Saturday, April 11, 2015

S.O.S: Shopping from your own pantry!

This weeks S.O.S (Save our Saturday) post comes from my own predicament. See, I needed to go to the grocery store but I really didn't want to nor did I want to spend a ton. On average our grocery bill for the month is around 700-800 dollars a month. That does not include school lunches (which averages about 75 to 80 bucks a week), but does include household and pet items. I like to experiment with recipes and there are times I do buy ONE ingredient for a recipe that I normally do not. I don't see it as a fault, because it encourages me to find other uses for that ingredient.
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So, I plan a menu around what I already have ~ and then wrote out a list of things I needed to pick up to finish those meals, as well as the few household items I knew couldn't wait until next week's trip.

This past week I really didn't cook a whole lot. I did cook a few meals, we ate leftovers, and we had dinner on the fly during the visitation and funeral. Well, the kids did. The husband and I just haven't had much of an appetite. Surely not what is "normal" but those weeks did indeed help out the grocery budget for this week.

So here are a few of my favorite tips for shopping out of your pantry/freezer. We all really need to do this at least once every month or two to clear out unused items before they go bad.

1. Make a list of meats in your freezer.
2. Make a list of items that you have on hand. (Canned cream soups, veggies, pastas/rice, beans, etc)
3. What complete meals can you put together from both of those lists? Great! List them down.
4. What do you need to complete some meals? Great! Make a grocery list.
5. Don't forget those fresh foods ~ milk/cheese/veggies/eggs.
6. Breakfast for dinner? This is an old tradition that for many has gone to the way side. I know we do not eat breakfast for dinner often, but when we do everyone seems to be happy with it.

Believe it or not I didn't spend a whole lot and we will be eating some pretty tasty meals (2 of which are new) and no one knows that I shopped most of it from home!

Here are our dinners for the next week: (New recipes are marked with * and will be shared soon!)

Sat: Bacon, Spinach & Tomato Tortellini mac-n-cheese* with Red Lobster Biscuits
Sun: Italian Sausage & Kale Minestrone * w/ cornbread
Mon: "Italian Stallion" Breaded Stromboli
Tues: Chicken Teryaki Stir-fry*  w/ rice
Wed: Hot dogs/chili dogs w/ tatertots
Thursday: Enchilada Casserole*  w/ Spanish rice & fiesta corn
Friday: Ham & Cheese Stromboli with chips


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