Hi! I’m Heidi Wilson and my passion is helping families save time and money in the kitchen while making quick, easy and healthy meals. The goal for my blog posts is to help you escape dinnertime chaos so you can enjoy the awesome bonding opportunity that the family meal presents. I’m excited to give helpful tips and advice on how to make meal planning and prep simple and affordable, and will answer the daily question of “What’s for dinner??” I’ll also provide you with some tried and true recipes that are sure to become family favorites at your house. Don’t worry; I won’t be asking you to clip coupons, shop 12 different stores, or become a gourmet chef. Let’s face it: very few of us have the time or energy for all of that. If you do, that’s amazing! You’re definitely more organized than I am. Instead I’ll share you with the tips/tricks I use on a daily basis to make my life as a working mom of two a heck of a lot easier.
Now let’s get to those money-saving tips!
- Take inventory of your pantry and freezer. Most of us have much more food hidden in those two spots than we think. Start by working your recipes around the items you already have.
- Keep recipes to a short list of ingredients. Not only will this keep meal costs down, it will make your prep time much quicker and easier. You can get a lot of flavor from just a few ingredients when you use them the right way.
- Choose recipes that share ingredients. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has spent $5 on a specific spice for a recipe only to use a few tablespoons and then have it sit in my pantry for months. When planning your meals, choose recipes that share spices, marinades and oils, so you get the biggest bang for your buck from the groceries you purchase. I love to buy spice blends instead of individual spices. You get great flavor and only need to buy one ingredient!
- Stock up on sales. I’m not suggesting you buy out your grocery store when chicken goes on sale, but if you see something on sale that you would use on a regular basis buy extra and freeze it. Many things besides meat/seafood can be frozen without compromising texture/flavor: bread, cheese, vegetables (when using in a cooked preparation) and fruit (great for smoothies). I always season and marinate my meat and sometimes even veggies before freezing to add the most flavor.
- Have a meal plan and shop from a list. I’m sure this one doesn’t surprise anyone, but this is one of the single, most important things you can do to save money! Having a plan and shopping from a list will help keep you from all of those impulse buys once you get to the store. If you inventory your pantry/freezer and plan meals before going to the store, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that your grocery list is much shorter. It also means less money spent on things you don’t actually need. Bonus: Fewer trips and less time spent at the grocery store. Yay!
I hope you find these tips helpful and I’m looking forward to sharing more great tips/tricks in the weeks to come.
Questions? Recipes? Resources? Meal Planning Advice? Feel free to call me at (248) 259-9634.
– Heidi Wilson, Heidi’s Hints: Meal Planning Made Easy