Here we go. We all need refreshers from time to time. Recharge - reboot - re-start - refresh - get off to a running start - new eyes - new ways - new challenges..........................
Let us start with saving at the grocery!!! So many ways to save. I keep hearing about prices going sky high in some areas (have faired pretty well here). Every dollar you save on the grocery bill can be used to pay off other debt, can be saved or can be donated to a good cause.
Let's get started!
WHAT YOU CAN DO AT HOME
- FIRST and SUPER IMPORTANT - inventory what you have. Know what basic and oddball ingredients you have on hand - and use them. #1 Shop YOUR SHELVES first!!!!!!!!!
- Eat LESS - not a bad thing at all. We all know we can each lose a pound or two! People eat due to boredom so often. One nice helping and be done. Maybe use smaller plates (makes you feel like you are eating more if the smaller plate is full).
- Have MEATLESS day or days. Use eggs or beans or lentils for protein. Not having meat isn't going to kill you!!!!! There are lots of filling meatless dinners!
- Cook from scratch - so much healthier and you can really extend a meal better. **Use the crockpot if working or make up casseroles or soups for the freezer - then heat up and eat.
- Use potatoes, pasta, beans or rice as extenders
- Use ALL leftovers!!!!!! HUGE! If you don't like leftovers as is - remake them into something new
- Make your own baked goods and sweets. Hot cereals, granola, hot chocolate mix - all super easy to make up. BREW your own coffee - no stopping at the coffee shop!
- Make simple snacks - popcorn is easy and can be jazzed up. Chips aren't hard to make. Sweets - homemade best. Dip and crackers or veggies/fruit.
- Have leftover veggies no one wants - puree them up and use as a base or adder in soup!!! Pieces of fruit - same - puree into smoothies. NO WASTE
- Get creative - search blogs, Pinterest, You Tube, etc. on how to use the ingredients you have on hand or how to remake into new recipes. There are MILLIONS of recipes out there. Remember a recipe is just something that someone made up the first time - you can do that too!!!!!
- Check out MyFridgeFood.com - You check off what ingredients you have on hand and the site gives you ideas and recipes of what you can make
- EXTEND ground meat with oats, crushed crackers, dry bread, crumbs from fancy crackers or chips, lentils...................great ways to get more servings from your meat
- Soups and casseroles really extend ingredients - add broth, cream of soups, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, pasta, rice ---- so many ways to stretch a few basic ingredients into many meals
- REMEMBER - you don't have to have a 5 course meal!!!!! One pot meals suffice just fine! They are easier and cheaper (and a great way to use leftovers new).
WHAT TO DO AT THE STORE
- Shop SALES - know your stores sale schedule. Most stores repeat sales every 6 - 9 weeks. Get enough at sale price to cover AT LEAST that period of time!!! That is money saved and in your pocket.
- Check out discount/clearance area!!!!! My first stop ALWAYS. Most every department has a clearance are. Produce (Kroger has .99 bin & markdowns), bakery usually has a special shelf, meat often has a markdown section, center aisles - there is usually a section just for clearance items, and even dairy usually has things marked down dispersed among the regular stuff. BUY CLEARANCE to help save money and to ADD to you DEEP PANTRY for the future. (remember you can can or freeze many things)
- WEIGH all prepackaged produce!!!!!! Seriously, a 5 lb. bad is not always a 5 lb. bag. Weigh to get the most. I have purchased 5 pound bags of fruit - that weigh 7 pounds. (Many stores put a certain number pieces of fruit in a bag figuring that it averages out).
- Shop ONCE a week or less. No "Oh I ran out of this" trips. If you run out before a scheduled trip - figure out an alternative
- Shop ALONE - kids tend to want special items and yes husbands do too!!!!
- Shop on a full stomach. Going to the store hungry is such a HUGE mistake!!!!!
- Look for cheaper cuts of meat - and then use the crockpot to make them.
- Use coupons if you can find good ones. Not a huge savings in todays market (no doubling in most places any more) - but saving is saving!
- Don't have just ONE store to shop. Think about alternatives - such as dollar stores, ethnic stores, discount stores. Look around for the best deals. Many dollar stores sell brand name items for less, ethnic stores are great for spices and pastas, and beans and rice and oddball ingredients. Scratch and dent stores are fun if you can find one. Live close to Amish or Mennonite stores? Give them a try.
Hope this gives someone a little incentive to start saving on groceries. There are tons of ways to save. I guess my best points are BUY CHEAPLY and DON'T WASTE.
I hope to add lots of recipes for simple meals this year. I love easy and simple as you know. Just a simple girl. Simple and frugal doesn't mean bland or tasteless.
Do you have any other tips for saving on groceries to share?
Let us all get 2021 started in a frugal way with frugal habits!!!!
WOOHOO - JUST DO IT!