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Friday, November 2, 2012

Frugal Friday-Stretching The Grocery Dollar

Feeding a family of 7 on a budget can be tricky. Our grocery budget is $150.00 for two weeks so I really have to shop smart and plan ahead. Some of the ways we stay on budget is by making a grocery list and a meal plan and not buying many sweets, sodas, chips or snacks. I buy all my groceries for 2 weeks at a time to keep me out of the grocery store between paychecks. I mentioned this in a previous post but it bears repeating. The WORST thing on a budget is a quick trip into a store especially when you are hungry and tired. I stick to the grocery list! When I find a really good deal I buy extra to put in the freezer, this sounds like a contradiction to the last statement but sometimes I run across pork chops or chicken super cheap, when I do I buy a few extra and put them in the freezer. Even if it means I have to adjust our menu for the week or take the money from somewhere else, it really helps to have a little extra in the freezer for those short pays. My sister gave me this tip- add ground turkey to the ground beef. It stretches the meat, it's healthier and cheaper. Ground turkey is a dollar a pound I can add it to 2 pounds of beef and make a really good sized meatloaf or patty them out to make some tasty Salisbury steaks. Another thing I do is use less meat for recipes that are casseroles and add more of the other ingredients. So for recipes like tatortot casserole I'd use 3/4 of a pound of ground beef and add extra tatortots. It stretches the meat and tastes just as good. I usually buy 10 pounds of hamburger meat a pay and divide it into 8 bags. I put about 3/4 a pound in 2 bags and divide the rest into the remaining 6 bags. I can also buy a 10 pound bag of chicken legs and thighs for about 6 dollars a bag. I boil it all up and pull the meat off the bones. With that I can make 3-4 meals! I just boiled up a bag yesterday. I had 2 legs and 2 thighs left over that wouldn't fit in my pan. I will boil them another day. I divided the cooked chicken in half and with one half I made an Indonesian rice dish, which is basically rice, vegetables, chicken and sauce and a chicken salad. Today I used the other half and made 4 chicken pot pies. I gave 1 to my mom and dad for their dinner, froze 1 and had 2 for our dinner. And I still have the 2 legs and thighs leftover! I am thinking maybe a chicken stew. Not bad for a six dollar bag of chicken. I'm always searching for ways to stretch our groceries here are a few blogs I've come across that have really good tips. The Mooberry Farm Homesteading Journal and Little Farm in the Big City both have some really great frugal living tips.

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