Take Control of Your Grocery Budget

Posted on July 9th, 2015 by Discount Debbie

Grocery prices seem to be constantly be on the rise, making your budget hard to control.  However, there are few simple things you can do that will help you get control — and stay there!

GroceryBudget

Make It At Home

First things first — do you really have to buy those box mixes, packets and frozen foods?  No!  Make what you can at home and stick to buying the basics from the store. No more worrying about what is in your food!

Shop Less Often

This one goes hand in hand with the first tip — go to the store less. If you’re not in the store then you won’t be tempted to purchase things you might not actually need.

Use Cash

When you do go shopping, leave the debit cards and checks at home and commit to paying with just cash.  You’ll find that you purchase less and only get what you need.

Shop Loss Leaders

Loss leaders are the items that grocery stores deeply discount in order to get you in the store.  Typically they can be found on the first and last pages of the sales ad.

Use Coupons

Use coupons on items that are already on sale to maximize your savings!

Create Meal Plans

Create a meal plan so you know exactly what ingredients you will need from the store — saving time, money and helping life be less stressful!  

Compare Unit Prices

Those big packages aren’t always the best buy! Be sure to compare the unit prices before assuming the biggest package is more economical.

Create a Price Book

Keep track of the prices of the items you buy the most, so you know what is a good price, and which store has it.  You can either use a spreadsheet on your computer or traditional pen and paper.

 

You might find it easier to implement just a couple of these tips at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.  Once you’ve used to your new changes, add in some of the other tips.  Even if you choose to just do a couple of these tips — you’ll find that you will be controlling your grocery budget, instead of it controlling you!
 


Meal Plan Monday

Posted on November 5th, 2012 by Discount Debbie

I’ve been away from meal planning and my wallet is proving that. We’ve spent over $100 more than normal last month because of 2 weeks off from meal planning. It’s amazing what a little planning can do for your monthly grocery bill. We’ve been super crazy busy and had some personal things come up that has made meal planning harder, but now I know how much it is worth it. I will be gone all next week, so my goal this week is to make enough to also store enough in the freezer for my family to eat. I am basically making a lot of crock pot meals and other stuff that freezes easily.

Here’s the plan…

Monday
My Famous Chili –
Sorry guys, I cannot give out the recipe, but HERE is a good one I used when I needed something more simple. I would double it so you can freeze it. My family won’t just eat chili next week, they will have chili cheese dogs so it’s different. We are BIG fans of chili cheese dogs!

Tuesday
Crockpot Potato
Soup – It’s cold where we live, so THIS is the perfect thing to warm us up. We also have some potatoes we got on sale. This is a great thing to do when you are planning your meals, ALWAYS check with what you already have in your house. The less you buy, the better.

Wednesday
Bulgogi – I am an ethnic food junky, but it can also be expensive, so I’ve learn to make a lot at home. THIS is my favorite Korean dish and it’s TO DIE FOR with this recipe. It’s one of the all family pleasers in the house.  I do suggest using a ribeye meat though instead of sirloin. I liked it better that way, but sirloin is cheaper.

Thursday
Chicken Chili – Yep another chili, but it’s way different than the other chili, so it’s ok. It also freezes so wonderfully! My kids weren’t huge fans, but I loved it. They can’t always get what they want right? I serve mine over rice.

Friday
Strogganoff – By far the biggest crowd pleaser among my friends.  It’s also WONDERFUL for taking to friends who’ve just had babies. It freezes awesome which is why I always tripple the recipe. THIS recipe makes a small amount. I figure if I am going to do it, I might as well do it big. I also use a medium size of sour cream instead of cream cheese. I would make it both ways to see which you prefer.


3 Days of Meals All Spelled Out

Posted on October 15th, 2012 by Discount Debbie

A very dear friend of mine really has a hard time cooking. By hard time, I mean the poor girl just doesn’t. So she desperately emailed me asking to put together a plan for her. Not just a meal plan, but something she can have an rotate through the weeks.

Having a meal plan whether short or small is a great idea.Every meal you cook at home saves you money. So if you are like my dear friend who doesn’t cook, check out this first set of meals she will start rotating. I am going to give her more, but this is a start.

She wanted me to spell everything out for her even down to what she needs at the store.

I’m eventually going to put these together into a PDF that you will be able to download and print out for your own use. These are all my tried and true recipes that I think should be apart of every families rotation.

Meal 1-Easy baked chicken

What you need
4 chicken breasts
1 cup Mayo
½ cup Fresh Parmesan cheese
1tsp garlic powder
1 tsp season salt
½ tsp pepper

Place each breast on a cutting board and place wax paper over it and with a food powder, pound it out flat. Don’t use the pointy side.
Cut the flat pieces in half and place in a greased pan. Like a brownie pan.
Do that to all chicken.
Mix together all those other ingredients and then spread it over the chicken evenly.
Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

What you’ll need at the store
Chicken breasts
Mayo
Parmesan cheese
and the seasonings you may not have

Meal 2-Pizza Casserole
Really easy and kids LOVE it.

What you need
1 bag of Egg Noodles
1 extra large can of spaghetti sauce
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 lbs hamburger meat
1 package pepperonis

What to do
Brown the meat, & drain
And boil noodles until soft. Drain.
Preheat the oven @ 350
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom
Second layer, half of the noodles

half of the meat
half of the sauce
rest of the noodles
half the cheese
rest of the meat
rest of the sauce
rest of the cheese
pepperonis

Now cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes
After 30 minutes, remove the foil & bake for another 15 minute.

What you need at the store
1 bag of Egg Noodles
1 extra large can of spaghetti sauce
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 lbs hamburger meat
1 package pepperoni

Meal 3-Red Beans and Rice

What you need
1bag of red beans-washed and make sure there are no rocks in it
1 large onion
1 bell pepper
2 packages smoked sausage cut into slices
Water
Seasonings-Paprika, season salt, fresh minced garlic, pepper, caynne pepper

What to do
Pour beans into crock pot and cover beans so there is about 3-4 inches of water above them.
Chop onion and put it in.
Chop bell pepper and put it in.
Cut up sausage and put it in
Do 2 tbls parika, 1 tbl season salt, 3 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic, ½ teaspoon pepper and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper. Maybe a dash or two of chili powder if you have it.

Let cook on low for 8-9 hours. Stirring occasionally.
Serve over rice.

What you need at the store
Bag of red beans
Bag of onions
1 Bell pepper
rice
any seasonings you didn’t have
2 smoked sausages

 


Meal Plan Monday

Posted on September 10th, 2012 by Discount Debbie

It’s Monday and it’s also shopping day here so I always get our next meal plan ready for the next cycle EVERY time I go shopping. That way we always have food to make in the house. Not having Long Bridesmaid Dresses food in the house is a big deal and will cause you to go out more and spend far more than would have had you just cooked at home.

With that said, here is our meal plan this week. Enjoy! I know we will!

Monday
Macaroni and cheese, hot dogs and cucumbers-I admit that I am gone this evening and the only way my kids won’t end up eating out is if I plan and give the husband something easy to make. I got a really good deal on macaroni and cheese, so we are saving even more! This is our go-to easy meal-kid and husband approved!

Tuesday
Breakfast for dinner-Your morning meal is probably always going to be your cheapest. Most things you serve at breakfast are just inexpensive. I am NOT a Short Bridesmaid Dresses breakfast food person though, but this meal just makes my husband’s day! This time I am making one of my favorite. They are like little quiches, but without a crust. They are called egg and cheese puffs and they are amazing!

Wednesday
Coconut shrimp, baked potatoes and green beans. We still have some shrimp in our freezer that we got on sale so this meal is very inexpensive for us. However, if you don’t have cheap shrimp somewhere, skip it and wait until you do. Shrimp isn’t cheap usually, but when you can get a good deal, this is amazing. Check out this recipe I always use. I wish it were Wednesday and dinner time now!

Thursday
Spaghetti casserole with french fried onions. I was compelled to start making this recipe when I read on a blog that you usually have everything in your pantry to make it. And it’s true we did! That means one less run to the store and you are reading this now and need something for dinner, check it out and see if you already have everything to make it. It’s incredibly yummy and tastes even better the day after!

Friday
Leftover day! We haven’t done one of these in a while, but on these days we reheat all the leftovers from the week and set them on the table. It’s a free for all! Everyone can eat whatever they like and I usually make a salad to accompany it since our veggies from the week usually don’t reheat well.

What’s on your meal plan this week? I need some ideas for next week!


Meal Plan Monday

Posted on August 27th, 2012 by Discount Debbie

Ever so often we end up with a lot of different meat in our freezer. I would guess because we buy it when it’s on sale whether we need it immediately or not. So the challenge this week is to cook from what we have to save money. If you have the same issue, I highly encourage you to cook with what you have. It frees up space in your freezer and encourages you to try different things.

Monday
Shrimp Casserole
8oz cream cheese
1 stick of butter
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1 pound peeled shrimp
1 can cream of mushroom
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 sleeve of ritz crackers plus 1/4 quarter cup of butter
Directions
Saute onions and bell pepper in butter. Then add everything but ritz crackers and spoon into 9×13 pan and top with cracker with butter. Cook at 350 for 40 minutes or until crackers are golden.

Tuesday
Amazing Chicken (that’s what we call it)

4 Chicken Breasts
1/2 c parmesan cheese
1 c mayo
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Spread mix over chicken breasts, bake at 375 for 45 mins

Wednesday
Crockpot Bacon and Cheese Casserole
This will seriously blow your mind. I think I’ve posted it before and if you haven’t tried it please do!

Thursday
Steaks with baked potatoes and green beans. This was the husband’s request and since we have steak in the freezer it fits our plan this week.

Friday
Swedish Meat Balls
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 c crushed cracker
1 egg
2/3 c milk
2 T grated onion
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t nutmeg

Mix well, make balls.
Bake 500 degrees for 15 minutes, turn balls over, add 1/4 c water, leave in for another 20 minutes.

The sauce
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 c milk
1/2 c sour cream
Pour over balls
Cover, bake at 350 for one hour or in your crock pot for 4-6 hours.

What’s on your menu this week?

 


Meal Plan Monday

Posted on July 30th, 2012 by Discount Debbie

It’s Monday and I am a little behind on meal planning. But I think that’s what makes meal planning so great, you don’t have to do it on a certain day or at a certain time. Anytime you find a free minute, it’s easy to just sit down, make a list and get what you need for the week. I only plan a week at a time. I found that trying for two weeks was a little too overwhelming for me. Do what is best for you and your family.

Haven’t tried meal planning yet? Try it! You’ll thank us for it. You’ll be less stressed, spend less money and in the long run you’ll even eat healthier and out less.

Here’s our plan for the week.

Monday
Ravioli with marinara sauce-This is my go-to easy meal. I get the ravioli from Costco and freeze it in portions for our family and serve it with jar spaghetti sauce. Monday is typically very busy for us so I make it as easy as possible. It’s still very inexpensive and it tastes wonderful! We sere this with a simple salad and because I have some leftovers hot dog buns from the weekend, I’ll make some garlic toast too.

Tuesday
Grilled pork chops-I marinate them all day in honey, lime, garlic and soy sauce then grill. They are super yummy! Most of this meal is on the grill too so we don’t heat up our house.
Baked Potatoes
Green beans

Wednesday
Meatloaf-If you don’t like meatloaf, try THIS recipe and enjoy! Best. Recipe. Ever.
Mashed potatoes
Green beans-Can you tell we eat a lot of these?

Thursday
Crockpot chicken-Another easy night for a busy day. I put a couple cans of cream of mushroom in the crock pot with chicken breasts and cook for about 6 hours and serve over rice. It’s easy and it’s a family pleaser!
Salad

Friday
Steaks-I marinade them all day in worcestershire and Italian dressing all day and grill them to perfection!
Grilled veggies-I put a little olive oil with some garlic salt on zucchini and squash then grill them. It’s the perfect summer meal.

What’s on your menu this week?

 


Meal Plan Monday

Posted on July 16th, 2012 by Discount Debbie

Weeks like this one remind me why we meal plan. I have something going on every night this week so I need to have a plan for my family to be able to eat. If my husband doesn’t have the plan, the kids end up eating macaroni and cheese all week. He may throw in some hot dogs or cucumbers every once in a while, but I feel better as a mom for offering an alternative through my meal plan.

This plan has to be simple too. My husband is not a cook, so I have to keep it simple :)

Monday
Pork Chops
Rice/Gravy
Kale
Cornbread

Tuesday
Tacos Tuesday

Wednesday
Steak and Chicken
Potatoes
Green Beans

Thursday
Hot dogs and Beef Sausages
Veggie tray of all our favorite raw veggies

Friday
Spaghetti with meat sauce
Roasted zucchini


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