I do not love cooking, but I do enjoy eating. So, therefore, I do cook. I grew up in a big family and I learned to cook from watching my mom and then as a teen copying her. My mom taught herself to cook. She and my dad were very frugal and she always made a menu and a grocery list for the week, and dad went and bought the groceries. They didn’t clip coupons, nor did they shop multiple stores. Nope, they found the best way to save money was to make the list, know their local store, prices and sales, and shop once a week. Over the years, I have tried saving more money by using coupons or shopping around. But like my parents, I have found a menu, list, and one-week shopping is indeed the best way to save money.
The other way my parents save money, and so do I, is eating similar meals over and over. We don’t buy fancy or expensive ingredients. On a special occasion we may buy something special, but day to day we buy and eat the same basic meals. There is sort of a pattern to our meals too. We eat Mexican American meals, pasta meals, chicken meals, breakfast dinner meals, soup, and sandwich meals.
Here is a list of the meals we eat most often.
Tacos, Taco Salad, Enchiladas, and Beans and Rice
Spaghetti, Goulash, Tuna Casserole, Mac N Cheese
Chicken and Dumplings, Chicken and Potatoes (Fries or Mashed), Honey Mustard Chicken, BBQ chicken
Hash Casserole, French Toast Casserole, Pancakes, Toast and Eggs, Sausage(Chicken, Turkey, or beef) and Eggs, Eggs and More (like omelets)
Saurkraut and Kielbasa, Stir Fry (these are dad meals, and he makes them from scratch and different all the time.)
Chili, Cowboy Beans, Other bean soups, Garlic Broth Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, Beef and Noodles, Tomato Soup, and Rachel’s cheesy potato soup
Grilled cheese, PB N J, Tuna sandwiches, cold meat sandwiches
I am sure I forgot some, but that is the basics. We serve a veggie and/or fruit with every meal. We eat eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, and fruit for breakfast every day. We never throw out any leftovers. We either eat it the next day or use it in another meal.
Since we eat these same basic meals always we can watch for sales and stock up on things we know we will use. For example this week we bought 180 lbs. of grass-fed beef, stocked up on pasta, and bread. We do bake our own bread, but if we can buy it at a good price we will. We also make our own beans from dry beans. We try to can our own tomato sauce and other fruits and veggies. But we can’t always get it done.
Now that I have given a little glimpse of what we eat. In my following posts, I will try and share how I make these meals. And I will share a sample of a weekly menu.
Let me know if there is a specific meal you would like to know how to make.