Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

Do you ever find yourself looking for ways to cut expenses, especially the grocery expense? With grocery prices on the rise and feeding a family of seven, I find myself looking for ways to cut costs but not at the expense of my family's eating habits. My dh has always been a meat and potatoes type guy and the rest of the family has seemingly followed suit. So it is difficult for me to make up a casserole with a bunch of veggies and very little meat because I know that it will not get eaten with a gusto. Matter of fact, I am pretty sure that my family would rather go hungry than eat the casserole.

So I have looked for other ways to stretch my groceries. One way in particular is that I do stretch is with the meat that we use. My family only likes white meat chicken, so I buy what will get eaten so there is no waste and purchase boneless, skinless chicken breasts in bulk at Sam's Club or if they are sale at the local grocery store for under $2 per pound. When I get it home, I take the time to divide the packages into meal size portions for my family. I find that the chicken breasts are usually pretty thick and slice them longwise("butterfly cut"), so it looks like I have now two pieces of meat rather than just one thick piece. When I do this I can take 3 chicken breasts and make into 6 breasts, hence stretching the meat for a meal for my family.

As for pork, I usually will buy a half pork loin from the grocery store when they are under $2 per pound. I will bring it home and slice it into pork chops and a pork roast, then place it my freezer for meals. If I don't get a pork loin then I will get pork loin chops at Sam's Club. The butchers there always slice the chops thick! So when I get them home, I take the time to slice them in half, so instead of a 9 count thick cut pack I end up with an 18 count pack and that will make 2 meals for my family instead of just one!

As for ground beef, I just buy that in bulk at Sam's Club. My last Sam's shopping trip, I was able to find some ground chuck for $1.66 per pound due to it being on "reduced for quick sale" rack. I just bring it home and either shape it into patties to freeze right away or I cook it up and divide it into 1 to 1 1/2 pound containers to use in things like chili, spaghetti, goulash, sloppy joes or hamburger gravy. When I cook the burger patties they always end up too thick for my younger ones, so I will slice one in half the long wise so it is thin burger(think fast food burger) for my youngers to have a bun. This translates into me having leftovers(for at least 2 of my crew) from my homemade burger meal.

Oh and just so you know, I still do those casserole type dishes to help stretch but they are not an every day or even every week type dish at my house. :-)

So what creative ways do you cut your grocery costs?

So there you have my kitchen tip! For more tips, head over to Tammy's for Kitchen Tip Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

Great idea to slice everything in half! We eat casseroles and soup a lot around our house, but this is a great tip for the true carnivores among us!
Amy @ http://hopeistheword.wordpress.com/2007/12/11/kitchen-tip-tuesday-little-helpers-in-the-kitchen/

Jasmine's Journey said...

Those are some great ideas. I usually just stock up on meat when it is on sale. We have a deep freezer so that helps. By the way there are 7 in my family too! lol