Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thanks for your 2 cents!

I really appreciate all the helpful comments you all gave me on cheap food! By all means, you don't have to stop the suggestions, but I wanted to post again and let you know a couple of things I am implementing in order to take those "2 cents" to the bank! :)

#1 -- today is Aldi shopping day. Praise the Lord I have a half day this week because I'm working on Saturday, otherwise going to Aldi is an evening totally gone, and I just don't have any of those left over! Our Aldis in L-ville are pretty spread out, not anywhere near the ritzy-ish neighborhood the campus is in, so I really want to go when I have time.

#2 -- meal planning for 2 weeks! I have NEVER done this. Not completely. After about 10 meals, I get tired of trying to think of things, and I just think "and then I'm sure something will come up that I can use". Great strategy, right? :) I've got a shopping list made from a FULL 2 weeks of 21 meals a week, all to be bought at Aldi. We're going to see if we can make it work. This is my trial run. I tried to think of meals that overlap ingredients (drawing from the once-a-month cooking stints that we did when I was a teenager and my mom had babies).

#3 -- a baking/cooking day. I've decided to block out a Saturday in the near future and just dedicate it to making stuff to put in the freezer. So many of you suggested soup, so I'm pretty sure I'll be fixing a soup to freeze, as well as pizza dough for calzones, and biscuits (2 new things for me!).

#4 -- the great pop debate. . . this is still being tabled. Josh and I LOVE pop (or soda, or whatever you call it). We haven't been buying it as much lately, but I know Josh especially misses taking it in his lunches. Around here we can never find the kind of pop sales they have in northern Ohio, so it's either drop $5 on a 12 pack, or skip the pop. We try to do 2 liters, but it's still not cheap. So we're thinking about counting pop as part of our "entertainment" budget! Is that crazy? Haha!


Mandy said...

I am so with you on the pop thing! It truly KILLS me to buy it, but I do! 2 liters are definitely NOT comparable. I have thought about trying to cut back, but just the thought sends me into panic.

Ok here's my cheap meal...

1 box mac n cheese (cheap kind)
1 can tuna
1/2 can cream of mush
1/2 can of peas

cook the mac completely, add the other ingredients and heat it for a minute ot two. Its really fast and easy! And SURPRISINLGY tasty. : )

Gretchen said...

Mandy! That sound yummy! Thanks for the cheap meal tip! I think we're just going to have to go ahead and BUY pop but maybe pace ourselves with how much we drink. SOME is better than none, right? You know I can down half a 12 pack on a hot afternoon! Haha! :)

jillybean said...

Wish I had thought of this before you made your Aldi's run today, but tonight I made a really tasty meatless meal just by chance. At Aldi's they sell the frozen cheese ravioli. I had a partial bag of that and a partial jar of Aldi's spaghetti sauce, a can of mushrooms, and a box of frozen spinach (which unfortunately Aldi's doesn't sell). Anyway, I made my spaghetti sauce just like I always do - diced onion, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, then added the frozen spinach and mushrooms. just kind of let the spinach thaw and cook down before I poured in the sauce. Boiled my ravioli. and there it was, a super yummy pasta dish. I'd never tried the spinach with spaghetti sauce before. The great thing about the ravioli is that you can just pull out what you'll eat for that meal and then you don't have to fool with leftovers -unless you want to. :)

We don't have very many meatless dishes, but I thought of you right away with this one.

Tina and Todd said...

As for food deals - I don't have a lot of suggestions as we try to eat organic and that is pricey. But we eat a lot of salads which helps save $.As far a soda-maybe you could substitute with lemonade - not the same I know. Hubby loves soda(I am a water drinker)- so we have it too, but try to limit to special occasions:) Hope you are well!

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing thinking about this.....guess what WE did to save money>??? hahaha we bought a cow, and it is in the freezer. I didn't know if that's something you wanted to do. !!! ha... I'm glad I didn't know the cow. . .:( I find that buying pop is cheaper if you do the 24 pack. Unfortunately not sure where you'd put it! But it's usually only about 2 dollars more for the 24 pack than the stupid $5 12 pack. >:( and NEVER is diet coke on sale when I go to the grocery.


Sizzledowski said...

I can only dream to be at your level of awesomeness.

Sarah said...

Gret, you need to get your paws on "Quick Cooking" cookbooks from Taste of Home. If I happen to hit Greendale when I am in WI, I will pick one up for you. Those are the main cookbooks I use---they have tons of simple recipes with short lists of ingredients.
I will message you my biscuit recipe on Facebook. It is so easy and so yummy!!!
It is also pretty cheap to buy frozen bread dough (3 loaves for under $3) and you can make stromboli, calzone, bread sticks,and even cinnamon rolls with it! It is my new fave item.
I so miss Aldi's! Canned goods are much more expensive out here unless there is a sale.
Check out my sidebar for Money Saving Mom. She has some great tips and deals, including good tips for Kroger.