Monday, May 25, 2009

a week of dinner: under $30

Lately I have been looking for small ways we can save a little extra money here and there. I'm starting with cleaning supplies and our grocery bill. We were spending $75 at the store EACH week. I realize that's not a lot of money for food, but with one tiny income, it adds up. Kanyon and I are on WIC, so we thank them so much for helping us out with milk and eggs and the other stuff they provide. It makes a HUGE difference. So I decided to get a paper every Sunday and clip those coupons, plus I go online and find printable coupons that save me a ton of money. For instance, I was able to get a bottle of Kraft Ranch Dressing for 50 cents!! It was on sale for $1.50 and I had a dollar coupon... awesome huh??? Then I got a huge bottle of Kraft bbq sauce for 58 cents!! I had another dollar coupon for it and it provided major savings. I managed to save about $10 at the store last week shopping sensibly and with coupons. Pretty amazing huh? We are trying to only spend $50 every week for food. And so far it's going good. Other small changes we've made is buying store brand items. A lot of store brand stuff taste just as good. (And if you don't tell your fam it's generic, usually they don't know). The only thing I've found I don't like generic is the 'cream of' soups. I get Campbells 'cream of' soups because they are sooo much better. Another thing I do is make two meals with one package of meat. Chicken breast will make two meals, and so will a large package of ground beef. Here's an example of a weeks dinner menu at our house:

Day 1: Chicken and Rice Casserole **using 1/2 pkg chicken
Day2: Hamburger Helper **using 1/2 large pkg ground beef/chuck
Day3: Fettucine alfredo with fresh frozen broccoli and toast
Day4: Chicken enchiladas **using other 1/2 pkg chicken
Day5: Tacos and Refried beans or Spanish rice **using 1/2 pkg beef/chuck
Day6: Bird's Eye Steam-Asian seasoned fresh frozen veggies (2pkgs) over white minute rice (yum!!)
Day 7: Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup

Meat is the most expensive thing on my shopping list. I used to buy SEVERAL packages of different meats, make a meal, have leftovers, and throw the leftovers away a week later. What a waste of food!! So I cut all my recipes in half like lasagna, spaghetti, casseroles, enchiladas, all kinds of stuff. And let me tell you, way less waste, more money saved!! Other things that don't cost too much but are still tasty are chilli dogs, tuna helper, potato soup, burritos. But I do need other things to fix for the boys so leave me a link to your blog in the comments and post some easy, inexpensive meal ideas - I NEED 'EM!! And I hope I gave you a few ideas to use for yourself too :)

One other thing that adds up in cost is POP!! (or soda, or soda pop, whatever you call it). I don't drink it at all anymore. Toby lives on DP, so we limit it to only ONE case of DP a week. And when they are on sale, we may get an extra one IF the budget allows. We also don't buy a lot of sweets. If we want something, I usually make it myself! I love to bake :)

Well, people, I hope I have inspired or encouraged you in some way... even if it's just giving you a few simple meal ideas :) although that doesn't seem very inspiring.

1 comment:

  1. Very inspiring...but what would be even better is providing some of the recipes from the menu you listed!! :) I want to steal 'em!! picky eaters won't eat a whole lot outside of fish sticks and corn dogs!! (except Mags...she'll eat ANYTHING!!) But there are days when It's just the three of us and that's when we love to eat things WE like!! So hook us up friend...


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