Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Taking Charge of the Grocery Budget

Why is it everytime I step into a grocery store the prices have gone up??? The rising grocery prices have been making it a challenge for feeding my 3 growing boys and "picky eater" hubby! I usually try to stick within a $550/month budget for groceries every month, but it has become more and more challenging to stick within the budget. I have come to the conclusion that we are going to have to get more consistent in making more of our food from scratch.

We are very good about cooking from scratch for dinner and breakfast, but many times lunch is "Convience" foods and snacks tend to be store bought(Trader Joes or Aldi's) and can get costly. I do make Homemade Crockpot Yogurt, Homemade Smoothies, Snacks for the Week, and homemade Bread using a bread machine. All of those do save us money, especially being prepared a head of time. I am also very very consistent in Menu Planning which also is a huge money and time saver. I have been doing some research and have found some more ideas for snacks and meals that are going to save us money.

My plan is do grocery shopping on early Saturday mornings, even before others in the household are up and moving. I am an early riser and like to get things done early in the morning, so the rest of the day is free. I shop at 3 or 4 stores to get the best products and sale prices each week. I prefer to do the shopping alone because when others are with me they cost me more money by adding in things not on my list. I would like to have a "cooking and prep" day on Saturday afternoon and late Sunday evening. I have lots of homemade snack ideas listed on the bottom of my Menu plan each week, although all those ideas don't seem to happen. I really need to be consistent and make homemade snacks, not only for the money savings, but for the 'healthier" factor. I found a really Pinterest Board for Homemade Snacks today and I am going to use some of the ideas from there, the items I already have chosen and others as I begin more research.

I am going to be ordering a Food Dehydrator later this week and in about a month purchasing a chest freezer. We don't have a lot of freezer space as we have a basic top freezer type of Fridge, so having that extra freezer space, we can prepare lots of things and freeze some if it can be frozen. I will also be able to stock up when meat or other items are on sale. I know both of these items will help us save money also. I also plan on getting back to "couponing" again. I started couponing in '98, but let it go a few years ago, but I feel it is becoming necessary to start up again.

I am very much looking forward to seeing how successful I am at this new plan. I am beginning it on Saturday October 1st, as that is the next day I will do my grocery shopping and it is the start of a new month! I am very open to any books, ideas, websites or blogs that anyone can suggest to help me in my quest. I am a pretty good researcher, but everyone can use a little help sometimes!!

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Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

It's the same here, Kendra! Our skim milk has gone from $3.39 to $4.49 in about a month! (Not to mention fresh produce and meat!) I am having a HARD time staying under my $600/month budget!

I do have a snack suggestion: quick breads! I buy over-ripe bananas at the store (for a BIG markdown) then make banana breads with them. I wrap and freeze, pulling one out for days we're on the run a lot or for a few days of snacks. It can also work for a quick breakfast.

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