First of all I want to wish all my faithful readers a very Happy New Year! I enjoy the first of a new year, a time to reflect on what happened in the previous year and a resolve to do things better for the upcoming year. I like to look over our budget and see where we can save more money. As I examine at our annual budget there are many areas in which the budget is fixed and we can’t really do anything to change it. However one area, which you can change, is your grocery budget. One thing that has really helped me over the years is to make a weekly menu plan.
By planning ahead what we are going to eat I don’t have to think about what we’re going to have for dinner. Even if I don’t follow my menu plan exactly I know that I have shopped for these meals and have what I need on hand to make them. After I have planned my weekly menu I write a grocery list. When I go to the store I stick to the list. Using my list I know I will have the ingredients on hand to make the meals I have planned for.
Buying in bulk is another way you can save money on your grocery bill. You can buy in bulk through a food warehouse or a local co-op or just be aware of when certain items go on sale. It is important that you know your prices. If you can’t keep them all in your head make a price book. This is a little notebook where you keep track of the prices of items you purchase all the time.
Try to stay away from processed foods. Whole food is much better for you and often processed foods and convenience packaged foods are more expensive.
Eat one vegetarian meal a week. There are many options for meatless meals. This is also a great way to make sure your family is getting in those extra vegetables. One of my Christmas gifts was a wonderful cookbook called Eating Well In Season, it’s full of vegetarian recipes all of which look delicious!
Plan on eating leftovers for dinner once a week. Have fun and combine leftovers to make a nutritious dinner. Some of my best soups were made from leftovers!
Learn to bake! Making your own bread, cookies, granola is so much healthier for you and will save you money! A favorite in our house is homemade pizza, when you make everything from scratch this is a very frugal meal which everyone enjoys.
Make your own cleaners and laundry detergent. It is so easy and the products you can make yourself work just as well as store bought products. Check out my blogs about making household cleaners and laundry soap. You’ll be amazed at what you can make at home!
Make it a New Year’s resolution to try some of these ideas at home and save money on your grocery bill!