31 Ways To Save On Your Grocery Budget: Tip #19


TIP #19 – Use Recipes With Few Ingredients

When we first got married, I thought being a good wife meant having a “gourmet” dinner on the table every night. Then I came to realize that my hubby liked the ordinary meals just as much. Whew! :)

When I started picking recipes with just a few ingredients, I noticed that not only did my grocery bill start dropping, but so did the hours I’d spend in the kitchen! The meals were easier to fix and I didn’t have all that clean-up work either! And to be honest, the meals were just as good!

What’s even better? When I do make a “gourmet” meal now, it’s even more special! It’s almost like eating in a nice restaurant…at home!

One of my favorite discoveries was a recipe book with not only few ingredients but also…for the crockpot! Double Bonus! It’s called Fix-it And Forget-it 5-ingredient Favorites

When I did a search, I also found these, but I do not own them so I can’t give you any kind of review on them. (Something to research at the library!)

5 Ingredients or Less! Fresh Recipes for Every Season Plus Clever Tips for Celebrating Every Day (Gooseberry Patch)

5-Ingredient Favorites: 700 Favorite Recipes with Five Ingredients or Less (Better Homes & Gardens Cooking)

Do you have any favorite “few ingredient” cookbooks?

31 Ways To Save On Your Grocery Budget: Tip #18


TIP #18 – Try To Work In Some Crockpot Cooking

If I had to pick a small kitchen appliance as my favorite, I’m pretty sure I’d have to say my crockpot. I love throwing in a few ingredients and knowing supper’s done! And the aromas that fill the house throughout the day are delicious!

Now you might be asking how you can save with a Crockpot? Well, there are a few ways. First, since most crockpot meals take 6-8 hours, you have to begin them in the morning. This makes you think about supper early and prevents the temptation for take-out. Second, since the food basically marinates all day, you don’t need as many ingredients to make a really great recipe. And last, since meats cook all day, you can buy tougher, inexpensive cuts of meats and still have a tender, juicy meal when it’s all done.

Now, don’t think you can only make soups and roasts, etc in them. You’d be amazed at what you can cook in a crockpot! One of my all-time favorite cooking websites is A Year of Crockpotting. I wish I had hours and hours to just read every recipe. But my favorite one I’ve tried so far is Crockpot Applesauce. It’s not only yummy but super-amazing smelling! Next time you have guests over, make up a pot of this before hand and it will fill your house with a smell that everyone will want to dig into! (Who needs air freshners!):)

Another one to try is JustSlowCooking.com. There are several out there. Just do a Google on “Crockpot Recipes” and you’ll be amazed at what comes up.

Crockpot cooking keeps you planning ahead and allows you to use fewer ingredients and inexpensive meats. All of these add up to $$ saved on your grocery budget.

What’s your favorite thing to make in the Crockpot?

Tune in tomorrow at 9AM for Tip #19.

31 Ways To Save On Your Grocery Budget: Tip #17


TIP #17 – ALWAYS HAVE A QUICK BACK-UP MEAL ON HAND

So you’ve been good and made up your Weekly Menu Plan. Things are going well and then, a glitch falls into your day and now that great elegant dinner you had planned has to be scrapped because you now have zero time to cook. What do you do? Call Carry-out or pick up fast food? No! Because you’ll have a quick back-up meal on hand.

Ideally, your back-up meal should be a healthy one but sometimes you just have to worry about feeding that hungry family!

On those nights that I don’t feel like cooking or need something quick, I tend to drag out my Sandwich Makermachine. It’s probably one of my favorite little appliances, next to my crockpot. Throw in some bread. Throw in basically whatever I have leftover in the fridge and supper’s ready! I usually make these recipes HERE for Pizza Pockets or Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches. These are usually my back-up meals.

Whatever your taste, just make sure you have something easy and quick to keep from ordering out. Preventing take-out helps you save big $$ on your grocery budget.

Tune in tomorrow at 9AM for Tip #18.

31 Ways To Save On Your Grocery Budget: Tip #15


TIP #15: SKIP CONVENIENCE FOODS AND MAKE YOUR OWN

One of the quickest way to skyrocket your grocery budget is to load up on convenience items. Yes, time is money. But money is money, too!

I admit I am one of those that would buy up those quick “just add water” pancake mixes. I mean, how much easier can it get than to add water, stir and pour onto a hot griddle?! I’ve since found several great pancake recipes on other sites/blogs that you can make up big batches ahead of time and basically just add a few ingredients at the time of cooking.

Taking just a little extra time to plan out your meals or to find alternatives to convenience foods can save you big $$ on your grocery budget.

Tune in tomorrow at 9AM for Tip #16.

31 Ways To Save On Your Grocery Budget: Tip #14


TIP #14: SWITCH FROM BOTTLED WATER TO A PITCHER OR WATER SYSTEM

For the longest time, we spoiled ourselves with bottled water. Not only was it an expensive habit, but it was very unfriendly to the environment. (Not to mention a heavy thing to haul around and out of the store!)

We originally switched to a water delivery service but we didn’t use enough water to make it worth the expense. We’ve since switched to the Brita/Pur pitchers with the intent of getting an installed water system someday. Our current town water is definitely not the greatest! I’ve noticed that I tend to drink more now that it’s filtered, which is not only great for health reasons, but it also saves on me having to put money into other beverages.

For those of you interested in switching to a pitcher/system, you can go HERE to get a money-saving coupon.

Making just a little change like switching from bottled water to pitcher/system can save you money on grocery budget in the long-run.

31 Ways To Save On Your Grocery Budget: Tip #13


Tip # 13: Create and Live Off of a Stockpile

Eventually, you’ll find that there are several recipes that you enjoy making quite frequently. When you do, you’ll want to keep track of those meals and the ingredients in them so that when you find a good sale on them, you can stock-up.

Now, a good stockpile doesn’t create itself overnight. It takes quite awhile. A good way to start is to take the extra money you have leftover in your grocery budget each month and to buy up those things that you use the most that are on sale.

This is a good reason to keep that price book we talked about earlier. Knowing when the items you buy frequently are at a good sale price and when the next possible sale price might be are all vital information to stockpiling. You could be stocking up on what appears to be a good price on hamburger, only to find out that if you had waited a week, you could have saved $.50 more a pound.

If you don’t have a lot of time to focus on stockpiling, focus mainly on the items that you use the most that are the most expensive. Good examples are meat and cereal. When you see a good meat sale, stock-up! This can save you bundles! And when you see a great deal on cereal, stock-up! Cereal is one of the highest marked-up items! Normal cereal can sell for $4 a box but I rarely pay more than $1 a box because I stock up on a lot when I find a great deal.

Another way to get a decent stockpile on the cheap is to always buy the “loss leaders” for the week that you use. Loss leaders are those items that grocery stores drastically discount to get you into their store. Their hope is that they’ll reel you in with those items, stopping you from shopping elsewhere, but they hope that you’ll buy more while you are there. These items are typically labeled as “3 Day Only Sale,” etc.

Creating a good stockpile at sale prices helps you never have to pay full price for anything. And this can lead to great savings to your budget!

Tune in tomorrow at 9AM CST for Tip #14.

31 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Budget: Tip #12


TIP #12: USE PROPER STORAGE TO EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR FOOD

So you just bought a pint of strawberries and in what seems like hours, they are moldy. Or that bag of carrots is now a disgusting pile of slime. Or the lettuce you cut for a salad a few days back is now brown, wilty and unusable. And that hamburger you got on discount is now 20% freezer burn. And the worst of all, those leftovers you intended on using are now a guessing game of “What was this?” because it got lost in your fridge in a non-see-through container. Any of these is a waste of food, money and can be frustrating. But, by investing in some great storage containers now, can save you $$ later!

Here are a few on the market. If any of you have found others that you’ve liked, please feel free to share and I’ll add them to the list!

~Rubbermaid Produce Savers- Great for fruits & veggies

~Fridge Smart by Tupperware - Same as above. Great for keeping baby carrots from going to slime!

~Lettuce Crisper by The Container Store – I love this! It’s amazing how long it stays fresh!

~Debbie Meyer Green Bagssold at most stores – I have not tried these but heard good things

~ Tupperware Cereal Saver-Keeps your cereal from going stale

~Banana Hanger w/ Fruit Basket sold at various locations – Gives Bananas a little longer life

~Ziploc,Hefty, Glad Freezer/Storage Bags – Keeps non-perishables from going stale and keeps freezer items from getting freezer burn

~FoodSaver, Reynolds Handi Vac or Ziploc etc versions – Great for sealing up foods for the freezer

~Rubbermaid Premier Easy Find Lids- Great clear containers that help you visually see your leftovers and they stack so great!!

These are just a few containers to help stretch the life of your food. By keeping food fresh and tasty for when you need it ends up saving you $$ in the long-run!

Tune in tomorrow at 9AM CST for Tip #13!