Eating Like A King On A Shoestring Budget – Part 3


FREEZER SHOPPING FIRST  –  Part 3 of 5 in series  –  Click for Part 1

Soooooo…You have printed your Eat Sheet™ off CityLine’s site or our site under the Grocery List tab – then clicked Blank Eat Sheet™! You’ve done that right??? Remember my phrase…Ideas Inspire – but Doing Transforms!!!

So, if you really, really want to completely change the way you feel about dinner-making and completely chop down your grocery costs…Print out an Eat Sheet™!

Now…I want you to take that Eat Sheet™ and go to your freezer. What’s in there? A freezer-burned hunk of meat? (from 1967 as Tracy said on her show LOL, she is sooo funny!) Is there a box of something premade? Is there a pack of chicken breasts? All freezer sizes are different and all budgets are different so each freezer will be quite individual!

Freezer Sandi 2

As a professional Meal Planner working with families, here is what I see all the time! I go into a family’s home, the parents are stressed out about food costs and the cooking process, I open up their freezer and it’s stuffed full of all sorts of recognizable as well as unrecognizable items! When I tell them they are sitting on a goldmine of food they say things like, “But to look in there is so overwhelming.” I say, “Only if you’re not working with an Eat Sheet™”! When I have worked with some of the most stubborn, nonbelieving parents in the past, they would fall over when I said I would save them their entire cost of my meal-planning fee in three months! (…and if I couldn’t I would give them back the difference) I would have a biiiig smile on my face when I hit an overstuffed deep freeze…because I knew I would likely save them my fee in about 6 weeks flat!

The fact is…if you start your next three Eat Sheets™ FREEZER FIRST – you will never again pay full price for the most expensive items on your list – meat! This can literally cut each of your grocery bills in half!

Remember… when you purchased the thing in your freezer; you did it for a reason! You thought that item would be something your family would eat. So what’s changed? Only the fact that it’s buried! That’s it! Soooo, take your Eat Sheet™ to the freezer and take stock of what you have. Do you have a small roast with a little freezer burn? Either use it or pitch it! Keeping it in there is just adding to your overwhelm. Simply rinse the freezer burn off with cold water…let it sit out for just enough time so the surface begins to defrost, then trim off the surface. The rest will look like new (if it doesn’t, pitch it). What can you do with that small roast? Toss it into a slow cooker with slivered onions and golden mushroom soup (with lots of water if you’re gone all day). Serve that over rice with a nice veg or salad. Oooor…sliver it for fajitas like I’m doing with mine this week …oooor sliver it and toss it in a pan with caramelized onions and mushrooms, then stuff it in a bun for the best beef dip ever! The sky is the limit! FREEZER FIRST! For three weeks!

Here’s my personal dinner menu this week! This is for 4 adults for 5 days including lunch (and don’t forget my grocery bill also includes breakfast and snacks).

Maple Cranberry Chicken Breasts with Rice & Broccoli

Macaroni Lasagna with Fresh Veggies & Dip

Turkey & Mushroom Cream Sauce on Puff Pastry Shells with Spinach Salad

Sirloin Fajitas with All the Toppings

Pesto Dijon Pork Chops with Roasted Potatoes & Peas

 I had chicken breasts (Wal-Mart has Canadian chicken for a great price almost all the time.) I had precooked extra-lean ground beef in the freezer for the Macaroni Lasagna. I had leftover sliced turkey from Thanksgiving. I had a tiny roast I bought for $5 a while back, so I’m slicing it into strips for the fajitas. And I had chops, which I had lopped off the end of a pork loin I picked up on sale a few weeks ago!

I didn’t buy a drop of meat! My groceries are a little over 60 bucks! But here’s the key…I would have bought meat if there had been a smoking deal on something I generally use! I can afford to… because my groceries are so inexpensive.

Because I shopped freezer first – it frees me to purchase the smoking deals when they come up! Those get popped into the freezer for a future meal plan!

$68 for 8 servings per day x 5 days =40 servings = $1.70 per serving

That’s not even counting our breakfasts and snacks so it’s likely more like $1.40.

 A final story

Our son and daughter-in-law eat with us quite frequently! We love it! They own a store and it doesn’t close until 8 PM each night. So seeing they live just down the street, they pop over, have a chat, a hug, a plate of dinner, grab leftovers for lunch …and off they go! We left during the holidays to see another one of our kids living overseas and to attend another daughter’s wedding. So weeks before we left we made meals that could be easily frozen as leftovers. We stuffed their little freezer with easy to grab meal components, as well as meals, so that they could take something out of the freezer and then just warm it up, or quickly toss it together when they got home! Several times, while we were away my daughter-in-law would email saying…please come home we miss your cooking! (I’m very lucky…I have 3 of the most amaaaazing daughter-in-laws!)

Of course I felt wonderfully needed and loved…but here’s the thing…we teased the heck out of them both when we got back home when we discovered their freezer was still full of the stuff we left them! We packed it all up, took it back home and I’ve been gradually incorporating the items into my meals plans! LOL!!!

Thanks to all of you for the amazing feedback I am getting on this series! Keep the ideas, questions and comments coming in! I’ll be back soon with part 4 of the series along with the recipes I’m using in my meal plan! Let’s free ourselves from the worry of grocery costs and cooking dinner – one Eat Sheet™ at a time! xox

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