Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Terrific Tuesday

Yesterday , we got a lot of work done and I made a pumpkin bread and a slow cooker of soup so that I could bring some to a sick friend via another friend.  One of the ways you can  score big on  saving money is to think outside the box and have food that is not traditionally in the season.  Pumpkin quick bread was two dollars a loaf ( krustez) at Christmas time at Costco. It is 1/2'price at grocery outlet now.  That is cheaper than buying the Pumpkin.  

Sausage bean vegetable soup.  

2 cans diced tomatoes.
2 cans beans of choice
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 pound sausage cooked and defatted.**
4 stalks of chopped celery,sautéed in  olive oil.
3 small carrots, sliced and sautéed in olive oil
Parsley, basil, garlic powder.

Dump in slow cooker.  Cook on low 6-8 hours.  

** I cook meats in batches! usually one kind a week.   Portion control it and freeze.
It saves time, energy, and cuts out waste.  If you buy one meat that is on super sale per week and buy enough that week to feed the family once a week for a month, you can rotate meats and have a variety of foods while maintaining a cheap stock.

I use a matrix to plan meals.  Planning meals makes life easier.  I don't necessarily have a particular meal for a particular day, but I have a plan.   My object os to provide a variety of foods and not eat hamburger seven ways in a week because it was in sale that week.  

2 beef
2 pork or chicken
2 vegetarian ( breakfast for dinner? )
1 fish or shellfish

I get a couple e mails from Betty Crocker every week.  They are full of good ideas for new meals.  Some of them call for  ingredients that are costly, but  I can usually work around them and still get a good tasting new dish.

In case you haven't noticed, I like quick and easy meals.  If I spend more time planning a shopping trip and shopping, and less time cooking, I am money  and time ahead.  I can get two stores taken care of in an  hour or less depending on how far apart they are.  A little planning and matching coupons can be remarkable.  I usually muli task so coupon matchups are a no Brainer.

If you save six dollars a week, you can save over three HUNDRED  dollars a year.  To bill gates, that is probably nothing.  To me, that's an extra retirement check!  

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