A few weeks ago I shared with you a few of the ways we save so much on our groceries, namely menu planning and vegetarian meals. Today I’m finally going to share more ways we save! Pardon the delay… travel, baby sick, hubby sick, life, you get the idea… but we’re back!
Limit hubby’s trips to the store.
I don’t mean this in a caustic way. In fact, my husband nods his head in agreement every time I say this. It’s almost laughable. We rack up the grocery bill like this: My husband will call from work saying he has a hankering for whatever food and wants to stop by Tom Thumb on his way home. (Another no-no. Tom Thumb is just too pricey.) So I give him a couple of other items to pick-up on his trip. Then he comes home with not just the one item he mentioned and the two I gave him, but three others! Agh.
Needless to say, Hubby’s trips to the store are now limited. Occasionally, I will ask him to stop by the store and grab a couple of items, but he is always given very strict instructions to only grab the items listed.
We try hard to buy in-season produce! This helps a lot! Throughout the year, I do buy bananas because I just can’t help myself. I like to eat a banana a day. But other than that, I try to scan the store to see what items are priced right and in-season – and preferably, organic!
Then something, I don’t do now but plan to get better at is buying say extra berries in the summer and making freezer jam, fruit leather, etc and freezing berries as well! I hope to do this with various produce throughout the year, allowing me to use it to it’s fullest, and hopefully use it year round!
Make as much from scratch as possible!
Just as I showed you with the cream of chicken soup for king ranch chicken casserole, I try to make as much from scratch as possible! This is not just say macaroni and cheese from scratch. It also includes yogurt, which I use in many recipes, such as banana bread to make it moist. Crockpot yogurt can also be used to make Greek yogurt, cream cheese, and whey. Plus smoothies and drinkable yogurts.
Additionally, we don’t buy as much processed food, which surprisingly saves money. I admit, I was shocked that this saves money. But really! For snacks, I try to get more creative. Instead of reaching for the chips or granola bars, I grab a piece of fruit, peppers cut up with humus, crockpot yogurt, etc. And in the mornings, I love having a Starbucks chai tea latte, but our budget does not allow that! (Really, whose does? Daily, I mean.) So for awhile I bought the Tazo chai concentrate cartons from Costco, where a 3-pack runs about $8-9. But I went through this like it was going out of style. Not okay. Not to mention the fact that the fake stuff in it had to be terrible for me! So finally I tried out The Pioneer Woman’s chai concentrate recipe and loved it! It’s not the same as Starbucks, but I think I like it better. And I know what’s in it!
“From scratch” cooking is a good thing! And it’s a money-saver! And truthfully, it’s not that hard. I am so not a chef. I aspire to be a great cook! But I am by no means there just yet. But practice makes perfect!
What ideas do you have that I did not include? What questions are left unanswered?