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Page 2

Penny Courmet
n my experIence,
thIs Is where the
most savIngs can be
SustaInabIe eIIort
IndIcates the use oI
technIques and
strategIes that, once
Iearned and
Incorporated Into
your IIIestyIe, retreat
Into the background.
Advanced eIIort
strategIes change
my IIIestyIe In ways
that take more eIIort
than am wIIIIng to
expend reguIarIy,
and IntensIve eIIort
strategIes requIre
8C tIme
Eat out/order in most meals; visit
vending machines; buy treats
every time you buy gas
Buy mostly pre-packaged meals
and convenience foods; make
many last-minute fast food stops
or trips to the grocery store (shop
more than once per week)
Buy mostly prepared ingredients
(e.g. pre-washed/ bagged
produce, lots of mixes) that you
combine to make meals; eat out
less frequently; shop less
Plan menus, then stick to your list
as you buy what you need
whether its on sale or not (shop
Plan menus based on whats on
sale that week (shop weekly)
Have a varied recipe base using
mostly pantry items; stock up on
those items when theyre on sale
and live without them when
theyre not. Base your menus on
prep time available/ nutrition/
mood/ etc. because you know
youve got everything on hand to
make whatever (shop less and
less frequently as you become
more stocked: 1-2 times per
month, possibly with quick stops
in between for milk and fresh
produce); take advantage of case
lot sales once or twice yearly
Eat cheap foods with little
variation (rice, beans, ramen)
Raise and preserve your own
fruits and vegetables (or obtain
free from friends and neighbors);
raise your own animals for their
milk, eggs, and meat.
Use a variety of methods to
further trim your food needs and
your shopping methods

' '
See page 6 for ideas to help
you cut back on eating out
Getting organized, tracking
and trimming, and going to the
store less often will help you
save $. You may also
consider dedicated coupon-ing
to save $ now. See page 4 for
This will only save you money
if you were living on steps 1,2,
or 3 previously. Although
planning a menu and sticking
to a list help, you will save
more at subsequent steps.
Just pennies, not-so-

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] ]] ]t tt ta aa as ss s; ;; ; I II Iy yy yp pp pt tt tn nn ns ss sJ JJ J\ \\ \t tt t S SS Sh hh ho oo op pp pp pp pJ JJ Jn nn ng gg g J JJ Ja aa a; ;; ;; ;; ;t tt tr rr rn nn ns ss s

Jn;tnsJ\t I((or;
d\anctd I((or;
TV/radio personality Ken
Roesbery (The Grocery
Guru) maintains that this
strategy alone will save you
40% on your grocery bill.
Sus;aJnaLlt I((or;
Combining a variety of
smart shopping strategies
with planning and
preparation tips and
techniques to accommodate
your lifestyle will save quite
a bit of money. Depending
upon your buying habits,
dedicated coupon-ing may
or may not save you much
$ at this stage of the game.
Make sure to implement
changes of a type and at a
pace you can sustain over


2 22 2

3 33 3

4 44 4

5 55 5

6 66 6

7 77 7

8 88 8

9 99 9

Sliding Scale:
Shopping Habits
Where do your shoppIng
habIts IaII on thIs sIIdIng
scaIeZ (t`s InterestIng to
note that certaIn seasons
oI IIIe tend to IInd us In
certaIn pIaces on the
scaIe!) ThIs scaIe serves as
a vIsuaI remInder oI how
you can aImost aIways
step down to dIIIerent
habIts that wIII save you
money. Remember that
the greatest savIngs come
Irom not onIy changIng
how you shop, but aIso
evaIuatIng how you eat
and pIan as weII. Read on
Ior heIpIuI Ideas to change
behavIor and save money
In aII three areas.

Penny Courmet
Page 3

Should l shop at only one store, or shop sales

at all the stores? 8oth. ShoppIng mostIy at a
home base store wIII save you tIme, and Iess tIme
In a store usuaIIy resuIts In Iess money spent.
MakIng sure that you purchase Items that are on
saIe wIII save you money wherever you shop (up to
40Z over your reguIar shoppIng bIII). Shop
hoppIng weekIy to catch every deaI out there wIII
probabIy cost you more In gas than you can save
by smart shoppIng at your home base store.
However, catchIng occasIonaI deaIs at stores
aIready on your errand route (as Iong as you stIck
to your IIst and onIy purchase the saIe Items you
went Into the store Ior) can have a payoII Ior you.
AddItIonaIIy, some Items you purchase may aIways
be cheaper at one store than another (Ior Instance,
butter`s reguIar prIce at Costco Is generaIIy Iess
than the reguIar prIce Ior butter at most area
grocery stores). 8e aware oI such dIIIerences.
Are warehouse clubs good ideas or a waste of
money? OnIy you can decIde II you save your
membershIp Iee over tIme, based on the types oI
Items you buy. Most experts agree you need to be
dIscrImInatIng about what you purchase at
warehouseJdIscount cIubs. Not aII Items are a
good deaI, or even cheaper than you can get at
the IocaI grocery store. 8eIng aware oI the
dIIIerent prIce poInts out there Ior the same Item,
as weII as common saIe prIces, can heIp you be a
savvy shopper at a warehouseJdIscount cIub.
Should l use coupons? The answer to thIs
depends upon your shoppIng habIts. I you
routIneIy purchase natIonaI brands andJor Iots oI
convenIence Ioods, you couId IInd sIgnIIIcant
savIngs by dedIcated couponIng. However, II you
mostIy purchase orIgInaI source Ioods (those that
haven`t been processed much, such as Iresh
meats, produce, and basIc stapIes such as IIour,
sugar, etc.) you may IInd that dedIcated coupon
Ing costs you more In tIme and newspaper Iees
than you wIII generaIIy save. For more InIormatIon
on dedIcated couponIng, see page 4.

Answers to Your 8urnIng QuestIons
Food storage stockIng & rotatIon Is key to becomIng a penny gourmet.
Don't conIuse IrugaIIty wIth deprIvIng
yourseII! ChangIng the amount you spend
on grocerIes Is just one oI many ways to
reach your IInancIaI goaIs, and a very
eIIectIve choIce!
Should l pay for any type of shoppingJ
coupon service? AgaIn, thIs Is a matter oI
personaI preIerence. You shouId be aware that
most paId Internet servIces, such as, have sImIIar Iree
counterparts, IIke I you
are IookIng Into payIng Ior a shoppIngJcoupon
servIce, InvestIgate Its perks thoroughIy and
make sure you can`t obtaIn them Ior Iree and
wIII actuaIIy use the perks you are payIng Ior.
How can l manage to feed my family daily
and still build my food storage? 8y usIng
your Iood storage to Ieed your IamIIy! Your 90
day Iood suppIy shouId be rotated IrequentIy.
8y stockIng up on Ioods you reguIarIy eat when
they are on saIe, and usIng your storage andJor
IIvIng wIthout Items when they`re not on saIe,
you can save money, buIId your Iood storage,
and rotate It reguIarIy. PIannIng can heIp you
Integrate your Iongterm Iood storage (basIc
stapIes that sustaIn IIIe) Into your dIet as weII.
Your shoppIng IIsts wIII shIIt Irom Items you are
out oI and must have, to Iresh Items you want
and stockIng you`d IIke to do.
Can't you give me a quick and easy formula
to save money on groceries? No, and that`s
the beauty oI It! Every IamIIy Is unIque In theIr
needs and preIerences. KnowIng many ways to
successIuIIy trIm a grocery bIII aIIows IamIIIes
to choose methods that wIII work Ior them and
that they can sustaIn over tIme. Any method
you try shouId save you at Ieast a IIttIe, and the
more methods you can put Into pIace, the
greater the savIngs! ConsIder cuttIng your
grocery bIII as a great adventure that wIII enabIe
you to get to know your IamIIy and yourseII
better. t wIII heIp you stretch and grow!
How much shouId l be spending on groceries
and household expenses (cleaning, health
and beauty products, diapers, etc.)? ThIs Is up
to you. The nvernge thrIIty IamIIy oI 4 spends
$450Jmonth. Very thrIIty IamIIIes oI 4 spend
$120$180Jmonth. t aII depends on your
needs, choIces, and strategIes.

Page 4
Penny Courmet
Stay out of stores. I you`re not there, you can`t
spend money! Choose 14 days per month to shop,
and stIck to your scheduIe. I you run out oI
somethIng, substItute or do wIthout.
Purchase only sale items and basics. Use a store`s
ad to make your shoppIng IIst. Stock up on saIe
Items so you wIII need Iess and Iess. Choose basIcs
(Iresh Items IIke daIry and produce) that are aIso on
saIe whenever possIbIe.
Stick to a list. EstImate your totaI cost beIore you go
to the store; rework your IIst at home II you go over
budget. Then stIck to the IIst once you get In the
Consider having your milk and occasionally eggs,
produce, etc. delivered. DependIng upon how much
you need deIIvered, and how much you spend on
ImpuIse buys on "quIck trIps to just grab some mIIk,"
you may end up savIng. (Do the math careIuIIy! You
may not.)
Know when to shop. I possIbIe, do not go
shoppIng when hungry, sIck, depressed, angry, tIred,
wIth kIds; avoId any tIme IInes wIII be Iong and stores
crowded (dInner hourJSaturday nIghts). Do not go
unprepared (wIthout a IIst or pIan) or to wIndow
shop. Try swappIng wIth a IrIend - you shop Ior both
oI you one week & babysIt the next whIIe she shops.
Cet in and out quickly to avoid impulse buys.
StudIes show that peopIe wIth a IIst who spend 30
mInutes or Iess In a store rareIy ever buy on ImpuIse.
8ut Ior every 10 mInutes past the InItIaI 30, you`re
more and more IIkeIy to make ImpuIse buys. 8e
aware oI and avoId thIs tendency! |UST FOR FUN:
AIter a shoppIng trIp, pIace a check mark by every
Item on your receIpt that you had not Intended to
buy when you entered the store.
Know the gimmicks. tems In a grocery store are
arranged so you wIII pIck up more than you Intended.
They are pIaced to sIow your progress through the
aIsIes, make you pass hIgh ImpuIse Items IIrst, entIce
you to pIck somethIng at eye IeveI, get your
attentIon, and tempt you at the checkout stand.
Concentrate on the outer rIm oI the store, where
basIcs IIke mIIk, meat and produce are usuaIIy
Iocated, and avoId as many aIsIes as possIbIe.
Compare unit prices to get the most for your
money. Ounce Ior ounce, one product can be a
better deaI than another, even II It costs sIIghtIy
more overaII. Take a caIcuIator wIth you!
Use a price book. ThIs Is a system Ior trackIng
prIces so that when you see somethIng on saIe, you
know whether It reaIIy Is a good buy or not. Use a
threerIng bInder and IIned paper; record date, store,
Item, sIze, prIce, unIt prIce, and whether or not the
Item was on saIe. Use your receIpts or store ads to
gather InIo. ConsuIt websItes that IIst saIe Items at
varIous stores and rate those saIes. Try sItes IIsted
under "Use coupons and rebates." beIow.
Choose a home base store. Make a IIst oI 25 Items
you normaIIy buy. 8uzz through 3 nearby grocery
stores, wrItIng down the prIce Ior each Item on your
IIst. Add the totaIs and go wIth the store IeaturIng
the Iowest totaI.
Take advantage of sales at other stores
periodically. Try to hIt stores aIready on your
errand route and stIck to your IIst.
uy inseason produce. SubstItute Irozen or
canned produce Ior Iresh when It Is out oI season
and thereIore more expensIve. (Frozen Is usuaIIy
processed so quIckIy that Its quaIIty Is Iresher than
that oI "Iresh" produce that has spent days on a
truck beIng shIpped to the store.)
Try other brands IncIudIng store brands and
generIcs. They are oIten packaged by reputabIe
companIes Ior a IractIon oI the prIce oI natIonaI
Check out the manager's specials on meat. AIso,
consIder purchasIng cheaper cuts oI meat and
cookIng them In ways that wIII enhance theIr IIavor
and texture.
uy in bulk. SpIces are oIten much cheaper bought
In buIk, as Is ReaI SaIt. Take advantage oI case Iot
saIes to purchase Iarge quantItIes oI smaII contaIner
sIzes (IIke soup cans). ]oIn wIth neIghbors to
purchase very Iarge quantItIes (such as a sIde oI
beeI, a case oI chIcken breasts, etc.). Repackage and
store Iood properIy ImmedIateIy to avoId waste.
Learn the sales patterns. Use your prIce book to
see trends In saIe patterns. Then you can pIan
ahead to take advantage oI them.
Use coupons and rebates occasionally, or
consider becoming a "dedicated couponer." The
basIcs oI dedIcated couponIng: order as many
Sunday papers as you have peopIe In your IamIIy.
Each Sunday, puII the coupon bookIets Irom the
paper, date them, and put them In a IIIe (bInder,
expandabIe IIIe IoIder, sIeeve, etc.). Use Iree
websItes such as and
to heIp you take advantage oI store ads and the
coupons that correIate wIth saIe Items. Cut the
coupons onIy when you are pIannIng to use them.
Keep your bookIets on average Ior IIve months. 8e
aware that you may not save money doIng thIs, and
that even II you do save money, It wIII take awhIIe to
buIId up a suppIy oI coupon books that wIII have aII
the coupons recommended to take advantage oI a
saIe. Remember, I`s WHAT YOU 5FND, NOT whnI
you 5AV, IhnI counIs wIh couons!
Strategy One: Change HOW You Shop
have underIIned strategIes routIneIy use
at thIs tIme.

Penny Courmet
Page 5
Return to plainer weeknight cooking.
SometImes, wIthout reaIIzIng It, we have gotten In
the habIt oI makIng every meaI a gourmet meaI
usIng exensve IngredIents. Co back to preparIng
basIc meaIs on weekdays and IancIer meaIs on
weekends or specIaI occasIons. For recIpes that
use Iess costIy IngredIents, Iook at DepressIonera
cookbooks, Iood storage or pantry cookIng
cookbooks, or cookbooks specIIIcaIIy Ior penny
pInchIng cooks (such as Dnng on n Dme
Cookbook by Tawra ]ean KeIIam, and MserIy
MenIs: HenIIhy, TnsIy Reces Under 75 CenIs n
5ervng by ]onnI McCoy).
Cut back on unk food; limit its use to certain
times (Ior Instance chIps are Ior Iunches onIy, not
snackIng; soda Is onIy consumed at the weekIy
pIzza nIght, etc.).
Make it yourselfJ choose convenience foods
wisely. ConvenIence Ioods are anythIng that Is
partIaIIy or compIeteIy prepared Ior consumptIon
beIore It Is packaged, rangIng Irom Irozen
IndIvIduaIIy packaged meaIs or boxed IamIIy
dInner kIts to snack Ioods to prewashed produce.
The bIggest bucksavers to make yourseII IncIude:
bread, muIIIns, waIIIes, pIes, pIzza, and baby
Iood. Many produce Items are cheaper to prepare
yourseII, but the tIme savIngs mIght be worth the
extra money to you. ConsIder the amount oI
money you couId actuaIIy save and your
motIvatIon to do so, your IIIestyIe, preIerences,
IeeIIngs about nutrItIon, and your
IocatIonJscheduIe when makIng choIces In thIs
rownbag it. I you thInk you wIII suIIer Irom
brown bag boredom, there`s Iots oI InspIratIon on
the nternet. Irom how to get kIds InvoIved In
decIsIonmakIng to actuaIIy packIng theIr own
Iunches, to how to use IeItovers and make cheap
homemade addIns that kIds (and husbands) Iove.
CoogIe "brown bag Ideas" Ior sItes gaIore.
Take your drinks with you Stock up on soda
when It`s on saIe, then take It wIth you Instead oI
buyIng at the gas statIon or IastIood store. 8uy
reusabIe thermos contaIners or sports bottIe Ice
cube trays to heIp keep thIngs warmJcoId.
Drink before you eat. SometImes part oI cuttIng
our grocery bIII Is just cuttIng down on the
amount oI Iood we eat. SometImes we
mIsInterpret our body`s cues Ior thIrst as hunger.
TraIn yourseII and your IamIIy to stay weII
hydrated and try takIng a drInk beIore IdIy
noshIng. The Iood mIght just stay In the
cupboard Ior another snack attack!

Change andJor monitor your family's drink
consumption. Many IamIIIes are surprIsed when
they see how much they actuaIIy spend on beverages.
I you`d IIke to cut back on your consumptIon, here
are some Ideas (IIgure out drInk ruIes that wouId IIt
your IamIIy and InstItute them sIowIy): mIIk onIy at
meaIs, not In between; juIce onIy at breakIast or In
homemade juIce pop snacks; soda onIy wIth pIzza or
when campIng, etc.
Fill up on healthier foods. Any change Is better
than none. You wIII eat Iess because you wIII be
better nourIshed. What a great Investment In your
heaIth! Shoot Ior mosIIy whoIe graIns and deepIy
coIored IruIts and vegetabIes, ndequnIe Iegumes,
daIry, IIsh, pouItry and meat, and jewer Iats and
Stick to regular snack and dinner times. I the
peopIe In your house know they can count on a meaI
or snack at a certaIn tIme, they can cut back on aII
the noshIng - one oI the bIggest causes oI Iood
Eat less meat. Try to thInk oI meat as an accent to
the dInner tabIe rather than the maIn course. Or, try
cuttIng portIon sIzes oI maIn dIsh meats and addIng
more sIdes to compensate. Or, have a coupIe oI
meatIess meaIs per week, such as breakIast Ior
dInner or soup wIth deIIcIous homemade roIIs.
Eat cheaper cuts of meat and cook them usIng
tenderIzIng methods so they mImIc more prIcey cuts.
(ThIs IncIudes roastIng Iow and sIow, usIng a sIow
cooker, marInatIng, pressurecookIng, etc.)
Stretch your meats. Extend your meats by mIxIng In
extra veggIes (thInk stIrIry), graIns (chIcken and rIce
or meatIoaI wIth oatmeaI or breadcrumbs In It), and
sauces (thInk casseroIes). ConsIder usIng TVP or
other nonmeat substItutes to stretch your meats as
weII (these work weII when mIxed wIth hamburger).
Stretch your milk. Use Iresh mIIk Ior drInkIng and
on cereaI, and use stored mIIk (powdered, canned)
Ior cookIng. You can make "creamy" soups by
addIng mashed potato buds or IIakes or cream
cheese or sour cream Instead oI mIIk. You can aIso
purchase mIIk on saIe, pour out a IIttIe to aIIow head
room, and Ireeze. Use wIthIn the month and aIIow
severaI days Ior It to thaw In the reIrIgerator beIore
Substitute, cut back on, or eliminate expensive
ingredients. FInd cheaper aIternatIves. n many
cases, your IamIIy won`t notIce a dIIIerence! CoogIe
"cookIng substItutIons."

Strategy Two: Change HOW You Eat
How you eat InIIuences your heaIth and weII-beIng.
8onus: eatIng heaIthIuIIy Is oIten cheaper than
eatIng junk!

have underIIned strategIes routIneIy use

at thIs tIme.

Page 6
Penny Courmet
CareIuI shoppIng habIts wIII
heIp you save money on
just about any recIpe. For
consIstent savIngs wIth Iess
eIIort, careIuIIy anaIyze
your recIpes and stock Ior
and use them accordIngIy.
A varIed recIpe base
combIned wIth technIques
such as buIk cookIng and
pIanned IeItovers saves
tIme and more money than
careIuI shoppIng aIone.
And your IamIIy stIII
eats weII!
Strategy Three: Change HOW You PIan and Prepare
Plan and prepare adequately so as to not eat out (or save $ when you do).
ReorganizeJrecategorizeJrethink your recipes to facilitate
better meal planning and shopping.
Look carefully at your recipes and
determIne whIch oI them can be
made wIth aII pantry Items, some
pantry Items, and aII Iresh Items.
The aII pantry Item recIpes wIII
probabIy be cheaper because you
can stock up on aII oI theIr
IngredIents when they are on saIe.
DetermIne when recIpes wIth Iresh
IngredIents are In season, and do
not pIan to make them at other
tImes oI the year. AddItIonaIIy,
determIne whIch recIpes IncIude
"spIurge" IngredIents (expensIve
Items that rareIy go on saIe) as weII
as recIpes that are superquIck,
moderate, and tImeIntensIve to IIx.
Choose several quick
recipesJmeals that your family
loves and begIn keepIng those
IngredIents stocked at aII tImes.
Decide which of your moderate and
timeintensive meals you want to
continue fixing, as well as which
"splurge" meals are worth it to
you, and begIn stockIng those
IngredIents as weII. Determine
several portable foods that you can
make In buIk and take wIth you at a
moment`s notIce; stock those
IngredIents when on saIe and begIn
makIng and storIng these Ioods
approprIateIy. Keep track of make
ahead recipes such as sIow cooker,
Ireezer meaIs, homemade mIxes, and
pIanned IeItovers. KnowIng thIs
InIormatIon wIII heIp you when It
comes to meaI pIannIng. FInaIIy,
make decisions about convenience
v. homemade foods and purchase or
make accordIngIy.
Why You Why You Why You Why You
Eat Out Eat Out Eat Out Eat Out
OR you
worked aII
day and
don`t IeeI
IIke cookIng
when you
get home
OR you`re
runnIng Iate
took Ionger
than you
you`re not
yet, and
You can`t
thInk what
to IIx Ior
dInner, or
you`re not
In the
mood Ior
what you
You`re In the mood
Ior your IavorIte dIsh
at your IavorIte
You need a
date nIght or
a ceIebratIon
You`d IIke to take the kIds out
Ior Iun, but don`t want to
break the bank.
How to How to How to How to
Save Save Save Save
Money Money Money Money
Try Oncea
pantry quIck
meaIs, and
sIow cooker
or other
recIpes to
get dInner
on the tabIe
Iast wIth
prep tIme.
PIan on
Ionger than
you thInk
and pack
snacks and
8etter yet,
keep some
In your car
aII the
tIme. Even
and water
bottIes can
tIde over
Hang a IIst
oI pantry
stock theIr
through the
CIone your IavorIte
recIpes. Try
Make a Iew oI your
IavorIte restaurant
dIshes ahead oI tIme
and Ireeze Ior when
thIs mood strIkes.
8y aII means,
go out. 8ut
take It out oI
budget. Use
coupons to
save money,
or go out to
Iunch Instead
oI dInner -the
same Iare In
portIons Ior
Iess money.
AgaIn, take It out oI your
entertaInment budget, but take
advantage oI restaurants that
have "KIds Eat Free" deaIs
*Note: See page 10 Ior a
websIte that gIves Ideas oI
restaurants wIth "KIds Eat Free"

Penny Courmet
Page 7
Once a Month Cooking and
ulk Cooking Strategies
Once a month cookIng (OAMC) Is
just what It sounds IIke: you
spend a IuII day cookIng and
IreezIng everythIng that you wIII
eat Ior dInner the rest oI the
month. I you`re Interested, check
out the book Frozen AsseIs: Cook
jor n Dny, nI jor n MonIh! 8y
Deborah TayIorHough or googIe
"Ireezer cookIng" or "OAMC."
8uIk cookIng Is a way to make
every cookIng sessIon count.
SInce you`re aIready makIng a
messJcookIng hamburger or
chIckenJgratIng cheeseJchoppIng
onIonsJmakIng a casseroIe etc.
you mIght as weII cook ALL the
meat, grate ALL the cheese, chop
ALL the onIons, make 2
casseroIes, etc. t takes a IIttIe
extra tIme InItIaIIy, but saves so
much throughout the month, as
you can puII readytogo
IngredIents Irom your Ireezer and
get subsequent meaIs on the tabIe
Iaster. I you don`t want to cook
your meat IIrst, make sure to
dIvIde bIg packages Into meaIsIze
portIons beIore IreezIng.

Planned Leftover (PL) Strategy

PIanned LeItovers Is when you
IntentIonaIIy cook more oI an
Item than you wIII need Ior one
meaI, then use the extra In
another, IaIrIy dIIIerent meaI.
oIten Ireeze my IeItovers so the
second meaI Is served days or
weeks aIter the IIrst and my
IamIIy has no Idea they are
eatIng "IeItovers." Some Ideas:
Sunday roast can become
French dIp sandwIches, IajItas,
stIrIry, potpIe, beeI stew, PhIIIy
beeI braId.
RIce can become IrIed rIce, rIce
puddIng, SpanIsh rIce, pIIaI,
casseroIes, rIce breakIast cups,
rIce cereaI, added to soup, etc.
ChIII can be served on chIII
dogs, Navajo tacos, and nachos.
ChIcken nuggets can go In
saIads, stIrIry, sweetnsour
chIcken, sesame chIcken.
Extra baked potatoes can be
used to make potato soup,
Dutch oven breakIast potatoes.
ChIcken soup can be thIckened
to make potpIe IIIIIng or base
Ior casseroIe (add noodIes or
rIce to soup aIter removIng PL).

Plan to use timesaving food preparation strategies on a regular basis.

The bIggest bIows to my grocery budget come when 'm In a hurry and have nothIng can IIx In a hurry or take aIong wIth me. UtIIIzIng
the strategIes beIow heIps me cIrcumvent the urge to spIurge In such sItuatIons.

Portable Food List

KeepIng a IIst oI portabIe Ioods
that routIneIy stock IngredIents
Ior Is heIpIuI when `m tryIng to
rush out the door, Ieed kIds at a
soccer game, etc. Some Ideas:
kabobs; tortIIIa roIIups; stuIIed
ceIery stIcks; stuIIed pIta pockets;
IruItnyogurt parIaIts; smoothIes;
homemade cereaI traII mIx or
granoIa; snack Ioods bought on
saIe; hot dogs covered wIth
boIIIng water In a thermos;
portabIe IruIts and veggIes.

Use Your Freezer
Freezer = tIme and $ saver!
Freeze meats In marInade; they`re
ready to cook sooner. Purchase In
buIk: yeast, bakIng powder,
butter, grated cheese, etc. SaIe
bananasZ PeeI, haII and Ireeze Ior
banana pops, smoothIes or
banana bread. Freeze grated
zucchInI In recIpeready portIons.
]uIce Iresh saIe Iemons; Ireeze In
Ice cube trays & transIer to
Ireezer bag. AIso In Ice cube
trays: IeItover stock, homemade
baby Iood. Potato chIps won`t go
rancId. Freeze pIanned
IeItoversJmakeahead meaIs In
ZIpIoc baggIes; they Iay IIat and
stack weII. Other methods: ghost
pan, pIop.

Plan ahead for potlucks, company or other special dinners, and holidays.

When asked to brIng an Item Ior a potIuck, try to

voIunteer to brIng a dessert, homemade bread, or
]eIIO saIad. The IngredIents Ior these Items have Iong
sheII IIves and can be stockpIIed when on saIe Ior those
tImes when you`ve got to go to a party but don`t want
to spend extra cash on your potIuck contrIbutIon.
8Iggest budget kIIIer: oIIerIng to brIng a green saIad In
the wInter months, when most Iresh produce Is out oI

PIan ahead Ior the InevItabIe tIme when company`s
comIng, or you need to IIx another specIaI dInner. PIck
two menus suItabIe to such occasIons, and stockpIIe
theIr IngredIents when on saIe.
FInaIIy, many peopIe spend more on specIaIty Ioods
Ior hoIIdays. Remember that you can stockpIIe
IreezeabIe Items or Items wIth Iong sheII IIves,
such as butter, bakIng chocoIate, coconut, nuts,
and other expensIve Items throughout the year to
save money durIng aIready expensIve hoIIday
seasons. (See page 10 Ior websItes about IreezIng
Iood saIeIy.)

Proper prIor pIannIng prevents poor Proper prIor pIannIng prevents poor Proper prIor pIannIng prevents poor Proper prIor pIannIng prevents poor
perIormance. and saves you money on perIormance. and saves you money on perIormance. and saves you money on perIormance. and saves you money on
your grocery bIII! your grocery bIII! your grocery bIII! your grocery bIII!

What other shortcuts can you take wIth meaIs you prepare reguIarIyZ
(Cook and Ireeze extra meatbaIIs, wrIte WW poInts on pkg. or recIpe.)

Page 8
Penny Courmet
Develop systems for doing the things you do repeatedly, so you are not reinventing
the wheel every time you have to do them.

Menu Planning
FIgurIng out what to IIx Ior dInner Is somethIng most
oI us dread. MakIng menu pIans heIps aIIevIate some
oI the pressure. There are severaI ways to do thIs.
Remember that II you are pIannIng a week at a
tIme and shoppIng Ior most oI the Iood you wIII be
usIng that week, you shouId pIan menus based onIy
on what Is on saIe that week. ChoosIng what you`d
IIke to eat and then purchasIng the necessary Items
may save you money II you`ve been an extravagant
shopper, but Is not a thrIIty way to pIan and shop.
(However, II you`re new to menu pIannIng and It`s
overwheImIng to you, start here and progress. Try
usIng ThIs sIte provIdes weekIy
meaI pIans, assocIated recIpes, and a shoppIng IIst.
When you`re ready to step up a notch, you couId dIp
Into the archIves and compare requIred IngredIents
to those currentIy on saIe and mIx and match meaIs
Irom archIved weeks Into your current week.)
AddItIonaIIy, the Crocery Curu`s websIte Ieatures a
menu oI the week based on the shop oI the week.
Check thIs out Ior exampIes II you are new to menu
pIannIng usIng saIe Items.

I you have been workIng on stockIng your pantry,
you have a Iot more IatItude In how you pIan your
menus, sInce you wIII aIready have most Items on
hand. 8eIore you begIn stockIng your pantry, It may
be heIpIuI to settIe on a method oI meaI pIannIng, as
thIs wIII heIp you know whIch pantry recIpes to stock
IIrst. For Instance:
Choose a pattern oI categorIes to IoIIow. SpecIIy
certaIn nIghts oI the week to be: EthnIc Iood nIghts
(MexIcan, taIIan, ndIan, AsIan, etc.), pasta or pIzza
nIght, chIcken nIght, beeI nIght, IIsh nIght, breakIast
IordInner nIght, soup and roII nIght, meatIess nIght,
saIad nIght (In season), pIanned IeItover nIght, make
ahead meaI nIght (IIke sIow cooker meaIs), quIck
meaI nIght, portabIe meaI nIght, etc. Let your
scheduIe guIde whIch nIght Is whIch. For exampIe, II
Wednesday Is your nIght to drIve the baIIet carpooI,
scheduIe a quIck meaI or portabIe meaI nIght. I you
voIunteer at the schooI or work on Thursdays, or
hate cookIng on Saturdays, pIan makeahead
meaIs Ior those days.
DecIde to serve (Ior Instance) a proteIn,
graIn, 2 veggIes, and daIry Ior every dInner and
IruIt at every breakIast. MuItIpIy to see how much
you wIII need Ior an amount oI tIme, and stock It.
Another method Is to deveIop Iour three
month scheduIes oI seasonaI meaIs. Your Iood
wIII be season specIIIc, and you wIII aIways know
what to stock up on!
I you just can`t stand the Idea oI pIannIng
ahead Ior weeks or months, then make sure you
at Ieast IoIIow the 10:00 ruIe: I you are goIng to
be out oI your house at aII durIng the day, decIde
by 10:00 the evenIng beIore what you wIII serve
Ior dInner. I you are goIng to be home aII day,
pIan by 10:00 In the mornIng what you wIII serve
Ior dInner. ThIs shouId gIve you adequate tIme to
take meat out to thaw, soak beans, etc. and you
won`t ever be caught at 5:00 askIng yourseII,
"What`s Ior dInnerZ"

Fgurng ouI whnI Io jx jor dnner s

someIhng mosI oj us drend. Here`s
how Io nIIevnIe some oj Ihe ressure.
Make a Master Shopping List
There are certaIn Items that you use over and over.
I you record these on a master shoppIng IIst that
you revIew In addItIon to InventoryIng your current
stores, you`II avoId IorgettIng anythIng when you
make your current shoppIng IIst. t can aIso heIp
remInd you oI saIe Items you`d IIke to be on the
Iookout Ior. You can make thIs IIst based upon
Items you routIneIy purchase at certaIn stores
(group accordIng to theIr IocatIon wIthIn the store),
or by type oI IngredIent you IIke to keep on hand
(Iresh, Irozen, canned, dry, basIc bakIng, etc.).

Develop a system for taking inventory of what

you already have.
OverpurchasIng can sometImes resuIt In wasted
Iood. t aIso redIrects your money when It couId be
better used eIsewhere. KnowIng what you have on
hand, as weII as what you reaIIy use In any gIven
tIme perIod, wIII heIp you be a more savvy shopper.
PIace customIzed spreadsheets on cIIpboards near
your Iood storage areas. Or mount metaI IIashIng
to the Iront oI your storage sheIves and use smaII
magnets to transIer between "Have" and "Used"
categorIes Ior whatever Is on the sheII. Try Ior very smaII magnets (keep out
oI chIIdren`s reach!)

Penny Courmet
Page 9

Sample Master Shopping List (y store and category)

' ' ' ' . . . . . . . .

CIe.aiag froaace fooa
|o /s'cii |o /s'cii |o /s'cii |o /s'cii ioc ioc ioc ioc ,888800` |'oo
oi cc' o.'ci C'cac
C'ass ,a ca''ac caois ,oiaiocs o.os |ciiccc
|.ic'c |cads |.ic'c |cads |.ic'c |cads |.ic'c |cads ,5G9GG` 'o.
sca, oais
|a'oo sia.'css sicc'
c'cac |'cdc c.i |a'cc cis 'a sccds scsac sccds
|ao ,awas'
|../|oa oi'c
'cic doc' c'acc oi'c
/. |cs'cc s,a/ c.''s
ca,ci cs' |s |as''o.s |c'. |o''c |.''s |c'. |o''c |.''s |c'. |o''c |.''s |c'. |o''c |.''s ,cacoc' 'oc
|.s'.as'c soa, |.c.d d.s'
soa, C.aaea/Dry | |caics oc cca

|a oa, |.c.d soa, c.'' |.'' a''s a''s a''s a''s |s |a.s,a

C'ccsc ,C'/ |a` |.'a |oo's |cc |.'a |oo's |cc |.'a |oo's |cc |.'a |oo's |cc
f.per froaacts |ciic

|a,c io.c's ,a,c cc,s

|a,c ,'aics, o's, s,oos,
a,'.s C'.c'c

|cc' sac's o'dio, 'a.cs ia.'c.cs
sac'/sad/i/a'/cc.c o,.ca' |c.i
.a ,a,c i. o.' ,'asi.c .a, |'cc'c.cs
frozea o Store
fets .c.cs o.'ci |a,c
cai ood do ood do.c
icais c'cac waic oicc a'i

He.Ith Be.aty friage |a.'.dc |ocs
'' 'oi.o 0i.,s coi. 'a''s
'cs' ..,cs .'' cs soc cca |.ii |.iic
iooi''cs'cs 'co.dc .sc

'osscs iooi',asic________

s'a,oo/cod______ c' Other |.a,cs
coiaci so'ci.o ca'c.c |cai o sa'c w.,cs

|acd dcicci

|a'.c soicc
co, ,a,c ,.ic .'

OIher MnsIer 5hong LsI snmIes nnd mnny oIher heIjuI jorms hnve been osIed on Ihe InIerneI jor your use.

Page 10
Penny Courmet

Helpful Websites and ooks

WESlTES combInes every coupon wIth every saIe ad Ior Utah stores. Use passport
#g84ro1 to enter sIte.
http:JJwww.utahcityguide.comJnewJguruJindex.asp The Crocery Curu`s sIte (he aIso has a radIo
show on KSL on Saturdays, 1112 noon). LIsts a Ieatured shop oI the week wIth correspondIng
menu Ior Items on that store`s ad; aIso heIps you use coupons wIth ads Ior Utah stores.
http:JJwww.pinchingyourpennies.comJforumsJshowthread.php?t=34430 A thread Irom a
Iorum that shares restaurants In south SaIt Lake County oIIerIng "KIds Eat Free" deaIs; many oI
these restaurants are In Utah County as weII. DoubIe check avaIIabIIIty wIth restaurant beIore goIng
to eat there! and oIIer copy cat recIpes oI restaurant IavorItes. For those who are overwheImed by menu pIannIng, thIs provIdes a weekIy
dInner menu compIete wIth recIpes and a shoppIng IIst. Work towards eventuaIIy usIng current
week and archIved meaIs that Ieature IngredIents whIch are currentIy on saIe. ThIs sIte aIso has
InterestIng and useIuI artIcIes on a varIety oI other topIcs.
http:JJwww.menus4moms.comJmenuplanning.php gIves addItIonaI IInks Ior other meaI pIannIng
resources IncIudIng artIcIes, websItes, servIces, and books. Is a sIte that seIIs very smaII, very strong magnets (keep out oI the reach oI
chIIdren!). These magnets mIght be heIpIuI In estabIIshIng an onthesheII Inventory system as
dIscussed on page 8.
Miscellaneous terms to "google:" "8rown bag Ideas," "cookIng substItutIons," "Ireezer cookIng" or
"OAMC," and "what Ioods can you Ireeze" or "IreezIng Ioods."
http:JJwww.mypyramid.govJProectMOMJindex.html wIII be IaunchIng a MyPyramId Menu
PIanner tooI In March oI 2008, to heIp empower nutrItIonaI gatekeepers. t may be worth checkIng
Into! FoIIow the IInks to IInd IrugaI recIpes and aIso other books by ]onnI McCoy that
Ieature aspects oI IrugaI IIvIng.
http:JJwww.fsis.usda.govJFactSheetsJFocusOnFreezingJindex.asp Ior a quIck rundown on
Irozen Iood saIety.
Dnng on n Dme Cookbook by Tawra ]ean KeIIam
MserIy MenIs: HenIthy, Tnsty Kecpes Under 75 Cents n 5ervng by ]onnI McCoy
Frozen Assets: Cook ]or n Dny, Ent ]or n Month| 8y Deborah TayIorHough