There are many reasons that folks are having to look at things differently and we all need a kick in the pants every now and then to get back on budget!
Today is about cleaning out those freezers and pantries and actually doing an inventory and seeing what you ACTUALLY have.
I was recently talking to a friend that had been laid up with an injury for many months. Her hubby was doing the shopping for them. It sounds like he did pretty well and she always had him a list - but when it came to putting things away - well maybe he needed a little help! LOL
She is up and moving now and finding things that she didn't know she had. Good time to clean it all out and inventory (which she has done).
Sometimes we get busy and come in from the store and just stick things in the pantry or freezer or frig and guess what??? They get lost in the shuffle.
There is nothing frugal about things going to waste. We need to be more mindful - and that is a huge help to the budget.
Go through your freezer and straighten it up and do an inventory. It is wise to put like items together. Chicken in one spot, beef in another, pork in another. Frozen veggies /fruit in another spot. It makes it much easier when you need something. When you make an inventory sheet (use a notebook) - it might be wise to right it down as to HOW MUCH of each item and WHAT SHELF. Life is so much easier that way.
I recently went through the freezer and found so many things I had forgotten about. I found faux crab meat that had been in there for ages. It was vacuum sealed, so still good. I used some this week to make crab salad. Tasted as yummy as the day I bought it.
KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE and USE IT!!!!!!!
This also gives you an idea of what you need to add to your stock.
I know in many areas people try to use up their freezer inventory in the summer, because of extreme weather events and loss of electricity. I hope that works out well for them this year, as prices are increasing and supplies have gone down a little (I believe it will all work out eventually).
Come fall and winter we all need to be prepared JUST IN CASE - we have seen this year that we never know what might happen. Do not get yourself into a panic mode - be prepared!!!!!
Go through the pantries - and sort things and inventory. REMEMBER - "best if used by" does not equal expired!!!!!!! Use the ones that are past date or close to date first! I have actually found and used things that were a year or more past date and they are fine! The stuff in those packages/cans doesn't know the date!!!!
Put like items together. Have an area for baking goods, fruit, soups, veggies, canned meat, etc. This makes life so much easier and nothing gets misplaced.
Don't forget to go through your cleaning supplies, health and beauty and medical - add when and where you can. Do not get left behind. Remember how things got a few months ago.
Clean out that frig. It is so easy for half/partial jars to get shoved to the back. Things get forgotten. Take things out - wash it down - a put things back in some reasonable order. Use up the older things. Partial jars of dressing and such - maybe mix them together and come up with a new blend. Use them in a recipe. Use it up.
I have apples that are getting 'old'. I peeled and used several this week in fruit salad and the remainder will be fried up with some butter and brown sugar for a tasty treat. Don't waste food.
Hopefully you can grow a little something. It may be lettuce in a window box or it may be a tomato plant in a pot. Everything you can grow is a huge savings on your food budget and it is so fresh and healthy for you!
IF you grow a garden and can/freeze - inventory your home canned goods NOW! Know how much you have of what. Know what it is you need to work on this year. No need to can spaghetti sauce if you have tons of it - make something else.
Get creative with your cooking. Try new recipes and have fun - experiment. Get out those recipe books - get online and find new recipes - get books from the library - ask friends and family for recipes. Write down the ones you like (or mark the recipe book). Organize your recipe files.
Our food is a huge budget buster or budget maker! It can go both ways.
DON'T WASTE IT! Use it up!!! Make it do!!! OR you may have to do without!!
Get your pantries and freezers in order. Know what you have and use it. Learn what you need to add.
Don't wait till the last minute and don't ever get in a position to panic.
Let's be prepared.
Being prepared and organized is HUGE for the frugal budget!!!!!