Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Menu Plan

My freezer is practically running over. If I was brave enough to really dig them I would know what is in it. At this point I am afraid to move too much as I am not sure I could get it all back in. My menu plan will focus on using what I have on hand. My only planned purchases this week are milk and items for my husband's work lunches.

  • Pork tenderloin, macaroni and cheese, and peas: Pork tenderloin is the meat that I cook the best. I like to bake it in the oven. The peas are from the freezer and originally from the garden. The macaroni and cheese will be from a mix. I normally make homemade; however, we have a surplus of Kraft Homestyle purchased on sale with coupons.

  • Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, and salad: I am going to make a big batch of meatballs using venison and turkey along with spinach. The garlic bread will be made with homemade bread, and the salad is from the garden.

  • Roast with onions, potatoes, and carrots: I cut a venison roast into pieces and add large diced onions, potatoes, and carrots. This gets topped with salt, pepper, butter/margarine, and Italian dressing. I cover it with foil and bake. It is a hearty meal for a cool, rainy day.

  • Pasta salad: I bought multi-colored spiral pasta with a coupon. I make my own dressing using ranch and Italian dressings. I add in whatever vegetables are in the refrigerator. My husband likes this with club crackers.

  • Black bean quesadillas and guacamole: I made my own tortillas and they turned out too small for enchiladas. Instead I will make quesadillas. The black beans will turn this into a meatless meal my husband will enjoy. A side of guacamole and chips and possibly a salad will round out the meal.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cooking from Scratch

I have recently found myself making more items from scratch. I have two reasons. The first is that I like my food to be fresh. Being able to make breads from scratch means that I can buy up basic ingredients and extend the time between shopping trips. My second reason is that I want to know what is going into my foods. I am overwhelmed by companies trying to convince me that those unpronounceable ingredients are not bad for me. I am not saying that they are bad, but they are not necessarily good either.

I realize that most people do not have time to cook everything from scratch. I find that it does take up a portion of my week. Obviously mixing and baking bread is not as simple as tossing a loaf in the shopping cart. I feel the need recently to get back to basics though. I have never liked to be dependent on others for everyting. I have always liked to be able to do things myself. This is just an extension of that.

I will continue to not take the easy way out. I am not saying it is the only way. For me at this point it is the better way.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

February Savings

The last half of February was crazy and hectic. I finally sat down last night to enter all of my receipts. I have the feeling one is missing, but I cannot find it so I will go with what I have. My coupon savings for the month totaled $64.76 with a sale savings of $80.07. I made a trip to a store I rarely go to in order to stock up on a few items. That cut into my savings amount.

I am starting March with a clean shopping slate. My hope is to stick with a weekly trip to a couple of smaller stores I like to shop. I am staring to see the rising produce prices that many of my online friends have been discussing. I will tough it out for a couple of months but am glad that gardening season is just around the corner.