Scratch, Scratch, Scratch. No I do not have an itch! The easiest way to keep the bills low is to only buy the staples and make things from scratch. This is a picture of my chicken pot pie. The biscuits are another round I made from scratch. I froze the rest, so that they will be convenient later, for biscuits and honey.
Now I love couponing, but after a couple of months I remember, all I am really buying is a bunch of processed food. Remember those packages of short bread cookies I got for $1 a package, still have half of them. I do not really even like eating them, but I am in major calorie intake mood with nursing. So couponing is a luxury, since I spend more and on things I do not NEED.
So I have 2 major fundamentals when it comes to shopping for food: 1. Cook from Scratch and 2. Buy in bulk on the big items.
I am always encouraged when I check out other families who are keeping their grocery bill down. I read 2 articles this evening that made me want to share this with you, the first at life in a shoe and the second at frugalhacks.com
I realize there are a lot of other things I do that help.
- Soda is a luxury item. When I buy it, it is for the sole enjoyment of my husband and me. So it is generic root beer and a diet soda. The children will have a treat of root beer, once in a while (like once a month). Why? Soda is yummy! You can drink and drink and never be satisfied. I can gulp water and be satisfied, I can go through 4 cans of soda and still not have my thirst quenched.
- Buy excessive amounts of meat when it is on sale at an unbelievable price. Stock up!
- Control on the snacks. Now our one outlet on snacks is the little snack cakes and the powder donut bags. Why? because I can get them on the super cheap at the day old bread store. Just the other day, our store had buy 10 bags of donuts for $3. That is unheard of as a price, so I bought 10 and froze them. I will buy the boxed snack packs for less than a dollar. (I do buy generic oreos, this is my husbands weakness. And he only eats 3-4 cookies each night with his glass of milk)
- Milk is costly, never waste great fresh milk to cook with, use dry.
- Use what you buy!
Now one thing that was listed that I have not given much thought about was buying in bulk produce in season. I buy in bulk to can, but did not think to buy in bulk for fresh consumption. Mostly because I am wishy washy on what I feel like eating fresh. Now we are blessed in this part of Florida, because we have a lot of large volume farmers markets. I mean where they have nothing but a box truck full of green peppers only. I like the idea of eating what is in season and cheap. My fear is, it is a 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive to get there and would my small children be able to keep up with the amount of food I would get from a box of each and only having 2 things.
One way I could work around this, would be to get a couple of families to get in as a co-op and make food boxes every 2-3 weeks. Or instead can/ freeze my left-overs. So I will think about this a bit more and figure out how to incorporate it into my life.
Good luck saving. I keep thinking about this couple I met, while I was still fresh in college doing an internship. Denny and Pat, senior volunteers, who lived by and constantly chatted the same slogan every day, “Waste not, Want not”. Ten plus years later, this slogan resonates in every part of my life. And grows to take over other parts. Funny is that this seed was planted for ten years before it ever took root.