Monthly Archives: March 2009

Monday’s Menu Planning

So, I’m trying to be better about planning my menus incorporating the food I already have in my pantry. Here’s the plan for the week:

*Monday – Leftovers from Grandma’s!
*Tuesday – Chicken enchilada soup
*Wednesday – Fried Potatoes with carrots and ham, corn, applesauce for dessert
*Thursday – Rice, baked salmon, salad, maybe sweet potato
*Friday – Pancakes, bacon, fruit salad
*Saturday – Leftover night:-)

–Confession: I rarely stick with the plan I make. I can almost guarantee that on Tuesday I won’t feel like soup, so I’ll have to switch a night. I do it on an almost daily basis. That’s why I have to plan the whole week, so I can mix and match. So lame.:-)

The only things we’ll have to buy from the store is the fresh produce. Thank heavens for food storage!

Feed a Family of 4 for under $10 a meal?

At the last frugal living class I taught, I was asked the question, “How can I feed my family of 4 for under $10 a meal?” (she was referring to dinner, the ‘main’ meal.)

So…I decided I would post every dinner meal I make from yesterday on that is under $10. However, since my family of 4 consists of 2 adults and 2 fairly young children, I decided I needed some criteria:

-Every meal I make must be under $10 total for the family(obviously)
-Every meal must provide my family with leftovers, since I realize other families of 4 may have (gasp) TEENAGE kids eating. ( I realize those families will eat more, which is why the meals I make must have extra food after everyone is full)
-I must calculate the cost of the dinner so that everyone will know the exact cost of the meal.

Okay, so with that in mind, here’s the first dinner:

Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Strawberries, and Applesauce for Dessert.

I bought a whole chicken on sale for $3.50 ($3.75 with tax), and the potatoes were $1.99 ($2.06 with tax) for a 5 lb bag. I used 1/6 of the bag, or 5 potatoes, for a total cost of $0.34. I sprinkled a little seasoning that I had on hand. If I remember correctly, I bought the seasoning for $0.88 about 4 years ago. Total for chicken and potatoes: $4.09

This was 2 lbs of strawberries cut up. The cost at the store for these was $1.99 ($2.13 with tax) Total cost of strawberries: $2.13

This applesauce was canned and bottled by me last year. I was extremely blessed and fortunate to receive free apples from many sources (family apple trees, neighbors, etc), so the only cost for this applesauce was the 1/2 tsp of lemon juice and 3 tsp of sugar. My guesstimate: $0.04 or so! Total applesauce cost: $0.04

Total for the entire dinner: $6.26

*We had about 1/4 of the chicken leftover, which will go into soup another night. No potatoes left over (I’m a potato pig!). 1/2 cup of strawberries leftover, and almost the entire quart of applesauce leftover. If you have a family with teenagers, I’d recommend throwing in a few more potatoes, and maybe 4-5 carrots as well. It’s delicious all cooked together. No oil needs to be added, just stick the chicken in a baking dish with the potatoes and carrots, if wanted. I cooked it at 375 degrees for about 3 hours, or until the chicken is done. Cover with tin foil for the first 2 1/2 hours, and take the foil off for the last 30 minutes.

Enjoy!!

Frugal Living – Food/Entertainment

Here’s the outline I’m using for my frugal living class tonight, in case anyone is interested. We’re having peanut butter bars made from food storage for refreshments and I’ve got a bunch of garden seeds for people to take home. Other than that, this is about it!

Overview on January’s class:

Goal setting – What goals did you set? Why did you set the goals that you did? Having a better understanding of why you have the goals you do will help you in your quest to achieve them. Now that we have goals, we need to be informed of ways to cut our costs to reach these goals.

*Food/Grocery is one of the quickest, most effective ways that we can lower expenses. How can YOU lower your food expenses?
• Plant a garden and make use of the produce you get.
• Make more food from scratch (Remember supercook.com)
• Use coupons (only if it is cheaper than store brand items)
• Buy store brand items on those you can.
• Buy food when on sale in bulk (ONLY if you will use it!)
• Learn how to use your food storage, and use it!
• Use a price book to keep informed of good deals. (see other handout)
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*Entertainment/gifts is another way you can dramatically cut costs, if you are willing to work at it. How can YOU lower your entertainment/gift expenses?
• Use the library for books, movies, and music.
• Use redbox (take advantage of their FREE movie offers) instead of other rental places.
• Go to discount stores or thrift stores for gifts, such as Big Lots, Savers, DI, etc.
• Take advantage of FREE events. The Utah Museum of Natural History has free admission on specific days, as does the Hogle Zoo (only during the off season). Home Depot and Lowe’s both offer free workshops for adults AND children.
• Entertain at home, or close to it.
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Websites and resources:

* www.grocerysmarts.com (use the passport g84ckv for Utah) – keep updated on sales for LOCAL stores as well as nationwide chains.

* www.redbox.com – sign up for text messages from them and you’ll receive a code every Monday via text good for a free movie rental on Monday. If you don’t have a cell phone, you can sign up for their emails and get occasional codes for free rentals.

* www.Homedepot.com – See upcoming FREE workshops.

* www.Lowes.com – See upcoming FREE workshops.

* www.slco.lib.ut.us – free activities/crafts/classes for the entire family at your local libraries. Check the website for specific activities on the calendar.

* http://blogs.sltrib.com/cheap/index.htm – Lesley Mitchell, writer for the SL Tribune, shares all sorts of frugal tips and ideas, and every Monday shares the Redbox promo code.

*Utah Museum of Natural History offers FREE admission the first Monday of each month.

*Showcase Cinemas (5400 S Redwood Rd, 957-9032) Dollar admission all day PLUS a free personal size popcorn for every admission purchased all day on Tuesdays!

*Honks (6900 S Redwood Rd) has $0.88 Tuesdays, where all items are $0.88 instead of $1.00. This isn’t year round; it is off and on.

* www.providentliving.com – Information about building food storage, planting gardens, and living self reliantly (Note this is NOT the church’s website. The church website is www.providentliving.ORG)