Post by Jessica
When Christmas is over and the holiday travel is done, our family tries hard to settle back into a routine. But, we usually realize early in the New Year that some of our overindulgences have left our wallets a little thin. And, since it’s not like we can avoid paying the electric bill, we find other ways to tighten the purse straps. The main place to save is on groceries, with some common sense #CleanCouponing techniques.
I like to make the food budget stretch by attempting to use everything (and I mean everything) in the pantry. It seems throughout the year I stock up on good deals. That, combined with my garden canning, can lead to some interesting, but wallet friendly, meals.
Remember that time you bought 20 boxes of pasta because it was on sale?
- Toss it with some canned tomatoes, Italian dressing and cubed cheese and you have a quick and easy pasta salad.
- Or use some of your homemade pasta sauce stash, sautéed with ground beef for a classic spaghetti and meat sauce.
I will admit I went overboard with canning this year. I have dozens of jars of applesauce left. But, it makes a nice fresh side for any meal!
- The ever classic BFD (breakfast for dinner). Scramble up some eggs and whip up some pancakes. Add applesauce on the side and it’s a nice meal, mostly from pantry overstock.
- Our family likes pork chops and applesauce any day of the week.
Some other family favorites include:
- Drain a jar of tomatoes, drain a can of black beans, 1 cup of rice and 1.5 cups of chicken stock. Throw it all in the rice cooker and when done it’s a delicious rice meal.
- Tomato soup made from the extra jars of tomatoes.
- Pizza casserole also uses a lot of those pantry ingredients (mix together cooked pasta, a jar of pizza sauce and layer it with mozzarella cheese. Top with cheese and pepperoni and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes).
Be creative and have fun with dinner all while saving a little dough the #CleanCouponing way!
How young can we start involving our children in meal making? Is it really possible for kids to want to eat their vegetables? What’s a new way to serve up sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving? These questions and more came up during our #CleanCouponing Holiday Food Twitter chat! In case you missed it, here’s a recap of some of last night’s flavorful conversation:
Maybe you have health reasons to try a gluten-free diet, whether from a celiac diagnosis or other concerns. The transition can seem a bit daunting, and it can be somewhat more expensive when it comes to traditional baked goods without gluten. However, a frugal, at-home staple for a gluten-free diet is brown rice.
Buying in bulk by the bag, or even bulk bin shopping can help you save on the cost of rice.
We show you how to make perfect rice in this post on frugal cooking.
Here’s more about gluten free food choices from the Mayo Clinic.
Who else is using up what they have before writing the next grocery list?
How about some good, old-fashioned cooking without a recipe?
Let’s face it, the humble casserole is pretty forgiving, and the pot pie could fall into the category of casserole. Continue reading
Kids and snacks. They just go together. You know they’ll want something to eat between meals. So what do you feed them? Conventional couponing might help us snag popular snack foods with cents off. But clean couponing means getting the most value. FlourSackMama.com recently asked Dr. Alan Greene for some kids’ snack food tips. The popular pediatrician hosts a regular Twitter chat called Let’s Talk Kids’ Health! Here’s some of what he had to say:
Does your family eat popcorn for family movie night at home? Is it a snack the kids ask for often? We always try to stay stocked up on popcorn at our house.
Maybe you’ve seen the wide range of costs for popcorn these days. We decided to do some comparison shopping. Continue reading
You’ve heard the cliche about thinking outside the box. Cooking outside the box can save you money as part of your clean couponing strategy.
We went shopping to see what sort of value we’d find in a staple like rice. We located the popular brand of boxed rice product and purchased it for $2.00. This contained 6 ounces of food inside, with a small part of that being dried seasonings. Nutrition facts on the box told us it would make 3 servings. When we did the math, it came out to $5.33 per pound of food. Continue reading
Are you frugal by half?
Maybe you already use of these common sense ways of eliminating food waste and stretching your grocery resources:
*Bake a large casserole, then freeze half of it to use another time.
*Prepare stovetop items like from-scratch chili and soup, then freeze half for later.
*Bring home half of your restaurant dinner to use the next day for lunch.
*Reserve half of a baked chicken to use the next day for soup.
*Use half as much meat at a meal, replacing it with other protein sources like beans.
*Use half your typical amount of bread for a sandwich.
*Use half as much sugar as called for in sweet recipes, replacing some of it with applesauce.
*Replace as much as half the butter called for in a recipe with Greek yogurt.
*Reduce juices by half with water before drinking.
You did it! You’ve made a big impression in the Twittersphere with our first ever #CleanCouponing Twitter party in January! Thanks for joining us for a fast, fun hour of chatting about being frugal with more than money! We discussed finding coupons and discounts, being frugal and valuing quality. You mentioned the need to find special food items like gluten free for special dietary needs. You said you wanted to learn more about green cleaning alternatives, with discounts. Together, you helped us make more than a million impressions on the #CleanCouponing topic!
Thanks to sponsor Might Nest for giving away a smart, glass canister set, and thanks to sponsor Stonyfield for giving away an organic yogurt prize pack!
You said that in future Twitter parties we should discuss:
Eating healthy on a budget Shopping for organics
Coping with food allergies/sensitivities
You suggested lots of great brands that you’d like to see sponsoring future #CleanCouponing Twitter parties!
Watch here for updates on future Twitter parties, discounts, deals and strategies for stretching a dollar while also being frugal with MORE than money!
Family dinner is done, the kids are tucked into bed, you’ve finished those last few things on the to-do list. It’s 9 o’clock Eastern time, 8 Central, so it must be time for a Twitter party!
YOU are invited to our first ever Clean Couponing Twitter party tonight, co-hosted by CleanCouponing.com and FlourSackMama.com. We’ll chat about ways to be frugal with more than money.
We’re looking for deals on quality products for our home, just like you are. We’re starting fresh with ways to better organize our pantries and homes, stretching real foods into more wholesome meals, all while planning ahead to make more healthy lifestyle choices.
The Twitter party is a chance to see the secret words that unlock three extra entries to our fabulous Mighty Nest giveaway that ends at midnight.
Plus, Stonyfield Organic will be giving away a $25 yogurt gift pack to one lucky person who shows up tonight, and we may even have more giveaways!
Our Twitter party is being moderated by social media pro Organic PR.
So, be sure to follow @Organic_PR on Twitter, along with @CleanCouponing, @FlourSackMama, @Stonyfield and @MightyNest. We’ll be using hashtag #CleanCouponing, so please say hello and share your #CleanCouponing tips with us. See you there tonight!