I am always on the lookout for saving some money here and there. Keeping our expenses under the budget, not using the credit card, main priority being pay off all the debt including mortgage as soon as possible.
That isn’t easy if you ask me. It is quite possible, though.
Now, back to the topic.
We have been spending anywhere from 100 to 150 dollars a week on groceries. When I say groceries, I mean everything we buy from our local grocery store, including cleaning supplies, pet food, personal hygiene items and such. One stop for all and maybe not ideal, but it saves me a ton of time and I don’t do multiple store runs.
I don’t like shopping. Gasp. There. I said it.
Anyway, last week as I wrote down my meal plan for the week. Then I wrote the shopping list, keeping in mind that I do have a fully stocked pantry and a freezer with some freezer meals.
The shopping didn’t take long and we left the store having spent only 65 dollars as opposed to what we normally spend.
I wasn’t very excited. I knew I would have to run back to the store mid-week and grab a couple of things…
We ran out of bread. I baked Challah buns which are perfect and a lot cheaper than buying bread from the bakery. If you know me, you know I am a bread snob. I’d rather bake my own.
We ran out of orange juice. So what? There are apple juice AND grape juice in the pantry. Who said O.J. is the only option to have for breakfast?
I planned this week around the freezer meals. It has allowed me to have extra time to get my work done and not spend half the evening in the kitchen. It had also let me save some on not having to cook as many new meals as I normally do.
Is the next week going to be the same? I doubt that. I am cooking five freezer meals for the exchange group I am in, the cats need cat litter, I need some lotions and potions. No, next week is going to cost us a bit more.
But, I will bring four meals back from the exchange, which would hopefully allow me to have a low-cost following week.
To sum up, you need to know what you already have before you even start to meal plan.
- Use your phone to take detailed pictures of your fridge, pantry, freezer and any other storage areas with food.
- Look back at your pictures while meal planning making sure you are using the left-overs and freezer meals before they expire.
- Write your shopping list and stick to it.
You’ve got this!
What are your secrets to staying on the budget?