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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Super Saver Saturday- Get Cooking!

Just washed organically grown okra ready to be sliced for tonight's dinner. I could eat okra everyday I love it so much!

Hello Everyone! What's for dinner tonight? ; )

One of the biggest expenses in a household is money spent on food. Check out the USDA food budget info at http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2012/CostofFoodJan2012.pdf. They have four plans listed: thrifty, low-cost, moderate, and liberal. According to their thrifty plan, I should spend $162.60 to feed three adult men ages 19-50 and one 50 year-old woman. Occasionally, my 27 year-old daughter and her nearly 1 year-old son are here eating also.

I don't think I even come close to spending that much weekly, unless we include pet foods, cleaners, and toiletries (and I use coupons and sales on those!). Lest you are now worried about us, let me assure you that we eat at least three times a day and we eat well. I cook the majority of our meals at home and it is extremely rare for us to eat out. Being able to cook and shopping for bargains has been a huge help to keeping our costs under control!

Let me share some of what I do and hopefully shed a little light on what others can do, too.

On Thursdays, my husband brings home a variety of groceries that he finds on markdown at the grocery store. I am never sure exactly what he will have when he gets home. Talk about life being like a box of chocolates.

This week he purchased two packages of already prepared vegetable kabobs that had been marked to $3.25 per package, about a 50% reduction from the regular price. They had mushrooms, red onions, yellow squash, zucchini, green peppers, and red peppers. I did not immediately pop these on the grill for the evening meal. Instead, I took stock of other items we had and decided to take the kabobs apart to use in the following meals: red and green peppers, and mushrooms were reserved for eating fresh in salads and with hummus for lunch. The zucchini, yellow squash, and onions went into two different dinner dishes; Mediterranean Stew, and Ratatouille. To these dishes, I added our homegrown Japanese eggplant and okra. Both of these meals are served over brown rice, which I made from scratch on my stove. A 2-pound bag of brown rice at my local grocery store was $1.18.
Japanese eggplant grown organically from our garden. These ones are headed into Mediterranean Stew.



So, the cost to produce or enhance three meals to feed 2 women and 3 men was $7.68 AND there were leftovers for lunches. Take that USDA thrifty meal plan! Also, we are consuming a lot of vegetables in these dishes and everywhere where we turn we hear that we need to eat more vegetables.

I didn't begin my adult life with a Ratatouille recipe in my back pocket. But, thankfully, I had a grandmother who was very practical and had given me a Betty Crocker cookbook when I turned 13. The edition I received had wonderful illustrations that showed the most basic of cooking skills, such as scrambling an egg.
My poor cookbook is falling apart so I had to find a stock photo to show you what I think is the best cookbook ever. I know that my grandmother would be very pleased to know that I have used it and loved it so much over the years. 


If you don't know how to cook., there are resources everywhere to help you learn: YouTube, the Food Channel, libraries, blogs, 4-H, The Cooperative Extension Service, your mom or grandma...

Don't waste another minute or another dollar at the fast food places, learn to cook as soon as possible!



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