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.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

**This is just a plan and plans have the ability to change at the cook's discretion! Last week, I had to do some rearranging of the menu so I am going to try to work in those meals this week. Some of that rearranging was due to dh not being in the mood for what was planned! lol Along with everything else that went on last week, I was able to get to Sam's Club and the grocery store so I have a full freezer and pantry to plan this week's menu. I should be able to get thru the rest of the year with very minimal grocery shopping.

Last week, I posted some baking that I wanted to get done. I got some of the planned baking done, however I ran out of eggs between my baking and my family eating them! So other than Sunday's breakfast, eggs are out the menus this week(or at least til I can make it to the store for more!)

Lunches listed below are for the kids and I, dh's lunches are not included as he normally will just take what leftovers are available.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus, go check others out at Organizing Junkie's site!**


Breakfast: eggs, hashbrowns, pancakes, sausage links and bacon

Lunch:Totino's pizza rolls

Dinner: Wendy's

Snack: sandwiches


Breakfast: cereal, muffins, and go-gurt

Lunch: grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup

Dinner: well I thought I would put a new recipe here, but no new recipe tonight, just some good ol' comfort food....Skillet Chicken & Gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, and biscuits.

Snack: creamy center cupcakes or go-gurt


Breakfast: bagels, and go-gurt

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: kids=chicken nuggets, fries, carrots; dh and I=dh's work Christmas party!!!

Snack: "snack basket"


Breakfast: cereal and toast

Lunch: Lunch out with Grandma!

Dinner: spaghetti and breadsticks

Snack: graham cracker cookies


Breakfast: waffles, sausage and fruit

Lunch: sandwiches and chips

Dinner: Oven Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and rolls

Snack: "snack basket" or go-gurt


Breakfast: cereal and donuts

Lunch: leftovers or sandwiches and chips

Dinner: Saucy Pork Chops, boiled potatoes, peas

Snack: homemade chocolate shakes


Breakfast: "Cook's Choice"

Lunch: ???????(its the weekend, anything goes! LOL)

Dinner: homemade english muffin pizzas (using pizza sauce and pepperoni)

Snack: popcorn

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Singing Sunday

We got our Christmas tree on Friday evening. My house is now decorated for Christmas. So I am getting into the Christmas spirit! So I am posting my favorite traditional Christmas song.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Charles Wesley(1707-1788), 1739

Hark! the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations rise;
Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic host proclaim
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"
Hark! the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of the favored one.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King"

Hail! the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail! the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
born to give them second birth
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King"