Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Just EXACTLY How Do You Do This? Part Three: Preparing For Your Week

So, the planning is done, I’ve come home from the grocery store and the first thing I do is lay it all out on the table for the blog picture and then gather my receipts to put together my post.

Then there are just a few things I do to prepare for the week.

I have two great pampered chef pitchers I got as gifts that hold a gallon each. I make up a batch of iced tea and a batch of lemonade (2 cups lemon juice, 2 cups sugar, 14 cups water) and keep those in the fridge to drink throughout the week.

Next, If I’ve bought meat which is usually in a family size package I split it into freezable portions. A lot of times I buy 5 lbs of hamburger at a time. I stretch it by separating it into 6 equal portions, each a little less than a pound, and wrap it in foil for the freezer.

Then I whip up double batches of the muffins I have on the menu. This week it was Orange Muffins. I freeze half of them for snacks during the week and the other half stays out for Breakfast.

And that’s it. That’s how I do it. Nothing fancy, no tricks up my sleeve. I’m sure there are still ways that I can improve and save and I’m constantly adding new ideas and refining my processes to work better for me.

I hope that this little look into my routine has sparked some ideas for you to use. And just to let you know I didn’t shrink my budget down overnight. It was a constant education and took some time for me to refine it to where it is today. So don’t be discouraged if you’re having a hard time lowering your own budget. Any decrease is good!

27 comments:

Christi said...

Thank you so much for the awesome ideas. I have to get some of those pitchers!!

Ronnica said...

I like the idea of splitting a 5 lb package of meat 6 ways. I don't think a little less meat will hurt anything. I recently moved and may now actually have room in my freezer for extra meat, so I'll have to think about doing this.

Monica said...

I have LOVED this series. Thanks for taking the time to share your strategies and recipes. You've inspired me to get back on track and be more intentional in the kitchen.

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

I did it! I stayed within my budget this week! I kept the mantra in my head, "Only buy for the week!" I still want to scale down my budget, but I'm just so happy to have made the first step of staying inside my budget! Thanks for all your tips - you've really helped! :)

Terri said...

Thanks for all the tips!!! I love your posts. Tonight is falfel night - care for one? I made them first thing this morning so they were done by lunch time. my oldest boy said it smelled like chicken and with that he had to try them. He ate two for his lunch :-) so they are kid approved - awsome!!

cheers,
-Terri

Sarah said...

Thanks so much for the great ideas! I still haven't found a grocery outlet store and i have a feeling I probably won't! But I wonn't let that stop me in my quest to save more money...

Thanks again I have really enjoyed these posts.

Kelli said...

I'm really ejoying the recipes that you post! I made the apple pie muffins for my husband's breakfast (he leaves at 4:30am) and he loved them, this week I snuck some whole wheat flour and flax seed in there too!
Thanks for the motivation, I planned my menu for the month this time. I was able to shop for it all (except milk and bread for the last two weeks-there's not quite enough room in my freezer).
Next week we try the cottage cheese roast!

Maddy said...

Hmmm....you've left me with a desire to make a pitcher of lemonade.

Thanks for the tips!

twomoms said...

I am loving this series (of course I coupon like a mad person, but to each there own) I wish I would have known about the orange muffins when we were getting oranges 9lbs for 1.00 that would ahve been a great way to use them! I love all your recipes! thanks for all your hard work!

Whitney said...

I just ran across your blog- such great ideas! I'll be checking back frequently!!

I also buy my meat in bulk pkg and then divide it for later use- it's a great idea especially if you have a deep freezer!

As for the Pampered Chef pitchers- I love both sizes (1Q & 2Q). The 2Q is great because it holds enough for the entire week. Since they have the plungers to stir, they are also great for powdered drinks & even baby formula (I'm all about saving time)! I'm a PC consultant if anyone is interested in getting one. :)

Cassandra Stafford said...

Does your sweet tea last all week? Is that even possible? We go through a pitcher of tea in like...a day...two days max! I am truly in shock that we may be consuming too much tea...
Nah. Not possible. There is no such thing as over consuming tea.
:)

Anonymous said...

Gayle,

Thank you for sharing about how you shop. I went grocery shopping yesterday. I came in almost $20 under budget for the week. I know I can do better next time too.

The thing is, I've been doing all kinds of things to stretch my grocery dollars and your system worked better than any of them. I only used one $1 off coupon and still did better than I usually do without jumping through any hoops.

Thanks again.

Carol

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog today. I love it already and have read only a few posts.

We have 5 children (4-boys: 10, 7, 7 and 4, baby girl 9 months) I'm always looking for ways to save but eat well.

I'll be checking in everyday from now on. I also have a lot to catch up on.

Love it!! Just had to tell you.

Angie in KY

Therapy Mom said...

Hi! I love your blog! Inspirational and will help keep me on track too! Do you play the grocery game (www.thegrocerygame.com)? I have found it very helpful in getting the best deals!
Thanks for the great recipes too, I can't wait to try them!

Amanda said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one who splits 5lbs. of ground beef into 6 packages! I laughed so hard when I read that DH thought I'd gone nuts! He doesn't know I do it, or he'd complain (he's a complainer). Just like he'd complain if he knew the leftover meatloaf got crumbled into the taco meat for mexican cornbread casserole...

baumbe said...

How do you make your iced tea? I like the lipton green tea individual water mix ins, and use them during the day when I am at work. I get them at Walmart, but they are still expensive. Any idea where I could get "green tea powder" and make my own?

Mommychicky said...

I love your muffin idea - don't know why that hadn't occured to me before.

Phyllis@Aimless Conversation said...

How refreshing to see that you are stretching your dollars without insane couponing. I have tried to learn the art of coupon shopping, but it eludes me.

While your method would still require a measure of discipline, I'm thinking the learning curve would be far easier for me personally.

BTW~ How old are your kids? The last blog I stumbled onto who boasted this kind of shopping had only 2 kids and they were under two. I felt like she used false advertising...LOL Mine are 14, almost 12, almost 10 (boys) and a 3yo girl. You can see how feeding them on a budget would be a challenge. Have you seen teenage boys eat??!

gina said...

Wow. We spend alm,ost 300 a week for our family of 6 , more if you count Sam's Club. My question is are you including toilets and cleaning products in your totals or just edibles?

Gayle said...

My kids are 13, 12, 8, & 5. Three are boys and big eaters! So we are making large if not doubled meals in our house.

My budget includes TP, toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, razors, etc...) as well as edible foods. I don't include make-up.

*~*Amy Michelle*~* said...

This is amazing! I am 23, married with a 2 year old son and one on the way. I have been searching for months to find a way to cut back on our grocery bill. So thankful I have found your blog!

Lisa said...

OK--so I've ready all 3 Parts of your PLAN. I am FASCINATED!! I'm going to do my best. It seems like a lot of planning/prep. I work so I have a limited amount of time. Do you find this a problem? Thanks so much!!!

Living on Less Money said...

I'm enjoying your blog. I just finished reading about how you shop for $60.00 a week. I wondered if you had any actual menus made up for the week. I think my brain is getting too old but after reading I still have questions how you get your bill so low. I thought it might help to see what kind of menus you plan. Do you have a strategy for picking low cost meals?

Love your blog. Do you have a button where you can subscribe through Blogger? It wasn't at the top like normal.

Pam said...

This is wonderful! Thank-you for the posts and the great blog! We live in a very rural area without access to any kind of discount grocery stores (over $6 for a gallon of milk now!!) so I'm always thrilled to find tips to cut down our grocery bill. I've been doing a lot of "monthly" cooking, freezing big batches of food when I find it on sale. It's made a massive difference in what we spend :)

Just the 5 of Us! said...

I just found your blog via pinterest! And I am so excited! I was thinking that the $100 we have newly budgeted wasn't enough for my family of five. However I am inspired to do it for $60 too! I am going to start this plan now. Thank you so much for the ideas and help!

Donna G said...

Thanks so much for your blog. This is exactly what I needed to find! My mother has ALS (Lou Gehrig's) and can no longer cook. Dad can do some things but he's tired by mealtime. So I cook alot for them. The recipes, and the $ saving -especially the planning tips - are just great.
Thanks again, and I can't wait to get started!

Hayley Lacasse said...

Following you now! Thanks so much! Do you have a template that you use for your menu planning and shopping trips?