By Jenny Jiménez on October 29, 2018
There we go again. Another week behind us. I don’t know about you but wow is this year flying by. I could barely keep up. This got me thinking about prepping for the winter. Like bears preparing for winter hibernation, we need to stock up for the cold weather ahead. We do this for two reasons. First, so when that snow storm comes, we don’t have to rush out to the grocery store and Second, so we always have back up meals at home. Remember hearty meals doesn’t mean it has to take hours to prepare.
Something about the winter that makes you feel lazy and want to just cozy up by a warm fire and chill… or is that just my fantasy? LOL
The great thing about this time of year is how comforting and filling the food is. That’s right ladies, bring out the stretch pants because you’re gonna need them through March 😉 .
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Keep these four things in mind when stocking up for the winter:
Stock up on things that are versatile, like pasta. There are a million ways to cook pasta. You don’t have to be a great cook to know how to boil and add salt. I usually don’t like to spend more than 30 minutes to prepare food during the work week. Having real meals and not fast food is important to your health and your wallet. You can use pasta in a ton of meals and salads so this is a good one to have in your pantry. Don’t buy all the same pasta either. Purchase a variety so you have some flexibility in your meals.
Freeze, Freeze, Freeze. The freezer is your new best friend. Keep it clean and organized. Things that freeze are always a bonus. Most people don’t realize that you can freeze practically anything. I said practically, don’t go throwing all your items in the freezer. Be realistic about what you want to pull out of there in a month or two. Fruit, vegetables and cheese are all good to freeze. I actually stocked up a few weeks ago and bought around 15 bags of shredded cheese. Different varieties of course. You can also make meals ahead and freeze those as well. This way you just have to warm it up before eating… one less thing to do.
Load up on meat. If you’re anything like me, then you are a dinosaur. And not the cute plant eating type, nope I’m a T-Rex. I love all things meat so don’t skimp on this one. Remember you can toss some chicken and veggies into your crockpot and eight hours later dinner is ready with little to no effort. These are the meals we need for the winter. I prefer to cut up and prep my meat after purchasing. Then I’ll portion them out into freezer bags and label them with the date they were bagged. This helps you use older items first. Quick Tip: I’ve found that meat is generally cheaper when purchased Tuesday through Thursday in the early afternoon.
Don’t forget your canned goods. People often donate canned goods for good reason… they seem to last forever, well not forever but you know what I mean. Don’t forget about your tuna and canned chicken – chicken salads are awesome. Also beans, don’t forget your beans. Keep this on hand for those chili days. I mean you’ll have the meat and cheese so why not the beans right. Pick up a few varieties. Don’t just load up on one type. Remember you want options.
I love the house brand pasta and sauce at Wegmans and despite what people may think you can actually get it at a really great price. Below is what I purchased this weekend.
Currently the pasta and spaghetti sauce is on sale at my local Wegmans through December 29, 2018. They generally run this sale each year so I take advantage and stock up. The pasta, well most Wegmans pasta is on sale for $0.79 per box and the sauce is $0.99 per jar. They have several different flavors. My favorites are Marinara (I use this for dipping mozzarella sticks), Tomato Basil (this one is great for topping everyday pasta), Meat (this one I use for lasagna and those types of meat sauces) and Parmesan Romano. They also had mushroom but I didn’t purchase that one. My kids do not care for it much.
As for pastas, these are some of my favs. Obviously I need to stock up on the Spaghetti, Lasagna and Fettuccini but I also like Penne, Shells, Elbows for macaroni and even Orzo for soup soups headed my way.
I spent a total of $24.58 on 14 boxes of pasta, 14 jars of sauce. I do plan to shop more before the sale ends. I’ll put a few of my favorite recipes in future posts to let you know how I use it and some quick time saving meals for weeknights. You’ll notice some varieties of pasta I was able to purchase in a box of 4. This saved me an extra $0.17. It may not seem like much but over time that does add up.
While I only purchased fourteen boxes of pasta and fourteen jars of sauce, I will definitely be returning to purchase more. In addition I really enjoy their soups so will be stocking up on that also. Since I’m still in the process of my kitchen renovation and expect that will be the case for several more weeks. Whatever I cannot fit in my pantry, I will just put in an air and water tight bin and keep on a shelf in the garage.
Stocking up like this will generally last me about a year. Do a little research on your local stores and seeing what you can stock up for the winter and save yourself some money. The goal is to be proactive so when you’re driving your kids around to all their practices, you aren’t stressing out over food. One less thing to worry about is always good, right?
Don’t worry, what to do with all of this food coming up in a future post. In the meantime I would love it if you would share this and my other posts with friends and family. Helping others is what it’s all about.
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Have a great week!
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