Meal Planning

Is this something you do? If it’s not, you really should. It’s not a difficult thing to do, and trust me, it saves a bundle at the grocery store. For instance, I make my menu’s up for 2 weeks, due to my hubby’s pay schedule. We went shopping on Saturday armed with my list of ingredients for meals the next two weeks. My list was less than 10 items long. Here is what we are eating for the next two weeks.

potato brococoli and cheddar cheese soup

One pan chicken

Pigs in a blanket

Pork chop stir fry

Spaghetti

Cheesy ham and rice bake (recipe to come!)

Beef barley soup

Tuna and pasta cheddar melt (recipe to come!)

Porcupine meatballs (recipe to come!)

Stove Top chcken bake (recipe to come!)

Not bad, eh?

Because our list was so short, I was able to pick up a few things that were on sale that if I hadn’t had my menu, I wouldn’t have been able to afford. There was a pork roast there for $11.00, on sale for .99 a lb. So you can imagine how large this roast was! I was able to cut it up into 4 seperate dinner sized portions. So, that $11.00 roast, just became less than $3.00 per meal. Even less for the ones I will be cutting up into stew meat.

If I hadn’t had my menu and my short list of ingredients, I never would have been able to afford that roast.

Tomorrow, for those of you who don’t know yet, I’m going to post my way of coming up with a meal list and a weekly menu. Trust me, it’s really not hard!

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Potato, Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Potato, Broccoli and Cheese Soup

2 cups chopped onion

2 tbsp margarine

1 1/2 pounds peeled and cubed potatoes

5 cups boiling water

4 cubes chicken boullion

3 cups fresh broccoli, cooked and drained

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a large pot, saute onions with margarine. Add potatoes, water and boullion cubes. Cover, bring to boil and then reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are semi-cooked. Add broccoli and cook until both potatoes and broccoli are cooked through.

In a blender or food processor, puree half of the soup and return to pot.

Add cheese and heat soup through until cheese is melted.

Serve warm

*I always puree the entire soup. My family loves it that way.

Notice that I didn’t name this a Frugal Recipe. I don’t think it’s the cheapest meal you can make. However, there is generally quite a bit left over which can be frozen for a second meal.

Today, I Get To Play!

Yesterday was my birthday (yay!) and hubby bought me a new filter for my camera. Nothing overly exciting, but I’m really looking forward to using it! It’s designed to cut down glare from non metallic sources. It’s a nice sunny day today so I’ll be heading out to play!

I also reopened my banner shop on Etsy yesterday. And I have two sales already, so things are good! I guess I know where my success lies. I wish I could be more successful with my photography, but I guess it will take more time.

I’m being spoiled again today by my family even though it’s not my birthday anymore. Hubby is cooking dinner and baking a cake for me. I can’t wait!

My Fingers Are Getting Itchy

I don’t know about you, but around this time of the year, my fingers really start to itch. The weather is getting warmer, you can tell that spring is in the air and the ground starts to call to me.

The problem is, it’s still completely frozen! (trust me, I checked. LOL!)

I will be getting ready soon, however to start my seeds for my vegetable garden.

I’m really excited about gardening this year. This house came with several flower gardens already set up (albeit overgrown with weeds) and an incredibly large vegetable garden (again, it hasn’t been used in a very, very long time). I took some time in the fall to get some work done cleaning the flower gardens out, but it’s a huge job. The two right in front of our porch I must have taken out literally thousands of some sort of lily bulbs. There were so many there that they couldn’t even stand up, they were pushing themselves out. So, since I’m not really a fan of them anyway, I dug most of them out and tidied it up a bit.

I’ve been spending some time perusing the seed aisles too. I absolutely love, love, love this time of year!

Yesterday in my inbox, I found this great link to Seed Starting Mix. I’m definitely going to be trying it out. Not only does it give me a closer connection to my plants, it sure looks like it’s going to be more frugal too!

I’ll be starting my seeds soon. I’ll be sure to keep a photographic record and share with all of you. 😉

Stew! Another Frugal Tip

I love stew. I really, really love stew.

Last night we had a fairly large dumping of snow and lucky us, stew was on the menu today!

Although stew is by nature a fairly frugal meal, you can make it even more so by purchasing a roast when they are on sale and chopping it into stew sized pieces yourself.

I have in my freezer 2 roasts that I purchased when on sale for about $6.00 each. I can get minimum 2 stews from one roast, which makes that a $3.00 meal for the meat. You can’t buy precut stewing beef for that price. I’m in Canada, so the pricing will change for the U.S. The bottom line is the same however. It’s far cheaper to take the time to cut your own stewing meat than to purchase it already cut up for you.

Generally speaking, a person can save a lot of money just by taking that little extra bit of time when preparing or planning meals.

We live in a world where things move very fast. We want convenience in all things. But at what cost? It only takes about 10 minutes at the most to cut up a roast. Is that really so difficult?

Try it! Next time you’re out shopping, and see a roast on sale, pick it up, chop it up and make some stew. It’s just as good and better for the pocketbook!

Today’s Frugal Recipe – Sausage and Potato Bake

Sausage and Potato Bake

4 sausages, cut into bite sized pieces

4 large potatoes, wedged

2 carrots, sliced

1 onion, chopped.

Arrange all ingredients in a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 1 hour or until potatoes are cooked through.

This is a great frugal recipe. You can usually buy dinner sausages in large quantities for a very low price. By only using 4 sausages per meal, you can stretch that $8.00 container of meat over a couple of months.

Enjoy!

Today’s Frugal Recipe – Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

1 lb bacon

1 med onion, chopped

2-4 potatoes, cubed

Cut bacon into small pieces and cook until crisp. Add chopped onion and cook until tender.

Add bacon, onion and potatoes together and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until pototoes are cooked. Add 1 large can of cream corn with about 1/2 can of milk. Simmer about 30-60 minutes and serve.

This recipe is great with homemade biscuits. Yummy!