When I was in the thinking stages for this blog (which took up way too much brain power and time), I envisioned gathering all the good food deals and creating a week of meal planning ideas.
I also envisioned cooking and creating yummy, delicious, and easy recipes with gorgeous food-blog worthy pictures to go with them.
I can snap a picture with my phone and upload it, but that’s all you get at this stage. Sorry guys.
Nevertheless, I intend to keep the momentum that I started and make progress. One of the ways I’d like to do that is to come up with a few meal ideas and include recipes that will use the items on sale and help you make easy dinners and avoid the drive-thru at least one extra time each week.
And I would really super love it if you would chime in with some ideas of your own and/or share what has worked for you now or in the past. Please.
Here’s the Kroger healthier deals this week:
Kroger frozen vegetables 10/$10
Kroger butter $2.49 (organic is best, but if you are still using plastic, i.e. margarine, please, please switch to butter!)
Horizon organic milk $5.99 gal.
Plum Organics baby food 8/$10
Kroger cottage cheese and sour cream 2/$4 (organic from grass-fed cows is best, but still a good option for a natural food choice or condiment.)
Organic Gala or Fuji apples $1.59/lb.
Organic navel oranges 10/$10
Pork loin $1.99/lb. (local organically raised pork is best, but if you have a choice between a Big Mac or this pork loin, definitely go for the pork loin. It’s easy to fix and really delish.)
Private Selection turkey $.88/lb. Great to cook and then debone/shred to freeze in 1 lb. blocks for fast and easy casseroles and salads when money is tight or you need extra for taking dinner to a new mom or sick friend. I don’t know if this turkey is antibiotic/hormone free, so use at your discretion.
Laura’s lean ground beef $4.99/lb. (hormone free, sustainably farmed)
Kroger carries organic potatoes and you can get a small bag for about the same as you would pay for the ones that contain more pesticide than you’d care to eat. If you like potatoes, keep an eye out for these to go on sale. Potatoes aren’t the healthiest of foods; but let’s face it.. sometimes you just need some good ol’ home fries.
Ken’s salad dressing is 50% off this week, too. Great price if you need something to go with your organic salad greens *wink*. The problem with most dressing is they are typically made with canola (most of the US canola is from GM seed) and has high fructose corn syrup. I went through the whole aisle of dressing in Food Lion last week looking for a bleu cheese dressing that would be sorta-kinda okay to go with the buffalo chicken dip my husband wanted. Many had HFCS as the first ingredient! Really?! I walked out with none because it just made me angry.
I keep telling my husband I am going to start making dressing. I mean, the Food Channel cooks make it look easy, why can’t I? Wisk the vinegar and herbs with olive oil and voila! Right? Someday.
If you go to Coupon Mom or The Frugal Find, they will already have all the specials and match them up with the coupons you have been collecting over the last few weeks so you can find some amazing bargains with your basic groceries (You have been clipping coupons, right?).
The trick to making the most of coupon matchups is to only select the items that you will actually use and avoid buying 18 packages of Irish Spring and 25 boxes of Trix. While there is wisdom in emergency preparedness, don’t spend every last penny you have for your family’s grocery budget on stockpiling only to discover you have nothing to eat for the week except Trix.
Last week I went through Coupon Mom and sorted the Kroger and Food Lion matchups by % savings. This showed me the best deals at the top. Out of that list, I sought items that I could use this week for cooking, snacks, and meals. I also checked to see what I already had on hand. I then created a workable list that saved me maximum amount of money and gave me something to work with for a week’s worth of lunches and dinners. I already had a decent amount of items on hand for breakfast.
It was long, hard work, but I am really happy with the results. I got $149.72 worth of groceries for $86.65 for a savings of 42%. Not everything I got was on sale, but the items I got for super cheap allowed me a little leeway in getting those items that weren’t on sale and I still managed to cut my grocery costs nearly in half. My biggest splurge was a big bag of organic frozen fruit that I could mix with my Wellness Resources Protein Plus powder I intend to start using for my breakfast and lunch.
Before I left for the store, I put all items on my list in categories on a Word document: Fruit, veggies, meat, sides, snacks, ingredients, condiments, and other. It gave me a better visual to ensure that I was getting a good mix of items that worked together for meals. How often do you shop specials and coupons and come home to realize you have nothing to eat? I’ve done that more than I’d like to admit.
What meal ideas do you have based on this week’s specials?