Category Archives: meal planning

A Well-Stocked Pantry; Part 3

Does your family meal plan include enough vegetables and fruit?

Does your family meal plan include enough vegetables and fruit?

The USDA recommends that 50% of our dinner plate be filled with vegetables and fruit. But can you guess what percentage of the average grocery bill goes towards fruit and veggies?  Americans spend only about 14% according to a Huffington Post Article.  In this third part of the “Stocking Your Pantry” series, we’ll give you some ideas about what veggies to always have in your pantry (food storage areas). Continue reading

A well-Stocked Pantry: Part 2

picture of soup

Egg drop soup is light, easy to prepare and nourishing.

Is Your Cupboard Filled with Cans of Soup? OK. Kids love chicken noodle, and alphabet soup. Canned soups are easy to store, require no refrigeration and are simple  to prepare. However food that comes in a can tend to be more expensive, contain lots of salt, preservatives and hidden sugar. The nutritional value is questionable since we can’t tell if the food was canned at its peak ripeness.             Read more as we share  ways to make natural soup outside the can. Continue reading

Stretch Your Food Budget With A Well-Stocked Pantry

This salmon & salad meal was prepared room ingredients we found in our pantry.

This salmon & salad meal was prepared from ingredients we found in our pantry.

Putting together a well-stocked pantry may strain your budget at first but save you hundreds of dollars over time. In this five-part series we’ll explore ways to assemble a pantry that fits your cooking style, meal plans and budget. By having ingredients readily available you avoid a trip to the grocer,  can change your meal plan, and be ready if company shows up. To get you started here are a few reasons for assembling a pantry and some ingredients you may want to keep on hand. Continue reading

Planned-Over Free Meal Idea #3

pic of a meal

Restaurants usually serve too much food, Here is a meal from the leftovers.

Here’s a tip for using restaurant left-overs. When dining out we like to go to grocery delis like the Community Food Coop or Safeway. They usually have a variety of salads, soup and Safeway offers Asian entrees. So, we took Asian home and enjoyed half of the Supreme Combination Meal. Then we boxed the rest for today’s free meal. Read more to see how I created a tasty salmon rice n noodle dinner: Continue reading

Think Food – Think Gold

Salmon patties go well with Roasted carrots and Potatoes fresxh from the garden  are delicious

Salmon patties go well with Roasted carrots and Potatoes hidden in our pantry. Check yours and find some free meals hiding.

Old settlers used to say “Do you have gold in your pantry?” meaning “Anything to eat?” Food, water and shelter were big concerns as wagon trains moved across the Country, and at times fresh food was considered to be more valuable than a gold nugget.

Now, food is so abundant in America that 30-40% is wasted as evidenced by simply searching the web for “Food Waste In America.”  Continue reading

The Revised Family Meal Planner: Download & Use It

The  Revised Meal Planner: Download & Use It.

cartoon of a messy desk

“Now if I just had a plan for finding my planner, I could start dinner.”

Using our planner will make it easier when your family gathers to share ideas about next week’s meals. But, you might be asking “Is meal planning really necessary?”

There are many reasons for planning your meals, especially before you shop. You  will save time and energy by making fewer trips to the market. By applying smart buying strategies, you will be able to take charge of how your food dollars are spent.  You will save even more when you coordinate your plans with friends; shopping and preparing meals together. But there are two hidden advantages for planning ahead. Continue reading

The $10 Meal: Stock These Inexpensive Ingredients.

Sauteed ingredients taken directly from your pantry make a quick meal.

Sauteed ingredients taken directly from your pantry make a quick meal.  Brown rice, peppers, carrots, celery, mushrooms and free range chicken are healthy.

I finished revising the “Meal Planner” today and listed a few inexpensive items to keep in your cupboard or fridge. Then ten minutes ago Webmed posted an article listing 15 $2 items to always keep in your cupboard or fridge. Guess what! We both had many of the same items. What are they? Continue reading

Choose Items Carefully For Your Pantry

This spicy veggie patty is the centerpiece  of a $10 family meal.

This is an example of a $10 family meal. All the ingredients were sitting in our pantry just waiting to nourish our family.

We all know it is important to have a well-stocked pantry for emergencies. But more than that, it lays the foundation for assembling hundreds of different meals. It is important to take care in choosing the food in order to save space, money and the nutritional value of the food.

There are many things to consider so we’ll post our ideas in three segments, Here are some tips and tricks for you to think about. Continue reading

Healthy Eating On A Tight Budget

picture of vegetables

Having fruit and vegetables readily available for snacks is healthy and saves money.

Want to eat healthier foods? Webmd featured a slide show today titled “Healthy Eating Resolutions.” It is well done and their Tips and Tricks echo FMP  principles. Webmd and Mayo Clinic sites  are among my daily reads  because they usually offer nutritional remedies along side of medical interventions.

The 13 slides look at ways to add more fruit and veggies to your meals and snacks, plan ahead, savor the meal, eat out less and eat healthy foods when at work. But the slide show message is more than just about nutrition.

Many of their suggestions will also be money-savers. Eating out less, slow cooking, shared meals, eliminating costly sugar-laden soft drinks and processed foods add up to huge savings each month.  If you want proof, try this experiment just for snacks:

  • go to your favorite grocer and wheel 2 carts around the store.
  • In one cart place a week’s supply of your favorite snacks like chips and dip, cookies, Fritos®, ice-cream, juice and chocolates.
  • In the other cart put an assortment of fruit, celery, carrots, restaurant corn chips, humus, green tea bags, water, Greek yogurt and other natural foods you would munch on.
  • Compare the prices and see whether processed comfort foods are money-savers.
  • Please share the results on our forum.