I started blogging just over a year ago. At the time, my husband and I were in a lot of debt, and it just kept accumulating. Sure, high credit card interest charges made it difficult to to dig out from under it, but the bigger issue issue was that we were continuing to add to the debt.
Around the time I started this blog, I also started reading lots of PF books and blogs. I learned a HUGE amount from them, and continue to do so today. One of the most valuable lessons I learned was the importance of tracking our spending. (There are many online tools and apps to help with this, but I use a good, old-fashioned Excel spreadsheet.) From the very first month I tracked our expenses, I was shocked to see how much
we I spent on groceries. I was spending up to $700 a month on groceries for our family of three. Gulp.
From the many great blogs I’ve been reading, here are the key strategies I’ve learned to help reign in my grocery spending:
- Plan ahead. Before I started reading PF blogs, the concept of “meal-planning” was completely foreign to me. As a result, I often had no idea what was for dinner, leading to desperate, last-minute pleas for my husband to pick something up on his way home. I now create weekly meals plans, which has eliminated the guesswork around our dinners.
- Shop with a list (and stick to it!). Shopping with a list helps ensure that I have everything I need for the meals I’ve planned. No more giving up because I don’t have all the ingredients I need for a recipe, or making extra trips to the store for forgotten items. And sticking to the list keeps my costs under control. If it’s not on the list, don’t buy it!
- Use what you have. I used to scrap my plans for a recipe if I realized I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients on-hand. Now I look for appropriate substitutes in my pantry, or forgo the missing item altogether.
- Maximize your savings. There are so many ways to maximize savings in the grocery store, from buying in-season produce and using coupons, to meal planning, stockpiling sale items, and using coupon apps. Finding the right mix of these options helps make the most of every grocery store trip.
- Embrace the freezer and the slow-cooker. If I didn’t have ample time to prepare dinner on busy nights, I used to make it a take-out night. Now if I know we’ll be getting home at dinnertime, I plan to make dinner in the slow cooker, and it’ll be ready when we’re home. To increase efficiency even further, I’ll sometimes prep two sets of the same meal, and freeze one for future use. When I pull the bag out of the freezer to defrost the night before, and dump it into the slow cooker in the morning, I feel like I’ve won the homemaking MVP award!
The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, a complete library of 99 eBooks and eCourses covering a wide range of home management topics, includes great resources for all of the above strategies:
- Meal-planning: Backwards Meal Planning, Frugal Real Food Meal Plans, Gluten Free Aldi Meal Plan, Healthy Mom, and Simply Scheduled: On the Go
- Shop with a list: ListPlanIt: Meals ePlanner
- Use what you have: Coffee Filters to Cheese Graters: Creative Ways to Use Just About Everything and From Your Garden to Your Family
- Maximize your savings: Supermarket Ninjas: How to Find Real Food in the Store Without Losing Your Mind and Grocery University
- Embrace the freezer and the slow-cooker: Costco Slow Cooker Freezer Meals and No Cook Freezer Meals
At $29.97 for all 99 resources – plus bonuses, like a free Craftsy course up to a $60 value! – the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is an amazing steal! Seriously, that’s less than $0.30 per eBook/eCourse!! But it’s only available for purchase through 4/27, act quickly if you’d like to take advantage of this deal.
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