Monday, July 6, 2009

Money Saving Mondays: Saving money on meals and using those leftovers!


Continuing series of Money Saving Mondays! I love to save money, post deals, and just in general make my dollar stretch a little further so keep up with me on Mondays for some easy ways to save money!

Today let’s discuss how to save money by planning your meals and using those leftovers!

Plan your meals around your grocery store’s flyer. Instead of just planning your meals based on a cookbook or whatever you can dream up, plan all your meals around what’s on sale in your grocery store’s flyer. Look at the biggest sales, then plan meals based on those ingredients and what you have on hand, and you’ll find yourself with a much smaller food bill than you’re used to. Our only exception to this rule is to allow our 2 year old to pick a meal out of a picture cookbook each week. This gets him involved in menu planning, and we decided it was worth the extra cost.

Make a double/triple/quadruple batch of a casserole. Casseroles are nice, easy dishes to prepare, but on busy nights, it’s often still easier to just order some take-out or eat out or just throw a prepackaged meal in the oven. Instead, the next time you make a casserole, make multiple batches of it and put the others in the freezer. Then, the next time you need a quick meal for the family, grab one of those batches and just heat it up. Even better, doing this allows you to buy the ingredients in bulk, making each casserole cheaper than it would be ordinarily - and far cheaper than eating out.

Don’t fear leftovers - instead, make them new. Many people dread eating leftovers – they just don’t like them. However, there’s nothing cheaper than eating leftovers and with a few great techniques for making leftovers tasty, you can often end up with something surprising and quite delicious on the other end. My favorite technique for leftovers? Using the leftovers as a basis for an all-new dish. Visit Janelle’s blog - Not Just Leftovers - Brand New Meals for great ways to turn last nights leftovers into brand new meals!

Brown bag your lunch. Instead of going out to eat at work, take your own lunch. Lots of people think that this means “nasty lunch,” but it doesn’t. With some thoughtful preparation and just a few minutes of time, you can create something quite enjoyable for your brown bag lunch - and save a fistful of cash each day, too. And if you don’t have enough leftovers to feed the family, then pack them up for lunch the next day! Sure they might not taste as great reheated, but they are likely much better for you than the fast food restaurant down the street.

If you have additional ideas for saving money on meals or using leftovers, please leave me a comment!

Want to join in on Money Saving Mondays? Copy my button, post it on your blog, and leave me a comment with a link to your post (I will figure out the Mr. Linky thing soon)!

2 comments:

Teri Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 3:45:00 PM CDT  

Great tips. I have to admit (happily) that my husband is the cook in the family. He just loves to do it, and he is a fabulous cook. We always have delicious leftovers. We try to keep several great meals in the freezer for the days when we are all running around, or when payday is too far away! Saves lots of money from the fast food that we would be tempted to buy instead.

Janelle Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 9:17:00 PM CDT  

Thanks for the mention!! I really appreciate it. :-) If you ever have a specific leftover you need to use, let me know and I'll see what ideas I can come up with!! I can always use new material.

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