Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Grocery Game: Shop Your Pantry

At Cheap and Cheerful, the goal is to spend $100 a week or less on groceries. One easy exercise to increase your grocery savings is to create an entire week's menu based on what you already have in your pantry. As you shop your pantry, your grocery bill goes down as you put to use items you've still got at home from others weeks when you still spent $100 or less at the store. This week, I cut $48 off my usual weekly total. Here's what I already had on hand:
unopened ball of mozzarella cheese
cans of tomato sauce and tomato paste
garlic and other spices
fresh basil and tomatoes from the garden
flour, salt, and yeast
frozen grean beans
refried beans
frozen chicken breasts
BBQ sauce
turkey sausages
hot dog buns
So, I purchased pepperoni, tortillas, cheddar cheese, corn-on-the-cob, apples, bananas, and watermelon. We'll have the following dinners this week: homemade pizzas with various toppings, linguine with pesto and grape tomatoes, grilled sausages, and burritos. We've got some frozen veggies in the freezer to use up and we will also have fruit with our meals. I even stocked up on ziploc bags, Cascade, and got a cake mix and icing for a little celebration on Friday. And I spent only $52 dollars this week at the store! Cha-ching!
Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: Tell us about some meals that you have created as you shopped your pantry!

1 comment:

  1. I would say that shopping for unprocessed foods makes a big difference too. I stock up on staples from my health food store - beans - over 10 kinds, rice, barley, flours, sugars, pastas, hot cereals, yeast. Plus I purchase items that we go through like gangbusters (fruits and some veggies) from CostCo and we have a garden in our back yard. I try to make as many things from scratch as I can - cookies, muffins, pancakes, waffles, bread, sauces (like BBQ or ketchup or cheese sauce (like for mac and cheese), refried beans, salad dressing, ice cream - even my own sausage (patty form, not links).

    When one purchases processed foods, one is usually paying for convenience. But you end up paying extra for extra packaging too.

    It's really not that hard once you get used to it! And you can control what goes into your food and your body, when you make it from scratch. Mainly - less salt, oil, and sugar!

    OK, so to answer your question:

    Chili - especially Cincinnati Style - a fav
    Smoothies (great at bfast when trying to rush out the door)
    Quiche (great for using up leftovers)
    Bread Pudding - Savory and sweet (great for old bread)
    Croutons (old bread again)
    Spaghetti Pie (great for pasta dish leftovers)
    Casserole type dishes (bechamel sauce with leftover pasta, add veggies and cheese and a protein - bake)
    French Toast
    Chilaquiles (stale tortilla chips mixed with cheese, leftover roasted chicken and enchilada sauce served with black beans on the side)

    actually this seems to be turning into a "what to do with leftovers comment"...i think i'll stop now...



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