One of the most important lessons I have learned during my years of couponing is trying to plan your menus based on what is on sale and what is in your stockpile. That great sale on hamburger will do you no good if you let it get freezer burned and buying blueberries out of season at $5.00 for a half pint is a good way to sink your budget. As I am trying to demonstrate this month, you really can eat well with a little bit of effort and some creativity.
I used this strategy for dinner tonight which was chicken tortilla soup. The best part is it makes a huge pot which I'll be able to eat off all week. My decision to make this was inspired by the sale I found at Homeland for Red Gold tomatoes. They are on sale BOGO (2/$1.45) and I had a coupon for $.75/2 which resulted in free tomatoes after doubling. It was an internet printable coupon on the Red Gold website if you would like to print it off too.
I started off which a carton of progresso chicken broth ($2.99 -$1/1 doubled = $0.99) and a carton of swanson's chicken stock from my pantry. I added one can of red gold diced tomatoes (with juice) and 1 can of rotel w/ green chiles from my pantry (I always stock up on rotel whenever I see it on sale!) and simmered it will some cut onion. I then added a package of steam fresh brown long grain rice from the freezer (bought on sale for $1 - $.35/1 doubled = $0.30) and a bag of green giant steamers corn ($1.04 - $1/1 = $0.04). Lastly I added two cooked chicken breasts which I diced into small pieces. Once it was done I ladled it into a bowl and topped with some cheddar jack kraft shredded cheese (I had stockpiled this, but it is on sale this week for $2.49 - $.75/1 blinkie in front of cheese doubled = $1.00 package). For under $4.00 I made at least 8-10 servings or $0.50 per bowl. When I get bored with it I can freeze it and have it later this winter as a quick mid-week meal.
Later on this week I'll probably also make some corn bread ($.49 package of corn bread mix w/ 1 can of green chilis ($.79) and some of the cheddar jack cheese.) Or if you prefer sandwiches, use some of the cheddar jack cheese or velveeta (if you have it) to make a grilled cheese.