Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's on your Meal Plan?

In order to think about reducing grocery costs, you really have to think about planning meals. I know for me, going into a store to grab something for tonight's dinner usually means I wind up buying other things I really didn't need. The number one way for me to cut grocery costs is to just stay out of the store! Meal planning doesn't have to be difficult. In a simple form it can just be jotting down what's going to be for dinner in the empty block on the calendar. Doing this for a weeks time lets you think about what you don't have on hand before you make your grocery trip. It also let's you think about what you have on hand that needs to be used up.

If you bought to many bananas last week and they are going bad, this week you may be eating banana muffins for breakfast. Maybe you have some of last night's taco meat left and need to remake it to another meal, or there's to many mashed potatoes left from the last meal. Leftovers can help reduce your grocery bill for this week if you find a way to serve them so you are not repeating the same meal taste to often.

It's Monday and that means the new week is off to a start...what will you have for dinner this week? Grab a pen and survey the cabinets, fridge and freeze and develop a plan. As the week goes on, I'll post a few ideas on how to use leftovers you may have on hand.

For today thought, here's an inexpensive ground beef casserole you can try.

Hamburger Casserole

1 pound ground beef
1 cup water
1 16 oz. jar salsa
2 cups uncooked pasta, elbow mac or shapes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
Cook beef in skillet until brown; drain.
Stir water, salsa, uncooked pasta and salt into beef.
Heat to a boiling; reduce heat.
Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender. Stir in sour cream; cook just until hot

My kids love this one and it reheats easily for lunches too.

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