I am not a frugalista by any stretch of the imagination. I can’t spend hours clipping coupons, comparing store fliers, and printing online discounts. It’s not in my makeup, though I tip my hats to those people who can do it. I know they get a rush from saving so much, and while I like to save, for me personally it’s so not worth the time investment. However I do have a few tips of my own on how to save a bit when it comes to the food my family eats.
I thought I’d do a couple of blog post about how I do our meal planning and shopping. One thing that I really want to do this year is to cut down on our grocery costs. I bought THIS BOOK awhile back and while it has some great ideas on cutting grocery costs, some I simply can’t do because of our remote location and most of the rest I was already doing. 🙂 So don’t buy it… if you seriously think you need it, look on paperbackswap.com because chances are I’ll be listing it there very soon. One way that is the simplest for me to save mulah is shop for meat on sale and then freeze it.
This week I spent $28.97 on some chicken and pork that was marked down to $1.9something a lb. That’s pretty good. So while it added quite a bit to our bill this time, just wait! Once I got it home my job was to divide it up into “meal sized” portions. With meat, I try to make sure that it’s a “main” ingredient because I have some carnivores who live in my house. But I still want to “stretch” it with the sides and veggies as much as possible. Today I mixed up some different marinades and started sorting. I ended up with 11 freezer packages of meat. That will end up being MORE than 11 meals because some will double with the leftovers being used for stir fry or fried rice or tacos.
So even just counting the 11 meals that would break down to $2.63 a meal, or $.65 a person. Now that’s just the meat, so to add in the veggies or rice or noodles whatever will obviously add cost to the meal, but seriously, you can’t get anything at McDonalds for $.65! So this is turning out to be a pretty cheap meal especially since the sides like rice and noodles are usually very cheap as well.
The great part is, this helps eliminate that on-no-it’s-4:00-what-do-I-fix-for-dinner-? feeling. 🙂 The next few weeks I’ll be shopping in my fridge for dinner! I’m interested to see how much this actually does cut down on the grocery costs since I will have all of the “main” dishes on hand. I’m also going to be doing more “shopping” in the pantry because there is stuff in there that just NEEDS to be used.
Next time I’ll tell you about my menu planning and how it helps save LOADS of stress, cuts down on trips to the store, AND saves you money!