Monday, September 3, 2012

Saving Time & Money

Lately I have been working very hard to make the most of the groceries we buy. 

For us, this means 4 things: 
1.Saving Money
2.Saving Time
3.Eating Healthier
4. Enjoying Our Food

Freezer Meals
I work 4 10 hour days each week. It means an extra day off each week, but it also means that I get off later and I don't have a lot of time to get dinner together. I had been seeing the "Freezer Meal" plans on Pinterest and I thought I would give it a try. :) I've made freezer meals three times now and so far we have really enjoyed it. So far there has only been one recipe I made that we didn't like.

If you Google freezer recipes or search for them on Pinterest you will find that this is a trend right now. You can find lots of recipes that are good for freezing. 

Most of the meals involve partially cooking or prepping food and then putting it in sealed containers to freeze. It's obviously impotant to label, date and write finishing directions on each meal. When you are ready to eat the meal just follow the pre planned directions. Some meals cook in the crock pot, others are thawed and then baked, and I've even done a few soups that I reheated on the stove. 

I've found that you can easily tweak most recipes you have to make them freezable which makes for many more options! 

Snack Options
The other big change that we have made is that we buy a lot less per-packaged snacks. Unless the price per individual snack sized item is LESS then buying the big bag we have been trying not to buy it; Instead we are making our own "snack packs". I buy the cheapest of cheap ziplock bags (or for some things, even plastic wrap and separate the large bags or boxes into snack size packs. We make some for a snack bowl & another that goes in the fridge. Not all of them serve as snacks, some are just small portions of a larger item. 

  • cheese slices from a block of cheese
  • crackers
  • graham crackers
  • marshmellows & chocolate chips
  • dry cereal
  • baked cookies, wrapped in twos
  • grapes
  • carrots
  • celery
  • pretzels
  • chips
  • wheat thins
  • brownies
  •  & so many more!!
For us, its cheaper (or it costs the same) to buy the Kroger brand yogurt and applesauce prepackaged, but both of these things are also sold in a larger container (especially if you prefer a different brand) I suggest buying reusable plastic containers if you plan to separate something like that.

This may not work for everyone but it saves us a considerable amount of money & it makes it much easier to get meals ready or to pack lunches for our days at work. :)
You may also be interested in:
White Chicken Chili
Summer Vegetable Bake
Easy Blueberry Scones
Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

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