Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Menu Planning Saves Money

So just the other day I posted on how eating meals based on leftovers can save money- we ended up getting five various meals off that Turkey Breast, by the way.  Yes, we threw a little away, but hey, there is only so much turkey you can eat, even when you love it and it's delicious.

I want to share another way we have money with meals- by meal planning.

We had Breakfast for Lunch the other day.  Lunfast, if you will, because Brunch is so done already.  It's also fun to make up words.  We made sausage, but knew that Tim and I would never eat an entire package of sausage.   Luckily, we had planned to make our own pizzas the next day, so we kept back some sausage for that purpose.   I had already frozen some small packages of hamburger just for such a purpose, so we thawed a bit of that too.

After making the mini pizzas, we had leftover hamburger, sausage, jalapenos and pieces of onion.  I tossed all of these leftovers in an airtight container and tossed them in the fridge.

Tonight's dinner?  Spaghetti!  Ohhh what a spaghetti sauce it was too, with two kinds of meat, chunks of real onion, small pieces of jalapenos- and of course, my other assorted spices.   Not the smallest piece of sausage, hamburger, or any other piece of food went to waste between Lunfast and the next two days.

When you know you won't use all of something- say you won't use a pound of hamburger in spaghetti sauce or an entire package of sausage on a pizza.  You can easily package and freeze it in to smaller portions, or you can save that effort and the freezer bags (or food saver bags, which are expensive!) by planning a menu based on "paying forward" extra amounts of food, the way the sausage appeared in three meals, the hamburger, onion and jalapeno in two- even the mozzarella cheese, which often ends up having small amounts thrown away, showed up in two meals, rather than being crammed in the back of the cheese drawer until it turns green and I find it.  Believe me- I never find it before it turns green, no matter how clean the fridge is.  Yuck.

Plan your weekly menu and take a second look at it.  Do you always end up with too much hamburger?  Plan hamburgers for dinner one night, spaghetti for the next, and split the package of beef!  Woo hoo.

Rather than toss out that leftover onion from the pizzas, can you add them to salad for the next meal?  See how you can save food, money and your time, by organizing your meals in advance!


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