I decided to take a break from listing our entire week's food and costs this week. I am not sure I like doing all of that and I am not sure it is helpful. So this week, with the help of Mr T.3, I thought of some ideas of how I am successful at keeping our budget low, even with the rise of food costs.
Here are a couple of thoughts I have for you this week. I hope they are helpful. I am going to guess some/most of you will have the same response as my BFF. She says it's great I do these things and that they work for me, but she could never do them. I totally understand. For me it is a choice to be able to stay at home, so even though this isn't the most fun to me, I do it, because it makes it possible for me to stay at home. Give it a try. I'm not saying that it will be fun, but it does work.
1. Plan your meals. I feel so like my mother when I say that, but it really works. I used to only plan our dinner menus, but over time, I realized that lunches were haphazard and we didn't always have the right things on hand or we had too much so food got wasted. So, I tried planning our lunches as well and it really helped. I know I sound like an old fuddy duddy, but I have a day of the week that I plan meals and a day of the week that I go shopping. We vary when needed, but generally, that is it. It is done and I don't have to hit the store 5 times or think about what we need for dinner, etc. That part of this is really nice. Less to think about and figure out on a daily basis is always better in my book. I just write my meals out on a magnetic to-do list I bought at the $1 spot at Target. I have always wanted one like this neat magnetic dry/erase one, well really one I have seen at Target that matches my house but this is the one I could find with a picture on amazon. I've never bought it because I can't seem to ever justify actually spending the money on it since my current way of doing it is so much cheaper, but doesn't it look neat? (Or is that just the organized earth friendly freak inside me coming out?)
2. Look through your fridge for ‘free' food. When I plan my meals, I look through my fridge for those bits and pieces of things that can help to make a meal. One great and often used example, often when we have hamburgers for dinner there are leftover hamburger buns. Those then are used to make turkey or pb&j sandwiches the next week. If I buy a bag of potatoes and use 4 for baked potatoes, there are 2 left, those go into a frittata for dinner one night. This week, I needed bacon for that frittata. It only needed 4 slices. I found another family favorite dinner recipe that could use most of the rest. I guess it is that Girl Scout in me…using my resources wisely…AND it saves me a lot of money.
3. Make a list. Again, I feel so like my mother when I write that and again it works – maybe I learned a thing or two from her! 🙂 Take the plan you made and figure out exactly what you need for the week. Write a list (or if you are like me put the list in the app in your phone…lists on paper are so old school…hehe). Now when you go to the store, and this is the most important part, STICK TO THE LIST! I know they will have all those pretty displays and sales, but if you give in to them, then they win and you lose. I know some people who plan their meals based on what is on sale for the week. Kuddos to them. It sounds fantastic and like it would really work. For some reason, it doesn't work for me. It just feels like it takes too much brain power.
Well, there are my 3 hints/ideas for you this week. Another time, I will write about the app that I use because it REALLY helps me stay on my budget as well. I will also write about some of the inexpensive meals we love and cookbooks I love that I get these inexpensive meals from. Both of those things really help.
What do you do that saves you money on food? I would love you to leave a comment. We can help each other…I always love new ideas!
Enjoy your day!
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