Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Veggies in Bulk...

One of my goals this year is to reduce our grocery budget over time.  One of the few things I am trying to get in the habit of doing is buying needed grocery items in bulk on sale while reducing the number of trips to once a week at the most.  Doing a 2-week menu based on sales and what is available in my pantry and freezer has definitely helped reduce that number of shopping trips as well as the stress it brings to go out with a toddler anywhere...sometimes.  Anyways, I definitely look forward to my weekly sale fliers every Tuesday afternoon to see what might be on sale in each of the stores just to keep abreast of what I might be cooking for the next week or two.  America's Cheapest Family and Miserly MOMS have definitely been helpful in bringing about the change, especially that of buying things on sale in bulk and preparing them in bulk and freezing them for later use.  I have begun to enlist the help of my six- and five-year-olds with peeling carrots and onions in bulk, and so far it's been great...even if the carrots peeled are now half the thickness of their original form.  But, I get it.  It's one thing I have begun to look forward to doing on our weekends--washing, peeling, cutting vegetables ahead of time to save time later.  I am hoping I'll eventually get to freeze-cooking one or two of the meals for the week (Money Saving Mom is another advocate of this project).  For now, I am trying to cook dinners in bulk to last two or three meals.  It does save energy, time and gas to cook in bulk, and I just wonder why I didn't think of that.  I love cooking brown rice in bulk in our pressure cooker and freezing two freezer bags of cooked brown rice for later in the week.  Even though cooking in bulk (larger than enough for one meal for five) sometimes means we end up eating more, I am learning the value of freeze-cooking even one meal for the week since that means one day I do not have to cook or spend extra money to get something quick just because I didn't have the time or didn't feel like cooking.  While this is an on-going project for me that I still have to implement, it has been just wonderful sticking to my 2-week menu and preparing vegetables in advance for future cooking in the week ahead during the weekend...at least when it's not Super Bowl Sunday, that is.

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