This is for the skeptics, and as a bit of reassurance for myself. I do, usually, spend right around $100.00 per week on groceries. That is an average. This week, I am trying to live out of the pantry and make do with what we have. Grocery $ spent so far…$0.00. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to help make this possible. Now before you go thinking I’m all back woods mountain woman, feeding my children freshly trapped and skinned rabbit (which may be kinda cool…but we are so not that tricky… yet) read the following and see what you think.
- Keep powdered milk on hand. This is great to keep your milk supply going. I will substitute powdered milk and water in recipes that call for milk and that leaves more milk for drinking.
- Keep canned fruits & veggies on hand. When they are on sale stock up. That way if you don’t make it to the grocery store you can still get some vit C in the kiddos. I try to only get fruit in real fruit juice and not in syrup. IF I were a real frugal woman, I would have canned my own peaches and pears this summer!
- Save up, or spend a windfall, and buy 1/2 of a cow and 1/2 of a pig. For us, it worked out to be right around $3.00 per lb. Not bad for local pasture raised meat! We filled a large chest freezer. For illustration purposes, we received about 57 lbs. of hamburger. That is easily 1 hamburger meal a week, plus a few pot luck dinners and some summer cook outs! Plus the roasts, ribs, etc. The hard part is paying up front of course, AND remembering to take it OUT of the freezer to eat it…but I haven’t had to purchase beef since Fall and that is a huge weekly savings. Now before you go saying “well yeah, but if you spend $100.00/wk and add the cost of the beef then the weekly average is way higher!” REMEMBER…this week…so far….I’ve spent $0. SO in the end I think it does about even out.
- Don’t think that it is going to just pull itself together. I don’t buy (a lot) of convenience items. Yes, that means I mix up my own bisquick mix…but big deal, you do a large batch wen you need some, store it in a 1/2 gallon mason jar in the fridge and it’s there for the next 3 times you need it. Get familiar with basic recipes and when you find things you like, that are easy…keep items on hand to be able to pull it together quickly.
- Lastly, when plans change and you decide to cut back on grocery items…which means a change in the menu that you made the week before (hmmm not like this is a little close to home today) Do a quick inventory and think simple! You can almost never go wrong with spaghetti– it may not be a Mediterranean feast with fresh salads…but it will taste good enough and fill your belly.
Now, if you have any ideas for what to do when the schedule change means that your husband begs for a crock pot meal, and you didn’t get to the store to buy cheddar cheese for the macaroni and cheese on the menu…and it’s 10:00am and you need to get something in the crock by 12:00….well then let me know. *GRIN*