Monday, July 21, 2008

How-to Mondays: Beans & Rice BABY!

Welcome back for How-to Mondays! I thought I would make a humble attempt to share some info on how I feed my family while keeping the costs down. If you have been through the Dave
Ramsey course then you will totally get the title :)

First you will need a plan! How do you come up with this plan? There are several great websites out there with free meal planning info etc. If you are really on a tiny budget has two full week menus for a family of four; one is a $70 menu and the other is a $45 menu for those times when you are really in a pinch. So that is a great place to start. She also has lots of budget friendly recipes.

I also created my own "grocery notebook" with the scriptures: Isaiah 58:11 and Phillipians 4:19 on the front. I'm not going to write them out for you! Go look them up for yourself. Great security from the word of God. I printed out these menu pages to go in my notebook. I found them while searching around take a look around, there is some great stuff and lots of freebies. I'm not homeschooling yet but if you are I'm sure it would be great inspiration. So back to the menu pages. These help me to organize my meals by day and on the side is a grocery list section so I can write in what I need in order to make those meals. It's such a great help and it cuts down on the "oh I don't know what I should fix... we don't have anything... lets just grab a hamburger or pizza or whatever." When you have a plan there is no excuse!

When on a budget don't forget about those great fillers that you can put into any meal like rice, beans, pasta etc. Instead of making tacos with a whole pound of hamburger meat... use 1/2 pound or less and stir in some black beans. I did this a few weeks ago and my husband loved them and didn't notice there was less meat. I'm sure its healthier too! Also don't be afraid to make some of your own seasonings. Find recipes for taco mix, chili mix etc. It's amazing how easy it is to put together in an old spice jar and it doesn't have the extra stuff like MSG that the stores like to include in the "mixes."

Also don't forget about snacks! It's so easy to pick up the "pre-packaged" junk in the stores - chips, cookies, gummies, cereal bars, pop tarts etc" now does any of that sound healthy or easy on your pocket? Buy big jars of applesauce which doubles great as babies first food (that is litte C's favorite food right now), graham crackers, bananas (portable and healthy), yogurt, raisins, prunes, nuts etc. If you plan these out ahead of time you won't get sucked in to buying that tasty looking bag of iced cookies when it is staring you in the face at the grocery store... then again maybe you will give in... we all need a little splurge now and then, right?

Well I didn't think I had this much info in my brain wow! So I think I should just stop now... this concludes our how-to Monday.

Do you have any meal planning tips??

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