Thursday, July 2, 2009

Food Bill Reducing Tips Thursday

Cook for two. Not for two people (though that's just fine), but for two meals. This post is about stretching your food dollar farther by planning meals in order to make more out of simple ingredients. Take my food shopping this week, for example. I bought 2 chicken breasts, and a pound of salmon (my husband only eats fish, not chicken. I also bought brown rice, bell peppers, a package of beans (on sale - yay!) onions and potatoes.

On Monday, I cooked both the chicken breasts. I took one and shredded it for enchiladas, making one pan chicken and one pan cheese for the hubby. With the other chicken breast, I cubed it and put it in the fridge to be used on Wednesday. Tuesday, I cooked the salmon steaks - 1/2 to be used broiled for dinner, with roasted potatoes and salad, and the other half to be used in a lunch salad for my husband (2 lunches worth). On Wednesday, I put the cubed cooked chicken in a stir-fry with rice, bell peppers and a few other veggies hanging around - carrots, broccoli and celery. I kept some of the stir-fry aside without chicken for the hubby. I again had enough left over for a couple of lunches. For tonight (Thursday), I am using the rest of the potatoes, bell peppers and beans for a mexican dish called Chilaquiles (looove this dish), which also uses tortillas (I cheat and use tortilla chips), cheese, milk and sour cream. I will post the recipe soon. I don't know if I will have any leftovers as my kids devour this every time I make it.
If we plan for several meals at once, we can stretch the grocery dollar considerably. When I was in Vietnam recently, I learned that dishes with meat/fish do not have to focus entirely on the meat. You can have just as wonderful a meal with the bulk of the dish as vegetables and carbs, with meat (if you eat it) as just a small part. This definitely makes the meat budget stretch, and forces you to come up with new ways to try other dishes.

What have you been doing to reduce your grocery bill lately? Share your tips in the comments section.


Angela said...

Can't wait for the chilequiles recipe- it's one of our favorites.

Using just a little meat is one way The Frugal Girl stretches her budget for a family of six. It's satisfying in dishes like tacos and burritos and pastas to use just a bit of meat.

Jill said...

Yes, many people find this has worked for them for quite some time. Not a new idea by far, but sometimes we need little reminders.