YES, a new blog post! I am copying this off my Facebook page at 11pm while my three year olds sit on the floor playing Call the Midwife delivering each other’s babies. Yes, 11pm. So, of course, it’s the perfect time to think about my blog!
1. All pantry items get ordered from co-ops or websites. This means grocery trips only have to be the perimeter of the grocery store (or just the fresh food section)
2. I keep all like items together. Not doing this meant I ended up with 8 jars of mustard. One would be open in the fridge, id run out, purchase more at the store along with an extra just in case. But then one would go in the pantry and one in the fridge. I ended up with a lot of mustard in the pantry! So now if it ultimately needs refrigeration, it goes there immediately.
3. Similar to above for household goods including large quantities: I keep them within visual access. Previously I’d buy a bulk quantity of ziploc bags at Costco. I’d keep one in the house and the rest in the garage. But they’d inevitably get jumbled and hidden, so I’d think I was out and buy more. Now they’re inside in a cabinet (all of them!) and I can be confident knowing I’m seeing everything.
4. I made a list of the most frequently purchased produce and hit up all the grocery stores around to find those prices. I had to do this a number of times because stores change prices frequently. But it gave me a feel for choosing where to usually go for produce. I thought Aldi would have been cheapest, but for us it was more costly than Sprouts! I thought Tom Thumb would be cheaper than Whole Foods, but for organic stuff, they are almost double the price! That was a project worth my time and probably had the most impact on our budget.
5. If I need a “specialty” or seasonal only produce, I call the stores and ask for produce and I ask if it’s in stock in the quality I want and how much it is. So I keep those phone numbers in my phone.
6. In particular on quality and specific brands of some products – a lot of times those are items other like-minded people purchase, too. So, we can participate in bulk buys or co-op purchases. Facebook and your chiropractor’s office would be great resources for that.
7. Meal planning for us only includes two or three meals. We have enough regular product and meats and eggs on hand that we can just assemble whatever we want for breakfast and lunch and snacks. So I’m only meal planning larger supper meals. Then we eat off those two or three meals the whole week. And we may eat it for breakfast, lunch, or supper. We don’t have a traditional American type of eating where particular foods/meals are only for particular meals. We may have fish and avocado for breakfast and eggs and bacon for supper. Lots of leftovers here. That’s what we eat.
8. Our grocery list is usually small enough that I can text it to hubby and he can pick it up on his way home. Then, the girls and I are only going to Costco for things we normally get there (a few produce and household items). Or, I run to the grocery after kiddos have gone to bed. Sometimes, we all go during the day because I want them to practice, but going alone allows for quick in/out and that always means savings.
9. Prep produce right away. If I cut it up and have it ready to cook, then I have to use it. Otherwise, sometimes I allow it to just sit and I stretch our other food and don’t make that planned meal and the produce goes bad. Waste of money.
10. Take cash money to the grocery. No debit cards. Having a monthly amount in an envelope I can see dwindling makes me much more thoughtful about what I’m purchasing.
Other things that I don’t do but would save money:
1. Participate in a local produce group – CSA
2. Grow your own. We will be growing tomatoes, peppers, and herbs soon because those are the more expensive things we purchase.