Where does the time go?
I haven't lived up to my promise this week...been busy. I had the intention of sending out eid cards and a few presents and haven't done that either (sigh). Okay, let's catch up.
I spent $25 on halal meat and still have some left. We got 2 lbs ground beef, 2 whole boneless chicken breasts, 1 whole chicken cut up and a couple pounds of legs and thighs.
We hardly bought anything fresh this week because i was already stocked up on most things. We did spend $22 at the farm...that included what is apparently a play pumpkin for the little man. He carries it everywhere with him. Don't know if we are going to be able to eat it or not.
So total this week is: $47
I know it's a bit unfair this week but this is what i do.
Okay, some ways to save money. I planned to organize this better but i have limited time so it's just gonna come out like this...
Buy what you use often in bulk when it's on sale. For instance, i know we go through beans, chickpeas, tomatos, frozen veggies like hot potatos so whenever they are on sale, i go crazy. I buy tons of tomatos canned, i buy them crushed, diced, whole, the paste and even sauce and i'll buy a ton at a time because i know i'll use them. I use fresh tomato's too but i like them on hand in the can. Beans i buy in the can for chili or snacks. I buy them dry too because they are much cheaper that way but they are a quick snack for LD in the can. I always always have lentils, beans, and other dried legumes for our meals. They are super cheap and super healthy. Buy the big bag and use often.
When cooking, mix in veggies to meat dishes to maximize meat (expensive and also not exactly good for you eaten in bulk). Add okra, potatos or tomatos to beef or goat to bulk up the meal. Dried legumes are good for this too. Have side dishes that are veggies also. By doing this, you will usually have leftovers (hence a frozen dinner for later) and it's healthier.
Never buy prepared foods. It's 200% inflation.
Make your own baby food (i'm a wealth of knowledge on this subject...ask away).
Don't buy things already sliced up, diced, shredded etc. The shelf life is shorter and it's twice as much. (frozen is different because the shelf life problem isn't there). Chopped veggies are a timesaver and a great snack for kids.
Don't buy things because they are on sale unless they are on your list or something you always use (like tomato's).
Bargains are at the top and bottom of the shelves - they place the higher priced items at eye level. They also put toddler enticing items lower so kids can get at em.
Always eat before grocery shopping. Don't go hungry. If you go hungry you are going to come out with snacks you don't need.
Freeze things about to expire (milk, chicken stock, veggies (chop and put in small containers or bags), fruit (i buy strawberries and blueberries on sale in the summer and chop and freeze myself) - they don't make it to winter like intended but still the dollar stretches a lot further when they are on sale which is the next point.
Eat by the season, that's what is usually on sale and it's what is fresh. Can't lose. Farmers markets are good for this.
And most important, plan your menu, make a list and stick to it. You will probably avoid the cookie, chip, etc aisle which is $$$$. Make your cookies, skip the chips and soda. I do buy juices in the box. It's good for play dates and car drinks and treats. It's also a splurge because they are high but then so is juicy juice and i buy it. I'm still looking for organic juice here.
Often people go to the store hungry and without a list and come out with a ton of snacks but no meals. Plan ahead - it'll save a bundle as well as a lot of patience (if you have a toddler).
Okay, that's enough for now. More next week.