Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sales Saturday - cheap menu ideas/May menu plan

Last week I was pleased to spend less than $40 at ShopRite, saving $40-something.  I always like saving more than I spend.  This bill included lunchmeats, yogurt, produce, laundry detergent, foil, and a dessert for my girls-night-in.  Also last week I spent around $13 at the drugstore, which included 2 gallons of milk, 4 tooth spinbrushes, toothpaste, huge sticker letters and a trifold board for Bailey's school art project.  So I was about $3 over what I wanted to spend, but I'm including Bailey's stuff in there, which was about $7.

This week I want to spend around $50 also.  There are not many drugstore sales that I want, so may pass them up.  I need to go to Acme, not a store I usually like, but they are having a sale on General Mills/Yoplait products where if you buy 5 products - they're $2.50 each product - you get free milk.  You can buy whatever kind of milk you want, it take's up to $4.50 off your bill.  We need some cereal so this is a good deal for me with coupons making the $2.50 each, less.  I also need our weekly produce, etc but I think that I am going to hit up our local farmers market.  I even have a $5 off coupon to use there - a rare find!

I have made up a meal plan menu for May (20 days worth, leaving room for going out, family fun nights at church, leftovers and when I just don't feel like it!)  and I am pleased that I have all the ingredients already for all of these meals, minus a few fresh ingredients.  Here is my menu -

*Baked chicken legs, corn, stuffing, salad
*Stuffed shells, salad, bread
*Ground turkey and refried bean burritos, yellow rice
*Clam Chowder, bread or crackers, fruit salad
*Spicy chicken strips salad

*Sloppy joes, baked red potato slices
*Ham, macaroni and cheese bake, applesauce
*Roast turkey, rice, peas
*Creamy chicken noodles, salad
*Turkey pot pie, fruit cups

*Crockpot roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans
*Chicken veggie rice casserole, applesauce
*Roast beef sammies, mashed tater pancakes
*Ravioli w meat sauce, salad, bread
*Make-your-own calzones

*Ground turkey swedish mtbls, noodles, salad
*Breaded chicken cutlets, broccoli casserole, applesauce
*Beef and veggie stir fry, rice
*Breaded chicken cutlet sandwiches, macaroni salad, fruit cups
*Turkey noodle soup, bread or crackers, carrots and dip

These are really frugal meals and not because I use trashy food ingredients.  I use a lot of fresh herbs, brown rice, real potatoes - not boxed or frozen.  But because I buy things on sale, I have a full freezer of meat, cheese and veggies, a full pantry of pastas, sauces, rice.  The turkey I got for free with the Easter promotion (spend $300 - a price that is BEFORE coupons so I estimate I spent 1/2 that if not less!) and the bread I get for free as Panera Bread donates to MOPS biweekly and I freeze it.  Think about substitutions for your favorite meals.  For instance, I have never made swedish meatballs with ground turkey but I don't have any ground beef as it hasn't been on sale in FOREVER.  My stock up price for that is $1.99/lb for 93% lean.  Why by the 80% when after you cook it you have tons of fat?  Then you have less meat - so it's pointless in my book.  Anyway, I am craving them soon, so I am going to try a ground turkey swedish meatball recipe I found.  We'll see how it turns out!

Anyone have any frugal meals they want to share?

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