Freezers are an Investment
Invest in a freezer and enjoy the accumulated savings as time goes by. You can buy meats on sale and freeze to prepare many meals. Favorite vegetables can be purchased on sale and frozen for future use. I buy the biggest turkey I can find during the holidays, cook it and freeze the extra meat for future meals. I can make turkey and noodles, turkey pot pie, turkey casseroles of all kinds. I also save the bones, cook them, take off the bits of meat and have it for turkey soup. One big turkey can easily make around eight meals for my family for the one-time cost. (Of course, I couldn’t do any of that without the freezer.) My next purchase will be a quarter of beef from a local locker place. I can pay one price and get roasts, steaks, burger, stew meat, etc., and for quite a savings over supermarket prices.
I am also going to buy up bread when it’s on sale. My grocer puts in on special for less than half price when it gets close to the sell-by date.
(Pennywise says: I personally have used my freezer for years to stretch my grocery dollars. When I make spaghetti, lasagna or any other casserole dish, part of it goes in the freezer for a future ‘quick meal’. Sometimes everyone can have a different dish, especially if the food is frozen in individual servings. Uncle Glen used to have ‘MUSGO’ day. He would open the fridge, lay out all the little dishes of past-cooked meals and say, “This ‘musgo, that musgo’, etc. etc…" That was the way he used up all of the leftovers, although I prefer to call them ‘planned overs’!)
Eat at Home!
SJ writes: I work full time and so does my husband. We have three children involved in all kinds of sports and other activities at school and at church and the expense of ‘eating out’ all the time was really wrecking the budget. So, we got out the slow cooker and figured out recipes we could put together the night before, refrigerate and set in the cooker container in the morning, turn it on and supper will be hot and ready when we gather after work and school. We eat together as a family (sometimes early, depending on the timing) and then go off to the baseball, basketball, soccer game or whatever other activity the children are involved in at the time.
Feeding five people at home is definitely cheaper than buying for five at the concession stands or fast food places. I also think it is healthier for all of us. And best of all, the kids are learning how to shop for the best deals on groceries – and how to cook! How great is that?
Keep a List!
I have a set amount of money to use for food every month, so I use the grocery store sale flyers to plan my meals for the week around what is on sale. I don’t take a daily newspaper, but will purchase one on Wednesdays because that is when all the sales for the weekend are advertised. I have learned that certain basic foods come on sale about once every 6 to 8 weeks, so will stock up on the cream soups for basic casseroles when they are basically half-price, and that amount will last me for a couple of months. I also buy canned tuna and other staple canned goods only when they are on sale and in this way, I can stay on budget and feed my family healthy foods they like. The money I save on the sale items means I can buy more of the fresh fruits and vegetables to insure that my children are well fed.
We also pack the lunches for our school aged children from foods at home. I discovered that they were throwing away over half of their meal at school because they ‘didn’t like’ the food or the way it was prepared, so this also saves us money and the school money because they aren’t tossing food someone else would eat. (My kids can’t have gluten so many of the breaded items are OUT!)
Use That Slow Cooker
I bought a slow cooker at a thrift store for $5 and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. I can buy a pound of cheap beef, turkey or chicken and cook it into soup or stew in a few hours with very little effort. I make beef stew with potatoes, carrots and onions, pour on some dissolved bouillon cubes and go to work for the day. When I get home, I have a meal for me and my kids for under $3 for the five of us, and that’s including two teenagers! Everyone should invest in a slow cooker – even the new ones aren’t that expensive and can really save you a lot of money.
Cut Out the Soda
My two kids were drinking a case of soda a week and it was costing me a small fortune. When I showed them the amount of money we were spending for soda for a year, they decided to give it up [soda] and save the money for some sports equipment they wanted. I am so proud of them because they never once asked for soda this past year; they got their new equipment they by giving up the soda, and my oldest boy decided he feels a lot better since he’s not drinking all that sugar!
Use What You Have
Re-use those plastic bags you get at the supermarket and other places. I carry the bags in my purse and just bag things up as they come off of the belt at my local grocery store. The clerks don’t care and it saves the stores a bit of money too.
I ‘don’t buy’ fancy dishcloths. I reuse the washcloths from the bathroom when they get a little ragged around the edges. I also use them as scrub rags for my floors. If I have a spill or sticky spot, when I’m done washing dishes, I get the rag wet, wring it out, drop it on the floor and use my foot to push the wet rag over the icky spot. Takes about two seconds and sure keeps the floors cleaner. Of course, the minute that job is done, the dirty scrub rag goes straight to the wash.
Take the Bus
I live where there is public transportation nearby. I do have a car and use it when I have many errands to run, but for a trip to the library, I take the bus. I’m only carrying a couple of books and the relief of not having to drive through city traffic makes this outing a pleasure instead of a headache.
Attention: If you have tips or ideas to share, send them to Pennywise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543 or email them to [email protected].
P.S.: Please be sure to mention the "Farm And Livestock Directory" when you respond!