Wednesday, March 5, 2008

WFMW: Backwards Edition!

Right off the bat I must apologize for the lack of posting lately. My life has been chaotic at best. Daniel's birthday was Feb. 28th and his party was the 22nd. Open House for work was the 29th with the Dedication service on March 1st. Now my father's birthday is Friday, the 7th. It's been a little crazy around here lately.

Back to the topic at hand. In case you were unaware, I'm a big fan of the Backwards Editions of Works for Me Wednesdays. Well, I'm a fan of WMFW regardless but a bigger fan of the Backwards Editions. I get to ask you for help! My topic this month is what seems to be everyone's concern lately. Saving money, cheaper grocery bills, and more economical spending.

I have lots of examples. I have LizzyBee and Sarah taking care of things on the family side. I've also run across several other blogs that have to do with saving money. A few of my favorites are Kaci over at Sense to Save, Crystal at Money Saving Mom, Frugal Hacks, Gayle over at Grocery Cart Challenge, and Amy at The Mother Load.
All of these websites have great ideas but it's kinda hard to put them into practice. You see, my situation is a little different than others. I'm a 'newlywed' without kids and whose husband often works nights. I can but don't cook as I don't want to put forth the effort for one person. This brings me to Part One of my questions. I am in need of recipes that will serve two but that are inexpensive and easy to store and reheat.
Part Two is a little more complicated. Our lives have a lot of things going on in them right now. Daniel is currently in school so he's only working part time. We've had some changes here lately that have made us be more cautious with our money. Any suggestions? Not eating out as much will certainly help but Part One needs to be handle before that's possible. Frivolous spending must be cut down to a bare minimum. Gas efficiency is a must but hard to do when you live 45 minutes from your place of employment.
I know Kaci and several others talk alot of shopping at drug stores. They frequent CVS but my lowly little town is without a 'fabulous' CVS. Walgreens and Rite Aid, check. But no CVS where everyone seems to be saving the most money. Yet, I want to find a way to accomplish my goal of being frugal. Any and all suggestions are welcome! Please help!!
And come join in the fun at Rocks in My Dryer!


Sarah said...

No CVS here. But, I do find some great deals at WG's and at my local grocery store that doubles coupons up to $1. It's on the other side of town, but it's worth it most weeks. Do you have any stores close that double coupons? A Target? They have good in-store coupons you can use w/ manf. coupons too.

What About Mom? said...

Hi Ariel,

I just read the most amazing post about coupons. It made me feel so ashamed for how much I "waste" on groceries, etc.

hope that helps. on the food, I'd try to list your 10 favorite (cheap, nutritiuos) meals and make a rotation menu plan for them. Make serious plans before you go to the store (and only go once a week) and then make enough at a time to have leftovers for lunches and stuff. I haven't really followed through on all these great plans, but I'm pretty sure they'll work.

Kristy said...

I live alone, so I have some of the same concerns you do. I've found that I can take a couple different approaches - make food in smaller quantities, make food that I can reheat, and make food that I can re-use or reinvent into something else.

I'm trying to supplement by diet with vegetables as much as possible, so I keep frozen veggies in the refrigerator, so I can just cook only as much as I will actually eat.

I've found that foods with sauces that are served over rice usually reheat well - I make the dish, but only cook as much as rice as I'll use that night. Then, I'll cooke more rice when I reheat the meal. I'll put three of my favorite, stand-by recipes at the end of my comments.

I also make things in large quantities, and then freeze them into single-serving portions. Chili and spaghetti sauce are good for this, and I'm experimenting with freezing a few others things (vegetable soup, and a chicken-rice combo that tastes great as taco filling).

One of my favorite things to do is to marinate chicken (using a homemade marinade or a store-bought mix) and broil it. I do this with several pieces of meat, and then re-use the leftovers as a salad topping or with rice or pasta dishes.

Anyway, that's a ton of info, but its what's working for me. Here are the recipes I promised:

Salsa Chicken

chicken breasts (about 1 lb)
taco seasoning (optional)
salsa (1 container)
shredded cheddar cheese
can of green chilies (optional)

Cut up the chicken breasts and cook in a skillet with a little oil and taco seasoning. Or, you can cook the chicken breasts earlier in the week (I put them in a baking dish with a little bit of water, cover, and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees, until they're cooked through). Put the cut-up, cooked chicken in a baking dish, cover with salsa, then cover with shredded cheddar cheese (I just eyeball amounts here, but probably use a one whole small container of salsa). Cover with chilies, if desired. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve over rice.

Chicken Broccoli Divan

2 c cooked, cubed chicken
1 10-oz pkg broccoli (I cook mine in the microwave first)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c bread crumbs

Place chicken in the bottom of a baking dish, and layer with broccoli. Mix soup, mayo, lemon juice, and curry powder together and pour over broccoli and chicken. Top with cheese and bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Serve over rice.

Chicken Goop (or, Chicken and Rice)
I use my crockpot for this recipe.

boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I've used anywhere from 2-6 for this)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 container sour cream (8 oz)
salt and pepper

Mix soups and sour cream together. Place one layer of chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add a layer of the soup mixture. Continue layers as needed - soup mixture should be the top layer. Cook 4-5 hours on high, or 8-10 hours or low. Serve over rice.

That last dish makes a really nice sauce/gravy and I love to eat over rice, even if I run out of chicken breasts.

Keri said...

You are looking on the wrong side of town. There is a CVS at 31 W Broadway St. I haven't been there in years, but it is still there. I see it sometimes on the way to Connor's school.