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Give me some ideas???

I need some ideas on how I can fix Dinner but also save money... My DH brings Home $2100 each month, of course we have quite a bit in bills about $1500. We usually have around $500 or $600 left over every month.But, we're about to be debit free come February. :D

What meals can I make & save money??? I want to learn how to plan our meals out better & budget our money better also.

Answer Question
 
marcnsarah

Asked by marcnsarah at 3:05 PM on Jan. 11, 2010 in Money & Work

Level 3 (17 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • Shop the grocery sales ads before you go to the store! I make my menu around the sale items, and buy extra when meat etc,,is on sale!
    kimigogo

    Answer by kimigogo at 3:08 PM on Jan. 11, 2010

  • Here are my best tips for saving at the grocery store: Make at least some of your own cleaning products. This has the added bonus of bringing fewer toxins into your home

    This is what we use for most cleaning (initially used as part of my daughter's 6th grade science fair project). It is cheap (my favorite) and non toxic.
    ¼ cup white vinegar
    ¾ cup warm tap water
    1 tablespoon baking soda
    10 drops of tea tree oil (antibacterial, antifungal, etc.)
    2 drops oil of lavender essential oil (antiseptic and smells nice)

    Stop buying paper towels and napkins. Cloth napkins are more fun! Pick up cheap cotton towels at your favorite second hand shop. Save money and trees!!

    Past the age of 2, the only beverage that humans need is water. Stop buying juice and sodas; buy milks only for cooking and cereal. You can liven up water with slices of fruits and vegetables; make ice cubes with blueberry eyeballs for the kids.

    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 3:52 PM on Jan. 11, 2010

  • Replace meats with beans, lentils, tofu, seitan, etc. You can save even more money by using dried beans and lentils and making your own seitan.

    Cook from scratch! Home cooked foods taste so much better than the nasty boxed stuff, and you will feel better because you are eating healthier foods.

    Replace simple grains (white flour, white rice, white pasta, etc.) with whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain breads, etc.). While whole grains may cost more, they have more nutrition and are more filling, so they really are the better value.

    Frozen fruits and vegetables have a longer shelf life than fresh and retain their nutrition longer; they are often a better, less expensive option than fresh.

    cont
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 3:52 PM on Jan. 11, 2010

  • Once or twice a week have breakfast for dinner. Popular options at my house are: yogurt parfaits with frozen berries and whole grain cereal; veggies omelettes with a bit of cheese and whole grain toast; whole grain pancakes with fruit.

    Instead of baking a whole batch of cookies, make and freeze cookie dough balls. No one will be tempted to sneak a cookie(you know who you are) and when you do have cookies they will be fresh baked.

    Only go to the grocery store every 8 days. Before you shop, plan all of your meals and snacks for the next 8 days. Write your list, based on what you need to complete your meal plan. Pull any necessary coupons, eat before you go (never go to the grocery store hungry). Most important, buy only what is on your list. The specials at the store are not to save you money, they are to get you to buy items that you don't need. If you won't use it in 3 week, don't buy it! Contact me offlist for recipes
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 3:53 PM on Jan. 11, 2010

  • I love allrecipes.com

    My kids love crescent rolls. I lay out the crescent rolls, flat, smoosh seems together and fill:
    Ham lunchmeat and cheddar is the best! Oh and honey mustard
    Taco meat and monterey jack cheese
    Spaghetti sauce and cheese pepperoni
    BLT with creamy italian
    Fill center long ways, fold over ends and braid the middle. To braid, just cut small slits on edges. Dosnt have to be all that pretty. I know you can probably use bread but the crescent rolls really do make alot and we love crescent rolls.
    3gigglemonsters

    Answer by 3gigglemonsters at 4:17 PM on Jan. 11, 2010

  • Great ideas from other posters. Here are a few more. Start online with $5 Dinner Mom. Another place is Hillbilly Housewife, if you really want to cut expenses to the bone. A favorite resource for us is a beat up copy of the More With Less Cookbook. One thing that helps us is a pantry mentality. A first step involves tracking prices. Some people do that formally with a price book. It is alot of work but does make a huge difference. The second step involves buying items at the lowest possible price for the future. (Cans of tuna for 69c, 18 oz. peanut butter 1.29) The third is making meals around those particular foods. We do our shopping for a family of four (sons are 21 and 13) for $85 a week. It includes meats, fresh vegetables and fruits, milk, eggs, etc. Not many beans as DH doens't like them. We also have a small garden out back. That produces enough tomatoes to make sauce for the year. Hope that helps.

    oddfox

    Answer by oddfox at 1:53 PM on Jan. 13, 2010

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