December 2011

Tempted to Eat Out? Try the Grocery Deli First

Eating out is a major temptation at our house.  We’re just too busy and don’t like dedicating the time to cooking with so much else to do.  Eating out is terrible for your health and budget, though, so we do what we can to avoid it.  I’m pretty happy to say we eat out only about once a month now, but it has taken some effort.  One way to avoid eating out on those super tired nights is to pick up a few healthier choices from the grocery store deli.

Grocery Shopping Resolutions for a New Year

A new year brings with it the hope of a fresh start, the promise of opportunities to improve our lives. That's why so many of us find the idea of New Year's resolutions an appealing and motivating tradition that can help us stay on track toward achieving our goals. This year, why not make a few resolutions that will save time and money and improve your health? Sound a little daunting? If you start small, by making small changes in your grocery shopping habits, you can make it happen. Here are a few grocery shopping resolutions to keep you feeling happy, healthy, and wealthy throughout 2012.

Make it From Scratch for a Week

When you buy packaged foods, you really end up paying a lot for the convenience.  Most of the time, packaged foods are not as tasty as homemade, and are usually nutritionally inferior as well.  If you are trying to shop on a budget, try an experiment for one week where you make all of your food from scratch.  It really does not take that much time if you plan ahead, and you will probably find that the food tastes much better than what you are used to.

Have a Pressure Canner? Make Your Own Canned Soups

"Next time you go shopping, take a look at the canned soups and make note of your favorites."

Canned soups from the store are often full of questionable ingredients, or at least some the average person can’t pronounce.  Not only that, but canned soups are getting more expensive all the time.  The last time I looked at soups in the store, it cost nearly $2.50 for one can of the not condensed kind.  I could eat a lot of homemade meals for $2.50!

Grocery Savings: Timing Matters

"A time when I am sure I won’t be hungry, and a time that the grocery store won’t be swamped with customers."

Saving money on groceries is a necessity for me, so I am always looking for ways to cut back. I began to study my grocery store habits in an attempt to find any area that would help me slash my spending. It didn’t take long to discover that timing mattered just as much as utilizing coupons and planning my meals for the week ahead of time.

I noticed I would put my youngest daughter on the bus at 8:30 am. Then I would get my oldest daughter started on her school work. In between assignments, I got the laundry going, dishes washed, beds made, etc. Around 11:00 am, my daughter would almost be finished with her school work, and we would head to the grocery store. She could finish up the last subject in the car.

Spend Less on School Lunch Groceries

"remember that it's all in the flavor and the packaging"

School cafeteria food tends to be lacking in both flavor and nutrition, but making your kid's school lunches yourself can get expensive if you don't know how to save when you shop. Here are two quick tips that can lower your food costs considerably while still satisfying your hungry student:
  • Avoid individually packaged, single-serving foods. From tiny bags of chips to miniscule boxes containing a teaspoon of raisins, snacks that are packaged in individual single-serving containers tend to cost much more per serving than the same foods bought in bulk. Invest in special reusable containers and a nice thermos your child will enjoy using, and package your own school lunch snacks. Show your child the advantages by counting the number of servings in one of the popular prepackaged cracker snacks (generally four crackers, four tiny slices of cheese, and four half-dollar sized slices of turkey), and point out the price. Now buy a big box of generic crackers, a package of sliced cheese, and a package of lunch meat or vegetarian deli slices so your child can witness with their own eyes how much more food you get for the money and how fun it can be to make your own lunches. You can even use small metal cookie cutters to cut the cheese and other toppings into circles or other shapes.

Too Many Leftovers? Freeze Some For Fast Food Later

"Freezing leftovers in small batches is a great way to avoid the temptation to go out for fast food"

If you have a small family, it can be difficult to cook casseroles and other similar dishes without having to struggle with too many leftovers.  When so many of those leftovers go to waste in the fridge, it’s time to consider other options.  Instead of putting your leftovers in the fridge to rot, you can begin to create your own small food storage supply by freezing them in single serving containers.

Getting Help with Groceries

"Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. "

People I know, both online and off, are losing their jobs left and right. As the economy continues to decline, more and more people need. Taking advantage of several programs can relieve the financial burden of purchasing groceries, so that your available money can be used to pay your rent or mortgage.

Grocery Store Checklist

Plan Ahead to Save Time, Money, and Worry

Whenever we go to the grocery store on the spur of the moment, we're very likely to spend much more than we intend, and we're also likely to forget a few things—not a very pleasant experience! Taking a moment to prepare can save you time and money and also reduce the stress of the grocery shopping experience. Here's a quick checklist to make sure your next trip to the store is a shining success:

Get Custom Meat Slices at the Grocery Deli

"So next time you go shopping, ask the person at the meat counter about getting custom cuts on the meats they sell."

When buying meat from the grocery store, it just makes sense to buy the largest package you can afford and break it up into serving sizes.  You will save a considerable amount this way, but sometimes those big bulky cuts of meat are really difficult to portion out properly.  You may not know this, but most meat counters at grocery stores will gladly cut those big cuts into custom slices for you, eliminating all of the work while still giving you a great deal.