Have you ever heard the saying, “not enough money for the month?” I have. I’ve used it myself in the past more than a few times. I’m sure that we all have. One of the best ways to help relieve that “more month than money” issue is to lower your grocery bill. I know, it’s easier than it sounds, but hard as it may seem, it’s not impossible. There is no reason for a family to be spending $400.00 or more per month on groceries. That money is better spent (or saved). One of the ways that I like to really build my savings account is by stretching my grocery budget with things like pantry challenge, but I also use a few other things to help things get really low so I wanted to do a post to share those tips with you guys.
Make the meal seem larger (or make it seem more filling) – Pasta, beans and rice are two of the cheapest foods that you can buy. With coupons, you can usually get them pretty close to free and even without coupons they’re not that expensive. They also make great meal fillers. Instead of fixing a double portion of something or using the full amount of called for in a recipe, add a cup or so of pasta, beans or rice. Your meal will seem larger, the portions will be more filing and you won’t be spending quite as much as you would if you cooked double or used the recipe like normal. This works really well with soups and casseroles where they may not realize that you’ve stretched it.
Get Creative –Being creative with your meals can be the key to whether you spend $500 on groceries next month or whether you spend $150. Look at the items in your pantry with an eye on saving money and you may just start to see other options. Take ramen for example. Ramen gets a really bad wrap because of the high sodium content in the broth, however, it can actually be used to make a really decent meal.
Try this: Cook (2) packages of ramen in water with a chicken bouillon cube. Don’t use the seasoning packets that come with the ramen. They really are too high in sodium. When the noodles are done, top with grilled or baked chicken breast slices and a few slices of the veggies of your choice (we really like grilled bell peppers). You’ve got a really great tasting meal for less than $5.00 for the entire meal.
Homemade is always the best made – I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but making things homemade instead of eating boxed mixes and kits, really is best. Not only is homemade better for your health, but it is cheaper as well. Learning things like how to make your own bread and how to make your own mayo will not only have your family raving about the taste, but you’ll be jumping for joy that you’re not spending as much to feed them. If your cooking skills need to be brushed up on, there are plenty of online cooking classes and online baking classes online that you could take.
Grow your own to grow your own – I’m sure you’ve heard this one before too, but having a garden is one of the single most cost effective ways to stretch your grocery budget. When you’re growing your own food, you don’t have to spend your hard earned money on those same items. Even growing something as simple as tomatoes can really add up if your family eats a lot of them. Herb gardens are fantastic for growing too if you use a lot of seasonings in your meals. If you live in a small space, an indoor herb kit is a great option for growing in a window sill or patio. Container gardens are perfect for any space so be sure you really take a look at your growing options to help yourself save.
Stretching your grocery budget isn’t as hard as most people think. It does take some time and it will be work, but it is well worth the payout. You can do it and you’ll be glad that you did!
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