Good morning. It is a blustery cool and cloudy day here. Sure fills like fall.
I know we have talked about saving at the grocery before, and come up with all kinds of ways to save money while stocking our pantries. I am going to post some reminders - as I think a lot of people are truly getting worried about things again - and looking for the best ways to stock up on little money.
GARDEN - we all know that helps. Those that can, have a jump up on saving.
FARM STANDS - if we can't garden - we can often get deals at farm markets or straight from the farms. It is good to go at the end of the day, as you MAY get some good deals. They usually don't want to take things back home - so sell cheaper.
ORCHARDS - take advantage of getting fresh from the orchards. Apples, pumpkins, squash, grapes, pears, peaches, etc. Get what you can.
Buying local is great for you, the farmer and the community.
Shop the SALES - most items regularly go on sale at 6 - 9 week intervals. Keep an eye open for those specials and always stock up. IF you can utilize a coupon with a sale - all the better.
CLEARANCE - is our friend!!!! Keep an eye open for marked down meats and all forms of other clearance at the grocery. Just because things are on clearance (other than meat) doesn't mean they are close to 'best' by date. I recently found pasta on clearance for .49/lb. dated 2023! ALWAYS look for markdowns. Many stores have a produce clearance section - that is great for getting items to freeze and can for pennies.
SKIP convenience foods. They are expensive!!!!! Make your own. By keeping basic items in the pantry, you can make about anything and save.
COOK from SCRATCH - not only does the food taste better - but it is a great use of simple ingredients. It is healthier than pre-packaged and saves from convenience food.
USE LESS - meat is an ingredient - not necessarily a major course. Smaller portions and eating slower - aids in feeling full quicker.
SOUPS/CASSEROLES - stretches meat and veggies greatly - add a grain or pasta to stretch it out. Pasta and rice are GREAT extenders. You can use much less meat and add more extenders and veggies. Remember carbs are needed in your diet just as protein is.
SHOP BULK - if you have a way to store items. Many times you get a much greater price buying in bulk. IF you can't reasonably use all the product - go in with another person and spit the price and product. Win-win!
Add BREAD - BISCUITS - CRACKERS to a meal. It is filling and gets you full quicker. Bread can often be found for pennies on discount - freeze it until needed or bake your own. Bread can be used in many ways - bread pudding, grilling, garlic toast, French toast, toast, mini pizzas, dried and made into croutons or dressing/stuffing mix...... Biscuits cost virtually nothing to make and they are just so easy. Crackers are great with soups and stews and chilis.
Nothing like a hot bowl of soup and a sandwich or warm buttered biscuit.
BASICS - you need to keep basics that can be used in many, many ways! Canned beans, dried beans, rice, pasta, flour, sugar, honey, peanut butter and a variety of veggies. MEAT IS NOT needed for every meal!!!!! Have some meatless meals to stretch budget.
FROZEN - look for frozen veggies or fruit IF you have the room. Frozen is picked and generally flash frozen immediately. Therefore they are just fresher tasting than professionally canned.
STOCK UP - I keep seeing people ask on FB "what should I stock?". You stock what YOU USE! ALWAYS. Figure what you use a week - times that per month and then times that per 52 weeks (or time frame you want) - that is what you STOCK. For every item you have on hand - the less you have to worry about going out.
If you know how to glean from fields or nature - do so. If you are in need and have an abundance of something else - think about bartering.
Just remember - if you get a "deal" and then don't use it or waste - it was NOT a deal!!!!!!! Be mindful and use what you have.
IF you need to - keep an inventory - don't be wasteful.
ROTATE - and use the oldest product first.
Get CREATIVE with your pantry.
And remember - ANYTHING can be a meal - if it fills you up and you are satisfied - that is ALL that matters.
REMEMBER there are NO EXPIRATIONS DATES!!!!!! I truly can't reiterate that enough. The dates are "best if used by" meaning peak of taste. Or "sell by: which is strictly for store use.
Products are good for months and often times years past 'best' dates. The stuff in the can has NO IDEA what the date is!!!!! LOL
If you ever get hungry - you will be glad you didn't waste food and throw it out.
I am a firm believer that every item I get ahead and I get cheaply or grow IS money in the bank! Money that can be used for other things.
Hope these reminders help you get organized and hope they save you a little money and frustration in the future.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but every one who is hasty comes only to want.