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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 09-07-2002, 05:15 AM
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shopping list

My preprinted list includes everything I buy at least every 6-8 weeks in the order that I find it walking through the store. Before shopping I sit down with the next 2 week's menus and use a highlighter to mark all of the items that I need. Then I can take the list to the fridge and pantry and do the same. I love the big warehouse store where i shop but it is huge. this 'in order' list saves me going back for forgotten things and reminds me to doublecheck to make sure I have all the things I use most before I leave for the store.

I also keep my two weeks worth of menus in a spiral notebook. when I am turn the page to create a new two week menu and can't for the life of me think 14 different meals, I can flip back a few pages and usually spot something that was a hit but we haven't had in a month or two!
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Old 09-07-2002, 01:44 PM
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Carmen,
Keeping two weeks worth of menus in a spiral notebook is such a good idea. I think it would be a time saver to refer back to it to see what I made several weeks earlier (like you said, to see what was a hit).
Mari
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Old 09-08-2002, 03:37 PM
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economy grocery shopping/food peparation

I started a reply - must have gotten lost somewhere, so starting over! My hubby and I have 4 kids, so I've had to learn to economize for home meals and lunches away. Have seen many great ideas - here are a few more I've learned from others over the years -
Napkins/paper towels - I make mine (turn & stitch edges to prevent fraying) from cotton or linen scraps and I pick up a variety of cloth napkins at yard sales - stored on a counter in a basket. Wash and reuse until they fall apart!
Cleaning supplies - these few items will clean almost everything in your home (not all mixed together, of course) - Tide, lemon juice, vinegar, ammonia, bleach, baking soda. Lots saved over commercially prepared products.
Bulk purchases of meat - I buy 5 chickens when on sale. Cut up - sharp knife essential. Skin and freeze the breasts for any chicken breast recipe. Save the wings in a freezer bag for hot wings - add more until enough for a meal. Save (or toss) gizzards/heart/liver in freezer. Boil the rest of the chicken in water, cool, skim fat off and strain the broth for soup or cooking rice. Bone the cooled meat; freeze in portions for soup, enchiladas, salads, casseroles. etc.
Same for lean ground beef - buy 4 or 5 pounds of leanest you can afford on sale. Brown all (onions opitonal) and freezer pack for meals - enchiladas, soup, sloppy joes, tacos, pizza topping, with gravy over baked potatoes, etc.
Buy bottom round steak on sale; cut out the "eye" for steak, cut up the rest for stroganoff or stew. Freeze.
Leftover small amounts of cooked meat, veggies, broth - dump into a large freezer carton. When full, make variety vegetable soup - different every time! I never throw away leftover meat or veggies - even take corn off the cob with sharp knife, as once cooked, my family won't reheat the ear of corn, but will eat it off the cob.
Carrots - buy large inexpensive bags of whole carrots. Clean, peel, cut into sticks. (serrated cutter is nice - picks up more of the dip when used for dipping). Store in water in large container in fridge. Drain and add cold water daily to keep fresh. Ready for lunches, to cut into soup, quick snacks. Far less costly than the bags of baby carrots. Celery - cut and store same as carrots. Lunch idea - peanut butter on celery, face 2 together, wrap in wax paper before putting into baggie or plastic wrap.
Bananas - if almost overripe, store in fridge to stop ripening - peel darkens but banana stays fresh. Freeze ripe bananas (in peel or slice into freezer bag) for blender smoothies.
Lettuce - clean, drain on tea towels, wrap in dry towel, put into large plastic bag - stays crisp longer than if not done - less waste. (I use this method for home-grown letttuce too).
Wrap sandwiches in clear plastic wrap ( I buy large rolls at Costco) - far cheaper than baggies. Use plastic containers if sandwiches packed in lunch bucket that will be brought home (doesn't work for my teens - they don't want to bring them home).
To keep bread from getting soggy - spread very thin layer of butter/marg on bread before fillings. Put mayo, mustard,etc between cheese and meat for meat sandwiches. Place tomato slice, cukes, etc in plastic wrap separately to be added when time to eat. Depending on sandwich type, frozen ahead (or even using frozen bread) will keep lunch cool and it thaws by lunch time.
Buy bags of rice or noodles instead of prepackaged rice and pasta mixes and add your own seasonings - big savings.
Bags of beans, split peas, chili beans, etc., soaked overnight and cooked are a big savings over canned varieties for refried beans, chili, soup.
I buy my spices at health food store - far less cost and far more flavor. Buy only enough for about 6 months as they lose flavor after that. Store in old spice bottles and little jars that have been washed. and dried well.
I buy large tubs of plain yogurt and add home canned fruit, applesauce with cinnamon, even home made jam to individual servings instead of buying small fruit yogurt cartons.
I use bulk size bags of raisins, pretzels, etc and bag them up as I put away groceries so they're ready for individual lunches - just place individual bags back into the large original store package; close with clip or clothespin.
I buy produce in season (red and green peppers, jalapenos, celery, onions for example) seed, dice and freeze for use in stir fry, soup, pizza, etc.
Fish - large whole salmon purchased on sale and half-frozen can be cut into steaks - need very sharp big knife - for a fraction the cost of already cut salmon steaks. (I paid $1.99/lb on sale vs $5.99/lb for steaks last Fall.
When making cookies, double the batch; freeze half of it unbaked in plastic tub or freezer bag - thaw in fridge for a day for fresh cookies when no time for scratch baking. A friend always has peanutbutter, oatmeal and chocolate chip dough ready to go - less cost than frozen dough from store.
Two and 4 pound blocks of mozzerella can be cut into sticks like string cheese, wrapped in plastic and stored in a freezer in a bag or tupperware.
Bulk sizes of cheddar, monterey jack can be shredded by hand or in food processor and frozen for later use - cheaper than buying already shredded cheese. To keep it from clumping together in freezer, sprinkle a little (2 -3 Tbsp) flour over the cheese and toss in - no change to taste/consistency of the cheese. Any cheese that may get old in fridge before all gets used can be shredded and frozen - cheddar will break into crumbles if not shredded before freezing.
Buy plain cereals and add bulk raisins, dried cranberries,chopped nuts, etc. for flavor/crunch with less sugar.
Bulk bags or boxes of oatmeal are a big savings and power punch of nutrition over small flavored oatmeal packets (full of sugar, salt, artificial flavorings). Add diced apples, applesauce, cinnamon, maple syrup, etc to flavor. If time is of the essence in morning, prepare it to cook overnight on low in crock pot, using apple juice for some of the water - ready when you get up.
Maple syrup made from extract or flavoring - follow directions on bottle - warm, tasty and saves $$ over bottled syrup.
In grocery store, check down the aisle, as end-aisle sale displays are not always the least expensive items.
Shop day-old bread stores for bargains - freeze until needed.
Nuts and flour on sale can be bulk-purchased - store extra in freezer (gallon ice cream tubs work well) to keep fresh, as they can get stale. BTW, gallon tubs of ice cream are only a bargain when marked down on sale - check prices against 1/2 gallon packages.
I am a nurse and rarely buy lunch - take leftovers and lots of salads to work, as well as yogurt with canned fruit, etc. Add up a months worth of meals bought at work - you'll be amazed at how much can be saved! I'm known as being "frugal" at work - coworkers really mean "tight" with a nice label! I even reuse baggies and bread sacks!
Couple of book suggestions I use(hope its OK to add these): Once a Month Cooking (take a day and prepare meals for a month!)and Make Your own Groceries (great ideas for spice mixes to puddings to sauce mixes, syrups, main dishes, etc). I know there are newer ones on the market - I've had these for a while.
All of this adds up - in time and initially, $$. Do just a few each week or month, and soon you'll have these tricks plus many more for saving.
I've learned more ideas, but this is long enough! Hope it helps a bit. I like the idea of organizing my list according to store aisles - thank you! I have never done that, but plan to try!
Jan
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Last edited by jmohler; 09-09-2002 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 09-08-2002, 04:09 PM
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Thanks for the Great Tips!

Jan,
You have so many wonderful tips on your post that I'm cutting & saving it to my file so I can refer to it later.
Thanks for taking the time to teach us a thing or two about economizing on our food bill!
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Old 09-09-2002, 05:27 AM
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Wow Jan!

I agree with Msr107. I'm going to keep your post and use it as a reference. You have so many wonderful ideas that I wouldn't have thought of. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!!!


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Old 09-09-2002, 09:40 AM
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Thanks for sharing all those ideas, Jan! I do a lot of the things you do, but I do 10 chickens at a time, the gizzards and hearts go in the stock, and I make rumaki for parties with the livers.
We have a bulk dry goods store that will sell as little as a teaspoonful of a spice, and it's much cheaper than our health food store.
Another book that I found helpful is Cookmiser. It even has twinkie and candy bar recipes.
There is a new book about "anything" recipes that I want to look into. It gives the proportions of TYPES of ingredients for muffins, casseroles, etc., so you can use what you have on hand in each category. I think it's by the author of Frozens Assets (Deborah Taylor Hough), another helpful book.
Where did you learn about getting the steak eye out of bottom round? I've just been using them for sandwich slices and barbeque or stroganoff. Can you tell us how to do that?
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Old 09-09-2002, 11:47 AM
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Reply to preacher's wife,
You asked about cutting the "eye" out of bottom round steak -
I use a sharp knife and simply cut out the part that looks like the best portion for steak. It is often sort of rounded or oval and marked by the tendons (or whatever they're called) in the meat "grain" and pulls away with minimal effort. Maybe it's not the best cut of meat for steak, but by marinating it, I get juicy, tender inexpensive steaks. BTW, is it OK to ask your location? (I'm new to this site). My husband and I lived near Canton, Ohio for 4 years, He was raised in Hartville, Ohio. I loved the area after getting used to the humidity, but he peferred the mountains and lakes where I was raised, so we've been back in western Montana for almost 29 years.
Jan
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Old 01-25-2003, 07:47 AM
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I know my fav stores layout and organize my list and coupons to the layout of the store!
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Old 01-25-2003, 11:36 AM
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chuckle jmohler

Hi!
WOW ,now there,s some really good ideas on food&moneysavers.I'm a mom of 4 kids,11,7,5,2, At the present time I'm at home with kids Hubby works 40 hr week&pattime job on weekends, we are always on a tight budget around here.It seems every week we pay the bills(which now are amonth behind,becasuse of christmas )and have some money for grocery store,I was on a thread the other day about talking with someone about the save-a-lot store,we do have 1 about 30min. away,but I''m more ofa mom of convieience(I know thatis so bad)
I would really like to change that,I can make all kind of excuses for it ,but I know they are just excuses.i know that my mom does some of your tricks &timesavers,&I think I can do that too,think your ideas are great ,but old habits die hard,as they say,I'm used to &kinda stuck in rut of conviences!
Usauuly I'm taking all 4 kids,occasionally I can go with just the girls,but it's a gimme this thing,I try to be firm&stick to my guns at store ,but it is do hard to do!
I was reading a post from someone else,about the outside ot the grocery store &the inside aisle you should avoid!I never thiught of it that way before!You girls are so smart,I just joined a couple days ago,&ahve really learned alot of info. from this place,What a Great place.I want to cahnge my ways,I need to ,for my sake&my kids,Am just going to have to buckle down& co it!
I have gotten inthe habit of looking at sales papers&making a list from the sales paper,&beenn telling the kids(that i'snot on sale,if they wine at the store about something!)It's a start I believe!That is 1 of my newyears resolutions to be more frugal
is it called,money conscious,mony saving,more nutri.for myself&kids!And then thre's the #2 resolution, that I will probably
make again next year&the following year,etc.,etc.(To lose weight)
right ,like that will ever happen(just a dream!)Starting to get the hang of a little,have to get better at names,or start writing it down,so I can remember! Been nice talking to your,If you know of some more tips or anything,please let me know.
I think your post of tips just inspired me to get off my duff&get with it,going to give it a real consious try this year!Thanks!
4moms
sorry about the typos,was telling my 5 year old ,that he wasn't going outside right now&typing at same time!Wonder if there is spell ckeck on here?!
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Old 01-25-2003, 01:50 PM
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I made up our grocery list in MSWord and it has anything we could ever need on it arranged by how the aisles are at the commissary. The list is on the fridge and we just mark what we need throughout the week. Hubby does the grocery shopping every Sat. morning and is lost without the list. He is well trained.
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