Have you overlooked this simple way to save money on groceries?
I scrapped the remains of yet another failed recipe into the trash. I’d been pretty excited about trying the new recipe I’d found on Pinterest. It looked delicious! Although it did have a few odd ingredients. And the recipe didn’t end up being quite as simple as I’d expected.
Turns out the family wasn’t into it. My experiment meant more time and money down the drain.
I knew there had to be a better way to put together a meal plan. I was tired of planning elaborate meals to keep things interesting. I was even more tired of wasting money every week.
Something had to change. Luckily, that “something” turned out to be a rather simple solution.
When we’re trying to save money, we often start by giving our grocery budget the side eye. It’s one of those budget lines that takes up a lot of money. But we have more immediate control over it than a mortgage payment or other bills.
[Tweet “Simple foods nourish us just as well as fancy foods.”]
Here are some tricks that helped us save money on groceries right away.
Truthfully, most of us have a few favorite “go to” meals. Our family will always eat them, and they don’t bust the budget.
Here we eat some form of tacos every week. We love them, they are easy to throw together, they are economical (you can use any form of meat that was on sale that week), and it’s easy to keep the ingredients on hand.
Learn your own popular (but frugal) meals to save both time and money.
Some ideas of easy and yummy meals for your family might be:
- macaroni and cheese
- baked potato bar (use whatever toppings you have on hand…great way to use up leftovers!)
Yes, the recipe calls for butter, but you are all out. Instead of running to the grocery store, do a quick google search to see if you have something on hand you could substitute (like oil or applesauce).
That recipe requires nuts, but do you really need them this time?
You really wanted sour cream for your baked potatoes, but for one meal you can probably do without.
Cut Back on Snacks
Most of us snack more than we really need to. Those little snacks here and there can really eat up a food budget in a short time.
Find an acceptable snack schedule for your family, and keep it simple. Your child might not like being told that they can’t snack every 30 minutes. But if you’re consistent, they will get used to getting one snack per afternoon.
You can also save on snacks by controlling portions. Pass out small bowls of chips rather than leaving out a full bag that will probably just disappear in 2 minutes. (Ok, I have 5 kids. Your bag may last a bit longer.)
Our family prefers to eat sliced fresh veggies at our meals. But sometimes we run out. If we are down to just the bag of frozen veggies I found in the back of the freezer, well then that’s what we have to eat. I know that my family won’t like a pile of cooked veggies, but they don’t mind them mixed into a casserole or noodles. So I try to find a way to incorporate them into the meal so we are still getting that food group.
If we are down to just the bag of frozen veggies I found in the back of the freezer, well then that’s what we have to eat. I know that my family won’t like a pile of cooked veggies, but they don’t mind them mixed into a casserole or noodles. So I try to find a way to incorporate them into the meal.
On the other hand, some nights there is just no easy way to hide the less favored foods.
That’s when I try to be honest. I tell them that while this food isn’t my favorite, I am going to make the decision to eat it.
Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we eat foods to make our bodies strong, not just because they are a party to your taste buds.
Keeping it simple is a great way to save money on groceries!
These days I’m writing up a meal plan that looks a little more boring. But I’m saving tons of money, and scraping a lot less food into the trash!
Be sure to check out this post for saving money on meat purchases.
Got a great tip for keeping foods simple? Let us know about it!