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Financial Improvements--Food Management

December 30th, 2006 at 11:39 pm

I tend to track my leftovers pretty well. That habit is getting well-established. But trying to keep menu plans going, well, it works for a week or two and then I let it go. But during the weeks it works, it works really well. I want it to work all the time. Not working leads to meals out and way too much money spent.

I think what I need is six weeks of weekly menues that I can put into rotation. I also need to make enough at meals to provide for leftovers for other meals. Like tacos one night and taco salads for lunch the next day, spaghetti and meatballs followed by meatball sandwiches. Macaroni followed by macaroni pie, that sort of thing.

I want to have in place a working system by the time February starts. In the beginning menues should draw on what I have on hand in the pantry and the freezer. I have a lot of sauces that I picked up for cheap at Sunshine Liquidators, our local overstock and scratch and dent place. And they are all free of allergens or additives that we are allergic to or can't eat. So I need to figure out how to use them. A lot of them have recipes on the back of the bottle so I can play around with those and make sure they are financially feasible recipes.

I'd also like to do some OAMC, well maybe some shorter sessions that can bank some freezer meals for the nights were I am exhausted or sick. Just to make life easier and us not so prone to go out. That going out to eat is really what kills the budget. That and school hot lunches. Have to get those things under control.

8 Responses to “Financial Improvements--Food Management”

  1. LuxLiving Says:

    We do Tacos and then Burritos and then Taco Salads and finally w/any chips left over its Cheese Nachos. Leftover Burritos shells get some sliced chicken and cheese and salsa for Quesadillas served w/more salsa & sour cream.

    Pinto Beans w/o the ham - separate out some strictly for Ham & Beans - Then it's Chili night w/those beans that had no ham in it - then Chili Dogs.

    Then Spaghetti and then w/any leftover Chili it becomes Three-Way.

    Cold Tuna Salad for Soup & Sandwich Night. Any leftover gets added to some plain cooked pasta and refrigerated for a cold salad.

    Homemade Pizza Night (use recipe in Tightwad Gazette books). Leftover pepperoni meat added to cooked pasta, w/butter or olive oil, onions, fresh garlic toss.



  2. Amber Says:

    Thanks for the reminder I use to print out a calendar with dinner for the entire year from MS Outlook when I lived on my own and now I decided to start that back up I saved a ton of money this way...good luck

  3. denisentexas Says:

    I do batch cooking now and then & that really helps. I'm home most days so it isn't a big priority for me but in an attempt to use resources wisely, when I plan to make a meat loaf I use that hot oven for three meat loaves and enough potatoes to have some the next morning for breakfast or a pan of lasagna or some such thing.

    I also am a big user of the three slow cookers and the pressure cooker we have. The pressure cooker is really the best for preventing eating out. I can cook a beef roast, with vegetables, in less than 30 minutes.

    We do a lot of planned overs, too, and I like that a lot.

    I don't do well with meal planning and I'm not sure why. I've done it and like the results but I don't stick with it. Again, part of that might be that I really have no *need* for it so it just isn't a priority for me. I do have a list I've made over the years of 60 main dishes we really like and those are pretty much what we eat with salads and vegetables added and occasionally home made bread. I don't plan what we'll have on what night but we eat simple foods that are easy to prepare so picking what to have for dinner isn't a major chore.

  4. boomeyers Says:

    This is something we need to work on too! Why is it soo easy to just put off planning, panic and order out. Of course my big complaint has always been the kids won't eat what I cook, but now that we are poor again, its' tough luck!

  5. PRICEPLUS Says:

    I have to go over this with my DW. It really would save a lot more money if we had go to meals. We always end up oredering or eating out and usually not the healthiest of things. I think I'll broach the subject later in the week and see what happens!Smile

  6. Somerlyn Says:

    This is a great reminder for me. I used to plan out all my weeks meals too and like you it worked great. Then I stopped. I will make it my goal for the month too. Thanks.

  7. Dido Says:

    This is something I need to work on too. I'm not good at planning ahead and don't particularly want to plan because experience shows me I won't stick to it, but what I am effective at is batch cooking. I just need to do a better job of tracking and rotating what I have in the freezer. Went through mine earlier today and unearthed several items I'd forgotten I had, and used some frozen chicken breasts and miscellaneous frozen veggies (plus a box of chicken broth and some noodles) to make a big batch of soup for lunch today. Half is in the fridge for consumption in the next few days, and half will go in the freezer for later.

  8. baselle Says:

    I'm terrible at this too. My meal planning especially gets out of whack when I try to integrate seasonal produce in. Salads don't seem to keep all that well and its hard to hide them in other dishes. Smile

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