Group Home

Smarter Shopping: Time-Saving Menu Items

Posted by on Aug. 30, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 39 Replies
1 mom liked this



When I'm food shopping, I'm always on the lookout of time-saving menu items for all of our family's weekday meals. Sometimes, though, those items cost a lot more than the ones that DO require more prep time, so I feel like I need to decide which are worthwhile, and saving me time without spending any more, or at least not too much more. Here are some of the time saving menu items I consider, and those that buy consistently without feeling like I overspend, and some that I sometimes splurge on, when I have an extra crazy or stressful week or month ahead:

Healthy food that cooks fast without costing too much more, or any more at all:

· Instant oatmeal packets, which I love to travel with also.

· Chicken cut up instead of whole, so I can have lots of leftovers and / or freeze some. Like "family packs" of thighs or legs or wings.

· Instant couscous, which is teeny tiny pasta that comes in many flavors and cooks in 5 minutes flat. Delish and goes with anything!

· Soups.

· Broth and stock (for making sauces, stews, and soups)

· Pre-made biscuit or cookie dough, and cake mixes for parties etc. (By the time you buy all the ingredients or even just a few, like butter or eggs and sugar and vanilla, you've paid more than the mix.)

· Frozen pizza dough and pie crusts

· Frozen waffles

· Canned pumpkin or squash (for soups and baking)

· Frozen veggies like spinach and shelled peas, which take only minutes to cook

Food items that I avoid buying unless I am really over-burdened and just can't do it all on my own:

· Any prepared raw produce, like baby carrots cut and peeled, or cut fruit or sliced mushrooms, or chopped garlic.

· Any pre-packaged meals (frozen or otherwise)

· Salad dressing

· Pre-made dips and spreads like guacamole

· Marinades in bottles.

· Spice mixes

· Premade yogurt cups mixed with fruit and granola

· Pre-made salad mixes and pre-washed salad

· Pre-made sauce like pasta sauces

· Pre-mixed beverages like chocolate milk

· Cheese sticks and pre-shredded cheese

Which time-saving foods do you buy often and which do you avoid, to save money, if any?

© iStockphoto.com/artJazz

by on Aug. 30, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Aug. 30, 2013 at 9:28 AM
1 mom liked this

Oh wow, you are a LOT better than I am! I haven't quite gotten to making my own salad dressings or marinades yet, and I usually just buy premade pasta sauce as well. I have recently started shredding my own cheese blocks, and it is both cheaper and tastier. With salad, I will buy premade in the winter, but in the summer I just use whatever is in my garden. Otherwise I completely agree that prepared veggies are just too expensive to be worth it.

Good tips!

AzariahsMother
by Lynsey on Aug. 30, 2013 at 9:34 AM
1 mom liked this
TFS!
AzariahsMother
by Lynsey on Aug. 30, 2013 at 9:35 AM
I am a simple meal cooker most often during the week. Coming home after 8hrs of work I don't want to spend another hour cooking dinner because then we are not eating until 6 maybe sometimes 7. On the weekends is when I like to cook bigger more complex meals but sometimes I don't even bother because we still have left overs.
JOYFULMOM76
by New Member on Aug. 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM
1 mom liked this

Try Kitchme.com. Look for me. joyfulmom76. Great new easy recipes. I have one food I need to use before it gets back, I just plug it in the search menu and whala....a lot of recipes and it will help you shop the sales and you can save a recipe for next week in your cookbook after you shop. Have fun cooking something new.

aneela
by 80sTardisGirl4Gore on Aug. 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM
1 mom liked this

oh wow...some of the stuff you avoid..i buy LOL..not all but some

aneela
by 80sTardisGirl4Gore on Aug. 30, 2013 at 1:41 PM
1 mom liked this

i like getting the family packs of meat (chicken mainly) and portion out

nngmommy83
by Gold Member on Aug. 30, 2013 at 3:32 PM

TFS! 

lyrick24
by Platinum Member on Aug. 30, 2013 at 3:44 PM
1 mom liked this

 i buy big portions but it takes all of it for one meal for my family.

Juniper53098
by June on Aug. 30, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Most of the "healthy" list above is not healthy at all.  

I will buy organic salad mixes, frozen veggies, and shredded cheese.  The rest I make myself.

Juniper53098
by June on Aug. 30, 2013 at 7:22 PM
1 mom liked this

I do buy the bulk packs of chicken or pork chops, too.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Owner:
Most “Liked” Moms in This Group
Last 24 Hours
Last 7 Days
Last 30 Days
  1. hugss
  2. BeachLifeMama
  3. SweetLuci
  4. mom2jessnky
  5. mrswillie
  6. proudmommy690
  7. alf2651
  8. Wish2Be
  9. nngmommy83
  10. momofsixangels
  11. momofnatalie
  12. lyrick24
  13. melliburger
  14. exhaustedmother
  15. wandep
  16. brownhoney21
  17. louannwilkins
  18. lilmama31709
  19. lizzig
  20. Tigress22304
Today's Question Tell us what you think!

Which back to school item(s) do you buy new every year?

Only CafeMom members can vote on polls.
Click here to login or register.