Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kitchen Goals 2012

I don't think I've ever set up Kitchen Goals as a specific New Year's resolution or challenge, but I'm doing so for 2012. Of all the items on my budget, the food category seems to be running away from me lately and I really want to get a handle on it. I may not succeed in all of them, but at least I'll be focused on a goal and hopefully meet most of them.

2012 Kitchen Goals

Eat 20 of 21 meals a week at home. We're doing pretty good in this area, but I want to nail it this year! No getting caught by surprise. Ha! Well, surprise really isn't the right word. Perhaps I should say, "caught without a plan". This is where I'm thinking the Plan To Eat site will pay for itself. I figure if I eliminate even one more meal out a week, the savings would pay for the monthly Plan To Eat fee of $3.25-$4.95 (depending on how you pay - yearly or monthly). I'm taking the money for this out of my food budget linie item since it's related to meals.

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Buy even more items in bulk and on sale. I've been a bulk purchaser for years, but there are things that I have never quit buying one at a time which I could easily buy in multiples and save money. Time to do so. Like frozen organic corn. Yogurt (until the goats kid). And I seldom check to see what Azure Standard has on sale in order to stock up when prices are better. Must do better on this!

Make more crock pot meals. I just don't use this kitchen tool enough, especially on Sundays and Wednesdays. {Sigh... } This may be the biggest challenge since my cuts of meat are not typically what the recipes call for. I get about 90%+ of our meat/fish from our own sources/hunting, or from a friend who raised/hunted for the meat. We don't get boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or even a large package of just chicken breasts for that matter (but I do have lots of chicken feet!). And I haven't seen too many venison crock pot recipes. Any chance you have?

Eat more bean or vegetarian dishes. We usually eat at least one vegetarian dinner a week, but I'm thinking two or three? That would leave four days a week, one each for beef, chicken, venison, and fish or wild boar (just depends on what the Lord provides).

Make all my own salad dressings. I finally quit buying mayonnaise last year - yahoo! No more GMO soy stuff or expensive organic. I make my own and after several experiments, I'm very happy with the results. Thanks to the link up last year, several of you gave me some fabulous salad dressing recipes. Only problem, there was almost always a major ingredient missing from my kitchen. I'm resolved to keep those items on hand so that I can offer my family a variety of great dressings and save money! (I might get really committed and stop buying ketchup, too!)

Keep better tabs on my pantry/freezer inventory. Again, I hope to utilize the Plan To Eat site to help me track my pantry and freezer items and actually use them (not my emergency food storage unless I'm rotating items in to eat them). It's typically the unusual stuff I seldom use, but need for a recipe once in a while that I overlook. Once loaded, I can click "Cook From My Pantry" when I'm in a pinch (but of course, I hope I've planned ahead!).

Feel free to share your own kitchen goals for this year!

NOTE: Anyone who clicks my PLAN TO EAT link and signs up, I'll "friend" you so you can see my recipes!
Per FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I am an affiliate and am paid per sign up.


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