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Menu Plan Monday and Freezer Cooking Days Plan 07/05

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My freezer is in need of prepared foods, so I thought my menu plan this week should consist of Freezer Cooking Days.  I don’t really have a full day to devote to marathon cooking, so I’ve decided that most of my menu will consist of meals that I can freeze. We’ll eat one for the night I cook it and use one for the freezer.  My plan is to add in an extra meal or two on Thursday or Friday.  My menu is based around what I have on hand, so I’ll need to do minimal shopping to pull this off. 

I’ll post my freezer results (and recipes) on Friday, so stop back by if your interested. 

Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole with salad (freeze 1) 
Jambalaya with salad (freeze 1)
Grilled Ratatouille (mixed veggies over pasta, will post recipe)
Spaghetti and Meat Balls with salad (freeze 1)
Meat Loaf with rice and whatever veggie is on sale Wednesday (freeze 1)
Dinner with friends
Turkey Burgers with baked sweet potato fries
~Extra meal: Brown Bag Burritos OR another burrito plus another meal if time permits.


Freezer Cooking Day-My Plan

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I’ll be participating in Freezer Cooking Day with Crystal and Jessica again this month.  My freezer is still pretty stocked, so I have only a few items I’ll be making.  I don’t cook all my meals in one day like some of the others ladies, but I do prepare several meals that help ward against the “what’s for dinner” questions at 5pm.  Most meals can come straight from the freezer and into the oven.  Further, my son has been sick which just throws everything off.  I plan to add on a few more items tomorrow if I’m feeling up to it. 

Chicken Stock

Brown Bag Burritos

Banana bread

Macaroni and Cheese X2

Chicken Tortilla Soup X2

Southwestern Wagon Wheel Pasta (except I’m using shells-they were free)

I’ll post the Southwestern Wagon Wheels recipe tomorrow.  I know you already link to Money Saving Mom, but I’d be interested to know if you have any recipes I should try next month.

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It’s Not All About Coupons…

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You all know that I love coupons!  I use coupons daily in all aspects of my life, but saving money isn’t all about using coupons.  I’ve put together a list of other ways my family saves money.

We use CASH!  Paying in Cash has been the most beneficial off all my money saving strategies.  Paying with cash hurts and when it’s gone, it’s GONE!

We avoid going out to eat!  Although I love going out to eat, it’s expensive.  Don’t get me started on fast food and how crazy the price is for that for junk.  I’m not saying we don’t eat it on occasion; sometimes convenience over rules.

I like to cook and participate in Freezer Cooking Day on a small scale.  I can’t tell you how many times grabbing something from the freezer at the last minute has saved me. Oh, last night.  I swore I’d taken out the turkey sausage.  I just grabbed a container of chicken soup from the freezer and dinner was served!

We find free or cheap entertainment.  I’ve been working on an events/kids fun page which has been very helpful to me.  Sunday we will be taking the kids to Portsmouth City Park for the boat races.  It’s FREE, outside so the kids can run, and I’ll pack a picnic for lunch.

We have weekly dinners with friends. We have friends with kids the same age, so we get together on Friday nights at one of our houses for dinner.  Everyone contributes to the meal and the kids get to run and play all night.  Although there is some cost, it’s minimal and a fun night out for all!

We drink water!  We don’t buy a lot of juice and rarely buy soda.  My hubby and I can’t control ourselves if soda’s in the house, so I just don’t buy it!  We do drink a lot of milk but the beverage of choice around here is water.

I avoid too many shopping trips.  I LOVE to shop, but I know my weaknesses.  I have to be very careful in Target.  It’s so easy to walk in an spend $100, so I limit my trips there and go with a list.  Unless it’s free or at a rock bottom price, I stay way.

I have a list of other ways we save money, but I thought a Part 2 on Earth Day would be nice.  A majority of my money saving strategies are also beneficial to our planet.

How do you save money?

This post is linked to My Coupon Teacher, Madame Deals and Melissa’s Bargain Blog