This week made two in a row that I had no coupons at the grocery store. I even checked the store websites. We did have a Wonderful Woman who works with The Man give us some fresh eggs, but that hardly offsets the cost of groceries. I keep hounding for some chickens of my own, but The Man doesn”t think that the cost of coop, the feed, and the actual chickens would actually outweigh our take in eggs. Fortunately, I have a few other ways to save that I thought I”d pass along.
- Take inventory, make a plan, and stick to it. I always do a kitchen inventory before I start my menu plan of the week. Found some chicken breasts and lots of frozen veggies in the freezer this week, so that was a good starting point. Combine with the free eggs and I have Chicken Fried rice- all I need to buy is rice. Rice = Cheap. Can I buy a big bag and make anything else? See where I”m going with this?
- Improvise- “Red beans and rice” is an ultimate money saving meal. I have made it as quick and Cheap as a Box of Rice and a can of beans. I”ve built it up with scrap onions, garlic, sausage, shredded chicken, you get it. Added that to my list to carry on with the rice. I forgot to check for Kidney Beans in the pantry but felt certain that I had them. We all know this means I did not. Umm kayyy. I have Pinto Beans. Why not? We”ll just call it “jambalaya” instead.
|Make-Shift Jambalya. Yummmmz.|
- Don”t skip the Meat- Does that sound crazy to you? Do most budget plans say first off “Go Vegetarian”? Trust me, I”ve had two kids and the smell of raw meat most often makes me wanna flip-it; we go vegetarian plenty. How about not skipping the meat sometimes? Just double up on everything else. Two cups of rice. Two cans of beans. Add more pokies online of the cheap stuff, enjoy the flavor of the “luxury” (if you will) of serving meat, and freeze half for another time. You”ve made your meal on the Cheap, AND you have another day when you don”t have to plan. Hal-Ay-Lew-YUH.
- Double the Meat- What, whaaaat? My red beans and rice was gonna have chicken sausage in it this week,but I ran into some crawfish tails. Oh, how yummy does that sound? Couldn”t pass it up. I decided to keep the sausage and add the crawfish, another way to double up on ingredients and make two meals, and took this from a cheap weekend meal to a “Fancy” Saturday dinner.
- “Startovers“- I really don”t know what you online ruletti call food before it is leftovers. Oh yeah, I guess you just call that dinner. I accidentally invented something even before that last week when I couldn”t even find the time to put something in the crockpot. You know it is crazy town (lazytown) at your house if you don”t have one minute out of 6-8 hours before dinner to dump some stuff in a slow cooker. I wanted to have tortellini soup, but that never happened. So I”m staring at the fridge trying to throw something together quick with what I didn”t use. Well, there”s tortellini, I guess I can just cook that. I had sausage for the soup, could probably mix that in to make this more like a “meal.” Had some fresh spinach, can always throw that in the pasta the last minute of boiling. Hey, this is not looking too bad. I had conveniently made a batch of Pesto so the cooler temps didn”t take my garden Basil from me, so I covered the dish with that. Wow. I just made a totally awesome dinner! Self high Five! And I left out half the soup ingredients. You know what”s coming next…. Cha-ching! Coins in the bank!
- Taking a look, you could do this with the red beans and rice as well. Just make it is Super Cheap Red Beans and Rice during the week, and throw in your fave meat combo on the weekends. Startovers!
I promised a reader I would share my recipe for what started as a Box of Rice and a Can of Beans and cost-efficiently evolved into a Saturday Night Mardi Gras. I”m sure she didn”t care about the whole how of how I got there, but now she has that, and the recipe. Hope you enjoy, and let me know how you mixed it up and made it your own!
Click for my Cheap .