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Shelf Cooking At Its Finest

NowI have run out of things to organize SO now we are at Shelf Cooking At Its Finest.  The thought of freezer cooking for a month has been flitting through my mind.  Sadly, that can also be expensive.

Being Proactive

One of the first things I do, to keep costs down, is to shop in my pantry/fridge/freezers.  While I was grading papers, Big Daddy did a sweep of all things I can use to help put together a meal.

I must say, that we do buy a cow every year.  Our time to get the meat is coming up and I am so thankful.  We are running low, but still, we have a good enough supply to get us through at least 2 mths.

Surprise Surprise

I was pleasantly surprised to see the list that he had.  As an added bonus, I had a freezer meal already cooked up and frozen!  It is amazing how much food I buy because I don’t realize that I had it in the first place.  To me, that is not being a good steward of what my husband brings home.

I See You

I see these people who have the philosophy of if you need one can of food, buy 3.  One to use and 2 for later use.  They stockpile groceries.  That is a good idea…but…what if you don’t really have the money for that?  In theory, I would love to do this.  I probably could.  Maybe, someday, I will have a plethora of canned veggies, frozen veggies, and such.  For now, I do what I can when I can.

My Great Find

Upon looking at the list, I was able to come up with 14 meals!  That is shelf cooking!  Wow.  Now, I do have to get a few things at the grocery, but my list is very tiny.  I am stoked.  When he inventoried the meat situation, we found that we have 7 roasts left.  These need to be used up before our meat comes in later this month.

I have a Plan

My plan is to put the roasts from the freezer to the outside fridge to thaw out.  Once that is done, I’m going to cook up all the roasts.  The day I do this, we will have roast/potatoes for supper.  That way, I know that dinner will be done for that night.  The rest, however, we will shred up and I will come up with about 14 more meals to freeze.

My Goal

My goal is to cook up the 14 meals that I actually have on hand and freeze those.  Then, I will do up 14 more meals from the roasts.  Those will be frozen too.  Since I have to buy very little, I am going to go one step further.  I have room in my budget to chose some recipes that I will actually have to buy groceries for.  My goal is to double those recipes and freeze the rest.

In Total

I will have 42 frozen meals.  How freaking great is that?  I believe I am going to make some fruit breads, pancakes, and omelet cups to freeze for the kids.  If I were wild, I would make some yogurt, but I’m not that wild.

Challenge

I challenge you to search through your pantry/fridge/freezer.  Take a good inventory and then cook as much as you can within the parameters of what you have on hand.  You will have to go to the grocery for somethings, but keep your menu doable and simple.  Easily, that grocery bill can be cut in 1/2.  Last week, I spent $70 on groceries and $30 on misc things (nonfood things).  My normal grocery budget is $500 per month.  I spent about $300 last month alone.  This is a $200 savings that I can add towards the debt train.

Oh, the Things I Will Cook and the Money I will Save.

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Cheeseburger Casserole

GL Flour Substitutions

Cheesy Potato Chicken

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