Saturday, February 12

budget cooking {and grocery shopping}

{are y'all ready for a SUPER long post? apologies in advance.}

So a lot of y'all asked how in the world I went to the grocery store for 30 bucks ... I decided it might be a good idea to do a post dedicated to budget cooking & grocery shopping ... 

Now y'all my $30 trip was no easy task ... Mostly because I am SUCH convenience shopper, but I'm trying to change my ways ... So here we are. :) 

So the first thing that I did was stare at search my pantry, fridge and freezer for things that I had on hand. I'm not sure about y'all but I am TERRIBLE about not doing this before going to the store and I end up with a TON of multiples. 

If only mine was this organized ... 

After I figured out what I had, I started making a preliminary menu for the week (or in my case 2) then I started searching the sale circulars for local stores ... This was one of the most time-consuming parts of the day. 

After doing this, and altering my menu some ... I set out to do the ACTUAL shopping ... And y'all this consisted of going to THREE different stores! 

While shopping, I took $30 cash with me and resolved to NOT spend any more than this ... I really think that this helped to cut down on the impulse buys (magazines, snacks, sweets, sodas).

Now for some tips I found on the WWW: 

~ MAKE A LIST & STICK TO IT! This is probably the most important .. Impulse buys really add up. If you do your research on what's on sale, make a list & stick to it, you will save lots of dough in the checkout line!

~ Buy only produce that's in season. This means planning meals around what's actually in season, which isn't always easy but definitely less $$. I also buy a lot of frozen veggies because they have all the same nutritional values as fresh and none of the sodium that canned veggies have. 

~ Learn to use leftovers. I'm NOT fan of leftovers but over the past several months have become a lot better at 're-purposing' food. For example, I made grilled chicken one night and with the leftovers I made pulled BBQ chicken samis (one of our favs). 

~ Don't buy 'convenient' food. It seems so much easier to buy the already cut & washed veggies or an already cooked rotesserie chicken, but it's not always the cheapest route. It just takes a little extra time to do these things yourself and can save a lot of MOOOOOlah! 

~ Going meatless one day a week can really cut down on food costs too ... I don't mind this at all, but for my meat & potatoes guy ... not so much! So we don't usually follow this! :) 

~ Speaking of meatless, beans & eggs are great, inexpensive ways to get your protein in! 

Ok now for some REALLY tasty and REALLY inexpensive recipes! 

Red Beans & Rice {love Hillbilly Housewife}

I hope this helps y'all! :) Sorry for the SUPER long post! 

Happy Saturday! xo! 


Anonymous said...

great tips!

Freebies Mom said...

Hello! I'm a new follower from the weekend hop.
Tweeting all your good stuff to my 16,000!
Freebies 4 Moms

TexaGermaNadian said...

Really good posts, I like your tips! Stumbled over from FTLOB Weekend Wander :)

Megan said...

Great tips!! They definitely help!! I definitely end up with multiples all the time. I will work on that!

well-to-do said...

Great post! Great blog! Love. New follower from the hop. Love the South, but sorry to say that I'm from the North. Hope you'll still considering following us Yankees? :)

XO Suz from Well to Do

Kelly said...

Great tips....I'm trying to learn to miminize our food budget these days!


Michaela said...

I loved this! I think that's a great point- only bring as much cash as you want to spend. I definitely do some impulse buying...crackers, lucky charms, cookie dough. Enough is enough! haha (:

I shop at Trader Joes mostly, so I usually get out under 20 per week, but using coupons and some of these tips will help even more!

Jamie Walker said...

Thanks for the tips! I wish my cupboard looked like the one in your picture!

natasha {schue love} said...

Ooo the butternut squash pizza looks so yummy!!! :)

Shalyn said...

This was so helpful to read, thanks so much for the tips! Love your blog and will definitely be back!

Ross said...

Great finding your site here on FTLOB. We manage to feed a family of four on about $300 a month. Coupons!Coupons!Coupons! Great site you have and I'll be back.

Mackenzie {Design Darling} said...

Great tips! I'm always looking for ways to shop quickly and inexpensively so this was right up my alley! Enjoy what's left of the weekend : )

Augmented Gem said...

Great tips! I also LOVE that grocery shopper app you posted a photo of - it's a big help keeping you organized for any iPhone/iPod Touch users out there :)