Frugal Meal Planning 101 - Page 15 - Mothering Forums

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#421 of 642 Old 03-08-2007, 12:45 AM
 
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I know it's March 7th, but I'm slow so I never got my total up...

I spent $310 last month for DH, myself, and a 5 year old who eats as much as I do. I know it's not a bad amount, but that's not including eating out, which is probably another $75 or $80, sigh... We never used to eat out, but these days it's so hard to resist (especially Chinese food, because it's next to impossible to recreate at home)! DS2 is clingy (maybe teething) and doesn't sleep well, so I'm exhausted and often don't feel like cooking... The money alone used to be reason enough for me to not want to eat out, but lately it's not enough.

Got any tricks to resist the urge? I think I need to pull my crockpot out and start making soups or something. (But because of the sleepless nights, mornings are almost as bad for getting things done as dinnertime, so I don't know how well that idea would work...)

Anyway, great thread Kathirynne, thank you!
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#422 of 642 Old 03-08-2007, 10:04 AM
 
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Alyssa, I know exactly how you feel. I won't tell you the amount we spent on eating out last year, but it was about as much as our rent...and there were two people and a baby!

I never eat out anymore. I don't feel like cooking a lot. When it comes to anything physical (like, for example, standing up...) I am the laziest human being on the planet. What worked for me was to read The Tightwad Gazette...(sitting down!) Have you checked it out? I only read it for a couple of tips here and there but the effect on me was profound. Once I started caring more about my money and feeling more in control of it, I became the kind of person who really, really doesn't want to waste it. And that keeps me from eating out. I know it sounds hokey, but the book is worth a read...if nothing else, skip to the end and read the letters from readers. I found them very inspiring (though by that point I didn't need any more inspiration!)

On a more practical level, take advantage of the times that you do feel like cooking. Triple your batches, make dual meals from the same base, keep all your leftovers and throw them in a bowl for a new meal the next time you cook. I did this for a month and I hardly needed to cook the next month. Also, the more you do it, the better it feels; and I found myself wanting to cook more just to keep it all flowing!

Good luck!

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#423 of 642 Old 03-08-2007, 10:18 AM
 
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Thankfully I rarely go now as some genius here in the UK created internet grocery shopping. There is a sales page and other discount offers, you can also shop by aisle, they have coupons (many times more than just free delivery), and you choose a delivery date and time YOU want, and when I was preg., they even brought it into my kitchen for me and not just the closest door!!!!! So now my local walmart owned Asda delivers me my food bargains without tears. Woohoo"

I am soooo jealous of this!!!!
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#424 of 642 Old 03-08-2007, 12:34 PM
 
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Eating out is a hard one for us. And next week is spring break, not going anywhere, so we usuall eat out several times!! :

Well, I am ashamed...but here goes. I finally added up my Feb total. Even tho I inventored, and planned. I (we) still spent 767.22, but that is everything, eating out, personal care items, etc.

Soooo, I'm still working on it.
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#425 of 642 Old 03-08-2007, 05:26 PM
 
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Instead of eating out, buy convenience foods at the grocery store. It's still an expenditure, obviously, but it won't be as much as going to a restaurant or getting pizza delivered.

I usually try to keep a frozen pizza, a few chicken pot pies, and some kind of frozen snack in the freezer like french fries. I can usually talk myself into preheating the oven instead of calling Dominoes.

Also, you might want to check out Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals on foodnetwork.com. She does a lot of Chinese inspired dishes, and she always claims she makes them faster than it takes them to deliver it. You'd have to shell out some cash in the beginning to buy some special sauces but a lot of those last for a very long time.
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#426 of 642 Old 03-08-2007, 06:07 PM
 
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Great ideals Rosie. And believe it or not, I'm very well stocked on a lot of those things! I should get the kids to menu plan for spring breat.
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#427 of 642 Old 03-09-2007, 06:23 PM
 
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Checking in ....

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#428 of 642 Old 03-10-2007, 02:13 PM
 
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:

Eating out is a hard one for us. And next week is spring break, not going anywhere, so we usuall eat out several times!! :

Well, I am ashamed...but here goes. I finally added up my Feb total. Even tho I inventored, and planned. I (we) still spent 767.22, but that is everything, eating out, personal care items, etc.

Soooo, I'm still working on it.
That's about what ours was, too. Not including things that we have been needing and waiting for the tax returns...

It's so depressing. And already for March we have spent $250 just at the grocery store! And I was being cheap!

AP Mom to 5 knit.gifhomeschool.giftoddler.gif
 
  

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#429 of 642 Old 03-15-2007, 11:38 PM
 
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I've got to get back on the program here. I just totalled up my grocery bills for March, now that we're halfway through the month, and here I am: $423. And my goal for the whole month was $440. I don't see feeding a family of four on $17 for the rest of the month no matter how much "shopping at home" I do! Argh . . .

How's everybody else doing? Are we done with assignments?
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#430 of 642 Old 03-16-2007, 11:21 AM
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I just posted in another thread about how I've been doing. While I spent a lot in February, I'm making up for it in March. My average for the 2 months comes out to be about $450/month to feed a family of 5. I will have to start April off with a pretty big shop, but I have found some fabulous prices on chicken at Aldi. They have leg/thigh quarters for $.57/pound, and boneless, skinless breast for $2/pound, whole chickens for $.65/pound, and ground turkey for $.69/pound!

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#431 of 642 Old 03-16-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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Can we have a new assignment please...Im desperate:

I go to church with kathirynne IRL, and she's been off-line lately, because she's dealing with a really serious diagnoses from her doctor. (I'll let her tell you about it when she comes back....)

As far as assignments, I have just been starting at the beginning every time I need to plan my menues again. (Not redoing my inventory completely, just updating it to reflect things that I've bought, and things that I've used.)

Once I was successful with meal planning for one week, I tried doing it for two weeks at a go. This month I will try for three weeks at a stretch, with a view toward only shopping ONCE in April, if that. (I have challenged myself to not spend anything at all in April - even for groceries.)

I've also been attempting to create "home-made versions" of convenience food, with varying degrees of success... (My bread is really good now, though, and I never would have attempted to master bread making without this thread.)
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#432 of 642 Old 03-16-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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I go to church with kathirynne IRL, and she's been off-line lately, because she's dealing with a really serious diagnoses from her doctor. (I'll let her tell you about it when she comes back....)
Can you let her know there's some ***good vibes --hoping for the best*** coming her way from one of her frugal followers
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#433 of 642 Old 03-16-2007, 05:41 PM
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Can you let her know there's some ***good vibes --hoping for the best*** coming her way from one of her frugal followers
:

Health and healing thoughts coming at her.

Mama to: Katie, Emily , and Abby
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#434 of 642 Old 03-17-2007, 12:49 AM
 
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kathirynne, wishing you well!
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#435 of 642 Old 03-28-2007, 11:43 PM
 
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#436 of 642 Old 03-29-2007, 04:17 PM
 
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I go to church with kathirynne IRL, and she's been off-line lately, because she's dealing with a really serious diagnoses from her doctor. (I'll let her tell you about it when she comes back....)
Thank you for letting us know

: for kathirynne

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#437 of 642 Old 04-03-2007, 11:40 PM
 
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I want to join! Our major expenditure is groceries! How do you guys start?

I am sorry to hear about kathirynne, sending prayers.
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#438 of 642 Old 04-04-2007, 12:30 PM
 
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I want to join!...How do you guys start?

Just go to the first post in this thread and start with assignment #1.
Feel free to post questions, and we'll try to help!
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#439 of 642 Old 04-04-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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thanks! I have already printed off my menu planner (april) and inventory sheets, then what? Do we wait for the assignments weekly?
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#440 of 642 Old 04-06-2007, 03:52 PM
 
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Just scroll through the thread; the assignments are numbered.
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#441 of 642 Old 04-24-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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I haven't read all the replies, but am wondering if anyone else here is trying to do this with food allergies? Vegan, gluten free, and no soy. I think that's all.
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#442 of 642 Old 04-27-2007, 01:59 AM
 
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I haven't read all the replies, but am wondering if anyone else here is trying to do this with food allergies? Vegan, gluten free, and no soy. I think that's all.
I'm still trying to catch up with this thread - but we are trying hard to tweak our grocery bills with a vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free diet!
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#443 of 642 Old 04-27-2007, 12:23 PM
 
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We're vegan and low soy (occasional tofu), and this thread is working wonders for me.

The whole point of the thread is to learn to better plan your menus, and then shop mindfully.

kathirynne (the OP) said in one of her posts something to the effect of not everyone is going to be able to spend ony $200 per month. (I know that she gardens, and preserves surplus food in the summer. This alone lowers her average monthly grocery bill considerably, but not all of us can - or want to - do that...)
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#444 of 642 Old 04-30-2007, 10:53 PM
 
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Well, I have finished all 23 pages!!! I've inventoried, planned menus, come up with three convenience foods to replace, and started a price comparison book. Whoosh. Tomorrow starts a new month. Our grocery bills have been outrageous, so I am really going to be frugal this month! April was our month to not eat out, and we ended up eating out only once - that was a HUGE savings! Anyone still doing this, or is this thread officially dead?
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#445 of 642 Old 05-01-2007, 01:02 AM
 
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I'm still doing it. Desperately trying to get our grocery bill down to $500 or less a month for our family of four. I did it in February, but in March it was up to $700, and for April it's $580. I'm not shopping at home enough.

I'd love it if this thread came back alive.
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#446 of 642 Old 05-01-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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Oooh I'm going to have to sub to this - and go back and read everything when I get some downtime tomorrow
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#447 of 642 Old 05-01-2007, 12:24 PM
 
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I'm still doing it. Desperately trying to get our grocery bill down to $500 or less a month for our family of four. I did it in February, but in March it was up to $700, and for April it's $580. I'm not shopping at home enough.

I'd love it if this thread came back alive.
You did great in April! My goal is $700 for this month which would be $400 less than last month. I'd like to get it lower - we'll just have to see - take it month by month. Our big expense was eating out, which we managed to get until control last month. Let's keep it alive! The convenience foods I'm working on are
1) granola: I used to make my own granola, but then we went gluten free, and I have to change my recipe. I know I have some in the house, I just have to find them or make my own.
2) juice: orange juice in particular. No more buying the big jugs of juice - I need to stick to frozen, especially since I can buy the six pack of frozen oj from Costco for something like $.88 a can.
3) uh-oh - I can't remember right now. I've got it written down somewhere.
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#448 of 642 Old 05-01-2007, 01:00 PM
 
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I haven't read all the replies, but am wondering if anyone else here is trying to do this with food allergies? Vegan, gluten free, and no soy. I think that's all.
We have a bunch of allergies.

It works best when I remember to buy whole foods that are less expensive.

For instance a meal with brown rice in it is more affordable than a meal with brown rice pasta, KWIM?

But we don't want to get bored.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#449 of 642 Old 05-01-2007, 03:53 PM
 
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Okay, I have assignment #1 done and I'll do assignments 2 and 3 today! I'm only on page 9 in this thread. LOL
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#450 of 642 Old 05-02-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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This is the perfect time for me to start this. I have read through pages 9 and have started my grocery list. I was going to go to Costo on Friday. I'll print out the inventory list today and plan my meals before Friday.

For the convience food, I would like to make my own crackers, pasta sauces, and make my own bread and waffles. I would also like to make my own granola bars. The kids have to finish the ones we have though.

We have already worked on not eating out as much, really only do on the weekends.

We are a family of 5 and look foward to cutting our food bill. DH and I are also trying to loose some weight, so this will help with that as well.
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