Monday, February 2, 2009

How do you save? With a giveaway :o)

Now that the holiday order rush is over, I'm getting back to normal level of insanity. ;o)

Working on finishing Valentine orders. Working on new designs. Making over my workshop! (I'll post about that some other day)

Working on cutting the grocery budget back down!

With 6 kids, (four of them boys) I feel like I run a 24 hour all you can eat buffet! With a rather small grocery budget I have to get creative! (Seriously your jaw would drop if you knew what my budget was 2 years ago with 5 kids! It's bigger now that we have 6 but still far less then the reported average.)

So my quest to become more creative about saving while still providing healthy yummy food is never ending.

I plan my menu weekly. That way I can budget my time as well as money.
I buy in bulk, out of necessity, Left overs get used for lunches the next day or for a meal the next evening.
A couple of roasted chickens might become a chicken pot pie the next day Things like that.
I freeze some leftover for quick meals on hand.

I make a huge batch of Tomato sauce on a weekend and then freeze it in batches for when I need it.

We grow what we can. We don't have a large yard but we grow edible veggies and herbs where we can. The kids LOVE eating what they planted and cared for.
When we have more free time (HA!) I plan to take out the mulberry trees and replace them with fruit trees.

we try not to buy prepared foods where we can help it.
You would really be surprised how easy it is to prepare many snack and other foods you find in boxes and cans. It just takes planning.
We make tortillas and beans from scratch on taco night for one example.
I try to make the kids snacks and goodies from scratch too.
I've found recipes for homemade marshmallows and chocolate syrup. We bake our cookies. We bake our bread frequently.

So do you have a favorite recipe or idea that saves you money? Leave a comment sharing yours for a chance to win this sweet little necklace! I'll announce the winner on Friday.


DoodlesBowtique said...

Always make a list when you go shopping! I have found that is the best way to save money. I like yourself like to make a meal plan for the week. :O) Good ideas!

Kristen said...


I make my own granola bars! I will send you the recipe. We used to make our own flour tortillas too when we lived in Poland as we could not buy them there....I much prefer homemade to out of the box - my 6yo was thinking about how we could make cheezit type crackers ourself so that is this weeks project!

Jan said...

I love to stir fry. You can throw even a small amount of chicken into a frying pan, add your leftover veggies, slice up a zucchini and/or squash/pepper/whatever, and then pour it over rice and you have a great dinner.

Mary said...

I make a huge stockpot of vegetable beef soup and divide it into 4-6 bowl servings and freeze. Do the same with chili & gumbo. That way, you only have to make it once, and can enjoy it all winter long!

Heidi said...

My husbands favorite meal (Eric and his coworkers created this while working out of town all the time) is called macaroni suprise... you ask what is that :) Its all the meat left from the week (Chicken, sausage, hamburger, or whatever you have) and mix it with a box of velveta shells and cheese. I have to say its pretty tasty. Not good for you in the least but good on the pocket book :)

Amy said...

coupons... and cooking all meals really helps. We also look for the big sales and buy things in bulk. We make some of our household cleaners too. A favorite meal around here is breakfast- which is usually one of the more inexpensive meals. When we have pancakes, muffins, and waffles we make double batches and freeze the leftovers for quick breakfast options.

EB said...

I grow lots of fresh herbs in the summer to cut down on grocery costs.


Jess M said...

We try lots of ways to save on lots of things besides food. Especially since my daughter grows so fast, I buy clothes at the end of each season when they are way cheap and guess about what size she might be when she can wear it or buy the pants with adjustable waists in a few sizes too big, lots of use that way. Food wise- We grow some of our own fruit and veggies and hunt for some of our meat (deer, elk, geese, turkey, wild chicken) and family raise a few steers for beef. We love to make Swiss Braided Bread, it tastes like the brand 'Grandma's homemade bread'.

Homemade tortillas? Yum. Have a recipe to send my way?

(sorry if this offends any animal activist or peta lovers, my older bro is a taxidermist, but none of my family hunts just for the sport of it, we use as much of the animals as we can)

Jennifer said...

I buy my hamburger and chicken in bulk when it goes on sale. (At my grocery store boneless, skinless chicken breast goes on sale for under $2 a pound about once a month.) For chicken I buy as many packages as will fit in my crockpot and cook them at once. I then shred them and freeze them in portions for casseroles and soups. Not only does it save money but it saves me a lot of time not having to cook the meat for each meal. I just pull out a package of chicken or hamburger, defrost it for a minute and it is ready to go.

Anonymous said...

I have a list, don't take kids with me and I don't go hungry. Coupons are a must as well as a club card. Almost all my beef, chicken and pork I get at Costco and come home and break it down for my vacuum sealer. I swear that was one of my greatest, thriftiest purchases. I also (and I realize not everyone can)make just about everything from scratch. Especially goodies like cookies, brownies, cupcakes, etc. I always have butter, sugar, flour and eggs on hand. We started a garden last year and were able to make fresh salsa all summer long. I can't wait to start it up again.

Betty said...

I try to only buy things on sale and use coupons. I also use a list. Definitely, don't go shopping when you're hungry! I've done this before. Bad idea!

Shabby Shaz said...

Like you we grown our vegies and herbs. We use white vinegar instead of fabric softner - much cheaper and works just as well. DS skin is better too without all the softener chemicals.

A fav meal is Pasta and homemade pesto - with basil fresh from our garden.

Laura said...

One of my family's favorite recipes is Banana French Toast. Blend one peeled banana with 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, and 3/4 tsp. of cinnamon. Soak sliced bread in mixture. Cook in butter. My very picky eater loves this recipe.