Thursday, October 31, 2013

Penny Pinching Healthy- Time Saving Tips

Welcome back!  I hope you had long enough time to take in all I put out there last week.  Hopefully you tried your hand at meal planning, or explored some good fail safes?

This week we move on to some time savers.  For some people it's a matter that they want to save money, for others, it's a matter of not having enough TIME to prepare a home cooked meal.  And, for a lot, it's a combination of both.  I'm going to share a few things that have made our lives easier.

Let's pick up where we left off last week.  Once you've planned out your meals, you have to go buy the food.  Organize your list.  I take a piece of printer paper or notebook paper and fold it in half horizontally (bring the two short sides together).  Open it back up.  Across the top write "Produce, Meats, Other."  Right below the crease in the paper write "Canned, Refrigerated, Household."

  • "Produce" includes freezer stuff because the freezer section is next to produce at the front of the store, and the refrigerated stuff is at the back of the store.  
  • "Meats" are self explanatory.  
  • "Other" is going to be anything in the middle isles that is not a canned good, and is not household stuff such as toilet paper, cleaners, etc.  
  • "Canned"...well, if it comes in a can, it goes here.  
  • "Refrigerated" is pretty easy to figure out.  
  • "Household" is as previously stated.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Penny Pinching Healthy-Money Saving Meal Planning

Welcome back, I'm serving up part 1 of a 3 part series in healthy eating on a tight budget or a tight clock. This week is money saving meal planning. Let's dive right in, it's a doozie.

Step 1: Inventory

Before you start actually meal planning, take a look in your fridge, your freezer, and your cabinets. If you happen to have any food in there that isn't dedicated for another meal, find a way to use it. There's no point in having food sit around to possibly go bad while you're buying more food.  Things you should be looking out for...

  • Stuff that comes in 2's, like onion soup packets, 
  • Bulk produce like bags of carrots, potatoes or celery.
  • Toppings and dairy, such as sour cream, yogurts, milk, salad dressings and marinades.
  • Canned goods, such as tuna or soups

The goal is to first plan meals that will use any of these extra's.  Once that's done, you should realistically only be buying what you need for the week, and perhaps stocking up on items that are on sale that you use frequently, such as ingredients for your fail safe dish (more on that later on).

The only ingredients you shouldn't be planning to eat up are the ones for your fail safe dish, those stay on reserve.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Penny Pinching Healthy, Introduction

Welcome to Mama Made What?!  It seems only fitting that we start this thing off with a bang, so here's a 3 part series for you on what we learned going from a freezer/convenience food family to a relatively healthy eating family.

Now, before you go click that little "x" at the top right of your window at the word "healthy eating," just hear me out.  I know we are not nearly has healthy as a lot of other people, we certainly didn't take it to an extreme and we're not training for any marathons or competitions so we're not terribly strict in the way of calories or macro's.  However, living on Lean Cuisines and Hot Pockets is certainly no way to live.

I remember going to the grocery store after church every Sunday, like clockwork, and we "picked up some stuff."  I remember a grocery list of things we were out of, such as eggs, butter, milk, cheese...the essentials.  After that it just seemed like we tossed some stuff in.  Tuna, canned veggies, hamburger helper, some frozen lasagna's, deli meat.  If there was ever any real meal planning I didn't know about it.  To the best of my knowledge, eating healthy was not possible on a limited amount of time nor on a limited budget.