Hi Friends! I have something exciting to share that could revolutionize how you cook and prepare meals for your family and save you $$$$$$$…interested? There is a blogger I follow pretty religiously. Her name is Jordan Page and I adore her personality. Her website is Fun Cheap or Free and she focuses on frugal living and basically managing finances and a household. Let me just throw in that she has five kids and seriously makes it look easy.
Back to saving money, Jordan introduces a new challenge every month, something that can better herself and her family. She always invites her readers to participate and posts videos and Instagram posts about her progress. Basically she’s pretty inspirational. September’s challenge is called #Shelftember Challenge. She has coined the phrase “Shelf Cooking” to go along with it and this is her explanation:
“Shelf cooking is making homemade, balanced, and nutritious meals for your family, starting FIRST with ingredients you already have on-hand from your fridge, freezer, and pantry, then supplementing with fresh/new items from the store….not the other way around.”
For the month of September she has pledged to feed her family on just $25/week in fresh groceries and then supplement her meals with what she already has on hand. I have been very impressed with some of the stuff she has pulled from thin air. She is kind of obsessed with freezing all the things so she definitely has a leg up in this effort, but we all have stuff in our freezer that needs to be used. This is not easy for most of us. We don’t all have a huge stockpile of food waiting to be eaten but she has some really great tips on where to start.
Considering we are still in moving transition land I cannot participate. BUT I think there is so much value to the idea of Shelf Cooking so I plan to implement some of her methods into my meal planning. Read her #Shelftember Challenge article HERE and get inspired like me!
I thoroughly enjoy meal planning (duh read my blog) but I also believe in saving money and not wasting, so I think I’ve found the happy medium for my own family. My invitation, and what I will be doing with my own meal planning from now on is this, whatever time period you meal plan for (two weeks, a month, whatever,) IN ADDITION to your leftover nights, plan at least one or two meals to be “Shelf Cooking” nights. Meaning…USE WHAT YA GOT! Yes you will have to get creative, but that is TWO less meals you have to buy groceries for, or eat out for. Not having to throw out wasted food is a plus as well in my book.
What recipes will be on your table? Comment below I would love to hear from you!
When a recipe calls for cane or brown sugar I almost ALWAYS use a stevia baking blend or just plain Stevia. I take comfort in knowing I am feeding my family that much less sugar… plus it means I can have seconds guilt free. Winning!
I will no longer be adding the tag “GF” to any of the meals. Everything I make now must be gluten free so if the dish’s original recipe uses a gluten containing substance I will explain how and what I substitute to make it GF.
Below the dinners I hope you’ll be as thrilled as I to see a Snacks & Sweets section. Some of the recipes in this section I already absolutely love, and some I have yet to try. Some are guilt free and some are reserved for cheat days, which tend to be Saturday and Sunday for me. Happy snacking!
*-Tried and true family favorite.
B4D-Breakfast for Dinner (There isn’t lot of time in the mornings and we love breakfast food so we eat it for dinner instead)
YoYo- You’re on your own. (Because I don’t believe that someone should have to cook every day of the week)
Not sold on meal planning yet? Check out my crash course guide and I’ll have you convinced!
Shelf Cooking x2
B4D-*No Fail Gluten Free Crepes / Turkey Sausage Patties
Honey Mustard Grilled Pork Chops / Corn on the Cob / Deviled Eggs
*German Schnitzel / Roasted Sweet Potatoes
GF note: use GF bread Crumbs
*Taco Rice / Roasted Broccoli
We cook taco meat like normal, add some beans, and then eat it over rice instead of tortillas.
Note: We use hamburger or ground turkey instead of sausage because we like the taste better.
*Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Roast / Carrots / Potatoes
*Sweet and Sour Chicken / Brown Rice / Roasted Green Beans
Crock Pot Chicken Tacos / Restaurant Style Salsa
*Ranch Chicken Strips / *Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa
Combine: 3/4 cup crushed cornflakes. 3/4 cup parmesan cheese. 1 packet of hidden valley ranch dressing mix. Dip 8 chicken halves in melted butter and then roll in cornflake mix. Place in greased 9×13 pan. Bake @ 350 for 45 min