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Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping If you plan out your meals, grocery shopping bills can be sliced and diced!

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2002, 03:10 PM
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Thanks so much Amanda and Tama!!! your idea's were just great, and I have already begun to make out a menu plan. I have to go shopping, but before I go this time I will sit down and write all the ingredients I will need for each meal, as opposed to wandering aimlessly through the store trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I'm so excited now about doing this and believe it will take alot of stress out of my day just by being a little more organized. Thanks again!!! Karen
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Old 02-12-2002, 05:41 PM
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You're welcome and good luck with it! You'll feel much better when it's all in place and there are no more dinnertime hassles or guesses Tell us how everything turns out!
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Old 02-12-2002, 06:28 PM
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Karen, I thought I'd add my 2 cents worth!

I do know that since I started using a menu plan and shopping with a list I was able to drastically cut my food budget!

Like the others I started with a list of everything my family will eat. I inventory what I already have and make a list of what I need.

I also shop by the ads. If hamburger is on sale this week we stock up.

I try to double up on cooking too. I don't have the time or endurance for OAMC but I do believe in smart cooking. For instance...I bought 10lbs of ground beef last time I shopped. When I got home I went ahead and browned 5lbs of it and put it in the freezer in freezer bags. I made Patties out of 2 lbs and froze 3 lbs raw in freezer bags.

I schedule meals according to my work schedule. Mondays I'm off at 4pm. Tuesday and Thursday I work late so the kids cook. Wednesday I'm off so I cook a big meal. Friday is usually pizza (homemade of course) and a movie night. Saturday and Sunday I cook anything that might be complicated or time consuming because I have more time.

I menu plan for 2 weeks at a time because that is how we get paid! But start small if you need to and plan for a few days at atime and work your way up. The biggest money saver I have found though is a WELL STOCKED PANTRY! This will prevent unnecessary trips to the store!

Hope some of this helps you!
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Old 02-13-2002, 08:30 AM
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chuckle

Hi ya!! Thanks Tammy for your suggestion, I can use all the help I can get lol. Here's another question for you girls. I'm finding that I spend alot on snacks for lunches and then when my kids get home from school they are hungry, so again they dive into the snacks, how do you all manage that and what can I do to cut down on the amount of money i'm spending on "extra's"? Thanks again
Karen
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Old 02-13-2002, 08:39 AM
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blushing

Sorry Kimmy, i meant to thank you lol, I was talking to my sil at the same time I was typing and her name is Tammy, I definately can't do two things at once lol, now you all can see why I was having such a hard time with the menu planning lol, anyway, sorry about that. Karen
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Old 02-13-2002, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sunny
I spend alot on snacks for lunches and then when my kids get home from school they are hungry, so again they dive into the snacks, how do you all manage that and what can I do to cut down on the amount of money i'm spending on "extra's"?
Hi Karen!

This used to happen to me as well. What I do now is keep all lunch snacks and juice boxes in a certain cabinet. That cabinet is off limits. For after school snacks I keep microwave popcorn, fruit, and something they love and really ties them over till dinner is Ramen Noodle Soup!

We also had a problem with buying fruit snacks and pop tarts. They would devour them all in one day. I keep pop tarts in my bedroom closet now and bring out enough each day for them each to have one packet. That's their limit. As for fruit snacks, I only buy them on sale and they are allowed two packages per day max. Obviously they don't get to have all of these things in the same day LOL, but you get the idea.

If possible, try to cut up an entire bunch (or two depending on how many kids you have) of celery and put in freezer bags. Keep peanut butter and a small bowl handy. If you are homoe when they get home from school, bring out the celery and PB a few minutes before they get home and put it on the table. They will be more apt to just sit down and eat rather than having to look for something else. Baby carrots and cut up apples work great for this too!
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Old 02-13-2002, 12:58 PM
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No Problem and You're Welcome!

My children are a little bit older and they had to learn the hard way about setting limits. I shop once every two weeks. I don't make special trips to the store in between unless there is a fabulous sale! If they eat all the snack and/or treats before the 2 weeks is up they go without. It only took once or twice for them to get the picture!

I do hide some treats for my dh who works nights.
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Old 02-13-2002, 09:13 PM
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lol Sunny, my name is tammy, you made me scan back over the post to figure out how the heck you knew my real name. Too funny.

As far as the snacking thing goes if you have time to bake, make cookies, muffins, granola etc. But I have found that my dks can burn off cookies and candy stuff much faster than if I just go ahead and let them eat a pb&j sandwich, something with a little more substanance (sp?). They also get banannas, grapes, crackers, prezels, cheese, hot dog etc after school. I dispense the snacks and that amount is all they get until dinner, I give them plenty but I also make sure they are still hungry enough for a good dinner.
As for school lunch. I buy a package of oreo's from Aldi I think they are like .89 or .99 cents or make cookies/brownies at home and they get 4 cookies for lunch or med brownie.
I also make snacks and put it in the rubbermaid 1/2 cup size containers and put them in the fridge for lunches. It's just like buying the snack packs but believe me way cheaper. Chips I buy a big bag and then each day they get a small sandwich bag and put chips in that. I sometimes substitude carrots and ranch or apple slices and carmel dip for chips.
My dd like spaghettios. In this case when she is tired of pb&j sandwiches, I purchase a big can of spaghettios and she can get about 3 lunches out of one large can.
Purchase cans of soup on sale, I find Cambell's chicken noodle on for .50 a can, with a few crackers that is a good lunch and still well under a dollar.
Drinks - Rubbermaid makes a container with a straw that pops up and we fill this with milk or kool-aide. Even a school milk at .25 is more expensive than sending a serving from home. We keep strawberry and chocolate powdered mixes for different flavors of milk so we don't get bored.
About the biggest tip I could give you on this one is rembember that if you purchase single size containers of anything it is more expensive. You are paying for that individual packaging.

Trust me on the rubber maid containers they are great. They are the exact same size if you were to purchase the single servings of jell-o/pudding. Perfect lunch size. I have 8 so that I can keep them rotated with stuff ready to go in the fridge. A small size box of jell-o or pudding perfectly fills 4 of those little containers.
You can fill them with:
canned peaches
jell-o
pudding
canned mixed fruit
apple sauce
I am sure there is more but I have the most picky eaters.
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Old 02-15-2002, 04:53 AM
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chuckle menu planning help

Hi.... I'm not new to FamilyCorner.com or its newsletters.. in fact.. Amanda has allowed me many links to my websites for which I'm really grateful.. But when I got the newsletter today and saw the post about Menu Planning.. I thought I'd add my 2 cents.. and hopefully help.
I've been married for nearly 35 years and have 7 kids.. 8 grandkids.. and am a pastor's wife.....(which automatically puts me in charge of cooking.. ... So I feel I have a little experience..
If you would like some help with menu planning, couponing.. and shopping.. check out my series of pages which contain all this..
It's Georgia's Kitchen Shopping and Menu Planning..
http://www.geocities.com/mamag7_2000/Gkshop.html

This is the first page in the series but will lead you to the rest..
I sure hope it helps.. I tried to make it very easy to understand..
There's also a monthly meal planner with the entire meal for dinner..

Any questions? Don't hesitate to write.. I'll help if I can.
Have a GREAT day!!!
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Old 02-15-2002, 05:22 AM
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Thanks Georgia! Lots of great info here
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