- First and foremost - shop your pantry and your freezer BEFORE going to the grocery. If money is tight - look at what you have. Get creative and make up some recipes. Mix and match things. Hopefully you are always prepared for emergencies (as we all preach), and you could get by for a while without grocery shopping. DON'T buy just to be buying!!!
- Pre-make breakfast meals for your family. **Make up batches of scratch pancakes or waffles and freeze individually. Pop in the toaster or microwave for a quick breakfast. **Make breakfast burritos and freeze. **Think about making sausage biscuits and wrapping and freezing. **Muffins are a great breakfast food, or make egg cheese 'muffins' in muffins pans. There are tons of ideas out there. **I used to make a 4 day batch of steel cut oats for hubby- always easy to heat up. Think something different - **make a batch of rice and freeze in individual servings. Great topped with butter and sugar or syrup - top with cheese or a scrambled egg. Always think about leftovers for breakfast. There is NO right or wrong food to start the day.
- If you work, have a spouse working or kids or grands - lunch can be expensive. DON'T buy it out. Make and take your own. (don't forget using leftovers).
Lunchables are super easy to make. Those little packets can add up in price at the store. MAKE YOUR OWN!
Have lots of re-usable containers on hand (can be purchased at dollar stores). Any type of crackers can be used, round, square, rectangular, snack crackers (Triscuts, etc.) mini rye bread slices, mini bagels, etc. Take leftover chicken, ham, turkey, shredded beef, or lunchmeat - whatever you have. Bits and pieces of cheese. ALSO make big bowls of Jello and fruit or pudding and then repackage in small containers for a great cool treat. Homemade cookies, cake, pie, whatever desserts you make at home. Take your drink. Partially freeze a bottle of water, Kool-Aid, tea (all made from home) and by lunch it should be fine to drink. It keeps your lunch cool as well.
*Even a sandwich made and cut into quarters would give you mini bites for lunch.
NO NEED to spend $$$$ on lunches.
- There is not much difference in a roaster and a fryer chicken - except size. Buy which ever is cheapest. They are interchangeable.
- IF you have a family of BIG eaters - make soups, stews, chili, slow cooker meals, etc. They tend to go further and they are more filling - and then add bread or a sandwich to go along with it.
- Add starches to extend a meal - pasta, rice, potatoes. They are cheaper alternatives, filling, and they extend a meal
- Think about adding noodles or dumplings to soups to extend and make it more filling
- Think about making more crockpot meals. You can add anything to them. You can also use CHEAPER CUTS of meats and they will become tender. Meats can be shredded to go further and you get more servings.
- If you have some stale or older bread (not molded) toast - top with butter and a bit of shredded cheese and top with an egg. That makes a filling meal for any meal.
- If you have some apples that need to be used - think about fried apples. Peel and slice and add to a pan with a little butter. Sprinkled with a littles sugar and cinnamon and sautee until soft. They are so good as a side (great with pork) or as a dessert. OR core the apple - add a bit of brown sugar, butter, and nuts (or whatever you want to add) and bake in a 350 oven until fork tender. YUM! No need to waste your fruit.
- Add a little meat to pasta salad and call it a MEAL! Chunks of hams, turkey, faux crab, baby shrimp, chicken, etc..
- Make a leftover pizza!!!! Pizza can be anything. Use any type of leftovers to crust and wahla you have pizza. Veggies can be used to make a vegetarian pizza, or add ham, BBQ, taco meat, mac n cheese (this a new thing around here). GET CREATIVE - anything goes and there is no waste and you have created a new meal with odds and ends.
- If you have leftover veggies that no one wants to eat - puree them and add them to soup, stews, etc. They help add vitamins to the meals and pureed they will make a thickening agent for soups and nothing wasted! (get sneaky)
There you go - a few ideas to save some grocery dollars. I hope you find something you can use. What are some fun ideas you have to stretch the dollar and not waste your food?
Get creative and have fun and save!
WASTE NOT - WANT NOT