I must admit, I’ve been a little anxiety ridden over my upcoming shopping trip. Not only have I set a pretty high goal for myself, I did it publicly! The entire World Wide Web is depending on my success (how’s that for a self-inflated ego?). After making my declaration of frugality (just made that phrase up…sounds official ‘eh?) I knew I had to come up with a strategic game plan.
Step one: I set up a menu for the week. Remember, I want to buy a weeks worth of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for a family of four. Thankfully, only three of us really eat solid food but, I still have to buy diapers and formula for Peanut within my tiny little budget.
I read somewhere that the best place to shop for bargains is in your own pantry. So, I made a trip to Lizmart and created a quick list of all the non-perishables in my cupboard and all of the frozen veggies and meats in my freezer. I based my menu around that. This opened my eyes to a few things. (1) I realized that I have a lot more to work with than I originally thought. (2) It made me painfully aware of how much my family loves snack foods and (3) I found myself questioning my sanity. How on Earth did I wind up with 3 boxes of opened cornstarch, 2 and a half bags of confectioners sugar, 4 sold blocks of brown sugar, 4 cans of pumpkin puree and, what appears to be, a year’s supply of Zataran’s red beans and rice? No one in this family even eats red beans and rice! I obviously have a personal issues.
I studied my arsenal of old cooking magazines and came up with 7 main meals, 7 breakfasts and 7 lunches. Thankfully, we have enough snacks to last us until the next shopping trip. ((See, saving money already!). I put each of these meals into columns and then created a daily menu plan from that. I was very careful to pick meals that could easily be changed into other meals with a few added ingredients.
Step 2: I listed out all of the ingredients I would need to make these dishes (minus the ones I already have) and created a solid grocery list. I’m proud to say that this list was blissfully free of all pre-packaged foods. I’m doing everything from scratch this week!
Step 3: I compared grocery store flyers to see who was having the best deals on the things I needed the most. I don’t have a lot of coupons this week so I need all of the savings I can get. We have a wide variety of stores in my area. My favorite of which is Wegmans. Wegmans is like grocery Heaven. I could happily spend hours just in their organic section. I love Wegmans *sigh*. They are very reasonably priced but unfortunately, this week, all of my savings will come from my least favorite grocery store, Bottom Dollar. Yes, Bottom Dollar is not just a clever name. It is a bare bones, no frills store. No sushi bar. No in-store restaurant. I don’t even think they give you bags. I will be bringing my groceries home in boxes. (commence pity party…NOW)
Here’s a sneak-peek of my Menu plan for the week:
1.Roasted Chicken with honey-lime sweet potatoes and green beans almondine.
2. Burgers, home-made fries and steamed broccoli with prosciutto. I may just top my burger with a little bit of Gorgonzola.
4 Chicken Tacos (with leftover roasted chicken)
5. Home made calzones and salad.
6. Chicken noodle soup
7. Chicken curry salad (using leftover chicken from the soup).
Ya, it’s a lot of chicken…but chicken is
Wish me luck folks!