Sales and coupons. I build my menu around the sale items
And coupons I can find.
I aLso make mixes (pancake, biscuit, cornbread...etc) and bread from scratch.
Instead of just crossing out things on my list, as I shop I put the price of the item next to it, rounded up to the nearest dollar. I get absolute needs first, add up the money and determine if I can get wants. Then when I get to the register between my rounding and my coupons I usually don't spend nearly as much as I thought.
I keep a price spreadsheet for items that I usually buy and their prices at the various stores. When I make out a shopping list, I've got a very close idea of what my final bill will be.
plan meals to stay within my budget. If a certain meal will require
that I need to buy several ingredients, I will sub another meal until I
can gradually get those ingredients. I've got certain meals priced
out....taco salad costs a little more than tacos but less than lasagna,
stay away from premade meals. I cook from scratch, mostly whole
foods. I don't pay for the convenience of having a manufacturer make
food items for me very often.
grow a garden in the summer and preserve what we don't eat fresh. I
can green beans, applesauce, grape juice, vegetable juice, pickles,
relishes, zucchini pineapple, pickled beets, apple butter, and
tomatoes. I freeze corn, peas, carrots, broccoli, squash, apple cider,
jams, strawberries and blueberries.
stock up when I see good prices. Sometimes my favorite store will have
coconut milk for 35 cents a can, and I'll grab 10 to 12 cans of it at
that price. I buy bulk spices...much cheaper than buying the little
jars or tins. I buy/raise meat and poultry in bulk (buy a whole beef
and pork, raise 100 chickens) to stock the freezers every year. Those
costs are far less than what I'd pay in a store.
We drink water, tea, coffee, and veggie juice, along with any home-canned juice. No sodas, milk is for cooking/baking/granddaughter only.
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