As I discussed a few weeks ago, I intend to have a full freezer and pantry by the time Nugget makes his arrival.
As I have the Gestational Diabetes and will also have another c-section, the date of Nugget’s arrival will be sometime around the 18th of February which is the beginning of the 38th week.
So that means that there’s only about 11 weeks to get everything ready. The loss of my part time gig will greatly impact my plans but as I’ll tell you, not too badly.
Yesterday (Saturday), Moo and I and little girl went to the grocery store. Not an unusual experience in and of itself, but it was the contents of the trip that may surprize you.
We had a big trip. Not because we’re planning for guests or anything like that but because meat was on sale. Specifically chicken breasts and stew beef were on sale at stock up prices.
I use a variety of websites for my information but the most useful site for tracking pricing is Couponmom.com. This site lists the major grocery stores in the area and will give you the low down on their sale papers and how the prices listed compares with regular pricing. It also gives you the date and location of any coupons that can lower pricing even more.
Now I hear what you’re saying - “I HATE COUPONS” well so did I until I started hearing about people getting stuff for almost nothing or free.
Food is one of the few things that we have nearly complete control over on our budget. We can go eat prime rib every week or we can cut back and eat ground beef and chicken thighs. We can go out 5 times a week or we can cook a few economical things and still have the cash to go out once a week.
At one point, we were spending more on restaurants than we were on groceries and it was really hurting us financially. We couldn’t see it, but it was. And do not get me started on the cost of diapers and the fact that as the kid gets bigger, the package sizes shrink (size 4 Pampers, you get 27 diapers, whereas with size 5, you only get 23) for the SAME PRICE!!!
So finding a way to eat healthy and cheap has become an obsession for me. Call it my own way of nesting if you want. But if I’m able to cut my grocery budget in half in time for a kid who’s gonna need diapers and new clothes every 6-1/2 minutes, then I will clip whatever coupons I need to.
So back to our grocery trip and the cheap chicken and stew beef.
We came home and started to work.
First, the stew beef. I did a little prep work and then put on a double batch of vegetable beef soup. A double batch makes about 6 meals for us. These are generous servings so plenty for those cold winter nights coming. I serve with hot cornbread.
Then, I started on the chicken. One meal, I’m planning to make cranberry chicken – I posted the recipe previously here. We’ll have this later in the week.
The rest of the chicken got cut into bite size pieces and will be turned into chicken tacos. That recipe is coming later this week (it’s already written and ready and will post Dec 8th).
In about 4 hours of cook time (the soup takes a while) and about 1 hour of prep, I made 14 meals all for about 3 dollars per meal. Not too shabby.
And beyond that, this is all simple stuff that tastes good and is easy to prepare come dinner time.