Grocery Bills Reduced
I have a great tip for reducing grocery bills. A few months ago, I started to notice that a I had a lot of ingredients and condiments in my refrigerator and my pantry that never got used and either sat there collecting dust or went bad. I decided to come up with a short list of meals that were easy to make and I would only buy ingredients for those few meals. This would allow me to really stock up on an item if I saw it on sale because I knew I would be making a meal with it many times. I also picked meals that used many of the same fixins to further ensure nothing goes bad. Here are some sample menus. Note: I only list the main course. I get canned veggies and fruits in bulk and add one to the meal along with a piece of whole wheat buttered bread if the meal is on the small side. Also, I feed two people (one vegetarian) with these menus.
- Canned Health Valley mild vegetarian chili topped with sharp cheddar and sour cream. Serve with cornbread muffins made from scratch.
- Soft or hard-shell tacos (really two different meals) made with Fantastic Foods vegetarian taco filling (yummy!), sharp cheddar cheese, lettuce, salsa, and sour cream.
- Macaroni and cheese made with homemade sauce made with sharp cheddar cheese, milk, flour, and butter. I sometimes add some cheap fish sticks.
- For a cheese pizza, start with Jiffy pizza crust (takes 5 minutes to rise and costs about 70 cents), mozzarella, sharp cheddar cheese, and marinara.
- Spaghetti-Pasta, marinara, topped with some parmesan
- Fettuccini Alfredo made with with white sauce made from butter, parmesan and milk (or cream if I'm splurging)
- Campbell's or Health Valley Minestrone Soup in big bowls, topped with parmesan cheese
- Salad made with iceberg lettuce, sharp cheddar cheese, misc. veggies
- Bean burritos made with vegetarian refried beans, salsa, sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream
- Tuna Melt/Grilled cheese made with tuna salad (optional), sharp cheddar cheese, wheat bread, grilled Tomato Soup (THE cheapest and most delicious soup)
- Omelet made with 4 eggs, sharp cheddar, herbs, misc. veggies served with Iceberg salad
Obviously, the shopping list is short and it is pretty healthy. I do use a lot of cheese, but I limit the portion to just what I can really taste in the food. Using the same menu has let me eliminate the tedious task of planning a weekly menu and figuring out all the food and ingredients I'll have to buy. Now, I just put a magnetic shopping list on the refrigerator and when I use the last of something, I write it on the list. When five or more things are on the list, I shop.
"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it to MyStory@stretcher.com
Take the Next Step:
Trending on TDS
- Financial issues for Alzheimer's families
- How to become a work at home mom Video
- Is Amazon Subscribe & Save worth it?
- Prom party decorations for less
- Should you pay for your kids' college?
- How to reduce the cost of divorce
- Surviving as a single mom
- Frugal Easter basket ideas
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- March bargains in supermarket and beyond
- 5 dumb ways to spend money on your kids Video
- 8 tips to successfully work from home
- What you shouldn't (and should) buy in March
- 5 types of freebies you can snag today
- What is the cost of raising a child?
- Spouse income calculator
- Should my spouse work, too?
- College savings calculator
- Home budget calculator