Frugal Meal Planning 101 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, has everyone finished inventorying their groceries? Did you find things that you can't remember buying, and don't know why you bought them? Did you throw lots of things in the trash?


That's money you've just binned, by the way. When we make impulse purchases that don't get used, or we shop mindlessly, without consideration of what is already in our pantries, we waste money.


The next assignment is more complex than the first one. We're going to write a one-week meal plan.

Gather your inventory lists, your calendar, your favourite recipes, a notebook and a pen.

Bearing in mind your schedule for the week, plan menues for the next 7 days, using what is on your inventory list. (If you're truely new to this, it might be a good idea to plan just 3 menues - for the rest of January - and then plan for the first week in February on Wednesday, after the sale flyers have come out in the newspaper.)

Try to use up some of those "mysterious" purchases. Plan your menues around recipes that use only what you already have on hand - IOW, make a plan that does not require you to spend any money at the grocery. (If this is impossible, at least try to use recipes that call for only one or two things from the store. If these items are on sale, more's the better! Add those things to your shopping list, and then DO.NOT.DEVIATE from the list when shopping. This is very important. A list does you no good if it's incomplete, or you don't adhere to it!)

If your cookery books fail you, there are thousands of recipes at www.allrecipes.com. (They even have an ingrediant search option, so that you can find recipes that call for the things you have on hand.)

My Sample Menues (we are dairy-free vegetarians, btw)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Breakfast

Homemade granola with soy milk (dried fruit in the granola) or
Oatmeal porridge with soy milk or
Homemade (toasted) bread with EarthBalance spread and homemade jam

Calcium-fortified orange juice


Lunch

Leftovers from previous dinner (Mum chooses this option more often than the kids do.) or
Peanut butter and homemade jam on homemade bread or
Egg salad on homemade bread

Carrot sticks

Piece of seasonal fruit

Fruit tea sweetened with honey


After-school snack

Homemade muffins or
Homemade tea bread

Soft boiled eggs

Home-bottled fruit

Fruit tea sweetened with honey


Dinner

Stir-fry, casserole, soup/stew or savory pie of some sort (these generally include a protien source, heaps of veggies, and a grain source.)

Side of veggies, fruit, pasta or rice (depending what the above item is)

Homemade bread of some sort (muffins, biscuits, Yorkshire puddings, cornbread, rolls, et cetera.)

Water with citrus or cucumber slices to drink

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, it is very simple food (some might even say boring), but, at the risk of sounding ill-mannered, the bottom line is this:

Everything we eat turns into poo in the end...assuming nutritional needs are met, it's a matter of deciding how much money you want to (literally) flush down the toilet.

Visit www.evolutiontosimplicity.blogspot.com to follow my epic saga of single mummahood....

 

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#62 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 01:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nankay View Post
A full sheet to inventory my fridge and pantry??! I could probably use a Post-It.
Me too

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#63 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 03:28 PM
 
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Eeek. Planning a menu. This is where I always fall down.

I did throw away quite a bit. My freezer is now ready and waiting for new goodies and my fridge is up to date and I got rid of the old stale items in my pantry.

Do you think those 3 cans of tuna from 2004 are still good?

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#64 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 04:04 PM
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subbing and thanks!
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#65 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 04:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathirynne View Post

Yes, it is very simple food (some might even say boring), but, at the risk of sounding ill-mannered, the bottom line is this:

Everything we eat turns into poo in the end...assuming nutritional needs are met, it's a matter of deciding how much money you want to (literally) flush down the toilet.
:

I like your meal ideas, though it is very similar to what we eat around here.

Are we sharing our menus here or just keeping it to ourselves? BTW, there is a weekly menu thread on the meal planning board. Here

Catholic Homeschooling mama to DS (6), DD (4), twin DDs (2), DD (7 months), and someone new 7/31/10!
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#66 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I posted my sample menues for those of us who are truely new to meal planning, so that they would have a springboard. (I love the meal planning thread in Nutrition and Good Eating; I would never undermine it here!)

For those of you who used Post-Its to inventory your pantry , still try to plan your menues around what you have on hand. You'll just probably have a longer grocery list than people who had larger inventories.

Visit www.evolutiontosimplicity.blogspot.com to follow my epic saga of single mummahood....

 

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#67 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 06:22 PM
 
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Post-it note pantry inventory?! We've got several pages (granted we have very little meat, so much is on the last column - including 6 types of vinegar!), and that's not including the other 8 or so pages for the fridge and freezer! I am sooooooooooo...disorganized that after spending a LONG TIME doing the pantry inventory last night...I couldn't find it this morning...and had to re-do it. Luckily I had organized the shelves and put all FOUR cans of cranberry sauce (!) on one shelf, among other things, so it only took 10 minutes...
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#68 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 06:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kathirynne View Post

Everything we eat turns into poo in the end...assuming nutritional needs are met, it's a matter of deciding how much money you want to (literally) flush down the toilet.
now have a new mantra when my cooking doesnt turn out as I planned

I usually plan out our dinners before I grocery shop so I wasnt expecting to be able to make up much of a menu from my pantry. But boy was I totally impressed when I planned out our meals and discovered the only things I need to pick up at the store this week are milk, fruit, vinegar, veggies & greens. Thats it Im off to go shoppin
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#69 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 06:38 PM
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Oooh!!! I'm so excited!! I just finished writing my inventories, and found a lot more meat than I thought we had. Yes, I did throw a lot out, and was irritated about throwing that money away.

Oh, but the good news is that I have already made my menu for the week!!! It's in the other thread about menu planning. And it is all out of stuff that has been hiding in my fridge/freezer/pantry!

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#70 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kewb View Post
Do you think those 3 cans of tuna from 2004 are still good?
Seriously... I have read time and time again that canned items are good indefinitely as long as the cans are not damaged or bulging. I wouldn't go THAT far, but they do last long past the date on the can. That is for MAXIMUM freshness.

This website says that unopened, undamaged cans of tuna should be good for 4 - 6 years.
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#71 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 07:25 PM
 
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Well, they are not bulging or showing any signs of being damaged. Maybe I will be brave and open a can this week. Thanks for the info.

As you can see, we are not big canned tuna eaters. I don't think I've purchased tuna since I bought those 3.

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#72 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 09:45 PM
 
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Breakfast/Lunch sides/Snacks(in order of stuff that needs to get eaten):Strawberries, Orange slices, Yogurt, carrot sticks w/dip, cheese cubes, fruit sauce, pretzles, peanutbutter & crackers
I will usually eat leftovers for lunch.

Tuesday
Breakfast-pancakes
Lunch-turkey sandwiches
Dinner-Talapia w/yellow rice and veggies(whatevers in the fridge still)

Wednesday
Breakfast-Bannana Muffins
Lunch-Turkey sandwiches
Dinner-Baked Pene w/ cheese and veggies (rest of whatevers in fridge) and garlic bread

Thursday
Breakfast-Bannana Muffins
Lunch-PB&J
Dinner-Chicken Jambalya w/ corn on the cob and garlic bread

Friday
Breakfast-Boiled Egg
Lunch-PB&J
Dinner-BBQ Chicken Sandwiches w/ corn on the cob and green beans

Saturday
Breakfast-Boiled Egg
Lunch-Leftovers

Shopping List
Bread
Parmasean Cheese
Milk
eggs
1-3 tomatoes
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#73 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 10:08 PM
 
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Here is my attempt.

Tuesday:
Breakfast: cereal & fruit
Lunch: Ham & Cheese sandwhiches
Dinner: Leg of Lamb w/steamed broccoli

Wednesday:
Breakfast: Cereal & fruit
Lunch: Leftover Leg of Lamb sandwhiches
Dinner: Corn Chowder & Salad

Thursday:
Breakfast: cereal and fruit
Lunch: Turkey and cheese sandwhiches
Dinner: Spaghetti and some leftover lamb.

Friday:
Breakfast: cereal and fruit
Lunch: Turkey & cheese sandwhiches
Dinner: Orange roughy and steamed carrots and sugar snap peas

Saturday:
Breakfast: Cereal and fruit
Lunch: Leftover corn chowder
Dinner: The in-laws are coming so we are going out to dinner

Sunday:
Breakfast: cereal and fruit
Lunch: Ham & lentil stew
Dinner: Artichoke lasagne & salad

Grocery List:
Milk

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#74 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 10:10 PM
 
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[QUOTE=kathirynne;
Everything we eat turns into poo in the end...assuming nutritional needs are met, it's a matter of deciding how much money you want to (literally) flush down the toilet.[/QUOTE]


I think I'm going to post this on my fridge
I'm also going to do my inventory tomorrow, I just now saw this thread so I'll just jump in.
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#75 of 642 Old 01-29-2007, 10:58 PM
 
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Lovely ideas, all! Thank you!

DS born 4 May 2013.
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#76 of 642 Old 01-30-2007, 12:56 AM
 
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I'm in too...
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#77 of 642 Old 01-30-2007, 11:28 AM
 
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I'm working on my menu (only Tuesday!!)

But so far we are still eating leftovers from the weekend!! Which meal plan should we post to?? The weekly one, or is there a frugle one?? I missed it.

Thanks Kathinynne for doing this.
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#78 of 642 Old 01-30-2007, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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...Which meal plan should we post to?? The weekly one, or is there a frugle one?? I missed it.

You can post your menu plan in the weekly menu plan thread, or here (or not at all. )

Visit www.evolutiontosimplicity.blogspot.com to follow my epic saga of single mummahood....

 

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#79 of 642 Old 01-30-2007, 01:18 PM
 
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Alright......dh just went shopping last night. Bless his heart, he tries.....but I now have over $300 of mostly convience foods!

He does not understand cooking from scratch, shopping with a list or using recipes.

Cooking comes VERY easy for him. He just throws stuff together. So....I think the convience foods are for me, though he knows I do not want to use them. I guess since I am lazy in the kitchen, he just wants to make sure their are options

So.......frugal won't totally happen, but I am going to see how far I can stretch what is here. Then maybe take over shopping

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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#80 of 642 Old 01-30-2007, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
Alright......dh just went shopping last night. Bless his heart, he tries.....but I now have over $300 of mostly convience foods!

He does not understand cooking from scratch, shopping with a list or using recipes.
This is not a significant setback. (Actually, the convenience foods mean that now you're ahead of the game for assignment #3. )

Just add what he bought to your inventory lists, and plan as many menues around it as possible. Then you won't have to go to the store again for a while.

Visit www.evolutiontosimplicity.blogspot.com to follow my epic saga of single mummahood....

 

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#81 of 642 Old 01-30-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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Subbing....will take inventory today, start meal planning tonight.
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#82 of 642 Old 01-30-2007, 03:09 PM
 
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So, we have quite a pantry stock, but it is all baking goods. I bake like a mad woman. I was going to go shopping today but for some reason Dh wasn't paid today as usual...My list for this week was short until dh added about $50 worth of his convenience stuff and expensive meats.

Every day I add a canned veg. and some fruit to lunch and some more fruit and nuts as snack. And we eat oatmeal or toast for breakfast.

Tuesday (1/30):
L: scavenge
D:spaghetti with homemade bread

Wednesday:
L:
D: bean burritos with nacho dip (Vegan lunch box-have all the stuff, I think)
brownies

Thursday:
L: Creamed tuna and peas on egg noodles
D: Vegetable pot pie

Friday:
L: Left overs (LO)
D: Cincinnati veg. Chili with spaghetti

Saturday:
L: LO
D: Pizza (homemade)

Sunday:
L: LO
D: Oatmeal pancakes, sweet potatoes, fruit

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#83 of 642 Old 01-30-2007, 03:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dnw826 View Post
Sunday:
L: LO
D: Oatmeal pancakes, sweet potatoes, fruit
Oatmeal pancakes? I'm intrigued... I've got oatmeal aplenty...

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#84 of 642 Old 01-30-2007, 03:53 PM
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Well, I did a little bit of adjusting of my menu because I had extra hamburger meat that needs to be used up, and I had more than enough from Saturday's meal to last for Sunday.

Sat:
Meatballs w/noodles & alfredo sauce and homemade bread
Peas (I might mix those in with the meatballs, noodles and sauce

Sun:
Leftovers from Sat.

Mon:
Hamburgers w/homemade buns
baked potatoes
carrots

Tues:
Turkey chili
homemade bread

Wed:
Leftover Stew

Thurs:
Leftover chili

Fri:
Hamburgers

Sat:
Cornflake Chicken
Homemade biscuits

Sun:
Leftovers from Saturday

Mama to: Katie, Emily , and Abby
Not perfect, Just amazing!
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#85 of 642 Old 01-30-2007, 04:30 PM
 
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Thanks OP I needed to do this and just had no ideas on how to start a list this is a big help I already do the meal planning for a week and post it on the fridge this is going to be a big money saver
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#86 of 642 Old 01-30-2007, 05:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lmonter View Post
Oatmeal pancakes? I'm intrigued... I've got oatmeal aplenty...
For some reason, I have tons of recipes for it. I think this one is Mr.Breakfast, http://www.mrbreakfast.com/display.a...4&recipeid=859

I have 4 kinds of oatmeal that need to be used, too!

These look good, too:
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/oatmeal...es/detail.aspx
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/oatmeal...ail.aspx?rss=6

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#87 of 642 Old 01-31-2007, 12:12 AM
 
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off to inventory
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#88 of 642 Old 01-31-2007, 12:52 AM
 
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subbing
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#89 of 642 Old 01-31-2007, 01:38 AM
 
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I'm still in - my meals were planned for the week, but I had to change them based on dd's allergic reactions. I haven't gotten to the other thread this week yet, so I'll put this here. For the rest of the week I have:

Wednesday - Sauerkraut-stuffed pork roast (slow cooker)
Thursday - Eggplant burgers
Friday - Leftovers (options: coconut-green curry soup, baked ziti, pasta primavera)
Saturday - Ham and Asparagus Quiche

I plan next week's meals on Friday, and will be working from my inventory list! Thank you!

Jude
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#90 of 642 Old 01-31-2007, 04:16 AM
 
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Wow! I can't believe how much food we have! Our storage space seems so small, but the list was a lot longer then I thought it would be! Now I've just got to menu plan off of it! Thanks so much for starting this thread!

Happily married, Waldorf-inspired homeschooler to Kylan (8yo), Everest (6yo), and Bodhi (2yo)
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