Although I do not yet have pics of my grocery stockpile to post (I will work on that later today)...I do have some more info to get out to your guys.
First I am going to post the links t omy previous articles in caseyou did not catch them (thanks C.L.R.)
So back to the task at hand!
First I will address some of the issues that you all have broght up in my last 2 articles.
Freezing items: Most items can be frozen, but not allitems can be thawed out. Of course freezing meat or lunch meat, etc. can be frozen ad thawed. Yogurt is wonderful frozen but no all yogurt can be thawed and eaten (some brands will have the texture changed when it thaws). I am lucky enough that my kids eat a tone of the frozen yogurt, and when I get so much in the freezer that I need to clear some out I use it (frozen) to make smoothies! Will post recipe at the end of the article.
Balanced Diet: By looking at what I buy in one week you may think I do not feed my family a well balanced diet. Well I probably feed my family a mor balanced and healthy diet than most. Hard to tell that from what you have read previousely...but it's TRUE! I often can frozen veggies for free or for a few pennies. Forexample - Birds eye veggies go on sale for 88¢ a bag, I usually have coupons that range anywhere from 25¢ off to $1 off. As many coupons as I have, I buy that many bgs of assorted veggies. I put them all in my freezer and we have veggies for a month at least. If I get too much of a veggie like corn or broccoli, I will buy the frozen chopped onions, or even peas. I have a ton of recipes using green peas or black eyed peas, so they are alays good to have on hand. I also always include a bread with our dinner. My kids favorite is my own recipe of my sweet southern cornbread. (Recipe will be added below) I also get a lot of free ready to bake breads that are either frozen or refrigerated. Pillsbury is notorius for going on sale for $1 or less and I use my coupons and usally stock up on free French bread loafes (Pillsbury) as well as biscuits, breadsticks, and pizza crust, croissants (all from Pillsbury). I have lots of recipes below using these items! Occasionally I wil get the Rhodes brand ready to bake bread that is in the freezer section.
Key: If you see a coupon whether it be online, in the paper, or in a magazine, cut it out. Even if it is for an item you would not normally bu. You never know when you might find it on sale and get it for free or really cheap with that coupon you found.
For those of you who get the Sunday paper coupons - remember all those high value coupons for Blood Glucose Monitors? SAVE THEM!!! I do not use them, I have a few family members who use them, but mostly I give them away. Most of the time CVS and/or Walgreens will sell these items for less than the coupon and give you either ECB's back or RR"s back for buying it. So...like next week...CVS has a Bayer meter on sale for $14.99, when you buy it they will give you back $5 in Easy Care Bucks (CVS's in store money). I have a $30 off coupon for this meter. They will adjust down the price of the coupon to meet the sale price and I will still get the $5 in ECB's, I will use these ECB's to purchase something else at the store. Lesson: Never throw out a coupon unless it is expired! LOL...
I can not tell you how many times I have put salad dressing coupons in my organizer and while shopping at the store I come across a basket full of 3 different brands of salad dressings on clearance for 75¢ to $1, I wil pull out my coupons and load up on free salad dressing. (I have created many recipes using salad dressings)
Stock up on the sale items that are easy side dishes - like the rice or pasta dishes. Even some of the frozen meals that go on sale are great for this. In my house none of us can eat a frozen meal as a whole meal. So when we have frozen dinners on sale, and if I have a coupo making it free or really cheap, I look for an item (picking from the ones on sale) that can be used to either make a side dish or to add as part of a meal. For example when Lean Cuisine goes on sale or the budget gourmet small boxed meals, I choose the all veggie ones or all pasta ones without meat, I cook them along with our meal and serve it as a side dish. Sometimes the brand that is on sale does not have anything I can use like this so I will try to pick something the kids will like, I put them in the back of the freezer so they can not easily be found. Then when I have 3 or 4 of them I pull them out on a night when me and the hubby are going to dinner and it's a quick meal for the kids they can make themselves!
Pay attention to the small print: Read exactly what your coupon reads on it. It may have a picture of a high priced item wit h$1 off, but it may read "Good off of any ___ brand product"...These are great because you may be able to find a product of that brand for $1 or less. Like the 75¢ off coupon that shows a box of Betty Crocker Scalloped potatoes on it, but reads "good on any BC potatos"...I can usually use this on the packets of instant mashed potatos regularly priced around 75¢ making them free. I do not really like the instant mashed potatoes, so I use them as a filler in my meatloaf, or a thickener in my potato soup instead of cornstarch.
Well I am going to go ahead and list the recipes now and will give out more tips later. I have somewhere I have to be in a little while and need to get going. Enjoy!
Use 1 -4 pack of frozen yogurt (any flavor)
Put in blender with fruit juice (Whatever flavor compliments the flavor or yogurt)
Add I cup of ice
Blend till smooth - kids and adults will love this. If I have fresh fruit I try to add some of that also, but you do not haev to since it will already taste great!
Sometimes I add blackberry yogurt with grape or apple juice = easy, healthy and soooo good!
Cornbread (My secret recipe so Shhhh!)
I can (any brand) of cream corn
2 boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix
1 tablespoon of sugar
Mix all together (Do not add the eggs, milk, or anything else)
I spread into my cast iron skillet (You can use whater 9x9 pan you have)
Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 or until knife stuck in center comes out clean.
This is the best cornbread ever and is way better for you. It will look like a really thick batter, but comes out wonderful!
Salad Dressing ideas:
Scrambled eggs - When you make your scrambled eggs most people add milk or water t them STOP!! Add a tablespoon of ranch dressing, adds creamy flavor that everyone will enjoy! I have been making them like this for years and when we have guest they always compliment me on the good flavor in my eggs.
Italian dressing - use as a marinade on beef, chicken, fish etc! Or take some forzen corn, peas, maybe some fresh chopped carrots,etc. and while still frozen toss them with 1/2 cup of italian dressing and sit in the fridge for an hour or so, makes a wonderful cool veggie salad.
When mashing potatoes - use 1/2 a cup of ranch dressing to add instant flavor!
Sometimes when I have a small amount of fresh veggies left that need to be used I take and chop them in big chunks (mostly celery, cherry tomatoes, onions, avocados, etc.) and lay them on a platter and drizzle with or favorite dressing. Let them marinade for about 30 minutes and serve before or with our dinner. Kids really like the cucumbers like this!