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Shopping In Your Own Kitchen: Guest Post

Posted By Jessica Fisher On January 13, 2010 @ 12:05 pm In Guest Posts,Meal Planning,Pantry Challenge | 16 Comments

It’s so fun for me to read how other moms manage their households and to hear what they do to make ends meet. Today, Connie [4] shares some of her tricks to “eat from the pantry [5]” all year long.


Being a stay at home mom with seven children means I have to be frugal in every area of spending. The most “daily” way of being frugal is menu planning. The first way that I accomplish frugal menu planning is to have a freezer. If you have one, you will be able to stock up on bargains, and when I say stock up, I mean STOCK UP.

My husband likes to do the grocery shopping and if he runs across a special, like the time he found packages of hot dogs on sale 3 for $1, he will buy as many as are available. (I was giddy for days over the fact that each hot dog was 4 cents!)

At any given time, our stocking up means we may have 20 packages of hot dogs in our freezer, along with 15 pounds of ground beef, 10 whole chickens, 12 loaves of bread, and anything else we have picked up for a fabulous price, like pizza sauce for 2 cents a can [7].

This allows me to plan a weekly menu by shopping in my own kitchen. I use what is available, that we have picked up at rock bottom prices, and plan around that.

One night last week for dinner, I took some breakfast sausages ($1 for 10 links) out of the freezer, canned biscuits we had found on sale and some free eggs my sister had given me, and we had a nice “country breakfast” dinner that fed our entire family of nine for around $3 TOTALThat works out to roughly 33 cents per person!

There are times, like for my husband’s birthday or when we are expecting company, that I will plan a run to the store so I can serve a special meal, like chicken parmesan and fettucini alfredo [8]. But you can bet it won’t be 33 cents per person!

Stocking up on bargains and shopping in your own kitchen is far and away the most frugal way to go about feeding a family.

– Connie who blogs daily at Smockity Frocks [9], is a homeschooling mom of seven rowdy children, wife of one hunky golf pro, maker of aprons, wiper of noses, and writer of stories.

Meal Planning: Week 2 Pantry Challenge

Posted By Jessica Fisher On January 10, 2010 @ 3:06 pm In Uncategorized | 19 Comments


One pleasant surprise from this Eat from the Pantry Challenge has been a renewed interest in cooking. Ask me again in three weeks’ time if I still like it. But, right now, it’s been a fun challenge to create fun meals for my family. I was dumbfounded when FishPapa and FishBoy12 asked several times if I could make this Greek-inspired Beef Pita dinner [11] again. Well, golly. It was just this hunk of meat I found in the freezer.

May wonders never cease.

Another thing I’ve discovered is that my kids can eat a lot of grapefruit! They were 19 cents each this past week, so I bought 20. They are easily eating one a day. Yeah for Vitamin C!

Here’s what the rest of the month looks like at the moment. Subject to change.

10. Chicken Tacos, Rice and Green Salad
11. Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Green Beans, Pumpkin Rolls
12. Turkey Pot Pie [12], Green Salad
13. Shrimp and Rice, Broccoli, Green Salad
14. Rice and Beans [13]
15. Pizza [14] and Salad [15]
16. Shredded Beef Chimichangas [16]
17. Mixed Grill (fish and Buttermilk-Yogurt Marinaded Chicken [17]), Rice Pilaf, Green Salad, Garlic Foccaccia
18. Stuffed Pasta Shells, Green Salad
19. Shredded Beef [18] and Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Carrots, Rolls
20. Burrito Bowls
21. Stir Fry
22. Pizza [14] and Salad [15]
23. Roast Chicken [19], Quick Seasoned Rice [20], Vegetables
24. Fish Tacos
25. Shredded Beef [18], Gravy, Rice, Salad, Fresh Bread
26. Pasta with Ragu, Green Salad, Foccaccia
27. Chihuahua Chili [21] and Cornbread
28. Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas, Mexican Rice [22], Salad
29. FishPapa’s Birthday! Grilled Fish, Rice Pilaf, Green Salad, Whole Grain Bread
30. Shredded Beef Tacos [23], Beans [24] and Mexican Rice [22]
31. Pizza [14] and Salad [15]

***Have you joined the Eat-from-the-Pantry Challenge [25]? Almost 800 people have signed up on our Facebook event page [26] and we’ve even gone international – cooks in at least three countries are participating: US, Canada, and France! Pop over to Money Saving Mom [27] tomorrow morning to link up your progress reports.***

What are you cooking up this week? Do you have a meal plan? If not, how come?

For more meal planning inspiration, visit I’m an Organizing Junkie [28] every Monday.

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[3] my free seasonal newsletter: http://eepurl.com/q47Vb

[4] Connie: http://smockityfrocks.com

[5] eat from the pantry: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/12/eat-from-pantry-challenge-join-us.html

[6] Image: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/01/shopping-in-your-own-kitchen-guest-post.html/freezer

[7] like pizza sauce for 2 cents a can: http://www.smockityfrocks.com/2008/01/sales-of-yore.html

[8] chicken parmesan and fettucini alfredo: http://www.smockityfrocks.com/2007/03/chicken-parmesan-and-fettuccine-alfredo.html

[9] Smockity Frocks: http://www.smockityfrocks.com/

[10] Image: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_89L9ZoBsR08/S0lNwJU2MYI/AAAAAAAAG-8/7Du2tMiZGaw/s1600-h/2010+January+138s.jpg

[11] this Greek-inspired Beef Pita dinner: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2010/01/pantry-challenge-day-7-buttermilk-fail.html

[12] Turkey Pot Pie: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/09/ultimate-recipe-swap-favorite-fall.html

[13] Rice and Beans: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/06/good-cheap-eat-beans-and-rice.html

[14] Pizza: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/07/basic-homemade-pizza.html

[15] Salad: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/10/chichis-italian-salad.html

[16] Shredded Beef Chimichangas: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/05/chimichangas.html

[17] Buttermilk-Yogurt Marinaded Chicken: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/09/grilled-chicken-in-buttermilk-yogurt.html

[18] Shredded Beef: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/06/shredded-beef-filling.html

[19] Roast Chicken: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/10/good-cheap-eat-roast-chicken.html

[20] Quick Seasoned Rice: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/09/quick-seasoned-rice.html

[21] Chihuahua Chili: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/06/chihuahua-chili.html

[22] Mexican Rice: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/04/ultimate-recipe-swap-mexican-food.html

[23] Shredded Beef Tacos: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/06/good-cheap-eat-shredded-beef-tacos.html

[24] Beans: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/04/homemade-pintos.html

[25] Eat-from-the-Pantry Challenge: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/12/eat-from-pantry-challenge-join-us.html

[26] our Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=233518883766&index=1

[27] Money Saving Mom: http://www.moneysavingmom.com/

[28] I’m an Organizing Junkie: http://www.orgjunkie.com/

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