Saturday, July 31, 2010

So What if?

I should be getting some of tomorrow's dinner prepped. I should be going over the Primary Sharing Time that I am to do tomorrow. I should be ironing white shirts. I should be dusting furniture and vacuuming dusty dog paw printed floors in preparation for our dinner company for tomorrow.

I asked myself the question this afternoon that what if someone didn't like my menu plan for the week. What then? What if you don't like PB&J sandwiches or oatmeal or casseroles? Do your own thing. Believe me, we are as picky as they come over at this house. I couldn't pull off tuna sandwiches for lunch for my family. These are ideas to let you know that it is possible to serve good food within a reasonable budget.

Let me tell you some of my basic rules and strategies when I scour the ads on Wednesday. I stick to the meats on the first page of the store ad. And I stick to the meats that are under $2/lb. Under $1/lb., even better. If you have enough cash reserve during the week to buy family packs of meat, then the price per pound goes down. Read the price stickers closely. Learn how to read then, then teach your kids to read them.

For produce and meat. If, when you get to the store and the item on sale looks crappy, then don't buy it. It's not a good deal if you have to throw it away before you can use it. It's also not a good deal if your family won't eat it. Only buy what your family likes. Produce on the last page or produce page will be the best prices in the store that week. Sometimes frozen or canned is cheaper. Just depends on what your family likes and will eat.

I buy Mayo and condiments around big BBQ and holiday weekend sales. With a coupon you can get mustard free, mayo for $1.50-$2.00 for a quart. If you don't stockpile these items and need them, see the store generic brands like Kroger Value at Fry's and Food Club at Basha's. I don't see a difference in most items that are generic. However, I am a Mayonnaise snob and buy only Kraft.

Get used to buying and eating seasonal produce, it will save you a bunch of money.

Watch "best by" dates and "use by" dates closely. If you stockpile more than you are going to use before an expiration date, it doesn't save you $. Having said that, I use lots of stuff after the expiration date. Don't think any less of me. But I do not use mayo or salad dressings after the exp. date. They get really funky after their exp. date.

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