I have to start by saying I am sorry I have not posted in FOREVER, I have been wrestling with the idea to keep this blog or try something new. I have also been trying to educate myself on how to better run my blog, or and how to pull permits to build a house. Needless to say, I have been busy!
On a better note, I have been working on our budget, and by working I mean we are on a STRICK spending FREEZE. Let me tell you this has not been easy with the holidays but the hubby and I have been doing amazing! I think it helps knowing every penny we SAVE is going towards building our dream HOME!
The first place I started working to cut out our spending was with our grocery bill. I feel like we spend so much more money when I want to live lazily. When I do not want to think about our meals each week and do not buy groceries in order to make meals. When I am lazy we tend to do two things that are terrible on our budget:
- Eat out/ Order take out
- Waste/ Throw away food, meaning we didn’t use produce before it went bad or I am throwing away left overs that did not get eaten 😦
Now I am not about to start telling you to make a meal plan and a calendar and be some super type A wife (even if I am I don’t even enjoy it!). What I am going to tell you to do are two things:
- Stop buying NAME BRANDS and/or shopping at large EXPENSIVE grocery stores. Here we have Meijer and D&W both have all the nice amenities like a Starbucks and a little Deli and bakery… Let me tell you these nice things are what make these stores charge more for groceries.
- Think ahead and have a few meal ideas. This does not mean you need to plan out the whole month day by day and have a color coded calendar and blah…blah..blah. I mean just think of about 5-10 meals you know you want to make for the month. I will write another post on the meals I have chosen for the month and how I am able to feed both me and my husband (who is a big guy and almost eats for two; with his physically demanding job he is hungry) all three meals a day for 30 days for $150!
When I am picking meals I try to pick 3-4 different meats, some stove top meals, some casseroles, some make ahead/ dual purpose meals, and some crock pot meals. This way I have options. I like to stick to cheaper meats like large halves of ham, buying ground beef in bulk, sausage, chicken on the bone, and my all time more bang for your buck meat PORK! Buy all your meat in huge pieces you can use a knife and cut them, you have a freezer so use these things! It’s a little more work but I am telling you it saves us SO much money! People I do not pay more than $2/ lb for meat, ever….
When it comes to vegetables I buy a lot of things frozen or in a can, they keep WAY longer and are very versatile. If I buy fresh produce I buy potatoes and onions, two things I know I will use up before they go bad. They also work in so many dishes and potatoes are filling! I try to pair foods together and make a filling meal so my hubby does not need/ want a snack later. I’m telling you my husband can eat!
Speaking of snacks, I do not buy them. They are expensive, no good for you, and not filling at all! Snacks are a budget buster for sure! Instead of bags of chips try to think of other things you can eat when you need a quick snack. Peanuts, any kind of nut, cheese slices, crackers, fruit, veggies… I buy very few pre packaged foods of any kind….
I do all of our shopping at the beginning of the month and buy all the things I will need for each meal. I buy bread and milk and pay close attention to the sell by dates. I usually have to make one more run to the grocery store for milk and bread half way through the month. This is another good way to cut down on spending. If I am only at the store 2 times a month I do not have as many chances to impulse buy! If I do buy something that I know will go bad rather quickly I am sure to use that item in a recipe within the first week of the month.
Once we get to the last week of the month I need to start getting creative, I have made myself not only not allow myself to run to the store for one or two items but also have pushed myself to come up with meals that will use only what we have at the house. Let me tell you I have come up with some AWESOME recipes, ask the hubby, he approves!
This is just a general over view of how I start my process to save money each month. We are saving close to $600 to be exact! I will get more into detail in my up coming posts. I will also share with you some tips and tricks to buying groceries cheaper than your local large grocery store, and how to stretch your groceries depending on the meals you make to last you the whole month! Stay tuned I have so much to share with you!