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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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Old 01-30-2003, 09:48 AM
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almost empty pantry!

I have been working on emptying my pantry, partly because I needed to use it up before everything expired, partly because we have no money at the moment to buy more food--and with two kids, that's not good! Anyways--I stocked my pantry just in case days like these really happened to us. Now I'm down to the last of it, and am finding myself planning ahead more than usual, I mean right down to the last cup of flour lol!! I made a list of everything we have left and tried to maximize it. From less than 18 dollars worth of groceries, I've come up with two weeks worth of lunches and dinners for 4 people.

Planning ahead is a great way to save a lot of money--even though I knew it, this is really putting my knowledge to work. Now I need to plan how to restock my pantry and freezer!!
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Old 01-30-2003, 12:29 PM
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That is fantastic Mrs. Maniac. It begins to look real weird when the pantry gets low but it is also a bit rewarding to know that you are using what you have, being creative and serving your family good meals.

Hope the money situation eases a bit before too long so you can restock.

Take care.
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Old 01-30-2003, 02:50 PM
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Well, tecnically speaking, I did get a bit of a break today--dh's check was a bit more than we'd expected and I swiped the extra for groceries! I didn't really have to--I've already planned the next few weeks, but the store has chicken leg quarters on sale for .29/lb, margarine .29/lb, and a few other things, so I grabbed some. So I've started stocking up again. I may try to squeeze a bit more cash out to buy some more of that chicken!!
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Old 01-31-2003, 07:28 AM
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I am also trying to work from my pantry with planning meals. Yesterday when I cleaned it out , I came across 2 jars of Ragu that had expired. There was an 800 number on the jar so I called them to see if I could still use them. After taking down all the information, they told me to toss them, and they are mailing out free coupons sto replace them. That was a nice surprise.
I have what I call an "emergency shelf" to pull me through times that I need a meal in a hurry. These 2 jars were on that shelf.

Since all our medical insurance, co-pays meds, etc. went up, I am trying to cut corners to help pay for the increase. You just can't win today!! Cafe
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Old 01-31-2003, 08:03 AM
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Our pantry was running low this week and it was amazing the things I could come up with to make. Plus I also made it last a lot longer because I actually planned it. Hopefully I can keep up with the meal planning, when my pantry is full again.
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Old 01-31-2003, 11:19 AM
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DH and I figured the checkbook and we are under $50 and have to go until next Thursday for a payday. Our frig is stocked pretty well buy I'm not running to the store at all until Thursday. I wonder how creative I can be?
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Old 01-31-2003, 01:02 PM
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We now have 6 jars of Welch's grape jelly. Dh took my $1 off coupons with him today and stopped at two different stores to get them! I'm so proud of him--he isn't the most frugal shopper, and runs from the idea of using coupons. But he's coming around--heck, he even mentioned going to GFS to get my baking supplies because they are so cheap there.

Julie, you can do it!! A fridge can hold a lot of food--how are your cupboards? Mine are spooky they're so bare lol! There is nothing at all left in my downstairs pantry that until recently was overflowing with canned goods. I'll be glad when I can stock up again!
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Old 01-31-2003, 02:28 PM
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Our pantry looks ok, but the freezers are nearly bare. If it weren't for the precooked breakfasts and leftovers I have stored in there, and some cans of frozen juice concentrate, there would be nothing to look at!

Have a fridge full of stuff from the bread store (4 loaves/$1), and have been finding creative uses for bread and eggs (18/$1) cause they are so cheap. Kids love pizza quesadillas (flour tortillas with sauce and cheese inside) and mini pizzas (on english muffins). French toast, bagelwiches, egg/cheese/english muffin sandwiches, breakfast burrittos round out the breakfast menu around here. We even had french toast for dinner this week.

There's probably about three weeks of food around here if I just go get some hamburger and milk. MIL brought over some taco soup. Don't have a recipe, but it looks like something I could squeeze out of the staples in the pantry.

dawny

PS - anybody have any great recipes to use up jelly? I have a few jars that I got for free (grape and apricot).
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Old 01-31-2003, 03:39 PM
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Mrs. Maniac. My cupboards have a little bit of everything in them. I really think we're going to be okay and I'm actually kind of excited about this. We did this in October I think and it worked out; although when you open the cupboard and there is only one or two things on each shelf it is a bit disturbing! I can do it though. I know I can!
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Old 01-31-2003, 04:58 PM
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Dawny, thumbprint cookies are popular around here. And I have a recipe for "surprise muffins" that uses jelly inside the muffins, but I've only made them once and it was a mess because the jelly kind of oozed out. I think I just overfilled the cups. And, I just saw this on Tipical Mary Ellen (I think?). Bake biscuits and use a turkey baster to fill them with jelly. Looked simple enough lol!! Also, if you have tortillas, pb&j wraps are good, too.

Julie--you go girl!! As anxious as I am to restock, I'm enjoying the challenge of using up everything. I'm even going to give my shelves a good cleaning before starting over. Woohoo!! Saves me from having to move it all for spring cleaning.
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