Meal Planning, Lesson 2

A few months ago, I posted about meal planning, and a couple of ideas I’ve used to keep our food costs low.  That day, I had ideas for  a series of three different posts, but like many things in my life, it took me about twelve seconds to forget my plans.  I didn’t forget that I wanted to post more, I just forgot what I had planned to write about in the final two posts.  I’m very smart like that.  Or not.

Never fear, though!  I decided that I could give a couple of examples of my savings.  Maybe these real-life examples will help someone, and maybe they won’t.  If it’s not helpful, at least I get a chance to brag a bit.  I like to brag.  Not really. Yes, I do.

I went shopping last week, and one of my favorite places in the entire grocery store are the shelves in the back hall where all of the mark down merchandise is kept.  Sometimes there isn’t much there that “trips my trigger”, but this particular day I found some treasures.  I should probably stop here and apologize for getting so excited about food prices, but I can’t help it.  I don’t do any other kind of shopping on a regular basis, so this is the best I can do.  Besides, I L-O-V-E food.  😉

Ok, so my favorite find on this day was a bag of 80 white corn tortillas for $1.00.  I immediately knew that I had to make an enchilada casserole…I have been craving Mexican food for weeks!  Now, this isn’t really one of my low cost dishes, but it’s not awful.  The cost is roughly $10.00 and it makes a 9×13″ pan full.  This particular night, I wasn’t feeling well, and I didn’t make anything else to eat with it.  My family was still full.

Now, I used 15 of those 80 tortillas, but I still have 65 to go!  So, here’s what I plan to do with some of the rest of them:

I’ll make bean tostadas, and feed all seven of us for under $7.00:

Tortillas 1.00/80=.01 each .16
Refried Beans 1.20—large can 1.20
Lettuce Half head @ 1.50 .75
Tomato 1 lb roma .99
Salsa 1.50/jar, quarter of jar .35
Cheese 3.00/8 oz bag.  We like cheese! 3.00
Total:   $6.45


I’ll also make huevos rancheros using a recipe from my friend Linda:

Tortillas 1.00/80=.01 each .12
Enchilada Sauce 1 can .79
Black Beans 1 can .69
Cheese 8 oz. We love cheese! 😉 3.00
Eggs 1 dozen 1.89
Total:   6.49


And here’s one more quick meal example from the other day:

Pork Chops 5.00 Bought 6.7 lb whole pork loin for 1.49/lb.  Had it sliced in store, giving me 15 boneless chops.  Used half, froze half.
Green Beans .98 Bought on sale before Thanksgiving for .49 each, used 2 cans.
Rice .48 Bought 3 lb bag on mark down for 1.29—rough estimate of meal cost.
Total: 6.46  

In the last example, the pork was the big savings, but the rice is a nice deal too!

Hopefully this gives some “real life” examples to the steps I had posted before, especially about finding the “deal” and working around it.  Usually my deals are the proteins, whatever meat is on sale, but that’s not always the case.

Anyone else have a deal they’re particularly proud of??





  1. Amy

    Can you come cook for my family please??!!?? We have 7 in our family and it is so hard to please everyone…and still eat healthy!

    • It *is* hard to please everyone, but I’m almost able to let it go these days! (I said almost, lol) I figure if my husband and I are happy, everyone else can make a peanut butter sandwich!

  2. Valerie, I love your tips. For so many years I did not have to shop bargains. Now that we are retired we have really been trying to shop smarter. It used to be that if I needed buttermilk I would just run and get it. Now I have learned that gas is not cheap and neither is our little store here in Rose HIll. I have learned to make my own butter milk with milk and lemon juice or vinegar. It works just fine. I also learned today that I don’t need to buy self rising flour. I can make it myself. We are a work in progress!!!

    • I make my own buttermilk often, but I’ve also learned that it is still good long after the date, so I buy it when it’s marked down and use it until it separates when I pour it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: