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#241053 - 01/10/12 04:37 PM Re: Meal Planning/Grocery Budgeting for 2012 [Re: STRIVING]
ElizabethClark Offline
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Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 5353
Loc: Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
We're doing chicken-fried steak for dinner, with mashed potatoes, gravy, raw veggies, and green peas (because I adore mash and gravy and peas!). I need to shop this week, for the first time of the year, so I guess my Christmas Eve Eve shopping trip was well planned. smile

I got a few Indian recipes to try out (tested by other friends, so they're not unproven). It's a good time of year for crock-pot meals and new recipes, because I need new flavors!
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Liz

www.notmolly.wordpress.com

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#241064 - 01/10/12 05:45 PM Re: Meal Planning/Grocery Budgeting for 2012 [Re: ElizabethClark]
hartbe Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 1282
Loc: indiana
Liz-Would love to have your recipe for chicken-fried steak. I have tried it a couple of times, but it came out tough.

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#241067 - 01/11/12 12:06 AM Re: Meal Planning/Grocery Budgeting for 2012 [Re: hartbe]
ElizabethClark Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 5353
Loc: Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
Mine is kind of dirt-simple. smile We have a local butcher department that cubes (tenderized by pounding) the meat, so it's just a matter of a bit of Worchestershire sauce to lightly marinate for about 10 minutes, then dredging it (I use plain flour and some seasoned salt/black pepper), and pan-frying on each side to get a nice crust and some color going. Then I put them on a baking sheet, and into the oven at 350* to finish cooking through. They don't get dried out or overdone that way, I find.

I do a cream gravy that uses some beef broth, too, and garlic and pepper (YUM).

So, it might be the meat tenderizing that makes the most of it. I like them pretty well pounded. smile

Examine the meat in the package; you want it to have some little bit of fat marbling through, but not thicker white connective tissues, as those will make it tougher.

(And it was really tasty tonight... everyone snarfed, and my 6yo was really tickled to do *all* her own cutting up.)
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Liz

www.notmolly.wordpress.com

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#241073 - 01/11/12 08:20 AM Re: Meal Planning/Grocery Budgeting for 2012 [Re: ElizabethClark]
STRIVING Offline
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Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 5337
Last night I made BBQ beef, pineapple and pepper jack cheese French bread pizza. It came out very tasty. We also had some salad and red grapes to go with the meal.

So I used a bottle of BBQ sauce, some shredded meat, a package of cheese, and a loaf of french bread.

It seems everyone is in shock at the state of our fridge. We keep making holes, but they're being used really fast with other items in the fridge.

Tonight we can do a chicken stir fry over rice. Thursday I'll make a large batch of beef and bean enchiladas. DS is camping this weekend for winter camp, so he'll need something fast and filling on Friday afternoon before they go.
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#241110 - 01/11/12 01:29 PM Re: Meal Planning/Grocery Budgeting for 2012 [Re: STRIVING]
dianaro2 Online   content

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Registered: 04/04/06
Posts: 31797
Loc: Illinois
I picked up a few things at the store last week, and am planning on eating out of the freezers (both small top freezers) and pantry for as long as I can. Wish me luck!
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#241112 - 01/11/12 02:19 PM Re: Meal Planning/Grocery Budgeting for 2012 [Re: dianaro2]
Kimberly Purcell Offline
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Registered: 08/29/06
Posts: 9293
Loc: Folsom, CA
Added everything up last night and we spent almost $8500 on food last year. That includes coffee beans (about $35/mo),the occasional pizza, chinese or smoothie. Any big restaurant meals go into entertainment.

Would like to get that down closer to the $6000 that I have in the budget. Food prices are just crazy these days.
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#241124 - 01/11/12 05:47 PM Re: Meal Planning/Grocery Budgeting for 2012 [Re: Kimberly Purcell]
ElizabethClark Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 5353
Loc: Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
Kimberly, what strategies are you planning to use to trim the expenditures?

Up here, we get a lot of savings from targeted purchases through local farmer/farm markets/Bountiful Baskets, and meal-planning to make the most of everything that does get purchased. This year we'll also be focusing on raising as much as we can in our own garden, and preserving for next fall/winter/spring. It's a mindfulness thing for me, most of the time. I have to stay aware, and plan for interesting flavors so I don't get bored. smile Our expenses on food run in the $5000 range this past year, but we're also in an area where food prices have risen, but not astronomically.

Tonight, we're eating from the freezer: three kinds of homemade tamales, homemade beef/black bean/cheese burritos, shredded romaine salad, raw veggies, olives, salsa, sour cream... Some of my favorite foods, and all done dirt-cheap with no-additives ingredients (also my favorite kinds!) smile Which reminds me... I'd better get the little girls to slicing olives...
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Liz

www.notmolly.wordpress.com

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#241130 - 01/11/12 10:08 PM Re: Meal Planning/Grocery Budgeting for 2012 [Re: ElizabethClark]
Karalin Offline
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Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 91
Those homemade burritos sound great, Elizabeth! I've been making homemade soup with different kinds of beans mixed together and making sure I know what is in the mix. Minimal salt and additives as well. Lean ground beef and diced tomatoes.

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#241132 - 01/12/12 01:04 AM Re: Meal Planning/Grocery Budgeting for 2012 [Re: Karalin]
ElizabethClark Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 5353
Loc: Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
HUGE fan of bean soup here. smile Lovely stuff.

The burritos are easy... ground beef, browned and seasoned the way we like it best, mixed with some black beans, and then I spread that mixture out in a jellyroll pan and topped it with a thick layer of shredded cheese, and pressed it down. The heat made it melt a tad. Then it was easy to use a tablespoon and just snick off a nice fat amount to roll in the tortillas. Those were frozen in pairs. They defrost and then heat in the microwave. VERY fast to make, very fast to reheat.
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Liz

www.notmolly.wordpress.com

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#241135 - 01/12/12 08:22 AM Re: Meal Planning/Grocery Budgeting for 2012 [Re: STRIVING]
beaglelady Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 12/02/06
Posts: 3389
Loc: Michigan
bless, though it has been a few days and you have probably used up the bananas, you can peel them, cut in chunks and freeze for later use. I have one shelf in my freezer full of freezer bags of various fruits I use for smoothies.

SO was teasing me about sale shopping for groceries, but is finding out that the things I buy we use, and with minimal waste.

We had both my brother and his son over the holidays and all of them like broccoli. It was on sale for 69 cents a bunch and I bought several. I set aside the stems and enough tops to make soup. I have a vita mix high power blender(ten years old), which I love. I took the stems, chunked them up and mixed it with some water and some powdered chicken gravy mix, & tossed it in the blender. Put on high for seven minutes, added some seasonings, some whipping cream(leftover),cheddar and parmesan cheese leftovers, some bacon bits and steamed the leftover tops.....voila....bacon-cheddar-broccoli soup. Have had 2 lunches from it so far, sent a bowl over to SO'd folks, taking for lunch today, and will freeze about 4 more servings(SO hasn't been in the mood for soup, but did admit he liked the flavor)

Picked up a pound of ground beef on sale for $2 and sauteed it with leftover veggies-onions, multi colored peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms, and added it all to the package of alfredo pasta-roni that I got for nineteen cents. Have had 2 lunches and 2 dinners from it and have one more dinner for 2.

just concentrating on watching sales now.

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