How we spend only $150/ month on Groceries

grocery-budget

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:

  1. Eat out/ Order take out
  2. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!

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If you do not clean this yet…You SHOULD!

School is back in session for the littles I nanny, and that means that my home cleaning obsession is in overdrive. I Love spending time with those little girls over the summer but man does it show in our house! We have recently decided to stay in our 1930’s craftsman fixer upper. This is both fabulous and not so fabulous but I will get more into that in another post, Why we decided to Stay. Right now I am going room by room and giving it a deep clean. Beware more cleaning post to come!


The other day I was in our laundry dungeon as I refer to it. It is in our not so inviting basement, that needs a LOT of work. I have been slowly getting this room cleaned and made into a place I am no longer weary to venture into to! I was washing a load of clothes and when I took them out they just did not smell fresh… That’s when I started checking out our front load washer,*** we have had LESS than 1 YEAR…and found this. washer-seal

You guessed it, disgusting, invading, mold! Please do not think that I would let things get this way on purpose… Our basement stays rather damp so we are sure to always leave the door open and pull put the detergent cup after EVERY wash. This was the detergent cup after I wiped it down a little. washer-detergent-cupI found the water does not drain well from the cup or the seal. If you have a front load washer BEWARE! Yours could be harboring mold in places you would never notice or think to clean! Luckily, it was all pretty ease to clean… I just wiped the seal down inside and out and got in all the little crevices with bleach. I pulled the trays ALL the way out of the washer and took them apart and wiped them down with bleach. I wiped the inside of where the detergent tray slides because that had a little mold too… inside-tray-2

Then I filled the bleach tray with bleach and ran the washer on a “cleaning” cycle.

I am happy to say that the next load of laundry can out clean and fresh!

Please do you and you family a favor and check your washer inside and out, take it apart and check it monthly. Mold can be toxic and oh so disgusting! Many of the new washers do not seem to drain the water well and you could be washing mold along with your families clothes. Eeek! It was so simple to clean and so worth it to have fresh, clean, and safe laundry 🙂

Antique Market Goodies

I have had it in my Summer Plans that my husband and I would visit the Allegan Antique Market in Allegan, MI. They have over 400+ vendors and oh boy was I EXCITED! I have always had a LOVE for vintage and old things long before the new vintage craze. I just love the intricate details and the handmade craftsmanship of the old. I loved spending time with my grandparents as a kid so seeing and owning some of these items from the past remind me of them in a way. Even though I have always had a love of all things old, I have never been one to attend these AMAZING Antique Markets. Not because I did not want to but simply because I never owned a house until now! Believe me, now that I have a house to decorate, I will be decorating and that means with all things old and vintage!

It has taken quite a long time to get our old 1930’s house cleaned up and any where near the decorating stage, and we still have a LONG way to go! However, we did find some great things I would love to share with you!

This was the fist purchase of the day. In our old house we do not have closets or a large kitchen so I needed a way to store more serving dishes and add some love to our dinning room.

I am still considering changing the color of it what do you think??

We have a narrow dinning room and this fit perfect in the dinning room but, NOT in our vehicle! Oh no!

WIN_20160828_202654

 

 

 

 

So while my husband was putting out the fire of this beauty not fitting in our vehicle and being an hour from home; I continued to walk through and find a few more goodies…..WIN_20160828_202819

This great feed scoop and some pretty old books. One just happens to be a book my grandparents had on their bookshelf! I know these items are pretty common but this market had great prices!

I just had to scoop them up. In the mean time, my wonderful husband had got a hold of his dad and he was on his way out to rescue us with his truck! While my father and mother-in-law were on their way out to rescue us I did find a few more great things, that awesome half windmill that I have resting on the top of that cabinet (I will mount it somewhere I’m just not sure where yet) and this cute little lantern…WIN_20160828_202938

 

 

 

In all we had a great day! Since my mother and father-in-law had to come out and rescue us we ended up having ice cream before going to their house for Sunday dinner.

It is the last week of Summer for the kiddos I nanny and although I LOVE spending the day with them, I cannot wait to have more time to craft! Especially because we are working on converting our spare bedroom into a guest/craft room. We did get a few other goodies today that I plan to do some things with but that is a surprise for later 🙂