Wednesday, February 1, 2012
By meal planning a few months at a time I can make purchases on meat and other items that are costly but can be frozen for later use. It also helps me utilize all leftovers. For instance, I purchase whole chickens (the healthy ones with room to roam and adequate time to grow with out hormones and antibiotic use) and cook them in the crock pot. Then I make broth by adding water, spices and herbs to the pot with the bones, skin and other bits of leftovers from the chicken once it has been cleaned of meat. It usually sits on my counter for two days on low. Then I use the broth to make a soup, lentils, gravies and so on. Left over chicken means fried rice or another dish that calls for cooked chicken. Meal planning also cuts down on trips to the grocery store. I go each Friday to get fresh fish and keep a little list of other items I'll need like fruit or veggies. This is a very quick trip to the store and usually not very expensive. I do a really big shopping every month but I'm working to make it every 6-8 weeks (I think I was successful in January) that blows the bulk of our grocery budget minus dairy which we purchase from Gramen Farms.