Friday, September 5, 2008

Frugal Food Help: Menus!

So, from time to time I've chimed in with little ideas or recipes meant to make the worry of providing for yourself and/or your family less stressful on you and your wallet. Lately, a project I've been working on for myself has been menu planning, which I share with my mom, who cooks for herself, my dad, and sister.
Probably my number one reason for having menu plans does not apply to many of you (unless you're a young twenty-something/college student on your own)--if I don't have a plan, I could frugal myself to death. A terrifying thought, but basically what I've been known to do is eat very small portions of food to stretch my budget. Thus, menus!

I'm going to recommend planning your menus on a weekly basis. Having two such menus is optimal. I, personally, do this in order to mix and match daily menus according to what I've bought and what my schedule is like. Lunch also generally derives from dinner of the previous night. Yay for time saving! Let me give an example:
Yesterday for breakfast I had a corn muffin, yogurt, and pineapple. My pineapple was the IGA deal (16oz pineapple for $0.50), the corn muffin was homemade, and I used a coupon on the yogurt ($2.79-0.50=$2.29/2lb Columbo yogurt). Lunch was ziti w/cheese sauce (cheese sauce from the night before, ziti from the day before) and salad. Then, dinner was with my family and my mom served homemade pizza with mushrooms and onions!

As you can see, I try to have protein, starch, and fruit/veg at every meal. It just helps me feel full longer and I think its generally healthier. If anyone would be interested I'd be happy to post full weekly menus and more recipes. I think you'd be surprised with some of the info--I love retro things, so I have recipes and menus from the 1920s-1960s. Lots of fun and new (sort of!) ideas puts a different spin on cooking. Also, I'm currently looking for a lentil soup recipe with a tomato base, so if I find a good one, I'll share it here (free Muir Glen tomato products + lentil--good source of cheap veg. protein = great meal!).

Happy weekend!

P.S. - Check back on Monday for coupon deals and steals of the weekend!
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  1. Now this was mighty useful.. been living on and off alone in a very busy (and expensive city) so this will certainly help me in setting things up right for me :)

    Found you through remarkablogger's post..subscribed as well

  2. Thanks Maneesh! I'm going to put up another menu post shortly... and thanks for subscribing!