Wednesday, January 21, 2009

eating what we have

We have noticed that since we have been working on our financial health that we tend to shop and eat out for meals out of convenience. sometimes (most times) it is easier to stop by the store and pick up something "easy" or just go out to eat. I have been trying to be better at meal planning. Learning more and more crock pot recipes and making more servings of dishes when possible so that I can freeze them for future meals. I have always been bad about making a list before going to the store so I am also working on that. When I was making a list for the store last week I decided to pull everything out of the pantry to see what we already had but was hiding behind things we use everyday. What I found out was we had enough food in our pantry to eat for quite some time without going to the store at all. There was everything in there from Risotto to brownie mix. Doing this inspired me to clean out the fridge and the freezer. We have a side by side (I hate it) and I find that things get lost in the freezer very easily. cleaning it out made me realize 2 things I need to take things out of their packaging and 2. again we could eat for weeks on what was in there. For Christmas dinner we had Ham and I intentionally bought a big one. I had plans to cut it up into individual serving sizes for future meals. When I cleaned the freezer I realized we had 10 meals plus the ham bone for a good batch of Navy Bean soup. There were also a few other meals in there that have made eating at home more convenient in the last few weeks. We have had to go to the store for all the normal weekly things like Milk, bread and eggs but we have been eating out less and have been eating what we have instead of eating out of convenience. We have had some really good and nice meals at home as a family with less stress so I ask what is really easier eating out or planning and eating at home....

If you have any good Soup, crock pot or freezer meals please pass them on.
The Freezer all cleaned
The Christmas HamChili, Beef Stew and Spaghetti Sauce with Spicy SausageThe freezer cleaned and rearranged


Marcia said...

Don't you love the feeling of the fridge/freezer being all cleaned out. I'm jealous! I need to do mine today. I spilled some black olives over in the fridge this morning getting lunches ready...ugh!

Cheri and Shane said...

Oh my are just so organized, so motivated and so cute! LOL

That's funny that you were cleaning out your kitchen because over the weekend, I went through all our food cupboards and reorganized too!! LOL


Kevin and Kimberly said...

I know of a great cook book I use a lot. "Fix it and Forget it". There is a great beef stew recipe in there and a lot of great crock pot chicken recipes also. They even have recipes for crockpot pizza and some desserts. I use it all the time!!

AG'smoma said...

I have found that meal planning really does help! Here is a link to a site called I'm an Organizing Junkie. She hosts a menu plan monday each monday there, you can plan your meal on your blog and link it back to hers. This past week, there were over 400 links on her post, lots of them with recipes you could try. Anyway, here it is:

Good luck!

Stephanie and Jamie said...

I love reading all of these things you are doing to save money and/or spend less! You have given me a few ideas to help us! So, thanks for that!

Sophia's Mama and Baba said...

Ug Marcia well i guess that is the motivation to clean it out you need right?

Cheri same brain some times you know...

Thanks Kim I am going to look for that cook book. I need help in the Crock pot recipe department.

Cris i am going to look into her blog that might be perfect motivation for me to stick with meal planning.

Stephanie you are welcome it has been fun. I am learning from others so i am glad to pass it along..

Stephanie said...

Hi! I just wanted to thank you for following my blog. I love your story. We have also adopted - only God gave us a son from Guatemala! We have a daughter named Sophia as well, so I love your choice of name!! How happy you must be! May God bless your family. :)

Stephanie @ The Coupon Game

amy said...

what a motivating post..i keep fogetting you live in Daytona and my family lives in New Smyrna. we are going to have to meet!!!

Congrats on the clean out

Patsy said...

We have that same refrigerator and I think I hate it too! LOL ... love the ice dispenser, but we lost a lot of room with the side by side. Also, we stopped eating out so much a couple of years ago ... mostly because of a new puppy we couldn't bear to leave at home. It is AMAZING how much $$ you can save just by cooking at home. And we eat much healthier now too.

Melissa said...


I go to every week and read the Monday Menu Planning post. Everybody links their weekly menu plans and its a great place to get ideas! I plan my menu on Sunday mornings and shop on Sunday afternoons. It is so helpful to have a plan and sometimes it works and sometimes not. I think I will take your idea for next week and clean out my freezer!!

Monica said...

I've been stocking up on "easy" food so that I'm prepared when we return from China next month (and go to single income living). One thing I intend to do is create an inventory list for my deep freeze. It's so easy to lose track of all the various stuff in there. Also, if you're a somewhat adventurous eater, try Trader Joe's simmer sauces and curries. When I cook boneless, skinless chicken breast I always cook extra to stash in the freezer. Toss some cooked chicken into Thai red curry sauce or Tikka Masala from TJ's, cook up some rice & voila! It's a simple, yummy meal. I also frequently cook extra rice; it freezes quite well. I'm trying to make it as difficult as possible to come up with an excuse for buying prepared foods or ordering pizza. It can be rough!

Sophia's Mama and Baba said...

Monica I wish we lived in the Atlanta area for a lot of reasons and one of them is Trader Joe's. I love the idea of an inventory and freeze ahead meals. I never thought to make extra rice and freeze it.

Patsy I HATE that fridge! LOL I love the ice and Water but so not worth losing the space of the up and down fridge/freezer.

Amy we would love to meet you anytime you are in town. We go to NSB a lot on the weekends.

Stephanie adoption has been a wonderful thing for our family. Your blog is teaching me so much thank you for that.

Melissa good luck on the clean out. I am going to join in next Monday with the Meal Planning over at

amyinbc said...

I cleaned my fridge yesterday. And then insisted every one in the house come and admire it ;)

Easy recipe..

Salsa Chicken
chicken breast, enough to feed whoever you are feeding. (or any other part I would imagine)
grated cheddar or whatever you have.

In casserole dish (or crock pot) place chicken, liberally cover with salsa, sprinkle cumin on (and hot sauce if you like it hot like we do!)

In the crock pot go on low for all day or high for 4-5 hours or so. In the oven a half hour works when cooked on 400 degrees. When you are almost ready to eat sprinkle with cheese.

Yummy on rice with a side of veggies.

Angela, Bryan, Ella said...

hi Susan!! wow you are inspiring me!!

I am going back to work in 2 weeks and Ella starts daycare in a week :(

I've just made loads of spaghetti, lasagnas, chili, shepard's pie...

Bryan's downstairs trying to fit it all in the freezer ~ lol

I would love to hear of any chicken meals that you find taht are easily frozen!

and I am scared of my crockpot ~ lol!! it makes me nervous to leave something on when we are not home. Confession: I have NEVER used it and have had it 10 years!!

Angela :)