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Thrifty Ideas, Part 2

January 6th, 2008 at 08:26 pm

Buy the things you and your family use the most in quantity when on sale. Here's a good example of that. In December of 2005 a local store had rump roast on sale for .99 a lb. It had been awhile since I'd seen it at that price so I went to get some. They were out but I got a rain
check. The rain checks there always have a limit of three on them. A few days later, DH and I went to the store and there in the meat case was one roast. The butcher told us that they came in very large pieces and each one was cut up to make the roasts we normally see in the case. DH asked her to bring one of those large roasts out and she did. It was well over two feet long, close to 30 inches! He asked her if we could get 3 of those with the rain check;she said we could so we did.

For those three roasts we paid about $50. BTW, that was about $200 worth of meat! We brought them home and cut them up into smaller roasts suitable for our family and cut some into stew meat sized chunks for soup, stew, casseroles, etc. Unfortunately, no one around here has sales like that lately so we aren't eating roast as much now. But the principle is still alive and well.

Another thing you can do that will save you money and improve your health is to view meat more as a condiment rather than a main dish. Using it in casseroles, soups, baked with veggies and such is much
cheaper than serving slabs of it to your family. It's also better for weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Most of us eat way too much meat and it's hard on the body and the pocketbook. Practice cutting down that meat! I'm a meat eater so I know it's hard but it really does help the health and the money situation! It doesn't hurt to institute a meatless meal or two or three a week rule, either. We have several meatless meals a week and manage just fine. I'm trying to increase the number of meatless meals but it's not so easy when the household consists of meat lovers. Progress is progress, though. We take it one step at a time.

I don't know if you eat cold cereal but it's one of the worst buys for your money. It has very little nutritional value and is outrageously expensive, even when on sale. Instead of trying to fill up on cereal, eat eggs, oatmeal, cream of wheat, french toast, waffles and pancakes, breakfast casseroles, breakfast tacos, cottage cheese, yogurt, homemade muffins and breads, even leftover fried chicken...but think of cereal as a special treat, one that's very expensive. Because of our dietary restrictions, DH and I can't fill up on oatmeal, waffles, biscuits, etc. so breakfast is one of our more expensive meals. Every one is different and you have to work with what you're given.

Set rules about food and keep them. If it's acceptable to you to only buy meat when it's on sale, then make that a rule and stick to it. You can save a fortune if you do that, especially if you buy a large amount on sale. Only buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. Not only are they cheaper, they're better for you. I prefer frozen vegetables over canned so I buy them when they're on sale and try to buy enough to last me til the next sale. But I know a deal when I see one and I buy canned veggies too, especially when they're on sale at a great price. Don't be afraid to buy and eat canned vegetables and fruits. They really can be part of a healthy diet.

Here's another rule a lot of families implement;limit kid's snacks and don't let them snack on sugary or expensive foods. Kids can eat you out of house and home, I know! I had two boys 13 months apart
and it was a nightmare to feed them at times. I encouraged them to have 2 to 3 fruits a day (a serving of grapes is 10 to 15 depending on the size of the grapes, not half the bag), celery with or without a filling like peanut butter or a bit of cream cheese, chunks of cheese in a bowl mixed with a few raisins and sunflower seeds, a container of yogurt, cheese/herb crackers, etc. Cookies and crackers were all homemade and were eaten fairly sparingly. Sugar, whether we like it or not, isn't good for us. We may love it, kids may love it, but we don't need it! We had desserts rarely on Saturday night or Sunday, not several nights a week like a lot of families. As a side note, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure run in my family so I was trying to teach my boys good habits. I think I succeeded.

A lot of families drink water more than anything. I do that, myself, but I keep diet cola around too because I get bored with water and tea. But a lot of people find that drinking water 99% of the time saves a lot of money and yes, it would! But that rule is a bit too much for me. I like my coffee and I drink iced tea now and then, too.

More to come!

3 Responses to “Thrifty Ideas, Part 2”

  1. annab Says:

    You can make toaster pancakes really easily too: just make extra pancakes and freeze them in freezer paper! Then pop in the toaster and...yum!

  2. luxliving Says:

    These are great, keep them coming.

    When my kiddos were small and I had to make the snacks stretch out, I would buy the small snack size baggies and prepackage them out into portion controlled sizes or if they were air-stable items such as halloween candies or such, I'd pre-portion them out into little condiment cups on a tray that I'd keep out in the laundry on top of the dryer where little hands couldn't reach at that time.

    It kept $$'s down PLUS kept them from sugar/fatty overload.

  3. denisentexas Says:

    Anna, sure you can freeze pancakes and waffles and re-heat them later. Smile Good idea!

    LL, that's what I did with snacks when my boys were approaching their teens. I remember a week one summer when I bought a loaf of bread, peanut butter, 4 huge bags of chips and made them two dozen cookies. I went somewhere one day and when I got home that night every bit I'd bought or made was gone! I was shocked but that's when I really learned the joys of the day old bread store. lol

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