Happy Friday everyone! At this small town girl’s end, it’s been a rough one. I’ve tried to keep in high spirits throughout the whole week but it’s been hard. I’ve felt like a little bug getting squished. The good news? It’s the end of the week and I have the whole weekend to recuperate.
Last week, I convinced you all that I was crazy.
That, and I also convinced you that you COULD only grocery shop once a month to spend less. To spend $300 or less.
A lot of you asked some really great questions. Like, what about fresh produce? And what about bread and milk?
All great questions! First, this weeks menu. Breakfast and lunch are the same as last week.
This week’s supper:
Sunday – Pork Tenderloin with roasted potatoes and vegetables.
Monday – Meatloaf with homemade Mac & Cheese
Tuesday – Chicken Caesar salad with garlic bread
Wednesday – Pasta with roasted red peppers in a rose sauce.
Thursday – Sheppard’s pie
Friday – Pizza night!
Saturday – Leftovers/free night
Onto produce. This is hard. Everyone leaves their fridge at a different temperature and buys different kind of produce. Here is a list of the things that I buy and how long they last for us.
Fruits and Veggies Lasting 1 Week:
- Leafy greens (minus Romaine)
Fruits and Veggies Lasting 2 Weeks:
- Romaine Lettuce
Fruits and Veggies Lasting 3 Weeks:
Fruits and Veggies Lasting 4 Weeks:
- Citrus fruit (Grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes)
- Sweet Potatoes
The idea behind this is like last week, PLAN! It’s so important that you plan what you eat according to what is going to go bad first.
I’m not going to plan to eat salad on week 4. Salads will be eaten up on weeks 1 and 2. Weeks 3 and 4 are meant for frozen and canned fruits and veggies, plus the ones that haven’t gone bad.
Sometimes, you might not be able to go through some fresh ingredients before they go bad. That is when your freezer is your best friend. Mostly everything can be blanched (half way cooked) and frozen for later use.
For every shopping trip including the last one, at the top of my grocery list I have written the date, SEPTEMBER 14TH. That was a reminder to myself that every time I went to buy anything it had to be dated for after that day!
Lunch meat? Check out the dates. At Walmart, for $5 (a two pack) the meat is always dated after when I need it.
Milk? We drink Natrel and 9 times out of 10 is dated for when we need it. When it’s not? We will still avoid going to the grocery store. Instead, we’ll pick up what we need at the corner store. Is it more expensive there? Usually. But, I know that if I step into a grocery store I will buy something else besides milk.
Bread? Did you know that the date listed on your bread is only for it’s shelf life in open air? In the fridge, your bread lasts 3x as long! So, once a month I buy 5 loaves of bread and keep them all in our extra fridge! They last.
Other dairy? Cream cheese has great shelf life! As does sour cream! Just make sure to check the dates! You won’t want to mindlessly throw any products in your cart before checking the date first. We buy 2 long packs each of cheddar and mozzarella cheese to last us the month. They ALWAYS last. We will go through them both no problem in 4 weeks and they do not go bad before the end of our meal plan.
Finally, remember, the freezer is your best friend.
Freeze tortilla wraps for lunches, snacks and future suppers (can you say Fajita’s? Yum!).
Freeze butter to keep it fresh!
Produce that is on sale? Buy bulk and freeze it! The other day a whole bag of onions and carrots were on sale for $1 each! So I bought 2! One to have fresh during the month. The bag of carrots I peeled, chopped, blanched and froze. The onion? I diced and froze! Ready to throw into meals!
It probably sounds like a lot of work. Honestly, it’s not. A little extra planning and prepping can go a long way! I don’t know about you but the time after work seems to fly by because there is always so much to do! Now that I am able to prepare for our meals before hand it takes away that stress and extra time. Time is the important part!
Check out grocery savings part 3 next week for more money saving tips and a special recipe!
Hope you have a great weekend!