Homemaking 4 My Guys

Thoughts on Homemaking, Saving Money, Faith, Family & A Life Worth Living

Archive for the tag “Meal planning”

Meal Planning

OHRMThis weekend Brenda and I had the honor of spending some time with military wives and soldiers who have been blessed with child at A Star Spangled Baby Shower hosted by https://www.facebook.com/OHRockyMountains.

Brenda and I both have been military wives and know the sacrifice of these wonderful women.  We thank them for their family’s service and sacrifice in defending our freedoms.  We thank you.  I huge thanks to Nina and her staff of volunteers who  made this fun pampering event happen.

Brenda and I talked a bit about some money-saving ideas/tips.  One of the things we shared was regarding making a meal plan each month.  This simply put is making a list of the meals you would like to make for the week, every two weeks or monthly, whatever works best for your family. I did our family’s while on a drive from our community to another one weekend.  Next I got through and list the ingredients I will need to make these meals.  Once that is completed, I cross off any ingredients I already have stocked in the kitchen and freezers.  Lastly I either make a neater list of what is needed at the grocery stores or I can use my crossed out list of needed ingredients.  I personally like to make a new list and categorize them by the store I will purchase them at based on the best value I can get.

We already have the supplies for each meal in-house and can pull whatever is need prior to the day it is prepared.  We have personally learned the value of doubling or tripling a meal our family enjoys.  We do with everything from meatloaf and Salisbury steaks to pasta sauces, chicken pot pies to various casseroles.  With the extras, place in serving size containers or zip lock backs and throw in the freezer.  This is so nice in the weeks to come.  For every time this is done we have two extra meals already made and we can just continue to rotate them through over the next few weeks.

We have learned meal planning saves us time, at the grocery store but also at home because we already have prepped so much of our ingredients.

We definitely save money since we are making fewer trips to the grocery store and therefore not buying as much.  Grocers want in there their stores as often as possible.  Most of us do not  go in and pick up just that loaf of bread or the gallon of milk we need, we usually add extra items to our cart.

The lack of stress is wonderful.  It is so nice to know we have everything we need in-house for whatever we decided to have that night.  If you do some freezer meals or preparatory pieces it is great to be able to pull that and defrost in the fridge and them whip up in a few minutes when it is dinner time.

Meal planning for us has also become a way to combat spending money at the last-minute with eating out or purchasing ready-made meals at the last moment when a day has been extremely busy or stressful.  It has also been a saving grace when Mom goes down sick or has to be out-of-town.

The Mastering-Meal-Planning-class-handout is some wonderful information we had gathered from Kelly over at http://www.thenourishinghome.com.  Check her blog out 🙂

Check out http://www.operationhomefront/rockmountains.net as well.   They are doing some awesome work with our military families.  Consider joining them as a volunteer.  You will be blessed by it.

Have a wonderful week,

Marilyn

 

Budget Saving Tips

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Tips for saving $$$

Make a monthly menu plan.  This is huge, make a list of all ingredients needed, check and see what you have in your home already.  Make a list of the items you do need.  It will blow you mind how much this cuts down on the grocery bill
 
Shop loss leader items
 
Stock up on sales
 
Make your own laundry soap and cleaning products (super easy and cheap!!!)
 
Cook and debone your own chicken breasts in a crock pot.  Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery and whatever herbs you like and make great health stock at the same time
 
Prepare your own mixes: spices, biscuit/Bisquick, muffins, cookie dough, marinara sauce
 
Parboil potatoes, peel and shred then freeze for hash browns
 
Blanch/freeze diced vegetables once a month for economical, fast and healthier options when cooking
 
Buy meats on last sale date, big savings
 
Buy cheese in bulk store, grate in food processor and freeze (much cheaper and healthier than buying pre-shredded)
 
Share a membership to a warehouse store with a friend.  Every membership has two access cards.  Split the cost and reap the savings
Make it a practice to double your recipes and put 1/2 of each in the freezer for another day
 
Get together with some friends and each of you make a few of the same recipe and then swap them out so everyone takes home a few new dishes to try
 
Shred zucchini in the summer and fall months, bag and freeze for making breads, muffins and cakes with in the winter and spring.  Do the same for bananas as the start to brown for same purpose
 
Got picky eaters, cook vegetables and them puree them with the some of the liquid cooked with and pour into ice cube trays. 
 
 
Once froze, place in freezer storage bag.  Add to recipes and your loved ones will be none the wiser but will receive the nutritional value
 
Take chicken broth from cooking chicken in crock pot and place in ice cube trays.  Once froze place in storage bag/container.  You will always have broth at the ready that is health and very low in sodium but high in flavor
 
Make your own baby food, cook fruits, veggies, meals and desserts.  Puree in blender then freezer in ice cube trays.  Store in plastic bags.  Defrost as needed.  Not only is this a cheaper option, your child is developing a taste for the foods your family eats
 
Cook big batches of rice and place in containers and freeze.  You can pull it out and thaw before usage.  A great time saver.  DOES NOT WORK WELL FOR PASTA
 
Precook hamburger with onions, garlic and peppers, then freeze in serving size baggies/containers for quick usage
 
Grow your own vegetables/herbs either in a garden or in containers
 
Turn the heat down when not at home or at night
 
Sign-up for daily updates on free or reduced e-books (if you are a Kindle app reader)
 
Use a crock pot, microwave or grill to cook as much as possible
 
Dry clothes outside on a clothes line whenever weather permits 
 
Your oven and dryer are your two largest electricity consumers  as far as appliances go

 Websites that I frequent or follow, many cover multiple areas listed below:

Recipes/Cooking

http://www.budget101.com

http://www.grocery101.com

http://www.sixsistersstuff.com

wwwfavfamilyrecipes.com

http://www.chocolatechocolateandmore.com

http://www.myrecipemagic.com

 

Frugal Living/Make Your Own

http://www.budget101.com

http://www.theprariehomestead.com

http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com

http://www.thethriftycouple.com

http://www.thehumbledhomemaker.com

http://www.staceymakescents.com

http://www.passionatepennypincher.com

 

Christian Living/Wife/Mom Stuff

http://www.timewarpwife.com

http://www.thehumbledhomemaker.com

http://www.unveiledwife.com

http://www.club31women.com

http://www.homewiththeboys.net

http://www.mobsociety.com

http://www.thebettermom.com

 

Free Educational/Homeschool Stuff

http://www.freehomeschooldeals.com

http://www.smartappsforkids.com

 

Christian E-books

http://www.gospelbooks.com

http://www.vesselproject.com

http://www.christianbook.com/page/ebooks/free-ebooks?view_all=1

 

My contact info  

Website:  www.homemaking4myguys.wordpress.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/homemaking4myguys

Pinterest:  www.pinterst.com/homekaking4myguys

Email: homemkaing4myguys@yahoo.com

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions I can address or research for you 🙂

Blessings, Marilyn

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