfast burritos, egg muffin sandwiches and freeze left overs for later use…especially the days where I am feeling lazy. I use my crock pot every week, and I also make home made soup when I clean out my refrigerator. I am going to show you how to eat and eat well for less.
I shop at the Dollar Store for spices, crackers, tea, spaghetti sauce, muffin mixes and cleaning supplies.
I shop at the Grocery Outlet for miscellaneous canned food and toiletries. I usually pick up canned fruit and vegetables, tomatoes, beans, rice, pasta, canned soups and lots of wine.
I shop the day old bread store for whole grain breads, bagels, English muffins, buns, and snack items for lunches.
I shop my local grocery store for the weekly advertised specials or loss leaders.
I buy the Sunday paper each week just for the coupons. Check out the website Couponmom.com. I match up coupons with the weekly advertized specials at Walgreens and Rite Aid and usually I can get out of the store with only spending between 20 and 50 dollars and will have anywhere from 80 to 160 dollars worth of products.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at my pantry, freezer and refrigerator.
Canned Food (store bought)
Evaporated milk, peaches, pears, pineapple
Mandarin oranges, applesauce, tuna ,chicken
Corn, green beans, peas, mushrooms
Tomatoes- Rotel, diced, flavored garlic and Mexican style
Tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian tomato paste
Kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans
Chili beans, butter beans, refried beans
Spaghetti sauce green chiles, olives
Cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup
Tomato soup, low calorie Progresso soup
Honey mustard, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup
Bbq sauce, salsa, salad dressings
Dry Pantry Items
Dry beans, Bisquick, peanut butter, almonds
Cashews, instant potatoes, Jasmine Rice
Long grain white rice, brown rice, rice-a-roni
Popcorn, cereal (hot and cold), olive oil
Cooking spray, sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar
Powdered milk, yeast, bread, crackers
Jiffy corn muffin mix, cake mixes, brownie mixes
Spaghetti, egg noodles, whole wheat noodles, macaroni
Bow tie, ramen noodles
Bread, English muffins, berries, mixed vegetables
Broccoli, green beans, stir fry veggies, ice cream
Pizza, lasagna, egg beaters, coffee beans
Chicken, bacon, Canadian bacon
Ground beef ,ground turkey, elk burger
Elk steak, venison, salmon
Eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt
Butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, lunch meat
Tortillas, fresh veggies, salad fixens, fresh fruit
Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, vinegar
Rice vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce
Salt, pepper,lemon pepper, garlic
Cumin, mustard powder, ginger
Onion powder, Johnny’s seasoning salt, chicken bouillon
You can get recipes on the internet to make your own Bisquick baking mix, Rice-a-roni, taco seasoning, shake and bake, spaghetti seasoning as well as a variety of ingredients that you’ll use on a weekly basis. I personally don’t have time for this but I do understand that desperate times call for desperate measures. Now, you can get out those cookbooks and make dinner for your family tonight,