7 Days of Meals – Small Bites

The things I cover in this Article are probably a bigger bite than just small, but all helpful when shopping for seven days or more:

I cringe at the thought of meal planning, even the words sound like to much work. Every time I see a plan it’s for a full month. I think who does that and how do u know what you will be hungry for? Not to mention, what if you aren’t the one cooking?  So I’m using our family and starting small. One week at a time. We feed three adults and two male children everyday. Quite typical but two adults work evenings (weekend cooks). While one works days and is the cook most of the weekdays.

Note:GOALS- Since more than one adult cooks, we need to control our spending habits, while being nutritious and conquering our cravings.

My first suggestion make a list of 7 meals your family commonly eats… I chose seven to get from one paycheck to another…stocking will be talked about later on. (You could even do 14 and buy the seven now and a few things for the next seven.) My idea is to have seven dinners, a couple are choose-ables for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast: eggs coffee toast oatmeal maybe pancakes (which may even become a dinner) Lunches/snacks: soups, Ramons, sandwiches, tuna ( again could be a switch up maybe for dinner) for now we won’t give them a day of the week or any label. My kids drink kool-aid and milk besides water, and my hubby likes both occasionally.

Just Seven dinner combos, Why?

Because I need to know what to shop for. If u want spaghetti and don’t have noodles than you can’t have spaghetti.

Because a solid plan keeps you from spending money on foods you either don’t need or can’t afford. we keep to the rules.

*Spaghetti -sausage, sauce, onions, noodles

*Chicken stir fry – chick, stir-fry vegtables, butter, sauce

*SOS- sausage, cream of mushroom,  mash potato,  butter, milk

*Tuna Helper- tuna, milk, butter

*Pork chops/meat – mash potatoes,  butter, milk, veggie

*Pancakes – mix, syrup, choc chips, butter

*Leftovers

NOW MAKE YOUR LIST

Here’s a quick sample of mine.

Milk
Butter
Kool-aid
2 cans Tuna
Mash potatoes
Pork chops/loin
Pancake mix
Pancake Syrup
Choc Chips
2 lbs Sausage
Frozen Veggie
Frozen Stir-fry Veggies
Stir-fry sauce 2 packs
Spaghetti noodles
Spaghetti sauce
Chicken Breast

Shopping Rules

6 Rules for Shopping
Tiffany L at http://lifesabitofeverything.com
Click to enlarge; Made to Print.

  1. Only buy what is on your list. MOST IMPORTANT RULE!

The easiest way to be sidetracked and over spend is by marketing. Marketing is designed for those who start looking and find their stomachs or needs may be found on an end-cap (shelves at the end of an isle, especially towards checkouts) or on those pallets that sit in the middle of the isle. Example: By checkout you may find a small pack of electronic wipes it contains 10 prepacked wipes for $2.00. If you went back to electronics and looked around you can find the exact same wipes 50 prepacked for $5.00, doing the math: $.20 versus a trip to electronics for $.10 a piece. That’s a 50% difference, and some exercise. 

  1. Prepare your list ahead of time.
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Tiffany L at http://lifesabitofeverything.com

Now we are going to look for the sales. Yes sales, because in our area the rules of grocery stores are different then in a larger community. Simple, Get out the ads the local ones and the ones online from bigger communities. Little known fact Walmart price matches even if the price is advertised 200+miles away. This is wonderful for those of us in rural areas, because more stores have heightened security when it comes to coupons (some no longer take coupons at all, and many will not double). Only downsides I have found is price match are generally name brand/matching only and many prices are much better using store brand. 

Note:Depending on gas prices it is usually cheaper to shop within 25 miles then to travel to a larger area 100 miles. With price matching at Walmart I can get many of the same deals on less gas money. Also I don’t recommend printing coupons unless you get really good coupons for printer ink. It just isn’t cost effective in my opinion, you don’t make enough money back to pay for the ink.
  1. Be detailed. Scour your local ads and coupons. Know who takes what and who matches. Keep ads with you.

I compare each individual item with each store. If you want to do it this way I made a practice sheet for you or you could use it all the time.

ITEM Size
of Item
DOLLAR
GENERAL
WALMART KROGER
  1. Do Not take children or hubby; especially if they like to buy with their stomach, it also will make your trip shorter.
  1. Eat before you shop.

Really number 4 and 5 go together. When your hungry it’s hard not to want to buy what your hungry for, self-control is not human. I mean it’s true; been there done that and if you have the control, all the more power to you, but I prefer not to have to fight my hunger feeling.

  1. Be kind to your clerk if your price matching talk to them, pick a slow time or lane.

Believe it or not, your clerk has great advice and can be a friend when saving money. We want them to look forward to you coming through their line, not think ‘oh no, not again’. Be sure you shop at an opportune time of day, when things are slow both in lines and the isle-ways. If your courteous, polite, organized, quick, and communicate well; they will be extremely grateful, and when they need to go the extra mile, they are more apt too.

 

So this post is longer than it should’ve been but I had so many ideas, wanting to help as much as I could as quick as possible. My goals were to make an affordable meal plan (check),shopping list(check), price match (check), shopping rules (check), and stock pile (oops,almost forgot). I know kinda feels like this will never end.

Stock pile

 Here’s my suggestion spend 5-10 extra every time you go to the store. If you spend 45 on current groceries, buy 5 of the $1 bags of spaghetti or 5 cans of soup, anyway you get the idea. By the time it comes up when you need it you will have a whole cupboard of extras. Combining some really great coupons with price matching can also help save you more, even if you don’t need the item right away you can save it up in your stock pile cupboard. You will be surprised at how much you can save by just dollar items or freezing little bits at a time.

Well that would be all the topics I have on my list. I hope you have some great information to help and maybe learn a few new things that you didn’t expect. If you have anything to add, or more suggestions on how you save when your grocery shopping, let me know below in comments.

Hope this helps :-)

I hope your day is beautiful.

Tiffany L
Tiffany L

Grocery Math -Explained: Price per weight.

Bottom of article

It seems like many of my friends and family are ALWAYS asking for this information. It seems that for me I could take this information for granted, but it’s extremely useful for those who are trying to save money and are just learning to budget. No joke, you have no idea how many people I have had to teach this simple algebra, that most people hated in high school because it was a story problem. (And you thought you would never use those….LOL) Handiest thing you can do with groceries. This breaks the item down into a size that’s easy to compare. First you should understand that everything is measured; it’s the easiest way for companies to track product versus price. It’s the whole money/business and business/money thing.

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Tiffany L at http://lifesabitofeverything.com

Note:As you can see in the picture to the right,product sizes are typically found at the bottom of a product or it’s label.

This is where we will begin.  

Using the Measurement

Recently I found a 4 pound bag of sugar at Dollar General and its cost was $1.85. Generally it’s easier to break up pounds into ounces because more products are weighed by ounces than by pounds. For the most part since sugar is rarely digested raw, it’s usually equal in quality as the more inexpensive brands. Unless you buy a name brand at Walmart and compare it to the same name brand at another store, it’s rarely going to price match.    

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Tiffany L at http://lifesabitofeverything.com
16 ounces = 1 pound
Google.com

 

1.)Both bags are 4 pounds, which equals 64 ounces.

2.)4 Total pounds(of one) x 16 ounces = 64 ounces

3.)Now we want to take 2.48 divide it into pennies (per ounce).

a.)  2.48 is 248 pennies

b.)  1.85 is 185 pennies

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Tiffany L at http://lifesabitofeverything.com
Compare the pennies per ounce and you will find 3.9 is greater than 2.9 This means the sugar is cheaper at Dollar General I know some might say ‘that’s a lot of work’ and other’s will go with the ‘that’s to much work’, but I got you covered. I was thinking about those who don’t like math, I found two websites and an android app to help you out. I have left the link information below to help you out.

Convert-me.com

Aqua-calc.com

Android App- Unit Price Compare

Hope this helps :-)

I hope your day is beautiful.

Tiffany L
Tiffany L

Not So Cranberry Sauce

Jyn Meyer; http://www.freeimages.com/photo/holiday-cranberries-2-1-1515249
Jyn Meyer; http://www.freeimages.com/photo/holiday-cranberries-2-1-1515249

 

Originally I posted this on my weebly site, but felt it would be more at home here, especially with it being one of my families favorite recipes.
 
So this recipe is so easy and delicious. Even if you believe cranberries are gross but enjoy mixed juice than you will enjoy this this sauce. Really, try before you judge.
Note:NO COOKING INVOLVED!!!!
  • 2 – 12 ounce bags of fresh cranberries
  • 3 medium oranges
  • About 6 Green Apples (Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup white sugar (to taste)
  • 1 – 3 oz. Regular Strawberry Jello (you can also use Raspberry or Cherry)
  • Grinder/food processor  

30_orighttps://www.flickr.com/photos/thebusybrain/2492945625/

 
1. I peel and core the apples, and oranges, washing all the fruits thoroughly. It’s much easier to chunk up the apple, and peel the orange into parts. I use the green apples because they are sweet and I can use less sugar. I also use good oranges with no seeds, a little less of a task.

2. I have a 1 cup grinder from Walmart, it only holds a little at a time but it works. I just grind one apple, one orange and some cranberries, that way when I am done the fruit is already well mixed, and you want it the consistency somewhere between apple sauce and very small chunks. Dumping it all into the same bowl, as I complete each cup.

3. I take a quarter cup of warm tap water and stir in the Jello, dissolving it and this way when it’s added in it’s not clumpy. I set this aside, I typically do this about half way thru my grinding, but it’s up to you, and if you’re using a full food processor you may want to do it before you start grinding up the fruit.

4. Now I add the sugar and I usually don’t use the whole cup. It’s there if I need it and I taste test occasionally so I don’t add to much.

5. Last but not least I add the jello water, doing the same tasting as I go and I might not even add all of it.

 
This never lasts long I usually have to make a huge batch. It is also EASY to freeze, I made a double batch for Thanksgiving and froze half, used it for Christmas Dinner. 

I hope your day is beautiful.

Tiffany L
Tiffany L