We started out trip at Aldi's. Aldi's is a fantastic store when you are on a tight budget. A large portion of the groceries are the same as the major brands, just off label. Some of the savings are passed on due to some of Aldi's cost cutting measures. You must rent a grocery cart for 25 cents which encourage people to put their own carts back, cutting the need to have an employee gather carts strewn all over the lot. They neither provide free bag nor bag the groceries for you. You can bring your own bag, grab an empty box or pay a small free to buy bags, even thermal-freezer bags. Aldi's does carry your staple groceries but they also have some odds and ends other groceries including pet food, flowers, vitamins and energy drinks. When husband and I switched to Aldi's our grocery bill was cut almost in half. We still have to go to a name brand market for out cat supplies because Boo (our 3 year old tuxedo princess) will not eat anything other then Friskies canned food. She'll turn her nose up, wasting it rather then to lower herself to generics.
An extra trip to Price Chopper market was needed to get some of the remaining ingredients for the freezer dinners. All together, between the two stores, the bill came to just about $90. The cost per meal is about $6, each meal serving 3 to 4 people making a serving around $2. As soon as I got home I started by separating what was husband's lunch stuff, what was general groceries and what was for the freezer dinners. You'll see that I got generic freezer bags. I dont recommend it! You will not see the meats because those went right into the fridge. I started with the poultry recipes, cleaned off my surface, washed up the dishes, then took a break before moving on to the beef recipes. Just the meal prep too me about 4 hours. It could have taken less time had I bought different meat but the beef I bought need some butchering to remove larger pieces of fat. I suggest that people plan their freezer space ahead better then I did. We have a fairly small freezer so there was a lot of finagling that needed to be done to get everything in the freezer. Because I didnt get the best quality of freezer bags I had to stand a couple up in a casserole dish until it was hard frozen. I made sure to write on the bag in Sharpie not only what it contained but also how long to cook it in the crock pot on what setting and if a side dish was needed. (You'll notice the large quantity of pot pies. Husband loves them every day for lunch at work. And I mean EVERY day at work)
Yeast on a diet:
Last night I had planned on bruchetta and fresh made Italian bread for dinner. I made a delicious bruchetta with plum tomatoes then started to gather ingredients for Italian bread. There was no sugar. Being experimental and knowing that bread in my machine is not expensive, I tried to see if the yeast would eat Splenda. Apparently, yeast are diet free. The dough never proofed. They do say that bruchetta taste better when it has had a chance to sit for a while. It is still sitting. I made sure that we picked up sugar today. Time to go try make Italian bread again, this time giving those little yeast bugs real sugar instead of substitute.
Of course, I had to add a picture of my Boo Radley, my princess.