A happy heart makes the face cheerful...Proverbs 15:13

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Coupon Deals and Freezer Meals

Coupon Deals:
For the longest time I struggled with using coupons. It is just a lot of time, and sorting...ugh. I could never just sit and do it and when I did, the savings were never worth the time.
Well, recently I was introduced and revised a way to use coupons to save a good amount of money while having an organized menu.
I normally only use Meijer because they double coupons. Meaning any coupon under .50 cents, you get it twice. They also offer good sales and savings in their ads,
First, I will go through the add and circle everything that we will eat or need as a type of ingredient.

Then, I will go through all the coupons(some friends recommend a Sunday paper per member of the household). You can use more than one of the same coupon if you have the items for it.

Once I have my coupons cut and my items circled, I will make a menu off of these items.
Our menu is only based off of whats on sale or has a coupon. In most cases after the menu is complete, I look back through the ad or coupons and I am able to find a few more things that are needed for the meals.

When I started doing this, I lowered our grocery bill to $100-$160 every 2 weeks. Before, our normal bill was closer to $125 a week. I think this drop in amount is due to the fact that we don't buy unnecessary things now. When we went shopping before we would buy whatever and then we would have ingredients laying around that we wouldn't use or we would need something for dinner and not have it and have to run and get it. This way we only have what we need and have an "order" of when we will eat them.
Using this method, we have lowered our grocery cost, created a menu that just makes life easier, and has also helped us to eat healthier.

Freezer Meals:
We all know how dinner time can be. Whiny kids who are hunger, mom getting frustrated because her water isn't boiling fast enough, did I mention hungry kids? Freezer meals are a way to save you a bunch of time at dinner time.
Here are some different options:

Marinated Meat:
Buy meat such as chicken or pork in bulk. Separate it into dinner size portions and put it in a freezer safe container(or Ziploc). Add your own marinade or a bottled marinade(or BBQ sauce) and freeze it.
It will marinade as it thaws. Then just make a simple salad or veggie and boil in a bag rice and your set.

Bulking Burger:
Buy excess in ground beef, turkey, or pork. Cook it all at once and place it in meal-size portions, pre-seasoned for tacos, spaghetti, or sloppy Joe's and freeze. You can do this when you are already cooking the meat for your current dinner.

Double Dinners:
As you are making dinner for your family, make a double batch. Freeze the second batch. My favorite meals to do this with are lasagna, chili, and sloppy Joe's.

TV Trays
I have not tried this one yet, but it sounds do-able. Use your leftovers by making TV trays. After the meal put serving size portions into a pie pan or good freezable dish and cover well. This would work well for the hubby's lunch or again, a quick dinner.

Productive Pancakes:
Easy enough. Make the entire box of pancake mix(or triple your batch if yours are homemade). Freeze the rest. We love pancakes, but all the flapjack flipping can last a while when feeding 6. Great, quick alternative for breakfast.

Happy Saving and Happy Freezing.

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