Stretching The Food Budget

Grocery Shopping

Grocery Shopping

Stretching the food budget is an essential skill today. People now have to pay for obamacare, when they couldn’t afford health insurance to begin with. Readers contact me all the time, asking what can they do? Where do they find that money, plus all the other bills that have gone up? Making cuts to the household budget when there is nothing left to cut, is a common dilemma today. What do most people cut? Their food budget, of course!  Groceries is always the first thing that is cut. Yet eating nutritional foods would improve their families’ health, so they wouldn’t get sick and/or run down to begin with. Build up your health in bad times, so you don’t have to spend money at the doctor’s office. 

Wendy's in Binghamton, NY

Fast food is quick & easy!

If you tend to grab food on the run, or go out to eat because it is less trouble, that is a very costly mistake. Not only money wise, but time wise too. I know the tendency to say, “what the heck, I can buy it already made for less.” That is not true though. It means that you get only one meal for that money. No leftovers unless you bring home a doggie bag unless you are buying Chinese food (I always get three meals out of my order. My husband only gets one, and he doesn’t like what I order). One package of meat can give you two or more different meals. One large package of hamburger can be chili, meatballs in gravy and hamburger patties.One chicken can be roast chicken, chicken salad and chicken soup. Making my food dollars go farther is always on my mind, even though there are only two of us here. Those fast food meals will always affect your food budget.

Squash Casserole

Squash Casserole

To make meals healthy, good and keeping to your food budget, these are some if the things I do:

1. Keep your meals simple.

2. Plan your menus before you shop. ALWAYS shop with a list!

3. Organize your kitchen so it is easy to cook in.

4. Plan what you are going to cook the day before.

5. If you need to thaw something out, do it the evening before.

6. While you are cleaning up the kitchen from supper, prepare some of the ingredients for the next day’s meal. Or at least, do it the next morning if you have more time. If you work, you might have to do it the evening before.

Crock Pot

Crock Pot

7. If you have a crock pot…….USE IT! Especially if you work or are busy during the day. With a crock pot, you can prepare the food and have it already in the crock and just take it out of the refrigerator and plug it in the next morning. They are great!

8. Clean the kitchen as you prepare and cook. Keep it as uncluttered as possible. Clear counters make cooking easier.

9. Collect recipes for making your salad dressings, condiments and soups (especially cream soups which are used as an ingredient in so many recipes.). Just those few items can save you a bundle!

10. Stock your pantry with items you use on regular basis. Make a stock up list and buy something on that list every single time you go to the store. Even if it is only 1 of something. Keep adding to it little by little.

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Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that.