My grocery budget is $50 a week less than it was this time last year. Yet we are eating wonderfully!!!
And, no, I'm not couponing. Well, hardly at all.
I'm learning a lot more about cooking from scratch, using up what we have, and adding just a little something different to make an ordinary ingredient shine.
Whereas my breakfast grocery list used to look something like:
- boxed cereal, on sale
- poptarts, on sale
- frozen waffles, on sale
- sausage links, on sale
- packaged donuts, on sale
- grands biscuits, on sale
it now looks like this:
- 1 5 dozen package of eggs
- 1 25 lb bag of flour
- 2 4 pound packages of butter
- 1 9 lb box of oat
- 13 lb tube of sausage
- 1 15 lb bag of potatoes
- 1 10 lb bag of sugar
- 1 4 lb bag of brown sugar
- 1 2 bottle pack of syrup
- 1 5 lb bag of cheese
- 1 40 ct flour tortilla
and maybe some rosemary, garlic, or cinnamon.
Then I might make granola, coffee cake, muffins, homemade waffles, pancakes, french toast, eggs, fried potatoes, breakfast burritos, sausage breakfast casserole, and the list goes on.
Yeah, it's a little bit more work for me, but my family is well fed, better really than when we were doing more of the packaged stuff. (Can't you tell by the pounds I've put on?!)
When I make something, I try to make extra to put into the freezer so that Jim can grab a bag or container to put into his lunch every day, instead of starving until lunch because there's nothing portable to eat (hanging my head in shame), or so that the kids can warm up something on busy weekday mornings.
I also try to look at what we already have in the fridge that needs to be used up. For example, last night for dinner I made Roasted Rosemary Potatoes. Oh, let me tell you about these potatoes first before I make my point. They are a perfect example of what I mean by adding just a little something different.
Potatoes. They are cheap. But, they can get boring if you don't mix it up a little (baked potato, fried potato, mashed potato, repeat, yawn). With the simple addition of rosemary, a bag of which was about $2 at Walmart (look in the Mexican section), I can now make this spectacular fancy potato dish.
So, anyway, I made these rosemary potatoes and we had a bunch leftover. We always have fried potatoes with our eggs because everyone likes it that way. I was getting ready to cut up potatoes when I remembered that we had leftover rosemary potatoes in the fridge. Would they work for fried potatoes? Not sure, but I won't know until I try.
They were delicious. This will definitely be a regular thing! And, I got rid of the leftover potatoes instead of having them waste away in the fridge, and I saved my other potatoes for another time!
As wives and mothers, particularly stay-at-home moms, it is our God-given duty to provide good food for our family. Some women don't like to cook or feel like they are not very good at it. You won't know until you try and you won't get better until you practice. I've gotten better over the years, I still make many flops, but I just love the sounds of pleasure when my family eats a good meal and are full. I know I've done good.
Many are looking at their budgets and wondering how on earth they are going to be able to feed their families on such meager budgets. I encourage you to think outside the (packaged) box. Get creative. Do things like buy in bulk and make lots of different things with the same types of ingredients. Just a little twist here or there can make a whole new entree.
One of my favorite website is The Prudent Homemaker. She has tons of great links, menus and recipes for creative meal planning for pennies. She is such as encouragement to me when I feel tired and worn out. I wish she had a blog, but she only does facebook. But, check out her website and sites like hers. Embrace your role and your current state and enjoy your time in the kitchen.