Monday, January 17, 2011

Eating my way to new leather boots, monogrammed sheets, and copious amounts of Yankee candles.

I've really been trying to save money on groceries lately. It's easier to save in the winter, when I'm not buying hundreds of pounds of summer fruit for Brian and blowing the produce budget out of the stratosphere. In the winter, we also have lots of venison stocked up, and the cold weather lends itself to roasts and stews that make use of tougher cuts of meat and cheaper veggies. But the biggest reason it's easy to go cheap in the winter is because Brian will eat potatoes, pasta, bread, rice - cheap things that help me stretch meat and vegetables. In the summer, he's desperate to be fit and trim (er, uh, both of us are), so carbs are taboo.

The reason I'm doing this is because of greed. Yes, that's right. Brian and I have set an amount for our grocery budget, and whatever I don't use on food, I get to keep.

Keep for shopping.

(Not that I don't go shopping with the rest of the money. I would just... have more.)

So what are your favorite cheap meals? So far, my list includes:

-Enchiladas (rice, beans, venison)
-Spaghetti and meatballs (homemade sauce, venison, pasta)
-Pot roast (venison, potatoes, carrots)
-Chili and cornbread (beans, venison, tomatoes)
-Soups! Potato, chicken, ham and bean, split pea, beef vegetable... all cheap.
-Sandwiches! Bread costs pennies to make.
-Omelets (eggs!)
-Meatloaf and mashed potatoes (venison, potatoes)
-Stir-fry (rice, venison, veggies) or fried rice
-Pasta carbonara (pasta, bacon, eggs)
-Tacos (meat, beans, veggies)
-Venison steak and salad
-Chef's salad (lets me stretch chicken by slicing it - then I add hardboiled eggs, cheese, avocado, and lettuce ingredients)
-Shepherd's pie (potatoes, venison, veggies)
-Eggs in a hat

That's all I can think of at the moment. On Tuesday I made Monterrey Beans and Cheese, a meal I loved growing up, and today we are having chili on top of baked potatoes. This weekend I'll make a couple loaves of bread for sandwiches and we'll probably eat homemade pizza at some point, too. And for breakfast, Brian is super easy - he likes toast most of the time, or sometimes I'll make popovers, fried eggs, or sausage and potatoes - so I don't have to buy cereal or milk.

What are your favorite cheap meals? Please, help me buy things for myself! :) I'd prefer that Brian not suspect I've gypped him out of more gourmet meals. Haha.


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