The rising cost of gas and groceries tends to irk me just a little. Especially groceries, but the two always seem to go hand in hand of course. I know there is nothing I can do about the rising cost of gas as I have no influence there. Nobody will listen to me! So I concentrate on what I can do things about and that is finding ways to economize on groceries.
Lately the staple items I purchase have escalated in price and recent sales haven't been much to brag about either. I'm finding it much easier to go over budget and run out of things which can be rather frustrating.
The first thought was to up my budgeted amount every month to compensate for the increases but that, to me, would be the easy way out. It's not that I can't afford to spend more on groceries but more that I really don’t want to. Plus I love the challenge of making this budget work. I'm thinking with a little more effort I should be able to tweak some things and get a better handle on it.
Sales and coupons are an obvious solution but there are also other simple options for economizing:
Investment cooking - the name says it all. I love to take a hunk of meat, cook it up in a variety of ways and then freeze it to use later as a key element of future meals. I'll be posting more about this in the coming months.
Serve more soups and meatless dishes - we love soup. One of my favorite meals is simply soup, salad and bread. Homemade soups are the best and also a great way to use up leftovers, especially produce that is close to giving it up. Plus soups freeze and reheat so well.
Make more items from scratch - I have to be honest. I've let this slide quite a bit and I need to get it in gear and focus more in this area. Even though I'm working full time, the reality is I still have time to do this more than what I have been.
Make larger meals and serve leftovers more often - meat loaf or pot roast is a prime example. I almost always have enough left over for another meal. Roasted chicken too.
Cook once, eat twice - freeze the extra meal for later. Things like lasagna and enchiladas are a lot of work so why not double the batch and make two instead of just one? The extra effort is minimal in comparison to making them separately. Make a double batch of spaghetti sauce. Next time all you have to do is boil the pasta and reheat the sauce.
Eat less, use better portion control - I tend to eat too much and gain weight so using better portion control will help me shed the extra pounds, maintain my weight and make our food last longer. Kids on the other hand, no such thing when they are busy, active and growing. J
Make do with what we already have - no need to make a special trip to the store for items you don't have on hand. Make something else or make something else work instead.
Shop less - that's a no brainer. I have to admit, sometimes I get a little caught up in the bargains and buy things I really don't need.
Don't waste food - another no brainer but we all know we are a country of food wasters.
I think the biggest thing is not to get discouraged and just keep trying.
How are some ways you are combating the rise in grocery prices these days?