Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pork... its what's for dinner!

Its no secret that Dan and I are big money savers. When we have extra money, it almost always goes to savings. Being a stay at home mom now, we're very careful and very thoughtful with our money for those just in case days... like recently, when I had to get a pricey repair done to my car. We love to save money in many ways and one thing that we like to do is to put money into savings in "even" amounts. So when we put money into savings, we typically only do it in multiples of $25 or $50. Just an OCD tick of my husband's, but it really helps us. We have no issue with rounding the amount up and making it without extra until payday. Dan challenged me a few months ago to only spend $30 for one week's worth of groceries so that we could put an even amount of money into savings. It was a challenge, but I made it work, and it was really satisfying knowing that I could do it and that we got to save a bigger chunk of money because of it! 

Taking into account, I always try to keep my pantry and refrigerator stocked with things we use on a regular basis. I always have things like chicken stock, noodles, spices, rice, tortillas, etc. Since I make sure we always have extras of those on hand, I don't have to buy them every week. So, my trick for a cheap week's worth of groceries... buy whatever big piece of meat is on sale. Browse the meat section. Don't look at things that are already cut for you (i.e. chicken breasts are way more expensive than a whole chicken) Check out the chicken, turkey, pork, and beef. This particular week I found a killer deal on a huge boston butt. I have found really good deals on beef roasts and flank steak before too. If there aren't any really great deals, a whole chicken or turkey is a great choice.

So, that boston butt. I found it on sale. It was $10 and it was really LARGE. I cooked it in the crockpot on low for 8-9 hours with plenty of salt and pepper on a Sunday. When it was done, I shredded it up and put it all away in the fridge. It was ready for the whole week! Now, I knew we couldn't eat just plain pork every night... so I got inventive.

With one crockpot of pork...we had:
*Night 1: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, side of vegetables
*Night 2: Pulled Pork served on rice/quinoa, side of vegetables
*Night 3: "Pot Roast" with carrots, potatoes, and greenbeans (I made it on the stove top in my dutch oven. It took about 30 minutes and I put the pork in at the last minute since it was already cooked).
*Night 4: Asian Noodle pork soup
*Night 5: Pork Tacos

Most of the recipes are self explanatory, I'll share the recipe sometime soon for the soup! We were so full every night and the pork was great all week. We loved being able to save the extra money and if you had visited our home for supper... you would have never known! I try to do this every other week now. Not only does it help us save money, but it makes cooking every night a breeze and keeps us from going out for dinner on busy evenings. It also makes me try different types of meat. If somethings on sale, I'll give it a try. Next week, I'm doing the same with a turkey! 

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