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Budget Savings Ideas

Some random ways I try to save a bit of money on the monthly grocery bill.

I use my pressure cooker or crockpot to cook all the beans I use in recipes. Buying beans in bulk is significantly cheaper and healthier than buying cans.

As my wonderful mother would attest to, I never liked eating leftovers growing up.  I realize now just how annoying that must have been.  Learn to plan leftovers, learn to love leftovers and you will learn to love lower grocery bills and lower food waste.

Meal Planning
I really like the tip my brother gives on his website to Have A Routine (scroll down a little on the page).  Having a routine will make meal planning and grocery shopping so much easier.  It may sound repetitive, but it's easy to make little adjustments to change things up. 

I may not always have them on the same day every week, but I try to plan a pasta night, taco night, pizza night, stir fry night, soup/stew night, and rice night.  This general outline makes it easy to plan a variety of meals very quickly.   

If you think you or your family would get tired of the same thing every week, you can easily change things up.  Try having different toppings for pizza night or use hummus or mashed up beans instead of pizza sauce.  Pasta night can be mac-n-cheeze, marinara spaghetti, or even creamy alfredo.  You can experiment with different beans and textures for taco night.  Sometimes our rice night turns into stir fry night, but we love stir fries so a couple times a week works for us. 

There are a lot of different options that can be built into a seemingly simple meal routine outline.

After I get my meal plan completed for the week, I organize my grocery list.  I always keep a pad of paper next to the fridge where I jot down things we run out of during the week.  It's nice to keep the list in a central location so other family members can write down what they need (instead of just telling you in passing, which I always forget).  I take my list that has been started and add all the things I will need for my meal plan, checking my kitchen for things I have on hand.  After I have everything jotted down, I rewrite my list in the order of the aisles at the grocery store.  Taking 5 extra minutes to rewrite and organize the list saves a ton of time at the store and I rarely walk out of the store forgetting to get something on the list.

I use my rice cooker to cook all the rice we eat (or my pressure cooker when I'm in a hurry).  As with beans, buying rice in bulk is not only cheaper but also healthier than boxed "cook in minutes" rice.