Frugal Foodie Wins and Losses

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Did you save money on groceries this week? Tell us your Frugal Foodie Wins and Losses.

clearance green tea

Well, I’m sad to say, I didn’t do much in the way of Frugal Foodie-ism this week. It was a busy, but homebound week for the most part. It’s Friday, and I’m hot and tired. Summer, please go away!

I wish I had more great things to report, but at least I have a few.

Frugal Foodie Wins and Losses

–> I avoided Costco again this week, knowing that it would be a heftier bill than we need at the end of the month. We’ll save that trip for October.

–> I did a decent job of meal planning and shopping this week so that I didn’t need to run out for extra stuff and I cooked to the plan.

–> However, coming off the heels of a refrigerator cleaning session, I’m pretty disappointed in myself. Each night had a little too much of something that we should have eaten for leftovers the next day but didn’t. I hate to waste food!

–> Knowing that we’ll have company this weekend, I salvaged what leftovers I could and stashed them in the freezer. Next week, we need to make Pantry Challenge Minestrone!

–> I found green tea on clearance at Sprouts for 99cents a package. I’d been wanting to buy more since all I have at home is loose tea, but I didn’t want to spend the money if I already had some. Loose tea, while better tasting, takes extra brain cells in the morning, so I’m happy to have an inexpensive alternative.

With the month ending in a few days, I really need to stir up some mojo and do a better job next week. Thankfully, we’ve still got a few more freezer meals and a collection of randomness in the freezers. I really need a cold day so that soup-making sounds like more fun.

What are YOUR Frugal Foodie Wins and Losses?

PS. Did you pick up a copy of my new book? I’d love it if you would write an honest review on Amazon.Β Thanks on both counts!

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Heather M says

    Catching up on your blog while chicken is defrosting and you just posted the latest Frugal post! Yay! I am pleased with how I did frugal foodie-wise this past week! I had so many opportunities to throw in the towel since the week was one crazy thing after another and time was not my friend. But we ate at home, except over the weekend when we had plans to eat out for my daughter’s birthday. It wasn’t always pretty, but it worked, and dinners were healthy enough. All last minute dinners included: chicken caesar salad, leftovers two nights (way to not waste!!), and last night, when I just couldn’t be on my feet any longer, I still threw together a quick pasta w/marinara, grilled chicken sausages, and salad. I even managed to make a dish to take to a women’s group dinner on Wednesday that had an international theme, without going to the store. I made a last minute greek couscous salad with the last of our whole wheat couscous, and fresh tomato, cucumber, red onion, and feta which all needed eating before going yucky; tossed it with a greek salad dressing that was almost gone. Total win. Everyone gobbled it up. Tonight I’m making your Creamy Chicken Salsa Verde to which I’ll add leftover black beans, rice, and steamed green beans.

    The best part? I didn’t shop for any food at all. Which was fabulous. And I think I can get us through the weekend without a grocery/costco/trader joe’s shopping! Coming in handy, too, since it looks like we may be in the market for a new car even though we don’t want to be right now. It’s almost like I’m doing my own pantry challenge. In fact, maybe I’ll just do that, as long as I do buy what we are out of/fresh/dairy. Buying a new couch and now a new car at the same time is going to eat into our budget for sure!! Now, I just need to figure out what car is very reliable, small-midsize SUV/crossover, and that I like and can afford. Hope you all have a good weekend!

    • Stephanie M. says

      Hi Heather:

      I just wanted to say that I have a 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe and I love it. This is the first time I’ve switched from a car to a SUV and I love it. My past two leases were Hyundai Sonatas and it took no time to get used to this; it feels like the same size as the cars only instead of a trunk, there’s a hatchback. I love it so much. It gets about 25 miles to the gallon. I got the Santa Fe Sport; there is a Santa Fe model that’s bigger but this was big enough for me.

      • Heather M says

        Stephanie, that car is on our shortlist of cars to test-drive! Thanks for letting me know this! The Sport is the exact size of car I’d like to get. πŸ™‚

  2. Felicia says

    My frugal finds this week included “woohoo” marked down vegetables! I found 4 bags of veggies: avocado (6); organic summer squash (2 lbs); eggplant (2.5 lbs) and two zucchini/two cucumbers. Each bag was .99 cents

    There was a meal of ratatouille over pasta plus two additional eggplant dinners: eggplant parmesan for the freezer and eggplant rolatini with pasta. To make the cheese filling for the eggplant, I found another “woohoo” item. Two one-half gallons of milk for $1.00 each. Homemade ricotta for a dollar. Can’t beat that!

    Summer squash was blanched and frozen. There is one zucchini left for minestrone soup next week. Cucumbers made a nice side salad.

    Defrosted pork butt for the crock pot and made shredded pork, chopped pork and sliced pork. Once cooked, used what I needed and froze the rest.

    My grandmother would save the thick skin from the pork, roll it and tie it with string and cook it in her spaghetti sauce for flavor. I’m going to try doing that!

    Found two loaves of marked down sweet Italian bread for $1.49. One for this week, one for the freezer.

    I don’t consume much processed meat but found Eckrich turkey sausage this week on sale, and with two great coupons, purchased 4 packages for $6.00.

    Several dinners for two adults cost under $2.00 this week. These were my winners.

    My loser? String cheese, when grated. does not melt. Lesson learned. πŸ™

  3. We are on day 25 of a pantry/freezer challenge with the goal of only $100 on all groceries for the month (family of 7). I’ve got $7 left but I am so over it. It seems to take lots of effort to use all the bits and pieces without an infusion of new ingredients but we’ll keep making do. I was actually going to break the challenge this weekend, but my kids and husband reminded me that we’re so close…just the motivation I needed to finish well. The deep freezer is empty and the fridge is very sparse. The pantry still has too much of things I bought in bulk for fantastic prices, but none of our favorite things, so I’ll be more careful going forward in that regard. It is a lot easier to move things around in that cupboard, though, so I’ll count it a win. It has been an exercise in gratitude to thank God that we are not going hungry, that we have options even if there are not as many as we are used to, and that this is not so much a necessity as just a challenge to save some money for other things we need/want (a new-to-us van and a fall trip to Mt. Rushmore) and rotate out lots of older items to avoid waste. With all that said, I’m looking forward to October 1! πŸ™‚

    • Lisa says

      It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job Janet! I often try to remember “hunger” is the best spice, in that sometimes we are picky eaters because most of us are not really all that hungry!! I agree with you, it is a blessing to have choices.

    • Heather M says

      Sounds like you did a fantastic job on your pantry challenge! Only a few more days! good luck, and maybe amid what’s left you’ll find new favorite dishes with newfound creativity. πŸ™‚

    • Sandi says

      Fantastic job! I was planning to do one this month as well and those plans just fell apart and now I’m quite regretting it. Kudos to you for sticking to it and achieving such great success. You are right, though, it is so easy to be mopey about not having choices while forgetting that things like rice and beans are heavenly for those that are truly hungry.

  4. Stephanie M. says

    I am happy to say that I didn’t make any trips to the store this week. I’m still eating from our pantry and freezer. One of the frugal things I did with week was I had a two cans of Pillsbury Grand Biscuits in the fridge. They haven’t been there long so there was no reason to hurry up and use them but I was feeling creative one day and with one can made two different kinds of homemade hot pockets. One was ham and cheese. I had one of those small Hormel smoked oval hams so I cut that up into tiny cubes and grated some cheddar. I rolled out each biscuit into a large round, put in the ham and cheese, folded it over and crimped the edges with a fork. I also made chicken, broccoli, and cheddar hot pockets with a boneless chicken breast that I had in the freezer and some chopped broccoli that I already had. I made two for lunch that day for hubby who loved them and put the rest unbaked in the freezer.

    With the rest of the ham, I made ham, egg, roasted potato, and cheddar cheese breakfast bowls for the freezer. And now the ham is gone.

    I also defrosted the last two pieces of chicken parmesan that I had in the freezer and put that together with some mushroom marinara that I made and froze last week.

    And I had about one cup of heavy cream left in the fridge with no need to use it so I made a cake that called for heavy cream and gave it to my girlfriend and her husband who came home yesterday for a two week vacation in Italy.

    Hubby was away most of the week in Boston on a business trip so he grilled me some boneless pork chops that I had in the freezer and I had those for a couple of days with some rice and veggies.

    • Heather M says

      Sounds like a winner of a week, Stephanie! I love that you used the last of those quarts of heavy cream on a cake for your friend! So awesome! As always, your creativity inspires me. Love the hot pocket idea. Really great! Have a good week1

      • Stephanie M. says

        Yes, Heather, I am so happy not to have to look at those two quarts of heavy cream anymore. I am also glad I found ways to use them so I wouldn’t have to waste them. If you like the hot pockets idea, just take a can of Pillsbury Grand Biscuits; roll each one out to a round disk a little bigger than a coffee cup saucer. Put in whatever you want and fold up in half and crimp the edges with a fork. At this point, they can be frozen. When baking, bake for the amount of time and at the temperature on the back of the biscuit can. Done!

  5. Janet says

    If you want marked down meat you have to arrive early in the morning. I was at the store at 7 am today. I nabbed 5 lbs. of beef chuck roast for just $1.83 per pound. I will put the beef on low in the slow cooker. I modified my menu plan for next week to include beef stroganoff, beef tostadas, chili, and barbeque sandwiches for dinner. We should have enough for beef salad sandwiches for lunch as well. Good eating for a low price, my kind of win.

    • Tastycook says

      Hi guys,
      I love reading about how everyone saves money and makes the most of what is already in the pantry etc.
      Must admit that I did quite a bit of shopping last week but that was because there were some good buys that I just couldn’t pass up. Not too much was bought to be used last week. Sugar, pasta and butter were on sale so stocked up on them and I did need fresh veggies from the farm stand. Also found a good buy on chicken thighs on markdown. Pretty much cleaned out the fridge of everything other than the staples.

      When I shopped yesterday for next week, I bought a small turkey for less than $9 and a whole pork loin for about the same price. We will eat the turkey this week, but the pork is destined for an Italian pork recipe that I tried for the first time last winter and really enjoyed. That will then find its way into the freezer for days when there is no time to cook!! How does that happen when I am retired and have all the time in the world?

      Love this thread almost as much as the Pantry challenge and Grocery Geek.

  6. Lisa says

    I made a great fugal foodie meal this week!! I found a 2.75 lb piece of sirloin tip roast in sale and manager’s special for $9.80. Put in the crock pot with some potatoes I took out of a 10 lbs for $1.49 bag and some carrots-$.50 a lbs. I use a Stubbs marinade I had bought on manger’s special a few weeks ago, some organic beef broth- another mangaer’s special find (I froze the 2 cups I didn’t use) plus the rest of a bottle of red wine that had been sitting in the fridge. Oh- also added a big onion and some garlic gloves that also had been sitting around unused. It was soo good!! Cost about $12 -$13 to make.
    It is because of this blog that have I have learned to shop extra frugally- thank you Jessica!!

  7. Crystal says

    I refer to this time of year as the October Yuck. Don’t get me wrong, I love October and Fall, but my autoimmune disease flares up in fall, and I have a month of feeling yucky. It’s setting in early this year… Does that mean it will end early? Let’s hope! With that in mind, I have been planning easier meals, using up freezer meals, and buying more convenience items. Not so frugal, but better than resorting to take out! I also helped a friend move this weekend. She gave me the remnants of her fridge and freezer. Lots of good food for free- eggs, milk, frozen vegetables, and much more! And, to say thank you for helping she gave me a gas gift card and a Chipotle gift card! I see a frugal meal at Chipotle in my future!

  8. Pat says

    I did a shopping this past Wed. and was able to get a good deal on a huge pork picnic. Cooked it up and figure we will get approx. 12 meals for 2 out of it. It was the only meat on sale this past week under $2.00 a pound.
    I have been given a lot of garden vegetables this past month, but our local store had a sale of 10 lbs for $3.00 if you bought in groups of 2. I was out of rutabagas, and beets, so I bought one of each! Came home and there were 3 rutabagas and a cabbage sitting on my deck! So my job for the next week is to push fresh veg. cooked, in soups, and salads. Some I will process and freeze for later. So our meals have been low cost for sure. Main items bought this past week besides those listed were dairy, eggs and flour on sale. Also a loaf of 12 grain bread and one of raisin bread that were just being marked down .
    We do not eat a lot of salads ( d
    Dh does not like lettuce), but I did make a lovely carrot and raisin side salad that Dh snarffed down! So will probably make that again. Also still working my way through cucumbers and tomatoes. Tomato sauce is in the books for tomorrow.

  9. Angie says

    My week didn’t turn out like I planned. I completed my meal plan based on what I had in stock. Most of the meals required the oven though so when the oven broke, it messed things up. I was just busy and out of sorts so I didn’t cook much. The family mostly fended for themselves, which is a lose for me, but a huge win for them. The kids really enjoy these days because they get to eat things I normally wouldn’t make for them. Oh well, we are alive, fed and still saved money by not eating out every meal. This is a new week and a new start!

    • Heather M says

      Some weeks just get you. Hope this new week is better!!

  10. Laura says

    The last week of the month always leaves me feeling like I need to abandon my meal plan and just use what we have. Without really trying too hard I came in way under budget on groceries this month while scoring some great sale items for the freezer. Our garden is still offering up its bounty so my mom and I are busily processing loads of tomatoes, cukes, greens, peppers, and other lovely veggies for the winter. I also picked our squash field and we’ll have some great butternut and pumpkin keepers along with a few acorns and some squmpkins from the volunteers:) as the weather cools here in NH, we are all looking forward to our weekly meal rotation switching to soups, stews, and roasts. Hubs bought me a new roast pan and v rack last week for my birthday so I’m giving that’ a workout! I roasted a chicken in it for dinner and just finished by adding water to the carcass and drippings in the pan and simmering for a while. Easy broth for soup another night this week! I love food this time of year:)

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week!!!

  11. Anna says

    My big frugal win this week was having lots of picnics instead of eating out while traveling and playing tourist. It takes a little more forethought and preparation, but ends up being easier in the long run for us- more economical and easier to choose things we know we like and are acceptable for everyone in the family.

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