Saving Money on My Food Budget
This is the first part in a three part post. These are things that I do so our family can live on a single income. Please feel free to share things that you do to save money, budget wisely, and/or be kind to your body and the earth.
Preparing Before I Go Shopping
- I use my store’s circular to plan my meals around what’s on sale
I recently started doing this and found it’s been really helpful. I look at my grocery store’s weekly ad and use it to plan my meals. This helps me twofold: 1) I save money on my meat dishes; 2) it helps to narrow down the recipes I use. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with recipe options that narrowing them down using the circular is a relief.
- I plan meals with a variety of fresh ingredients and shelf stable ingredients
When I plan my recipes for the week I always try to integrate a few meals that use shelf stable ingredients. This means pasta dishes, canned tuna, rice and other foods like that. This ensures that I use the fresh ingredients before they go bad and gives me some flexibility with the week’s meals. If we have a ton of leftovers then it doesn’t hurt anything to move one of the shelf stable recipes back a few days because nothing will go bad. Anytime I can use up all the food in my fridge, I feel like I am succeeding at life.
- We Integrate more beans into our diet
Beans are great for a variety of reasons. 1) They are cheap. 2) You can keep them on your shelf for ages in case of a dinner emergency. 3) They are healthy and good for you. I only plan about 3 meals a week or less with meat in them so I have to be creative in other sources of protein. Beans are an important part of how I feed my family while keeping our costs down.
- I use Pintrest to organize my recipes
I organize all of my week’s recipes on a pin board called “At Home Eats This Week.” I used a word that begins with A so that it is one of the first boards that pops up when pinning a new recipe. I also have two more boards that help in my recipe planning. One called “Recipes to Try,” and a second called “Tried and True Recipes.” This way I can split my week’s meals into those we’ve tried and I know we’re going to like and those I haven’t made yet. You can follow me on Pintrest at ChillyHawaiian to see some of the recipes I enjoy making.
- I get my online coupons through the grocery store app
Along with the store’s circular, I always check their coupons via their phone app. A lot of times there are coupons similar (sometimes exact) to what I find on coupons.com. Using the app allows me to load the coupons to my loyalty account so I don’t have to carry paper coupons around. The other great thing about doing this is sometimes there are coupons on store brand items. Store brand items are often the cheapest options, so I add coupons on top of that to save a bunch of money.