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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Menu Ideas & Help / Planning a Menu for savings!!!
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    Planning a Menu for savings!!!

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    Charmie777
    Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:23 pm
    Forum Host
    Oh, we all make great plans and life happens and we have to adjust. Just cuz something is on my menu, doesn't mean it's gonna happen!! rotfl.gif Rarely does it happen that I make everything on my menu on the day I scheduled it!!!

    Take a look at our weekly menu thread here.

    You'll see we're all in the same boat!!!
    Hope you join us soon!!! Even if it's for a couple of days, we'd love to see your menus!!!
    CheapThrills
    Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:55 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Charmie777 wrote:
    Planning a menu really can save you time and money. And most of all ... it's FUN!!!! .....

    Because I use the sale fliers, I plan my meals around what is on sale that week. SAVES $$$$$........

    Do you plan for a week, 2 weeks, a month?? How do you do it?


    I know I've replied already, but now I have more time...

    I agree totally -- it IS fun, and it DOES save time and money! My strategy is very similar to yours, Charmie. I've been doing this for so many years, it's just second nature.

    I use the sale flyers, and combine with coupons, for super deals. I also scour the aisles most weeks for clearance items or managers' specials, and especially meat markdowns. But that doesn't mean I'll use things that week!

    By putting away deals in my pantries and freezers, I have saved TONS, and have been able to plan menus ahead for weeks. By buying from the sale flyers, I stock up for less, and have my own little grocery store at home. If it will keep, and it's an incredible special deal, and you have it in your budget, why not get it?

    I also keep a running grocery list in the kitchen, and the family rule is that if it's running low, you put it on the list. I use a Steno pad, left side for food items, right side for non-food -- makes for easy use in the grocery store or Target.

    As you probably know, I have dinner menus planned out through April 15 right now. My weekly planning and shopping will take little time. I'll peek at the menu calendar, and write on my list what I know I don't have after checking the cupboards, etc., plus fresh stuff we'll need. I'll be spending probably $20-25/week for four of us through April by using this technique.

    By planning out menus on a blank calendar, I'm able to easily vary our diet, and make sure I have high-fiber, non-meat dinners scattered throughout the month. Using up leftovers, planning for cook once-eat twice meals, and not wasting food is also a breeze because of menu planning.

    Oh, now, see, you got me going on and on about my favorite FUN subject! icon_rolleyes.gif
    *Maggie*
    Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:36 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    We'll I've taken the plunge. I made a menu still in the private stage. I've managed to pick out some recipes that I'd like to make. A trip to the market will definately make it easier to finalize what is what and probably by next week I'll have a nicely trimmed menu to post in your thread! Based on the grocery fliers - it looks like it will be a filled with chicken - much to DH's dismay!
    SoCalMom5
    Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:30 am
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    see I have the opposite problem... DH LOVES chicken, but hates pork, not really into steak, hates all seafood. So it's chicken and ground beef - over and over again icon_sad.gif
    LifeIsGood
    Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:04 am
    Forum Host
    I just happened upon this thread and I'm so glad!! (I swear, I could probably spend all day surfing Zaar...I really have to hold myself back! icon_lol.gif )
    I have a few things to add about my planning and then a plea for help about the budget.
    Charmie, I do my planning almost exactly as you do. On the weekend I sit down with my shopping list, sale flyer and calendar. I first write down all the things that we have run out of (I keep an ongoing list that people add to once they finish or are running low of a particular item). Then I look at my calendar and make notes as to which days I have to cook a quick dinner or crock pot, which days I have more time to cook, etc... Then I plan my meals around the meat products that are on sale at the local grocery store...factoring in how much time I have to cook. I write out the list of things I need, in order of how I go through the grocery store. I use coupons occasionally. I have found that when I vow to clip & use coupons that I end up spending more money (prob. because I'm buying things here and there that I normally wouldn't). I usually plan to make dinner 6 out of the 7 nights. I almost always stick to my plan...regardless of what is going on.

    **Here is where I think I need major help!!! I'd love to spend a month with CheapThrills to figure out what I'm doing wrong.. icon_lol.gif . For a family of four, I spend a minimum of $160.00 a WEEK...and I do mean minimum...lately it's been closer to about $200.00. I feel like I'm trying to be careful about how much I buy and spend and it never seems like we have an over-abundance of food. So what am I doing wrong???!!! I do realize that some of the weekly "staples" for our family are some of the costlier ones: we eat a lot of cereal in our house, which means lots of cereal and milk (we go through a min. of 3 gallons of milk per week). Our snacks are not out of the ordinary (except almonds, which I buy almost weekly, are costlier) and in fact, my kids are usually complaining that we don't have enough things to snack on in comparison to their friend's homes. I'm really baffled as to why I seem to spend so much on groceries when I plan ahead and shop sales, etc... HELP!
    Charmie777
    Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:40 am
    Forum Host
    LifeIsGood wrote:


    **Here is where I think I need major help!!! I'd love to spend a month with CheapThrills to figure out what I'm doing wrong.. icon_lol.gif . For a family of four, I spend a minimum of $160.00 a WEEK...and I do mean minimum...lately it's been closer to about $200.00. I feel like I'm trying to be careful about how much I buy and spend and it never seems like we have an over-abundance of food. So what am I doing wrong???!!! I do realize that some of the weekly "staples" for our family are some of the costlier ones: we eat a lot of cereal in our house, which means lots of cereal and milk (we go through a min. of 3 gallons of milk per week). Our snacks are not out of the ordinary (except almonds, which I buy almost weekly, are costlier) and in fact, my kids are usually complaining that we don't have enough things to snack on in comparison to their friend's homes. I'm really baffled as to why I seem to spend so much on groceries when I plan ahead and shop sales, etc... HELP!


    You and me both!!!! We spend a little over $200 a week. I have 3 teenage boys and a very hungry hubby. I feel the same about coupons, cuz I usually don't buy the items that you have coupons for icon_confused.gif .
    My hubby likes to snack on almonds and mixed nuts too!!! Not cheap snacks! He also wants granola bars in his lunch (3 a day!) And his tastes run to the most expensive ones on the shelf!!!
    My kids complain about the snacks too! We rarely have chips or cookies and such lying around. We can't! I'd eat them all! icon_redface.gif

    So CT...how about a field trip to your house!!!???!!
    LifeIsGood
    Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:56 am
    Forum Host
    Charmie777 wrote:
    LifeIsGood wrote:


    **Here is where I think I need major help!!! I'd love to spend a month with CheapThrills to figure out what I'm doing wrong.. icon_lol.gif . For a family of four, I spend a minimum of $160.00 a WEEK...and I do mean minimum...lately it's been closer to about $200.00. I feel like I'm trying to be careful about how much I buy and spend and it never seems like we have an over-abundance of food. So what am I doing wrong???!!! I do realize that some of the weekly "staples" for our family are some of the costlier ones: we eat a lot of cereal in our house, which means lots of cereal and milk (we go through a min. of 3 gallons of milk per week). Our snacks are not out of the ordinary (except almonds, which I buy almost weekly, are costlier) and in fact, my kids are usually complaining that we don't have enough things to snack on in comparison to their friend's homes. I'm really baffled as to why I seem to spend so much on groceries when I plan ahead and shop sales, etc... HELP!


    You and me both!!!! We spend a little over $200 a week. I have 3 teenage boys and a very hungry hubby. I feel the same about coupons, cuz I usually don't buy the items that you have coupons for icon_confused.gif .
    My hubby likes to snack on almonds and mixed nuts too!!! Not cheap snacks! He also wants granola bars in his lunch (3 a day!) And his tastes run to the most expensive ones on the shelf!!!
    My kids complain about the snacks too! We rarely have chips or cookies and such lying around. We can't! I'd eat them all! icon_redface.gif

    So CT...how about a field trip to your house!!!???!!


    LOL! Oh my gosh, so similar to us. We don't do the chips/cookie thing either and for that exact same reason!
    I have to say...it's kind of comforting to know that someone else is spending as much. I was thinking I was the only one. I would soooooooooooo love help in getting that cost down, though.
    rotfl.gif @ field trip!!!!! CT...come on down!
    *Maggie*
    Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:50 am
    Food.com Groupie
    LifeIsGood wrote:
    Charmie777 wrote:
    LifeIsGood wrote:


    **Here is where I think I need major help!!! I'd love to spend a month with CheapThrills to figure out what I'm doing wrong.. icon_lol.gif . For a family of four, I spend a minimum of $160.00 a WEEK...and I do mean minimum...lately it's been closer to about $200.00. I feel like I'm trying to be careful about how much I buy and spend and it never seems like we have an over-abundance of food. So what am I doing wrong???!!! I do realize that some of the weekly "staples" for our family are some of the costlier ones: we eat a lot of cereal in our house, which means lots of cereal and milk (we go through a min. of 3 gallons of milk per week). Our snacks are not out of the ordinary (except almonds, which I buy almost weekly, are costlier) and in fact, my kids are usually complaining that we don't have enough things to snack on in comparison to their friend's homes. I'm really baffled as to why I seem to spend so much on groceries when I plan ahead and shop sales, etc... HELP!


    You and me both!!!! We spend a little over $200 a week. I have 3 teenage boys and a very hungry hubby. I feel the same about coupons, cuz I usually don't buy the items that you have coupons for icon_confused.gif .
    My hubby likes to snack on almonds and mixed nuts too!!! Not cheap snacks! He also wants granola bars in his lunch (3 a day!) And his tastes run to the most expensive ones on the shelf!!!
    My kids complain about the snacks too! We rarely have chips or cookies and such lying around. We can't! I'd eat them all! icon_redface.gif

    So CT...how about a field trip to your house!!!???!!


    LOL! Oh my gosh, so similar to us. We don't do the chips/cookie thing either and for that exact same reason!
    I have to say...it's kind of comforting to know that someone else is spending as much. I was thinking I was the only one. I would soooooooooooo love help in getting that cost down, though.
    rotfl.gif @ field trip!!!!! CT...come on down!


    You guys are not alone! I have 2 teenagers plus all their friends and 16 mo. baby. Going through 3 gallons of milk, I'm thinking you get off lucky!

    Definately count me in on the field trip as I am a newbie to this budgeting/planning gig.
    CheapThrills
    Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:22 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    OK, OK, OK! The goddesses have summoned me, it seems. icon_rolleyes.gif icon_biggrin.gif

    First of all, no one is doing anything wrong. It's just the way you do it, and if you want to change that, then okay. I have three boys, ages 7, 12 and 45. icon_wink.gif I am certainly not the queen of culinary frugality (I know of a woman who actually makes money by grocery shopping, just by couponing, but she's like, unattainably amazing). What I do works for me, and my system continues to evolve.

    Secondly, you are all more than welcome to visit, but I think you want to wait until spring. It is nasty cold, windy and snowy still here in Omaha. Plus, I work for an accounting firm, specifically processing tax returns. icon_eek.gif <-- this is me at the end of the day. Now you know why I filled my freezer a few weeks ago!

    If you bop over to the Cooking on a Budget: OAMC, Make Ahead, Freezing & More forum, you can learn tons from others who do things to suit their various lifestyles, too. You don't have to make ahead or OAMC to pick up some great helps in many of the threads. (OAMC=Once A Month Cooking for those of you who are unfamiliar. Don't be afraid; don't get overwhelmed. Just glean what you can on the budget stuff.)

    As for me, MENU PLANNING IS THE BIGGEST SAVER of sanity, of lives in my household, and of money. Where you shop, how you shop, what cuts of meat, how often you shop, etc., all fall into place as you develop a plan that suits you. I happen to be, full-time until recently, and still, CEO of my household. (The tax gig is 2 1/2 months, and they want me back next year. icon_biggrin.gif ) I have a system of getting deals on a regular basis based on where I will/won't shop, what I will/won't pay, and what I'm willing to experiment with. I normally have the luxury (and I know it's a luxury) of being able to plan my own day and errands. These days, my menus are planned out, so I only have to grab a few things for the week, plus what we've run out of (crackers, ketchup, pickles, etc.). I do that on a certain day when I know I have one kid, one hour, and it's just blocks from the schools. Normally, I have one day when I hit the stores...1, 2, 3, home.

    Where you live has a lot to do with what you plan for your menu, what you need to spend for good nutrition, and what you're able to get for less. Fresh seafood in Nebraska, at a reasonable price? I think not! Fresh seafood on either coast, or the Gulf, at a reasonable price? You betcha! In areas where it's warmer, fresh vegs are LIKELY to be cheaper, and have more nutrition if purchased from local suppliers. I suspect my area has the lowest prices you can find on field-fresh corn, come late summer. Right now, I wouldn't pay for an ear. Local prices on "Mexican" foods are less in the Southwest and in Florida than they are up north. So while I may be CRAVING huge, ripe, juicy strawberries right now, I know that it ain't happening, and I have to use what is available, and that includes what might have been available a few weeks ago that I froze or stored in the pantry. Oranges are reasonably available now icon_mad.gif , and so are bananas icon_smile.gif , so there is some fresh fruit option. And there's frozen, or canned, IF it's on sale or regularly reasonable.

    Normally, I plan menus out two weeks at a time, and I'm flexible, when I have to be, sometimes, I guess. icon_rolleyes.gif Usually, if I find a meat deal, I'll repackage and throw it in the freezer, and it ends up on the menu in a couple of weeks. Often you will find on my menu calendar, "green veg," which means we're out of canned green beans (DH's favorite), so I have to see what comes on sale, or not. But when I find frozen something that strikes my fancy, that's a deal, I get a bunch of them, not just one. Remember when Steamfresh frozen vegs first came out? I clipped every coupon for those things, but didn't use them right away. They went on sale, and BAM! I got about 8 bags for .25 each. The grocer had stocked up b/c of the coupons and promos, but they were expensive, so the store I go to had to move them. The store near me was selling them fast at the higher price, b/c of the different demographic, so they didn't put them on special. Anyway, you have to know what's happening in your area, with buying habits, seasonal items, and cycles. Then you can stock up and plan menus so you don't waste those deals.

    I have to say that I love the ENORMOUS database of Zaar recipes. I am trying to be adventurous in trying more of them, but sometimes if I stick exactly to a recipe, it can become expensive. If I substitute, or leave out an ingredient or two, it will still be delicious (usually), and my family doesn't know I left out the green peppers -- they probably would cheer, actually. I am a recipe-phile, and often create mutant concoctions from two or three similar recipes. I call it creative therapy. icon_wink.gif

    I also have to say that we just don't eat expensive stuff. We love a great steak, but not if we have to skip a mortgage payment, you know? We do not eat shrimp, lobster, etc. I splurged on a standing rib roast for Christmas, but had prepared my budget for it. And while you saw that $20-25/week number, that is only because I have entire meals in the freezers and pantries already! Normally, my budget is $60/week, or $240/month for food. Just food. I enjoy cooking, cook for others, and also cook a lot from scratch, or semi-homemade if it's cheap enough.

    I know that the closest store to me is overpriced. I hate shopping there for a variety of reasons. BUT! I know that on a certain day, they mark down meat drastically. It's the meat from the previous week's sales that they had to cut, but didn't sell. So I know what's likely to be on "clearance." Also, a few weeks ago there were packages of bratwurst for .99 (normally 2.85). The meat guy said a lady ordered a whole bunch, then went to another store to get them (duh), so they were stuck with them. I could have gotten more than 10, but I know we wouldn't eat all of them before they started to turn. I got four packages, b/c DH loves brats, and worked them into the menus over the next several weeks (a little kraut, a few potatoes, a cheap dinner).

    DH is entirely behind my efforts to save for us and keep us healthy. He knows that if he wants Combos or something, I'm not buying them, and that they will show up in Quicken, and too much of that will get him 30 lashes with a wet noodle.

    I can't say enough for portion control! We drink four gallons of milk per week. If it goes higher than the price of gas, I ration it out. An 8 ounce glass -- measure yours! -- is more than enough two or three times per day, for our boys and us. After that, it's as much water as we want. 8 oz. juice at breakfast, and a water or juice pouch with lunch (which actually saves money).

    How do I know it saves me money? I did the math, because I have the time and the opportunity to do so. (Let the experts on the Budget forum be your helpers!) Oh, I have the little plastic juice bottles with the folding sippy straws, and a supply of replacement straws. But the dang things tend to leak. They can't fill a plastic cup from the water fountain, I asked. (Don't get me started!) A non-sugar water pouch is .18 per serving, while the bottled juice is .25 per serving. When the 100% juice pouches go on sale, I get them for about .19 each.

    Back to portion control... you need to figure out what portions work for the folks you cook for. For us, it's betwen 4 and 8 ounces of protein (depending on which of us it is), 1/2 cup rice (which is one scoop of a certain spoon I have, because I measured), 1/2 cup cooked veg, 1 med or lg potato, 1 cup salad greens (which is one full particular bowl, because I measured), etc. DH needs about 8 oz meat, 1/2-1 cup vegs, and a large potato, for example. I need about 4 oz meat, 1/2 cup vegs, and a small potato. The kids' needs vary, but I know what I need to put on their plates.

    Knowing what portions you need for your nutrition goals helps you prepare the right amount of food, so there is little waste. (Or you can save the extras for lunches, freezer meals, whatever, but I find having a plan for them ahead of time is crucial.) This is how I plan my menus, and ultimately what saves me money. It saves waste, so that half the food from the plate doesn't go into the disposal at the end of a meal.

    Also, I make sure the kids and I get the right balance of protein, starch/carb, vegs and fruits each day. DH is untrainable on this point, so I can only make sure he eats well at home. Good nutrition, a workable menu plan, and a cost-saving system that works for me is what this part of my CEO job is all about. icon_wink.gif

    As for coupons, how to spot a trend, great deals, etc.....it all depends on your needs. Come over to the Budget forum and we'll chat about it.
    LifeIsGood
    Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:52 am
    Forum Host
    Holy Toledo!! A BIG thank you to CheapThrills for taking the time and effort to respond to us. I will definitely start checking out the OAMC and budgeting type forums. That does seem like it would be a good way to pick up some tips. By the way, I've heard about people actually making money or paying nearly nothing for grocery shopping by careful coupon dealing. I just think that would take up wayyyyyyy too much of a persons time!! icon_eek.gif But, good for them. It really is amazing.

    Just one more quick question here before I start looking into the OAMC section. I do buy the sale meat products, etc... - but buy enough to use them that week. I'm wondering.. do you just go buy a bunch of sale meat products (or whatever is on sale) at once, store it...and not include that as part of your weekly/monthly grocery money spent that you've listed? (That was worded oddly..hopefully you understood it. lol) If I did that, a week where I would normally spend $180, say, would be that PLUS a lot extra for the stocking of the sale items..right? I can never bring myself around to doing that.. Because in my head - I have a problem spending so much for groceries during a single week.
    I'm rambling, for sure.. icon_lol.gif I'm just trying to really understand your process.
    Thanks!!!! icon_biggrin.gif
    LifeIsGood
    Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:16 pm
    Forum Host
    *Maggie* wrote:
    LifeIsGood wrote:
    Charmie777 wrote:
    LifeIsGood wrote:


    **Here is where I think I need major help!!! I'd love to spend a month with CheapThrills to figure out what I'm doing wrong.. icon_lol.gif . For a family of four, I spend a minimum of $160.00 a WEEK...and I do mean minimum...lately it's been closer to about $200.00. I feel like I'm trying to be careful about how much I buy and spend and it never seems like we have an over-abundance of food. So what am I doing wrong???!!! I do realize that some of the weekly "staples" for our family are some of the costlier ones: we eat a lot of cereal in our house, which means lots of cereal and milk (we go through a min. of 3 gallons of milk per week). Our snacks are not out of the ordinary (except almonds, which I buy almost weekly, are costlier) and in fact, my kids are usually complaining that we don't have enough things to snack on in comparison to their friend's homes. I'm really baffled as to why I seem to spend so much on groceries when I plan ahead and shop sales, etc... HELP!


    You and me both!!!! We spend a little over $200 a week. I have 3 teenage boys and a very hungry hubby. I feel the same about coupons, cuz I usually don't buy the items that you have coupons for icon_confused.gif .
    My hubby likes to snack on almonds and mixed nuts too!!! Not cheap snacks! He also wants granola bars in his lunch (3 a day!) And his tastes run to the most expensive ones on the shelf!!!
    My kids complain about the snacks too! We rarely have chips or cookies and such lying around. We can't! I'd eat them all! icon_redface.gif

    So CT...how about a field trip to your house!!!???!!


    LOL! Oh my gosh, so similar to us. We don't do the chips/cookie thing either and for that exact same reason!
    I have to say...it's kind of comforting to know that someone else is spending as much. I was thinking I was the only one. I would soooooooooooo love help in getting that cost down, though.
    rotfl.gif @ field trip!!!!! CT...come on down!


    You guys are not alone! I have 2 teenagers plus all their friends and 16 mo. baby. Going through 3 gallons of milk, I'm thinking you get off lucky!

    Definately count me in on the field trip as I am a newbie to this budgeting/planning gig.


    Hi, Maggie! wave.gif I hear ya @ 'plus all their friends' rotfl.gif
    CheapThrills
    Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:04 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    LifeIsGood wrote:
    Just one more quick question here before I start looking into the OAMC section. I do buy the sale meat products, etc... - but buy enough to use them that week. I'm wondering.. do you just go buy a bunch of sale meat products (or whatever is on sale) at once, store it...and not include that as part of your weekly/monthly grocery money spent that you've listed? (That was worded oddly..hopefully you understood it. lol) If I did that, a week where I would normally spend $180, say, would be that PLUS a lot extra for the stocking of the sale items..right? I can never bring myself around to doing that.. Because in my head - I have a problem spending so much for groceries during a single week.
    I'm rambling, for sure.. icon_lol.gif I'm just trying to really understand your process.
    Thanks!!!! icon_biggrin.gif


    This is how I do it. Keep in mind I've been doing this a long time (starting in college in Mt. Pleasant, btw), and over time the savings build up. I have a "budget" for food every month. (Actually, it's a "target," which I usually come quite close to.) On average, I spend $60/week. That's average. I plan to spend less than that -- don't we all. icon_rolleyes.gif I have an idea of about how much the stuff on my list will come to. So when I have some unspent "budget," I pop some deals in the cart. This happens about half the time I shop. So, no, I don't exclude the deal purchases from my weekly spending; it's all in there. You don't have to load up on deals; a few at a time will soon fill your freezers and pantries. Try one super deal a week extra in your cart. "Stocking up" is for when you have come upon an incredible deal on something you will use often, AND you have extra to spend on it. Remember, if you don't have to buy it at a higher price next week, that's money you don't have to spend then.

    Oh, I could go on and on about how I work my menu magic. HA! icon_lol.gif But everyone needs to find their own system that works for them.
    Caroline Cooks
    Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:51 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Great thread, everyone. Gotten some wonderful tips.

    Here's some ideas for those who cook for one or two:

    FREEZE MEATS, ETC. INTO ONE SERVING SIZES AND BAG INDIVIDUALLY.
    I buy the biggest box of sandwich bags at the Dollar Store for this. $1.00 for 300 count!! Use a sharpie to label right on the bag. I separate the meat/fish, place on a cookie sheet, and freeze ASA I get home from the grocery; just make it a routine to do so. Usually takes about 25-30 minutes for them to be frozen enough to bag. Doing this--I can buy the very large packages of chicken, steak, etc. and save money.
    KEEP AN INVENTORY OF FREEZER ITEMS, ESPECIALLY MEAT, POULTRY, & FISH.
    ( like this: boneless pork chops llll means four separately wrapped and labeled boneless pork chops in a larger zip-lock bag "PORK". Each category has a larger bag for all: BEEF, POULTRY, PORK AND FISH/SEAFOOD; use this--adding or subtracting when needed. As I use I put a cross mark on the the list by number of servings-extracted. My list is glued to a magnet on my refrigerator.
    MENU-PLANNING IS ESSENTIAL. As others have said--"veggies are packaged for family-use," e.g. green onions *mentioned early*. My menues are planned around using those up within 2-3 weeks. Same with celery, bagged spinach, cauliflower, cole slaw mix, etc. I, now, have very little waste. For menu planning to use up ingredients: Go to your Zaar cookbooks and put in the ingredient or multiple ones--up pops all the recipes that you have saved with "green onions". (Takes some time each week--I plan 2 weeks at a time---but if you are retired? Time is no longer money. icon_lol.gif
    WRAP YOUR REFRIGERATED PERISHABLES IN PAPER TOWELING. Once again, buy cheap toweling in bulk; unpack and spread out the perishables, e.g. mushrooms or carrots on the paper toweling, roll up and re-pack in original bag (to find easily). I have cauliflower in my crisper drawer right now that has been there for over 3 weeks--still fresh and crisp. Seen the price of cauliflower, lately? Sheeesh!
    DO NOT SHOP AT SAM'S OR COSTCO FOR PERISHABLE ITEMS.(UNLESS YOU CAN FREEZE AS INDIVIDUAL SERVINGS I know it's tempting; but believe me, I've tried and ended up throwing it out eventually. I only buy canned goods and non-perishable items that have a longer shelf life.
    USE THE RE-SIZE SERVING FEATURE ON RECIPES. (Located above the stars to the right of the recipe #) After making your menues, go into the recipes for each day and make a note: FOR MONDAY, save and when you print your recipes for that day...BIngo...what day? MONDAY! I organize the entire week's recipes, print and take em to the kitchen in order. Recently, I've been re-loading the used papers to print on the back. icon_rolleyes.gif

    All this take some time; but it is invaluable to cooking for one or two...and best of all...saves money and wastes not! icon_biggrin.gif icon_biggrin.gif

    HTH

    edited for typos. icon_redface.gif


    Last edited by Caroline Cooks on Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:02 pm, edited 2 times in total
    CheapThrills
    Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:39 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Great tips, Caroline! Been so long since there've been only two of us, I almost forgot those. icon_redface.gif

    I moved my blog, which has grocery saving info on it. It's all set up, and I'm going to put my info above, and more on it, too. HTH
    LifeIsGood
    Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:42 pm
    Forum Host
    Thanks to all for the tips. I'll check out that blog!
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