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Grocery Challenge Challenge yourself to stay within a monthly budget that you set. Share your progress with others doing the same thing.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-27-2002, 06:57 AM
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millerp....I probably should have clarified that when I finally got my grocery bill down to $250.00 a month I had a well stocked pantry. I spent a few weeks getting my pantry stocked , gradually decreasing the amount of food I needed to buy and thus now I only have to spend $250.00 a month, to keep it stocked and keep my family fed.

Does this make sense? I mean if you have nothing stock piled in your freezer and cupboards it will probably be difficult to stay under $250.00 unless your crew will eat beans, rice and potatoes all the time.....mine won't.

I buy ALL my meat on sale and keep my freezer stocked and rotated.

We eat alot of beef (dh hates chicken) but the kids and I eat chicken quite often.

Some of the things my crew likes the best are:

sloppy joes
tacos or taco salad
spaghetti
chicken fingers or nuggets
grilled cheese sandwiches with soup
homemade pizza
anything grilled outside (if weather permits)
BBQ sandwiches
hot pockets (homemade)
pancakes (even for supper)
chimichangas
chili and chili dogs

I still buy convenience foods...I have a teenager who is very picky! I try to only buy convenience foods (ie...pre packaged junk) when it's on sale and I have a coupon. My kids LOVE Hamburger Helper (go figure) but when I work late it's a life saver cause they can fix it themselves. So I stock up on it when it goes on sale and I almost always have a coupon for it.

I am teaching my teen to make his own hamburger helper and he enjoys that. They love homemade bread and goodies. I always keep plenty of flour on hand. Hot pockets are easy to make and I can freeze them for later use.

My guys think roast beef is boring so.....I like to cook a roast in the crock pot and then shred it. I split it in half and I make BBQ sandwiches with half and I mix tomatoes and chilis and seasonings with the other half and make chimichangas. Nothing boring here!

There are times when I am just too exhausted to cook or no one is really hungry.... doesn't happen much, and we just have sandwiches. Peanut Butter goes a long way in this house!

I'm not a chef and not by any means a great nutritionist but my family is well fed and healthy and I just don't run through the store randomly tossing things in my cart and coming home and saying "what are we going to eat now"? I use to do that!

I hope this helps and maybe answers some of your questions.

I should add also that my kids both buy school lunches so my grocery bill does not include lunch for them. Both my husband and I take meals from home (usually leftovers) for our lunches. I only cook breakfast on Sunday mornings. Through the week its cereal or toast for breakfast. I only have one who drinks a lot of milk and they all eat alot of cheese. I make unsweet tea and I do buy soda pop for dh and the kids.
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Last edited by kimmyo; 01-27-2002 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 01-27-2002, 08:02 AM
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chuckle

Thanks kimmyo for your reply. That was helpful! I do a lot of what you say already, but you gave me a couple new ideas to try for dinner --- for my picky family!!

millerp
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Old 01-27-2002, 11:16 AM
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man kimmyo! Your house sounds just like mine!

DH hates chicken, but he will eat chicken stir fry or chicken and dumplings. Oh and chicken soup

Well I did it, I hit the store today and spent my $300. Because I also shop for school and work lunches, I bought the Little Debbie snack cakes that were on sale, the lunch meat I got prepackaged (ham) as it was less expensive than the ham that was on sale in the deli, got some cheese on sale, and last week I had made up three loaves of PB&J sandwiches. Grabbed some baby carrots (on sale), some celery to cut into sticks, and some cheese (on sale! LOL) to cut into chunks. Saltines (generic) were also on sale, so that makes a nice change for the kids, I send it with cheese or a little tub of PB.

QUESTION: Can you freeze ham sandwiches? My hubby likes ham and mustard on onion rolls. But I would prefer to make a bunch at once and throw them in the freezer if possible.

Anyway, I did manage to get an OVERflowing cart of groceries for $218, though there wasn't much meat in there, a ham, a beef brisket, and a roast. The rest of the meat I bought on sale at another grocery store.

I also stocked up on canned vegies that were on sale and canned tomatoes. Bought lots of bread, six loaves, there was a buy one get one free sale :-) Let's see what else......

Oh yeah! I bought more rolled and quick oats, flour, and sugar. I plan to make up some of the Oatmeal Cookie Master Mix that I posted in the Planning Ahead forum under the Food category.

I did manage to get quite a bit of meat and will be making meatballs, meatloaf, taco mix, and chili over the next week. Plus I got lots of chicken, and pork chops were on sale. I already had a few other things as well, so I am doing pretty good.

I noticed, kimmyo, that you make BBQ beef sandwiches from your roast. I do this too I also make au jus sandwiches, I'm doing that this week with my leftover roast. Great with steak fries!

Well, sorry this was so long, I didn't mean to get boring!

If anyone has any tried and true master mixes, please post them in the Master Mix forum under Planning Ahead!!
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Old 01-27-2002, 11:18 AM
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I just thought of something as I was reading my previous post. This lady saw me with my overloaded cart and said "having a party?"

LOL

"No, just a big family!" I responded.

hee hee hee!
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Old 01-27-2002, 06:13 PM
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Amanda ...I don't see why you couldn't freeze ham sandwiches. I freeze bread and I freeze ham seperately so why not freeze them together. Sounds like you did good at the store too!

millerp..glad you found something useful!
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Old 01-28-2002, 10:52 AM
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Amanda, your trip to the grocery sounded really productive! Good for you.

When I come home from the grocery store with hamburger, I do not freeze it right away. Instead, I put two or three pounds in a dutch oven along with chopped onion and fry it up while I am putting groceries away. (Yes, I chop the onions ahead of the time I head for the grocery store and put into a clean, empty ready to spread frosting container). If I have purchased 5 lbs. or more of hamburger, I will do this in two dutch ovens.

By the time I am done with putting away the groceries, the meat/onion mixture is about done. Drain in a colander. Cool. Package in freezer containers and label before freezing.

This system gives me a leg up on beginning any recipe calling for browned hamburger and onions. I only have to grab a bag from the freezer, defrost slightly in the microwave and skip those steps in whatever recipe I am making.

And best of all, I am cleaning up one mess, and not the same mess every time I need the hamburger and onion combo.
Sandie
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Old 01-31-2002, 09:17 AM
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Sandie,

I do this too. I used to just brown the meat as I needed it, until an aunt gave me this tip. In addition to the benefits of it that you mentioned, another one is that it is usually less greasy. When I brown the meat as I need it, I am usually in a hurry and don't drain it as well as I could. BUt by pre-cooking the meat, I let it sit in a colander until it is well drained. And it is soooo convenient since I seem to be always doing things last minute.
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Old 01-31-2002, 09:25 AM
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Kimmyo,

I LOVE your ideas for roast beef. I very rarely buy one because no matter how hard I try it always seems to come out dry. But your sandwiches and chimichangas sound so Yummy! I can't wait for a roast to go on sale so I can try this. Thanks for the ideas!
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Old 05-26-2003, 12:52 PM
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Grocery Shopping Challenge

I really want to cut my grocery shopping spending down to a managable level. If you would like to be in the "grocery shopping challenge" just put down the amount you spent here and a little bit about what you bought...and then...
WHAT do you WISH to spend a month?
I would like to get down to 250.00 a month. Right now I spend 350.00 for my husband and I.
Part of my problem is we just moved into this house in January and I have never gotten ahead, even slightly, as far as stocking anything. I shop every 2 wekkes and every 2 weeks my freezer is empty. I usually make menus, but I know I spend more doing it this way because I am buying specific ingredients for recipies instead of foods that are on sale.
I want to stock up on meat, particularly...then I will have it on hand with recipies I want to try...
Wish me luck on this! Anyone want to join me in trying to lower their food budget?
peace,train
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Old 07-10-2003, 06:24 PM
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Hi Train lady I be with on this. So far for the month of July I've spent $100.00. Like you I had work the freezer bare now I'm restocking it. Last week I had a good week. As you seen in my post in my jounary. We ate one of the meat loafs tonight.

So far at the grocery store Winn Dixie as a good meat deal 99 cent a pound for beef roast. Limit one thou. 99 cent for Double Q salmon. I do my shopping on sunday morning early so I check the web to see Ingells special.

This be Tree
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