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Old 04-11-2011, 09:32 PM
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Shopping List Getting the Most out of Your Stockpile With Menu Planning


from my blog post: Getting the Most out of Your Stockpile With Menu Planning

In these financial difficult times, it’s even more prudent and necessary to have some amount of stockpile on hand as you don’t know what next week may bring.

Getting the most from your stockpile though is something that everyone should consider. Having a stockpile or food storage will do you no good if you’re not using it.


I, like many other couponers, have a stockpile of HBA items as well as paper goods such as toilet paper, etc. Using coupons on these items in combination with sales can free up money to apply toward our food bill. Obtaining your food items with coupons is doable as well when combining them with sales. If you want to cut your grocery bill even more, consider gardening whether traditional, raised beds (square foot gardening), or container gardening. Utilize local farmers to buy direct from them when you can… many times cheaper than what the items would cost you in the store and you will be buying fresh and local to boot!


Consider cooking from scratch for healthier and even more money savings too! Convenience meals and mixes are packed full of unhealthy ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. Make your own mixes and more. I love the
Make A Mix Cookbooks.

How many times have you waited until the last minute to start thinking about what you’re going to make for supper? That is a bad plan in itself. You may be out of something, you may not have enough time to defrost something, etc. Plan ahead and take the guesswork out of it with menu planning.


Whether you plan a menu for your family a week at a time, two weeks at a time, or for the whole month.

Here is a set of printable calendars (for 2011). I suggest printing these off one sided blank paper or print them back to back on clean paper and keep them in a household notebook or home management binder, on your fridge with a magnet or any other way to keep up with them that works for you.
Once you have those printed out, it’s time to start filling it in.

Pull your cookbooks, your favorite recipes, and
pantry inventory and sit down with a cool drink a pen or pencil and set to work.

Whether you make a menu up for 3 meals a day or do the menu just for your suppers, you’ll be utilizing your food storage to keep your family fed.
One of the things I do when it comes to menu planning is to have some basic menus to go by. Below is our basic menus that has helped in not only simplifying things but using what we have on hand. That’s not say I don’t keep a running grocery list of basic staple items I need to restock on, etc.

Keep
a grocery list of some sort on the fridge in your home management binder, coupon binder, or somewhere so you can write down on it things that you need to pick up or are low on so you can start watching for a deal on it.

This is
our basic breakfast menu for any given month. We go by whichever week of the month it is and the corresponding day for that week.

WEEK 1
Monday Pancakes

Tuesday Homemade Granola

Wednesday Muffins
Thurs. Oatmeal (baked or regular)
Friday Eggs, Bacon, Hashbrowns, Toast
Saturday Biscuits & Gravy, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon
Sunday Oatmeal (baked or regular)

WEEK 2

Monday Eggs, Bacon, Hashbrowns, Toast
Tuesday Oatmeal (baked or regular)
Wednesday Homemade Granola

Thurs. Muffins
Friday Pancakes
Saturday Biscuits & Gravy, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon
Sunday Oatmeal (baked or regular)

WEEK 3

Monday Muffins
Tuesday Eggs, Bacon, Hashbrowns, Toast
Wednesday Oatmeal (baked or regular)
Thurs. Pancakes
Friday Homemade Granola

Saturday Biscuits & Gravy, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon
Sunday Oatmeal (baked or regular)

WEEK 4

Monday Oatmeal (baked or regular)
Tuesday Muffins
Wednesday Pancakes
Thurs. Eggs, Bacon, Hashbrowns, Toast
Friday Homemade Granola

Saturday Biscuits & Gravy, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon
Sunday Oatmeal (baked or regular)

Some recipe ideas for you:

************************************************** ********
LUNCH MENU


Usually leftovers, sandwiches, or I'll fix us soup.


Ideas:
OAMC (Once A Month Cooking comes in handing for having ready to go lunches on hand.. just heat and eat).

I have made up extra sloppy joe mix for a month and we had sloppy joes.


Make up a casserole that can be popped into the oven for a quick lunch or on a busy supper night.

Here’s a link to my post on OAMC.
oamc - once a month cooking
************************************************** ********
I have a basic Supper menu that I work recipes around.

Monday Beef
Tuesday Pasta
Wednesday Leftovers, Soup, Salad, or Sandwiches (Wed. nights are hectic trying to eat, get out of the house and to church on time)
Thurs. Casserole or Soup Night if we didn't eat soup on Wednesday night.
Friday Family Decision (could be anything)
Saturday Pizza night (homemade as we usually make two 14" or 16” pizzas and it all gets ate)
Sunday Chicken

I then just add in a few complimentary veggies or side dishes and a dessert. Dessert isn't an every night thing here though.

************************************************** ********

I hope that gives you a starting point and some ideas on how to get the most of out of your food storage stockpile.

Zaycon foods sells boxes of chicken, fish, kielbasa, hot dogs, bacon, fruit and more (sales at certain time of year for your area. - Sign up is free to see when the sales are!). Signature and posts may contain affiliate links.

Last edited by Foggy; 04-20-2013 at 04:26 PM..
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:47 PM
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SO MUCH!!

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Old 04-11-2011, 09:49 PM
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Thank you so much for posting this! I have been wanting to branch my stockpile into grocery items but wasn't sure how to get the most out of my money. I am horrible at figuring out where to start and you've given me exactly that! Thank you!
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:53 PM
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Great Post Foggy....

Although it did make me chuckle a tad. You had great advice, most of it I have picked up over the years from various resources etc. I do make a weekly/monthly plan also.



However............the hardest part for ME is the follow through part. ....especially the remembering to defrost the meat part

I think that I am so burnt out from cooking **I've said it before and I'll say it again...I love providing a home cooked meal for my family...just wish I wasn't the one who is always doing it**

Somedays I get so tired from work and running around from place to place with the kids that I despise cooking as soon as I enter the door somedays. I do enjoy cooking on the weekend and will sometimes cook up extra meals for during the week.

I guess my question is how to "maintain" the energy and stamina to follow through on all that great planning???

Anyone have any ideas....

Every penny that I don't spend in the store is another penny for my bank. I want it as FAT as can be. For once......FAT is IN!
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:53 PM
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Thank you for this great post! So helpful!
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:57 PM
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Thank you!! I have been doing a poor job with meal planning.. to say the least! I do well for a couple of weeks then something cuts into the time I have set aside to plan and I never find the time to get it done after that. I like the idea of a monthly plan.. I think I am going to borrow this idea! Setting aside time each week to plan is difficult but once a month I can certainly squeeze in! Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jmartino3 View Post
Thank you!! I have been doing a poor job with meal planning.. to say the least! I do well for a couple of weeks then something cuts into the time I have set aside to plan and I never find the time to get it done after that. I like the idea of a monthly plan.. I think I am going to borrow this idea! Setting aside time each week to plan is difficult but once a month I can certainly squeeze in! Thanks!

DITTO!

Every penny that I don't spend in the store is another penny for my bank. I want it as FAT as can be. For once......FAT is IN!
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by npriester View Post
Great Post Foggy....

Although it did make me chuckle a tad. You had great advice, most of it I have picked up over the years from various resources etc. I do make a weekly/monthly plan also.



However............the hardest part for ME is the follow through part. ....especially the remembering to defrost the meat part

I think that I am so burnt out from cooking **I've said it before and I'll say it again...I love providing a home cooked meal for my family...just wish I wasn't the one who is always doing it**

Somedays I get so tired from work and running around from place to place with the kids that I despise cooking as soon as I enter the door somedays. I do enjoy cooking on the weekend and will sometimes cook up extra meals for during the week.

I guess my question is how to "maintain" the energy and stamina to follow through on all that great planning???

Anyone have any ideas....

I'm burnt out from cooking, too. After work I'm exhausted and I'm helping the kid with her homework and I'm playing keep away from the cats while trying to chop vegetables at the same time.

I do have two suggestions that might help you - 1) Meat defrosting. I won't lie. Sometimes I intentionally "forgot" to defrost the meat before leaving for work so I'd have an excuse not to cook that night So I started incorporating a defrosting plan into my weekly menu:

Monday
Lasagna
Take out Chicken for Tuesday

Tuesday
Chicken Stir Fry
Take out Ground Beef for Wednesday

etc.

With it staring at me, I always remember now. (Unfortunately.)

2) The exhaustion from cooking every night. OY. I only have a family of 3 to feed, so I started incorporating at least 2 items each week that net more than 6 servings, and we have those as leftovers for at least 2 nights. Or I'll double the recipe of a 4 serving menu item and keep the leftovers for the next night. My family knows that if they don't eating leftovers, they can cook dinner instead. This reduced the number of dinner meals needed to 5/week, and I can pick my two busiest nights of the week to use my leftovers.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:17 PM
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Now that I will be able to actually purchase food and freeze it when its on sale I plan on doing more then a week at time menu planning! I've been doing menu planning a week at time based on what I have and meat on sale that I can fit into my tiny little freezer.
The key will be getting the other's in the house to follow it when I am working! (although they are doing much better about eating at home vs eating out this past 6months or so)
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by programMom View Post
I'm burnt out from cooking, too. After work I'm exhausted and I'm helping the kid with her homework and I'm playing keep away from the cats while trying to chop vegetables at the same time.

I do have two suggestions that might help you - 1) Meat defrosting. I won't lie. Sometimes I intentionally "forgot" to defrost the meat before leaving for work so I'd have an excuse not to cook that night So I started incorporating a defrosting plan into my weekly menu:

Monday
Lasagna
Take out Chicken for Tuesday

Tuesday
Chicken Stir Fry
Take out Ground Beef for Wednesday

etc.

With it staring at me, I always remember now. (Unfortunately.)

2) The exhaustion from cooking every night. OY. I only have a family of 3 to feed, so I started incorporating at least 2 items each week that net more than 6 servings, and we have those as leftovers for at least 2 nights. Or I'll double the recipe of a 4 serving menu item and keep the leftovers for the next night. My family knows that if they don't eating leftovers, they can cook dinner instead. This reduced the number of dinner meals needed to 5/week, and I can pick my two busiest nights of the week to use my leftovers.




OK....that part made me My family has caught onto that one as well as my wallet. Neither one of them like it too much

Mind over matter I suppose. I better get my butt in gear cuz my wallet does mind and says it matters



Sorry that you suffer from dinner-itis also....

I hear that the only cure is a personal chef! Which, if I ever won the lotto, would be the first thing I would take care of. Forget Disney World!

Every penny that I don't spend in the store is another penny for my bank. I want it as FAT as can be. For once......FAT is IN!
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