A while ago I was contemplating the meaning of life while washing my hair. As we all do. Unless, of course, you’re one of those people that like to sing in the shower… I would do that but then I would be embarrassed if anyone heard me singing…so I just…don’t. I contemplate life. Anyways! Then it hit me! Why don’t I write a post about a list of ways to stretch that grocery bill, as I try to do each week? Genius! I know. So, of course that is why I am here now. See how much I love you? I will risk getting soap in my eyes for a good idea!
1. Plan ahead!
Now, I know this doesn’t come to a shock to any of you but until about a year ago I was horrible at this. Have something on your fridge where you can write down when you’re running low on something. I made myself just a simple printable on my notepad to print out, instead of buying those cutie pads to hang, much cheaper since I go through those like crazy. Also, write down a sample menu for the week as well whenever you get an idea of what you might want to eat during the next week. Doing this ahead of time will make writing a final grocery list much easier, you won’t be scratching your head wondering what to make!
2. Coupon & make a final grocery list.
Every week Hubby will get up early on Sunday mornings and go out to purchase the Sunday paper for me. This has drastically cut our grocery bill. These little gems, the coupon books as well as the ads, are a God sent. Okay, yes I am exaggerating just a wee bit but, seriously! Clip out all the coupons that you think you will ever possibly use. Even if you know you don’t need them that week because, (duh) they have expiration dates so you can use them in weeks to come (duh, again.). I also go to Coupons.com, CouponNetwork.com, Target.com, SmartSource.com and RedPlum.com and print off any additional coupons I see on there as well. My real money saver is from Target, they have store coupons as well so it’s very easy to double coupon there, as well as Publix but, they are horribly over priced so I hardly ever purchase anything there. Next, check the ads and decide where to go on your trip. Normally, I double my target coupons up and make a separate list of what to buy only at target, also after a while you will know what is cheaper there as well and put that on that list too if anything additional is needed. Then everything else I need I buy at Wal-Mart. So, I almost always have a smaller trip to Target then I go to Wal-mart for everything else. Also, I take all my coupons organized with me wherever I go, just in case I see something on sale that I want to pick up. I keep the coupons I’m definitely using in a separate area for convenience while checking out.
3. Don’t waste anything.
Seriously… are you listening? Don’t. Waste. Anything. I buy whole chickens every week. 1. Because we love chicken. 2. Whole chickens are insanely cheaper than cut up parts. 3. Chicken is super versatile and fast! Cut your own chicken up, it’s not hard after the first couple times you do it, I betcha you can even find a YouTube video tutorial or two on it! When you do this will you will definitely have scraps left over. Save this. If you just have a little scrap put it in a freezer bag and the next week add those chickens scraps to the bag until you have a decent amount. I will take my scraps from two chickens, throw them in a pot, add my veggie scraps (YES! You save those too, the same way as the chicken) add about 1 tablespoon of whole pepper corns, 1 tablespoonkosher salt and a few bay leaves, cover with enough water to submerge the scraps and simmer that goodness for at least an hour with no top. Strain this. My friends you have yummy yummy (FREE) chicken stock! I make soup with this every week, take the chicken scraps and pick off any meat, you will be surprised how much meat is still there. Skim off all the fat from the top of stock (if you let this still in the fridge overnight the fat will rise to the top and solidify, making it very easy to remove, and save this too great for sauteing veggies in!) add the chicken, add some veggies, let this cook for a few hours and then serve over rice or noodles….super easy lunch from things you would normally throw out!
Well, this has gotten pretty long very fast so I think I will stop with these three steps. I have more ideas but will save that for another post! I hope I have given you a few good ideas! Thanks for reading.