Saturday, December 11, 2010

Anything You Can Cook I Can Cook Better...

Well, recently after I realized how far in debt I am personally from car loans and student loans (not even a house yet! Yikes!), I realized that we need to truly stick to our budget. We have one, but it was just whatever. I need to make it better.

Included in making our budget tight (Dave Ramsey says to tell every penny where to go and we are going to do that), means that I have to actually stick to our $100 grocery budget. This is $100 for two weeks. While I used to be able to do it with coupons and such, I have slacked lately and I swear coupons are sucking lately!
Its time for me to get back in the game. Of course, this means more time online searching for coupons, this means really meal planning and sticking to it and this means meal-planning things other than dinner. I am off of school until mid-January, do I want to eat cereal every breakfast? Robert takes lunches to work everyday and usually he takes leftovers, but if there is none, what does he take? What about goodies and lunches? Well our meal planning is going to be a lot more thorough and with the help of Cozi and the mobile appt on my iPhone, its going to get a lot easier.

My first grocery trip and I went over $30! Thats way too much. I took a look at the receipt and the top most expensive items (beside Tide) were all convenience foods. Corn dogs, hot pockets, pizzas, Oh my!
A box of corn dogs are... $7! Yikes! A package is $2 tops and a box of Jiffy is $.46.

Starting next week, in my meal planning I will include homemade convenience items that will be frozen for snacks and even for Robert to take to work.
Surprisingly, finding recipes has not been difficult for this, and I have found some great websites that I want to share with you all, maybe you all can try some homemade convenience foods as well?!

Our Best Bites really stands out in my mind as the recipe I will try next week. As well as the hot pockets being very yummy looking, the website itself has so many great recipes to try that I could spend hours looking at them all!

When I searched for homemade corn dogs, about a million sites jumped out at me! Seriously, I guess tons of people make them, just not me!
Chaos in the Kitchen - wow! This blog is great. I linked to her homemade corn dog recipe, but as I further searched the website I found other ideas as well like pizza bagels (think bagel bites!), french toast sticks, calzones, and chicken fingers. Seriously, such a great site that I am glad to be able to have found myself. Those pizza bagels are going on the menu next week to make!

I recently introduced Caelyn to hot dogs - yes I did it, I can't believe it. So junk food ish and I am already starting her, but hey, it was a quick lunch! She ate the entire hot dog, in these small darn bites I had to cut up lol. As I was searching through some of my normal blogs I read, I found a recipe for Corn Dog Muffins from Mommy Hates Cooking. I thought that was a great idea for toddlers and once Caelyn starts eating bigger bites, I think they too will make our menu.

Once finding bagel bites, I searched for more of those recipes and stumbled upon Tightwad Mom's Frugal Forum with a great recipe for them! I love blogs like this, the ideas you can find are great, like I often forget that I can make my own pumpkin spice if the stores don't have it (which, by the way, never go look for it on the day before Thanksgiving. I did this year for my mom and all local grocery stores were out - sorry Mom!) Another idea that I liked on this blog was how to make my own spreadable butter. Interesting, right? I would NEVER think of doing this!

It is amazing what you can really make yourself. This is why I titled this entry what I did. Whatever you buy in the store, including graham crackers, rolls, soups, cookies, granola bars, poptarts, and I am sure basically anything else, you can make in your house for cheaper and it will be healthier than the prepackaged items!

This is the next journey for us in the land of recipes, meal planning, budgetting, and frugalness.


  1. Cool. I will have to check out those links.

    Another cheap freezer meal you can make is burritos.

    I use pinto beans (no refried here), a spanish rice (homemade) and shredded cheese.

    Wrap them un in tortillas and then freeze individually in foil.

    You could of course add anything you like chicken leftovers, beef, pork. I like to make a variety and mork on the outside what i t was.

    For under 5 bucks I made over 15 full sized burritoes and had enough spanish rice left over to freeze as a side dish for a later time. :D

  2. Thanks for the link up! I'm glad my recipes helped!