First things first, Happy Birthday to my amazing mom who is 83 today and still going strong! I love you and wish I could be there to celebrate with you.
TIPS AND HINTS:
As always, when I’m making out my menu plan, I begin by “shopping” my own kitchen. This means taking stock of any leftovers in the fridge that I can revamp into something else (most of the time I have planned ahead for these but on occasion, we have extras that I didn’t anticipate) as well as any perishables that I want to use up before they spoil. Next is the freezer – I keep a magnetic white board on the outside of my freezer and jot down what I’m putting into it so I have a fast and easy way to keep track. Finally, I check the pantry and kitchen cupboards. Just like at the store, I put the oldest products towards the front of the shelf and the newer to the back to rotate the stock and use things up before they expire. Sometimes, I will even add a label or just write directly on the container with a Sharpie to indicate the expiration date. I hate wasting food!
Then, I check my flyers. I don’t look at the newspaper flyers – it’s hit or miss as to whether I will receive those anyway and I just find it much easier using the Flipp app. Flipp not only shows me what’s on sale, but it will indicate available coupons for those items as well. I also use Checkout 51 and Caddle but in general, I don’t find that they give me enough savings unless combined with items already on sale for a really great deal or for items I need anyway. For example, a few weeks ago Caddle was offering 25 cents back on celery but when I got to the store and saw the celery for $3.99 (!!!!), I decided I could make do without the celery. On the other hand, they offered the same deal on carrots and since I needed carrots anyway and found a great price on them, an additional 25 cents off was worth taking advantage of. Any app that saves me money is valuable but be sure not to get sucked in by the promise of a rebate and buy something that is overpriced or that you don’t really need.
Now for the sales I’m taking advantage of this week:
FreshCo – Ground beef and pork tubes (454 g) for $2.97, BioBest yogurt (my dietician says this one is the best brand nutritionally) for $1.99 for the largest tub (650-750 g), sweet potatoes for 69 cents lb., white potatoes for $1.99 for 10 lb. bag, broccoli for $1.49 lb, iceberg lettuce for $1.49 each (only a good deal if the heads are a decent size. I always check them to see how large and dense they are as well as how much they weigh before purchasing), Hunt’s Thick and Rich pasta sauce (my favourite prepared pasta sauce so I’ll be stocking up!) 99 cents a 680 ml can, Aylmers crushed tomatoes 540 ml can for 99 cents each.
Price matching from Food Basics – Chicken breasts for $2.47 lb., Chicken leg quarters for $1.79 lb, Omega 3 eggs for $2.47, avocadoes for 88 cents each, Brussels sprouts for $2.98 lb., Romaine lettuce $1.97 a bag
Price matching from Loblaws – Cracker Barrel shredded cheese 250-320 g for $5.99 (yes it’s cheaper to buy blocks of cheese and grate it yourself but I stock up when it’s this good a deal and put some in the freezer for those times when my health isn’t the greatest because it saves time and effort), they also have blocks of cheese 400/460 g for the same price so I will also stock up on those. I cut these into smaller blocks, cube some of it, and when I feel up to it, I grate some and put that all into the freezer for future use in cooking. Bags of Trutaste milk are on for $3.99. I’ll get two – one for the freezer (I find previously frozen milk fine for cooking and for in coffee, tea, etc)
Price matching from Metro – Stewing beef for $3.99 lb, Gay Lea butter 1 lb. for $2.99 (again, I’ll be stocking up for some to put in my freezer), Hellmann’s Mayonnaise for $4.99 (710-890 ml)
Price matching from Walmart – Heinz ketchup 1 litre bottle for $3.33, Campbell’s tomato soup (I cook with this as well as eat is as soup) 57 cents a can
By the way, that’s a lot of food up there in my shopping list. In fact, it’s more than I can possibly use in one week. It’s important that I take advantage of freezing what I can (if it’s a really good deal!) and carefully figuring out just how much I can use of whatever can’t be frozen. For example, the broccoli is a good deal but it’s not prime season for it so I likely wouldn’t buy a bunch and freeze it. Instead, I’ll buy just what I need for this week’s meals. I also take into consideration how much storage space I have as well as how much of that space do I want to devote to stocking up on food. Remember, the square footage in your home cost you money! That being said, I am fortunate enough to have a root cellar in my basement so I can afford to take advantage of amazing discounts on items I know I will use before they go bad.
This week’s meal plan:
Monday – Meatless Monday – Broccoli brown butter pasta, carrots, garlic toast
Tuesday – Taking advantage of leftover pork roast from Sunday: Pulled pork (put leftovers in freezer for Thursday) over creamy polenta (instead of as sandwiches), maple roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon
Wednesday – Cheddar crispy chicken (she uses boneless chicken but I find it is just as good with bone in), green beans, oven sweet potato fries
Friday – Meat Free Friday – Cheese quesadillas with salsa, sour cream, avocado; fruit salad
Saturday – Super Simple Saturday – Million dollar spaghetti – (I keep already browned and crumbled ground beef in the freezer. I also put freezer bags of leftover spaghetti in the freezer. Taking advantage of these and pre-grated cheese makes this recipe super simple and fast to put together!), garlic toast, Caesar salad
Sunday – Sabbath Sunday – Lemon pepper roast whole chicken (simply rub with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle on lemon pepper), roast potatoes, roast carrots
What are you having for dinner this week?
You can find more of my menu plan ideas here.
Check out more meal plan ideas over on Menu Plan Monday at Orgjunkie.com