Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A little prepping

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Grocery shopping is tiring.  Wait, actually grocery shopping is fun, it's the putting away of the groceries that is tiring.

Honestly it takes me just as long to get everything put away, as it did to buy them.

But usually, I take a little longer, because I prep a lot of things as I go.

For instance, if I buy big bags of chicken thighs or legs, I split them up into ziploc freezer bags according to meals, so that later I'm not face with the task of trying to separate just a few pieces for that night's meal.

I also take all my vegetables and fruit and separate them according to my needs.  That is, whatever I will be using withing the week goes into the veggie tray in the fridge, the rest either gets frozen right away or divided and cut up into ziploc baggies.

Remember on Monday in my Happy Homemaker Monday I mentioned how I make soup bags for the freezer?  Let me show what I was referring to.

I love radishes in soup, they remind me of my greatgrandma, because she always included them in her veggie soup.

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I had two little baggies of radishes, so I washed them well, cut off the ends, then cut them in half and divided them among 4 ziploc bags.

I will usually add whatever other vegetable I have on hand, except for onions and potatoes which I will do the day I make the soup.

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In this batch, I have radishes, carrots, leeks and cabbage.  It may not look like much, but for making a pot of soup for our family of 4, it is more than enough.

I just take all the air out of the bags, lay them down and flatten them a bit and pop them in my deep freezer.

For soup, I just remove one bag, place it in a pot, fill it halfway with water, add in a slice onion, a potato or two depending on the size, some salt and pepper, garlic and a little drizzle of olive oil.

Boil it all up, and when done I use my immersion blender to puree, check the seasoning and drizzle on a little more olive oil before serving.

Filling, yummy and a very inexpensive meal paired with a sandwich :)

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You can see the soup baggies on the bottom above.

Anytime I find pizzas, especially the Totino's ones which my kids love for lunch....or chicken strips or whatever on sale, I buy a few extra to stock the freezer.

I also have my fish and extra meats in there.

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Like I said yesterday, milk is so expensive around here so when I find it cheaper or on sale at Fry's or Safeway, I buy a few extra gallons and keep them in my freezer.  To use it up, when I see that the one in the fridge is getting low, I take one out of the freezer and place it in my sink to defrost.

I've never had milk go bad on me this way.  So far.

Also keep extra bread and cheese.  Last time I was at Fry's I picked up a few extra loaves for, I think it was 89c a loaf.

Even though I make my own bread at home, I like having extra in the freezer because I do make my own breadcrumbs as well.

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In the top baskets I keep a bunch of things.  Extra ham, pepperoni, raspberries, berries...VODKA lol

And the right basket is usually lunch items and desserts.  I have pumpkin cake slices in two baggies in there, if we get a craving sometime in the future, we just pull them out, let them sit on the counter for a few minutes and enjoy cake :)

I'll usually have banana bread, muffins, cupcakes etc too.

Between Fry's and the Base Commissary yesterday, I did grocery shopping for a full month, for $400.

My cabinets, my fridge and my deep freezer are full.

I plan on slashing that bill even further.  Luckily for me, I cook everything from scratch and already buy a lot of fruit and veggies, but I would like to buy even less of prepackaged stuff.

It was a tiring day, but I did get a lot accomplished.  By the time dinner rolled around, I could have just said "let's go out to eat, I'm too tired to cook", but that would have been such a waste of money and for no reason whatsoever.

So I threw together a quick delicious Portuguese meal.  Chicken with mushrooms and peas and served it over some pasta. :)

Galinha com cogumelos e ervilhas

In this day and age, a little prepping goes a long way.

You can't just go into grocery shopping unprepared, or fly by the seat of your pants.  Well, I should I CAN'T do it that way, far be it from me to say how others should or shouldn't manage their own homes :)




9 comments:

Sherri B. said...

I appreciate the time and thought you put into your shopping days...it pays off as you have shown.

I do wish there were more stories, like yours here, of how you can stretch a dollar, instead of how we need to 'take care' of everyone else...You are an inspiration, for sure! xo

Elise Martinez said...

I really need to get into the habit of doing this. I feel like this would reduce the amount of food that goes wasted per shopping trip. Great post, Sandra!
:)

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

Oh I can see how all that saves time later on, but I know it is tiring! I has never occurred to me to put milk in the freezer. I'll try that. And your meal after all that shopping looked great! What a great homemaker you are, Sandra! Thanks for sharing.

Tammy

Tina Leigh said...

So you put a gallon strait into the freezer when you buy it? I would be scared it would explode. So you thaw it out & put it in the frig & it tastes fine?

Milk just went up here in my county to over $4.00 a gallon but in the next county it runs $2.50-2.70 a gallon. So im wondering do I need to freeze it too!!!

Lori said...

I agree that the grocery shopping isn't the bad part, it's the putting them away in the house that is the most tiring. I try to pre prep too but sometimes I don't get very far. I get home and do a little prepping then I'm tired and have to rest for a bit then I get side-tracked and never finish. LOL. I do however like buying chicken in bulk when it is on sale and bringing it home and dividing it into servings and prepping for meals, it really does save time.

MamaBoz said...

I never knew that milk could be frozen! Thanks again for all these great tips....wonderful!

Susanne said...

You are so organized. Maybe one of these fine days when I no longer have to have a dayhome, I can get my grocery bill down a lot more! I wish milk went on sale here! With a dayhome I go through scads of it. I was just joking with hubby this morning that we should buy a cow for the backyard.

Renee said...

Great post ~ you definitely inspire me and some great tips here. Thank you!

Saw your comment on your facebook badge. Why are you heart broken over Downton Abbey? (Sorry - I don't belong to facebook so I'm asking here). Thanks, Renee'

Andrea said...

You're right about shopping unprepared. I went to the store the other day without a list and I just wandered the aisles aimlessly. When I got home, I could barely put a meal together from what I got. Plan ahead!