Wow, surprising myself!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Wow, surprising myself!
6
Sun, 04-07-2013 - 3:23pm

So...as you all know our achilles heel in the spending dept is eating out. I have 4 - 16 hour days and 1-12 hour day so it is very tempting to pick something up on the go. I haven't done that. In fact, I have become VERY efficient at creating very low cost food. And I'm so surprised that I have not only learned to COOK, I have learned to become creative :) My son was watching Chopped and he said, "mom, you could be a chopped champion!!!" We watch this show and he has never said that before...he was motivated to say that bc it was a LEFTOVER episode and mommy has become militant about leftovers being USED and not WASTED. "Waste not, want not" the old saying goes...so here is what I have done recently:

- made cabbage rolls and then used the left over cabbage to make a warm slaw side for burgers

- saved the bacon grease from the slaw and cooked small pieces of leftover spam (yes, we use this now that we are cutting our food budget down!), added left over scrambled eggs and used a uncooked egg/cheese/milk base to make an omelette.

- took left over roasted veggies, threw it over stale tortillas (cut up into triangles) and roasted it w/cheese to make nachos

And now I'm making ale & steak stew for the week out of leftover steak. Then I will make some coconut pumpkin muffins (bc these freeze the best and work well moist) out of the left over pumpkin from DH's turkey/pumpkin chili.

For 2 months, we have only eaten out on date night. When we have to feed the boys, we just buy something small for them to get us home (supplemented with snacks from the car).

The end result; spending on food went from $1100/month to $800/month. Today I am going to buy dish soap at the store for reg price. This kills me bc I know I could coupon and it for next to nothing...but time is starting to run out on me! I have 3 hours of homework tonight :)

That's my update.

Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Sun, 04-14-2013 - 4:49pm
Stormy - Good job on the use of leftovers. For us, we eat so little that even leftovers get pitched, but I do use them for dog food wherever possible. We are spending about $400 on the two of us a month, so that is a considerable savings. But it ebbs and flows depending on how we hit the pantry. I shop about every other week for about $130 or so, then do a pickup of about $20 on the odd weeks for things we run out of. DH is making his second batch of beer this weekend. He has two 5 gallon kegs that are in our basement fridge and he puts them under pressure. He likes doing red ales the best. He spends about $40 a month on beer supplies, but he would spend double that on beer. Marie
#Marie
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 04-09-2013 - 12:34pm

lasagna? I use zucchini which makes it runny but still tastes good - if you use noodles, you should be fine.

quiche? don't use frozen spinach or it will thaw wet, swap in a dry meat and it actually turns out well

fajitas, stew, cabbage rolls, soups, homemade pizza (I used cauliflower for the crust) protein muffins - use protein powder for some of the flour, I also swap out the marg/butter for coconut oil

:) Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 9:23am
Any suggestions for easy recipes that are healthy and freeze? I am getting bored of my typical chilli, shepherds pie combo, though I did find a great chicken pot pie recipe and slowcooker mexican chicken recipe that are great. I figure I still have about two weeks until I need to do abother batch cook!

Bex -

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 1:18am

that works!

and it feels so much healthier :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Sun, 04-07-2013 - 5:34pm
WTG Dee! It looks like you have made some great habits! I am working on not eating out and the money I have saved is astounding! Typcially BF and I eat out two or three times a WEEK! Its been 8 days and I haven't touched the CC, have a full fridge (despite feeding BF all weekend!) and still have $40 cash left. Since I fed BF all weekend, to say thank you he is taking me to dinner tonight! I think this is a pretty good compromise!

Bex -

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Sun, 04-07-2013 - 3:28pm

PS - the ale is a homemade brew that is past its expiry date (unlike wine, it does not get better with age). It was a tasty chocolate stout in its day but its day has past and it is only good for stews!

I don't know how much homemade beer I would make again - we don't drink enough of it.

Dee