Is your grocery money disappearing right before your eyes? Are you tired of trying to figure out what to cook? Food prices fluctuate up and down according to the season. Quality and quantity will vary also. Have you ever planned your menu and lists only to find that meal will be far too expensive or you can’t get all of the ingredients that you need? STOP right there and try this! This article will help you save money and plan a menu at the same time.
Plan your meals around the fresh items at the local farmer’s market and grocery store sales. For example, grocery stores have weekly ads to browse through choosing the items your family will enjoy eating. Use the ads as your grocery list by circling the items and taking the ad with you to the store. This will save you time and get rid of the “same ole, same ole” menus out of your kitchen. Plus the benefits of eating locally grown fruits and vegetables are numerous. If you need new meal ideas, look through old cookbooks or use internet websites for new recipes. A new world of food will be opened up in your kitchen!
By using ads and seasonally fresh veggies, your menus will never be boring and you will have very little waste. But what about leftovers? Don’t let them go to waste. Use them for lunches or re-make them into something new. You question….new leftovers? Sounds like an oxymoron, but I know some people who simply won’t eat leftovers. I think it is because they are called leftovers and they just want variety. So here are a few of my tricks.
Roast – Leftover roast can be made into BBQ sandwiches the next day by chopping the roast up and adding a little water and BBQ sauce to simmer slowly for 15-20 minutes. Make some french fries and cole slaw and you have a new meal! Also, you can chop up the veggies and roast, put them back into the gravy. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and serve over toast with a salad. Or the roast can be cubed and added to chili, new meal. Are you getting the idea? Pretty simple huh. Let us do more…
Baked Bone-in Ham – Ham leftovers can be cubed and put into freezer bags to make ham salad sandwiches, or use in a chef’s salad for next weeks lunches. Also, use the bone and the leftover ham to make beans, cornbread, and fried potatoes the next day. Then freeze the leftover beans to be used as refried beans in Mexican food or add them to chili.
Baked Chicken – Leftover chicken and veggies become homemade chicken pot pie or cream of chicken soup.
Mashed potatoes can be made into potato pancakes to be served with breakfast or used in homemade soup to help thicken them. Other leftover veggies can be added to soups the next day and people don’t even know they are leftovers.
Grilled steak and veggies becomes Italian soup the next day.
Day old bread and seasonings can be put into the food processor and you get seasoned bread crumbs. I use these in meatloaf or on top of baked fish. Also, you can make bread pudding for dessert.
I know you already have a few ideas of your own by now. I hope this article helps to further your grocery money.