Stewardship: The Great Food Exchange

16 01 2008

This one is for you momlovesbeingathome. Many of you know that we eat on very little $$$. Well, let me tell you one little secret…we are on WIC (Woman, Infants and Children) a food program for lower income mommy and their babies. While Dave is in school we don’t make that much, but to tell you the truth, when we are not on it we still eat for only 250 dollars a month! So here are some tips…..

1. Buy bone in chicken. Yesterday at Meijer I got it for only 89 cents a pound. I stock up on this when it goes under a dollar! There are lots of great recipes on that use bone in chicken.

2. I make most of the extra breads (rolls, muffins, pizza crust, etc.) by hand. I buy whole wheat flour and switch it into my breads. You can do a 1/2 exchange and not have to modify the recipe. For example if chocolate chip cookies call for 2 cups of flour you can put in 1 cup white and 1 cup whole wheat. This makes your foods a lot healthy and they fill you up on less!

3. We eat a lot of leftovers for lunches. Now granted I only have preschoolers and toddlers at home, but as they get bigger I will have to add more lunch foods into our recipes.

4. When you buy a ‘special’ ingredient for a recipe, make sure you find more recipes that use that same ingredient so it doesn’t go to waste (like poppy seeds etc.)

5. Make you breakfasts! This may sound silly, but cereal is EXPENSIVE!!! Make a bunch of homemade pancakes (will cost you about 1.25 for about 30 of them). You can make them a head of time and then freeze them between sheets of wax paper and in a ziplock bag (or off brand like I would do). Now if your child eats 2 pancakes for breakfast, you just made them for only 8 cents a serving!!!! Now you can add a banana and a glass of milk and they have a very filling breakfast. Now they won’t be crawling back into the kitchen after only an hour, saving you on snacks!

6. Buy in season and stock up. I buy Zucchini when it is only cents for a pound when it is in season. I shred it and freeze it for Zucchini bread in the winter (this is another cheap and great breakfast, with a little butter and juice!)

7. We only use butter, so when it goes for $1.50 for a pound, I stock up and put it in the freezer! It will keep for 6 months at least.

8. Find dinners that don’t use a lot of meat. Chicken casseroles are good for this. They make the meat go a long way, so are tacos! If you have a VERY large family and a deep freeze, consider buying a 1/4 or 1/2 of a cow at a local beef farm. I know this sounds crazy, but families with 8 plus people this is very helpful and you can get all kinds of cuts of beef for almost 50-75% cheaper than you would at the store. The only problem is you need to have the money up front, this maybe an option for you. (Maybe one day for us 🙂 )

9. Shop when the shelves are full and you are not hungry. (I know most of you already know that, but it is always good to hear again). We shop on Monday or Tuesday mornings. The shelves are restocked for the weekend and it is not as busy so I don’t rush as much. When you go the store and they are out of something you are more willing to replace it with something you don’t need or you go back for it (and when do we EVER go back for only one thing!).

10. If your store has a clearance area for food, go and look. I will usually go there and pick up something for dinner that night. It is still good food, they just have to sell it within a few days. This is a great way to get most of a meal for only a few bucks! I will sometimes leave an opening on my meal planning sheet just for this! Just make sure that opening is that evening or the next.

Now, I will do an entirely different post on infants and saving money. I am sitting for 2 extra kids for 2 night and 3 days, so I will post it when I get to it. :-).