I will be going to Disney World the beginning of January. The closer it gets the more excited I get.
Hubby is not going so I know I have to prepare some easy meals for him. If I don’t he will go out and buy junk or eat snacks. He is not fussy about eating the same thing over and over again for days. So I have decided to make a lot of two different meals that he can pull out of the freezer and just nuke in the microwave.
I decided to make a large pan of lasagna because he loves my lasagna. And I will also cook some chicken so that he can just cut it up on salads. I will also make a chicken dish that he can throw frozen into the crock pot and cook all day. He loves salad and applesauce so he can do those for sides. There is always fruit and cut up veggies in the fridge for him to snack on. He will also have tortilla chips and salsa for snacks.
I had no ground beef in my freezers. So I have been looking for a decent price to buy some. In yesterday’s flyer, Top’s advertised their 80/20 ground beef meal deal. You buy a 4-5 lb. package of the beef and you get 9 named items free. Now I know that the ground beef will not be a great price for this deal. And I rarely buy these deals because of that and the fact that the free items are things we don’t normally buy.
So I set out to investigate whether this was a good deal or not. I called my Top’s meat department and asked what the price per lb. was that they were charging for the meat. They told me $ 3.99 per lb. Then I looked on Wegman’s website to see what they are charging for their 80-20 ground beef. I had already noticed that Walmart’s was $ 4.99 a lb. when I shopped there yesterday. Wegman’s was $ 2.29 a lb.
I estimated that a package would be 5lbs. So at Wegman’s that would cost me $ 11.45. The meat at Top’s would cost me $ 19.95. That is a difference of $ 8.50.
However Top’s was giving me 9 items free with my purchase that they estimated would be $14.00 if bought separately. I looked at the list and we could use all 9. If I used coupons with a sale price on those 9 items I estimated that on sale, I could buy those items for $ 10.95. So I am paying $ 8.50 more for the beef at Top’s but I am getting $ 10.95 in usable product. That is only a $ 2.45 gain.
But Top’s is less than 7 miles round trip from my house and Wegman’s is 26 miles away round trip. With gas topping off at $ 2.60 a gallon, this was a no brainer. I also asked myself if there were other necessary errands that I could run down near Wegman’s. I could go to the bank and deposit six checks that I have sitting here. But I could deposit those checks via my mobile phone. So I opted to get the Top’s deal. This is the kind of thinking I do on anything I buy to make sure that I am getting the best deal.
I bought a 4.63 lb. of ground beef ($18.47), a dozen eggs for $.69 with a store Q, one family size bag of tortillas chips ($4.49), 2 large containers of cottage cheese ($2.79 each). The 9 free items were Italian bakery bread, Fresh Express lettuce shreds, a jar of spaghetti sauce, a bag of Mexican cheese, a can of chili beans, a can of diced tomatoes, a bag of taco wraps, 1 lb. of thin spaghetti, and a package of chili seasoning. My total grocery bill was $29.23. That leaves me $18.39 through December 9th to spend. I am done with the big shops for the week because we have snow in the forecast from tomorrow through Sunday. If we need something desperately like milk, I will send Hubby to the gas station which is close.
I came home and used my scale to measure out the meat into 8 oz. portions because that is what Hubby and I eat at a meal. I will use 16 oz. in the lasagna along with a lb. of Italian sausage that I am thawing from my freezer. To my surprise when I measured it, I got a full 5 lbs. of meat not the 4.63 lbs. that I paid for. So I will be using the 1 lb. tomorrow when I make the lasagna. Seven of the bags I put in the freezer. One I kept out for dinner. Hubby can pull one out if he wants hamburgers while I am away. I did not food saver the bags of meat because it will get used up over the next few months and Ziplocs are cheaper than food saver bags.
Tomorrow, I will make and bake the lasagna. When it cools, I will freeze it in individual portions for Hubby’s lunches and dinners. I will post this meal with recipe when I make it.
Tonight we will have taco salad using 8 oz. of the beef cooked with taco seasoning, the lettuce shreds, onions, fresh tomatoes, black olives, taco sauce, hot sauce and Mexican cheese. Hubby will have tortilla chips with his. I just eat it like a salad.
8 replies on “Preparing For Freezer Cooking”
I love how you figure out the cost of everything. That is so important. Love your blog by the way.
Thanks out my window! Sometimes it only saves pennies but those pennies add up!
Got a question do not have scale 8 oz is how much cup wise. Thanks joyce
8 oz. is 1 cup.
I really like your way of thinking and explaining your thought process. I call these "small economies," Any small gain is still a gain. Plus, you do figure in cost of gas. Where do you live that gas is so expensive. Where I live in AL, gas is $2.12/gal. I love your blog.
Hi Practical Parsimony,
Thank you. I try to be as logical as I can.
I live in Western New York. I wish we had gas that low but alas it is always high here.
Hi Liz, this is Chris. This was a great post, I love how you talked about your thought process in what you decided to do about the Tops deal. Gave me some things to think about.
I am happy that you enjoyed the post.