Friday, June 1, 2012
Lately the amount of money people spend on groceries has come up a lot on message boards I am on, as well as in books and blogs I read. It has become clear to me that a lot of people are struggling because they simply do not know how to spend less on their groceries. I've come to learn a big reason why people are struggling to afford food is because they do not know how to make healthy, lower cost food items, so I am hoping to share some ideas and tips to help anyone who may be in that situation.
To start, I've compiled a list of tips:
~Meal planning is essential -- plan around the foods you can get inexpensively where you shop.
~Add bread to your meals. It is filling and if homemade it can be a healthy addition to your meal.
Sweet Dinner Rolls
Whole Wheat Bread
~Drink water. You do not need to drink juice, soda or even milk as part of a healthy diet. Those things unnecessarily eat up your grocery budget.
~Eat at home. I can often get a week worths of groceries for the cost of one meal out for our family! Here are my favorite restaurant copy cat recipes.
~Pasta, rice, potatoes, and beans are inexpensive meal fillers.Here are some of my favorite meals using cheap ingredients.
~Check when your grocer marks down their meat and be there when that happens....it can save a lot! (We shop at the Commissary and it is rare to find markdowns, but it may be an option for you)
~Save leftovers and eat those for lunch the next day. Wasted food is wasted money.
~Try to buy the produce that is on sale.
Lettuce is a cheap vegetable. You can also grow your own for even cheaper! Don't buy pre-cut lettuce. It's a better deal to cut your own up into salad. I cut my lettuce with a sharp knife as soon as I get it home, and put it into a gallon sized ziplock bag. It seems to help it last a few extra days for us.
Carrots, celery and cabbage are also usually very cheap compared to other fresh vegetables.Canned tomatoes and frozen spinach are usually very cheap as well.
Apples, bananas and at certain times of year oranges, are usually the cheapest fruit and kid favorites.
~If things are cheap locally for you (like berries here in NW Washington) buy them when they are cheap and freeze them! We get U-pick strawberries at around $1/lb and I pick and freeze and can as much as I can, last year 40 lbs! Then we can benefit from that cheap produce all year long.
Blackberries grow wild and are free! We also freeze and can those, and eat them for breakfast with a little homemade whipped cream for most of the month of August.
In October instead of carving our pumpkins, we cook and freeze those too. We use them for baked goods, desserts, added to breads, and even baked as a breakfast.
And the best advice I have received about "saving" on groceries was "Pray over your food and the entire situation. Jesus multiplied loaves and fishes!"
I pray before going into the store, that the Lord would guide me to make the best decisions and spend the money I have wisely. I have prayed that our food would "stretch to be able to share with others. The Lord has been so good to answer those prayers! Remember you can find more money saving ideas here
and this is one of my favorite blogs on saving money