Here's how I keep some pennies in my wallet and squeeze the rest to get all the food we need, plus a little we don't need and a little we shouldn't eat :)
- As you know I always do a Meal Plan Monday :) Our weekly food bill went down by almost half once I started planning our meals.
- I always check the pantry, fridge and freezer before I go out, this saves money on many levels, first I can make sure I don't buy items we already have. Second I can use up anything that might soon expire (wasting food is the enemy :) and three you can have a pantry week!
- I ALWAYS plan to use the leftovers. There are never enough for dinner the next night but there is enough for Lee's lunch the next day. I do plan on using the leftovers to make parts of the next nights dinner, like roast chicken for chicken pot pies the next day or leftover roast beef for beef dip.
- Planned Snacks, If we don't plan our snacks we run out for anything and everything we can find . . . mmmm. . . . Timbits (aka. donut holes to our American Friends :)
- Plan Breakfast, on weekends I make a big double batch of pancakes and freeze the extras. It works Great, just pull them out of the freezer and pop into the toaster.
- I use our Slow Cooker a lot. I can buy very cheap cuts of meat, and they turn out amazing!
- Make meatless once or twice a week. This option has many benefits aside from the cost savings.
- We make at least 90% of our meals from scratch. Pre-packaged while not being very good for you (in general) are also very Expensive. So we try to cook all of our meals ourselves. If you are going to buy pre-packaged food avoid buy single serving portions, more packaging means more money.
- We buy no name brands whenever possible, if the quality is the same we go ahead an buy no-name. They are even coming out with no-name brand or store brand organic foods.
- I only grocery shop once a week, it cuts down on the impulse purchases.
- We don't buy pre mix's of things (except for Montreal Steak Spice, or Poultry Seasoning, I haven't been able to crack those codes yet :) but pancake mix, biscuit mix, taco seasoning, chili seasoning we make ourselves. *Bulk section spices are usually cheaper then pre-packaged spices.
- Try as hard as possible to not shop with kids or husbands for that matter.
-Store foods correctly
-Plan to use leftovers
-Take your lunch to work
-Shop in Season
And the number one rule is an oldy but a goody: NEVER, EVER SHOP HUNGRY!
This week we are going to try FISH TACOS!!!! Tilapia is a very inexpensive fish, so it's the perfect meal for our Budget Conscious Meal Plan Monday :)
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded carrot
1/4 cup (50 mL) thinly sliced red onion
1 tsp (5 mL) lime juice
1/4 cup (50 mL) light sour cream or plain yogurt
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh coriander
1 green onion, minced
8 small flour tortilla or corn tortillas
1 plum tomato, diced
1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
1 lb (454 g) tilapia fillets or catfish fillets
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
Fish: On plate, combine oil, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper; add fish and turn to coat.
Place on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until fish flakes easily when tested, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine carrot, red onion and lime juice. In separate small bowl, combine sour cream, coriander and green onion.
Break fish into chunks; divide among tortillas. Top with sour cream mixture, carrot mixture, tomato and avocado.