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Allocate your groceries.
For example, you go to the store and buy:
2 whole chickens (on sale of course), 1 bag (2 lb.) of carrots, 1 lb. celery, 4 cans tuna, 1 (large) onion, spaghetti noodles (1 lb.), 2 1/2- 3 lb. ground beef, and 4 to 6 cans tomato sauce. First, as soon as you get home, cut up the chicken! You always need to have on hand: gallon size Ziploc-type bags. Cut the legs and thighs off both chickens. Put in one bag together and label these "fryer chicken". This is one meal.
In a smaller bag (maybe a quart, or even a sandwich bag will do) put all the livers from both chickens (they usually throw in a few extras- chickens really do only have one liver each) this is another, quick meal. Before you scoff at this, keep in mind that KFC charges $2.79 for an order of these!
Next, with a big sharp knife or kitchen scissors cut the 2 chickens in half right down the breastbone center. Haggle the back off roughly. Now take the neck, gizzards, hearts, and all the extras that a lot of people throw away, and put all of that in a Ziploc gallon bag with any extra skin and backs too. This sealed bag can now be labeled "chicken soup".
Next cut the breast meat off the bone but purposely leave a little meat behind. The breast meat de-boned will be used to fix those fancy meals like the chicken breasts in a thick sauce, for chicken parmesan, stir fry...use your imagination.
The extra along with the breastbones will be put in the "soup" bag.
Then similarly allocate the other items. Separate four or five sticks of celery and four or five carrots and cut off 1/3 of the big onion, put all these together in the bag to make the chicken soup. (This keeps someone from eating them if you label it "do not eat--for chicken soup recipe"--)
Separate the ground beef. Put 1/2 to 2/3 lb. in a Ziploc quart bag and label this as "meat for spaghetti sauce". Put in the freezer, as you would do with all the chicken you were not fixing right away.
Put three cans of tomato sauce in a special place and mark it as "homemade sauce for spaghetti" and then mark the remaining can "for meatloaf".
Then 1/4 and 1/4 of the onion go each to the meatloaf and to the spaghetti sauce.
Whatever is left of onion gets chopped up with the tuna for tuna salad, along with that piece of celery you had saved. The other celery and carrots, except for the one or two you used in a salads earlier while trying not to waste that last one third head of lettuce, go into cooking the chicken soup, while the last two leaves of lettuce form the beautiful "base" for you designer tuna salad.
For about $209.00 you have just bought over seven full meals (not counting leftovers). Works out to less than $3.00 per meal to feed a family of four!
$209??? Surely that is a misprint or typo. I can get all the ingredients listed for about $20-$25 in my area. The basic tips in the post are very good, though. I'm one of those people whp try to stretch every grocery dollar to the max and cutting up the chicken yourself saves a lot. Cooking from scratch is so much cheaper than take-out for four and its better for you to.