How to Save Money on Groceries

I receive lots and lots of emails.  Lots. Too many to keep track.  Everything from, do you weigh 300 pounds?  Are your eyes really brown?  Can I use light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar?  Can I spend time with you and your family (okay those are really creepy).  What's going on with the fence?  Did Willie wash his truck?  What kind of camera do you use?  How's the packing going?  It's a complete smorgasbord of questions.  I am constantly entertained.

However, I have noticed a trend in emails over the months.  A continuous issue keeps repeating itself and is a sign of the times.  The email usually goes something like this..."You obviously buy a lot of food.  Do you have any tips or tricks on how I can continue to eat like a rock star on a background singer's budget." (Yes that was the actual email.)

My witty response...become a rock star. 

Kidding.  I'm totally kidding.

Believe it or not I do have some advice when it comes to saving money while continuing to feed your family well.  However, I wish I followed my own advice more often.  I do try.  Many times it's the impulse buys that wreck my food budget.  I need to stick to my list and go into the store with a plan.  Easier said than done.

I do believe changing food buying habits slowly have a better chance of sticking rather than making drastic changes overnight.  Those never work.

Anyway, I am not reinventing the wheel here, but I do feel doing just some of the following things will help you pinch your pennies twice before you fork them over to someone else.

So here it is....

How to Save (Some) Money With the Rising Cost of Groceries

My number one piece of advice when it comes to saving money on groceries is to cook seasonally.  When foods are in season they are much cheaper.  Off-season food has the built in cost of being shipped from far-away.  Now, I have been known to convince myself I NEED the 6 ounce container of raspberries for $6.99 because I am craving them.  I'm trying to curb that behavior.  It takes knowledge and awareness to know what's in season and plan meals accordingly.  I'm trying but sometimes I really want asparagus in January and apples in March.  Ugh.

Buy local.  Food produced close to your home requires less fuel to get to your table.  Join a CSA (community supported agriculture) or shop the farmer's market.  I have been wanting to join a CSA for a long time now.  I've put it off since I'm moving but I am also worried about not being able to use the vast amount of produce, especially all the greens.  It would kill me to throw it away.  Do they give recipe ideas with what you get?  I need to look into this more.

Okay, here's one of my most hypocritical pieces of advice, do your own prep work.  Pre-chopped produce and bagged salad mixes eat away your dollars.  Yes they are time-savers but you pay big for it.  One thing I love to buy is pre-sliced jicama.  It's outrageously priced.  I think $5.49 for a medium-small tub of it.  I need to stop buying it.  But peeling jicama is not fun.

Fill up your cart when prices are good.  Stocking your freezer with meat when it's on sale is a great-money saver.  I am somewhat good at this, until my freezer is full.  So then it becomes, eat what's in your freezer before buying more.

Here is one I've never done but can't wait to try.  Plant a garden.  This is a great way to enjoy top-notch produce for pennies on the dollar.  I am so envious seeing everyone's garden they are blogging about this time of year.  I am dying to put some raised beds on our land in Oregon but I need the deer fencing to go in first.  And then there's the pesky elk.  I will do it though. 

Check your local stores weekly ad and use coupons wisely.  Don't buy something with a coupon you don't need.  Most likely you will not use seventeen jars of BBQ sauce this summer.  Don't buy them. 

Reduce your waste by using your chicken bones to make stock.  I have the pot.  There are always whole chickens in my freezer.  I just need to do it. 

Eating out is fun and a nice treat but eating at home will help you manage your food budget more realistically.

That's all I've got.  Did I forget anything?  What do you do?

One Year Ago TodayI'm an Aggie Fan-atic

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  1. First, I made the Pork Carnitas from your May 1 post! Yum! My husband liked them very much too. Thank-you.

    For many years we lived on a very, very limited income…some would have called us poor. We did not feel poor though, we felt blessed.
    Anyway, I could make 3 meals out of one chicken for a family of 5, and 2 of the kids were growing boys with big appetites. The secret, stews, soups and casseroles! Potatoes, noodles and rice are good , cheap,tummy and soup fillers, using a variety of herbs, spices, etc., for different tastes.

    You hit on a biggy, eat and cook at home!And don’t save pancakes and eggs just for breakfast! Pancakes were dinner food for my kids, and we had them often when my husband ( who only wants pancakes for breakfast)worked swing shift and graveyard. Eggs with salsa, cheeses, etc. are good dinner food.

    Popcorn, homemade cookies, sliced fruit and veggies are good, healthy snacks too.

    And if you are really poor, well, turkey legs are cheap at the supermarket. Put them in a crock pot with celery, onions, carrots, potatoes and eat for dinner , very, very cheaply. When one is motivated, creative and poor, there are ways to eat without feeling poor..and if you’re seated around the table with people you love, talking and laughing about your day …well, you will feel rich no matter what the circumstance!

  2. Hilary 2

    Hi Cathy .. I didn’t know what Jicama is .. so now I’ve learnt (had to google it!) .. sounds an interesting vegetable – however goes against your grain of buying local.

    One other tip I learnt growing up in the 50s and 60s .. use all the outside bits of veg and put into the stock pot – especially with your chicken bones .. I still do that –

    often cooking the chicken whole with lots of veg, fry onions first, and add whatever you’ve got in the fridge .. godd pot food, good soup food etc etc & very succulent chicken.

    I too would love to have a garden, but this house has no land .. but I do buy local

    Excellent post – thanks
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

  3. nina 3

    One other tip…shop alone! Husbands and children are not good company when grocery shopping….they just throw in and I do not have the heart to say no!!! KathyB – I your letter made me cry, it was so beautiful, because I grew p in a “poor” but very “blessed” house!!!!

  4. Bee 4

    Great post! Thanks!

    A friend of mine has a great blog about saving money and wrote some good posts on saving on grocery shopping. It’s at Might be interesting!

  5. donna 5

    AWESOME tips.. I am horrible about using whats in my freezer first.. I always say I am then I dont. Only other tip, coupons? Shop comparitivley. I have been known to go to 3 or 4 supermarkets for best prices on items, then I ask myself was it worth the gas..

  6. Nice tips! I must admit I’m kinda lazy about it – I tend to buy what I want and not look too much at the price, because being in nyc, I would live off of Ramen noodles if I looked at everything. My biggest thing is eating anything but cereal for breakfast, because those dang boxes are so much more expensive than eggs or yogurt.

  7. Debi 7

    If you have a Costco near your house, their $4.99 rotisserie is an incredible bargain. I just contributed to an article on how to throw a dinner party for eight…for $50 (including an alcohol)! I created a south of the border theme featuring shredded mojito chicken soft tacos.(visit my website for the recipes)
    You can still have fun with your friends without breaking your budget!

  8. All great advice. It is just not easy to cook quality, healthy food cheaply.

  9. We now have a family of 6 since my mom moved in. 7 and 8 when our daughter comes and brings her boyfriend. A meal adds up fast if I’m not prepared. For awhile I would go to the store every day and spend at least $40.00 everytime. Now I try to only go once a week and plan my meals in advance. I do miss going to the grocery and the markets daily.

  10. melissa 10

    Ps. I have always wanted to email you but didn’t want to seem creepy. So I’ll just ask my questions in the comments.

  11. Shopping the loss leaders from the sale ads is huge. There are certain prices I refuse to pay for foods because I know they’ll soon be on sale in a few weeks. (There’s actually a pattern to the sales you can figure out, so you know you won’t have to wait to long to stock up again if you missed one.) If you don’t want to eat that food right now, throw it in the freezer. If you have a separate freezer with tons of ingredients, be sure to have a listing on the door or what’s in it. It keeps you from forgetting and helps in planning.

    Always save leftovers. Pop bits of veggies and meats in the freezer for soups, pot pies, and casseroles. Save leftover meats with tomato-based sauces (even small amounts) like spaghetti, tacos, and sloppy joes in a freezer container. When it’s full, make chili adding chili powder, onions, beans, etc. per your usual recipe. This chili will be the best most flavorful you’ll ever make.

    The remains of a whole chicken not only yield stock, but tons of meat. It’s great for soup, casseroles, pot pie, etc. Add a little vinegar to the water while simmering to help pull out the calcium in the bones.

    Don’t be afraid to try new things, adding bits of leftover green pepper, mushrooms, etc. to dishes that don’t normally call for them.

    When you do make pancakes and waffles, make a big batch. Freeze the remaining ones and you have your own microwave pancakes or pop in the toaster waffles. Just freeze individually on a cookie sheet and then put into a ziploc bag for late. You can separate with wax paper if needed.

    Make homemade snacks and treats every week as part of your routine. It doesn’t have to take long. Get the kids involved so they are learning how to do this for themselves.

    Avoid the packaged stuff almost all the time. It’s not good for you and while the individual package can sometimes seem less expensive, it’s not.

    Make sure everyone gets satisfying protein for meals (along side fruit and veggies), and then they don’t want all the junk carbs.


  12. Debbie 12

    Thanks for the great tips. I try to eat at home a lot more lately. It’s not only cheaper but healthier too. I also sometimes will make “breakfast for dinner” and we all enjoy that too.

  13. Sarah 13

    I love breakfast for dinner!
    I try to pack my lunch at least 4 days out of 5. It’s so much cheaper and I find I always over-eat at the cafeteria at work.

  14. Julia 14

    Great tips! Today’s NYTimes has a great article about freezing as a way to reduce the grocery bill.

    An interesting thing for me as I try to trim my living expenses… as I eat out less, my grocery bill goes down too. I ended wasting a LOT less food eating at home more, can better keep track of what I have and end up shopping less.

  15. Kathryn 15

    Most CSA’s provide recipes and some have cookbooks. I’m sure that you would be fine with coming up with my ideas – my basic CSA rules are:

    1) Try it raw, if it’s good eat it that way.
    2) If you don’t like that, steam lightly and add butter or olive oil.
    3) If you dont like that, sautee in oil and garlic.
    4) If you don’t like that, add crumbled bacon to what you produced in step 3.
    5) If you still don’t like it, add it to the compost pile.

    CSA is great!

  16. I only buy what we need. I don’t shop the sales and stock up mostly because I will stick something in the freezer (like cuts of meat) and completely forget they are there, thus wasting it. I’ve found that if I only buy what I need I spend less and have less waste.

    This was a great post! By the way…what is going on with the fence? ;)

  17. ntsc 17

    Learn to do your own baking, I don’t as much as I should, but it isn’t that difficult.

    Learn how to can. Each fall we put up about 30 quarts of tomato/vegetable juice buying in bulk from the farm stand stuff that isn’t good enough to put on the shelves. Fruits and jams don’g need a pressure canner, just a big stock pot. Buy ‘The Ball Blue Book of Canning’ and follow the instructions to the letter for the first two years. Joy of Cooking and Putting Food By are to other good books on the subject.

    Except for cold soups that we don’t want jelled we make all our own stock and I can it. Currently 6 kinds (chicken, veal, beef, pork, lobster and vegetable – we have been known to have shrimp stock). Follow Ruhlman’s instructions.

    Because we have different last names, my wife and I had no trouble getting two supermarket membership cards at two chains, we watch the loss leaders and have about 40 cubic feet of freezer.

    Don’t ever buy a cut up chicken, quarters are usually the cheapest piece – learn to like dark meat. Whole chicken is usually next. If the quarter has part of the back attached, use it for stock.

    Buy large cuts and learn to fabricate. A three rib standing roast will easily turn into six steaks.

    link to cutting up chicken.

    link to boning a turkey and then cutting it up.

    There are also posts on beef and pork fabrication. Have a meat saw, cheap hacksaw will do fine.

    Compost all vegetable scraps if you garden.

    Don’t use your dryer, hang the whites for a couple of days, they will dry.

    If you are a couple with no children at home in a large house, can you reduce the space you need to heat/cool? We both live in our offices so they have space heaters and window AC, even though we have central heat/air. We keep the house at 55 in winter and use space heaters to keep our offices comfortable. In summer the AC is usually off during the day and the offices are cooled. We put a HDTV in place of my wife’s computer monitor and also use it as the evening space.

  18. Thanks for all the tips.
    Now, not only am I looking forward to watching your vineyard grow, but also your garden.

  19. I save the most money when I plan the week’s meals in advance and go to the store with a list. The biggest challenge is sticking to ONLY WHAT IS ON THE LIST! If I do that, I can usually keep the final tally down to a reasonable amount.

  20. Melynda 20

    Don’t confuse appetite with hunger. They are not the same. When your stomach growls is when you are hungry, when something sounds good, well now; that is appetite. Eating for your appetite is expensive.

  21. Dried beans. Very cheap and excellent source of protein.

  22. ntsc 22

    We plan out our menus a week in advance, I need to post this weeks today.

    Make a list from your menu, plan what you are buying from loss leaders and coupons, USE COSTOCO, and don’t buy things not on the list. Shop by yourself, and only once a week.

  23. Jodie 23

    What a great post and a very timely one. We have been trying to keep our food ( and cat food and diaper) budget low for a couple of years now. Some months are more successful than others. I think the biggest changes to our food budget came when I came to the realization that beans are beans and there is no difference between store brand and name brand.
    I also cook from scratch most of the time, you won’t find a frozen pizza in my freezer much to my hubby’s dismay.
    I taught myself how to dismember and skin a whole chicken, make my own bread, and this summer I think I’m going to tackle canning veggies.

  24. Those are all great tips! I’m pretty bad about the impulse buys–those always get me! I find that if I’m well-organized w/ a list for what I need all week, I can save the most money. When I’m running around for last-minute things I’ve forgotten it always ends up costing more.

    PS–You get some weird emails!!

  25. Lori E 25

    Leftovers, baby, eat those leftovers.

  26. Great tips!

    I always stock up on meats when on sale…recently whole chickens for .39 cents a pound; I think I bought 20 of them.

    Because our rabbits ate all the lettuces we planted, I now buy 1# containers of organic baby mixed greens for $3.99 at Sam’s Club…a true bargain! They also have the same price for a 1# tub of organic baby spinach.

    Since we have 6 major grocery stores within a 2 mile radius, I always look at the sales papers on Wednesday and shop accordingly. I will go to all the stores for the bargains.

    90% of the meat Pale Rider and I eat comes from Omaha Steaks. We usually order from them about once every 6 weeks; their meat is first class, the flavor is unbelievable and they offer really good specials.

    We also have a 99 cent store around the corner…I never realized they carried food. I buy red bell peppers (I am a junkie for these sweet treats!) from this store: 3 for 99 cents! They also have romaine lettuce, 2 for 99 cents.


    p.s. for your eventual garden: deer can jump fairly high fences…I know this from past experience.

  27. Great tips!

    I always stock up on meats when on sale…recently whole chickens for .39 cents a pound; I think I bought 20 of them (we are fortunate enough to have an extra freezer in the garage).

    Because our rabbits ate all the lettuces we planted, I now buy 1# containers of organic baby mixed greens for $3.99 at Sam’s Club…a true bargain! They also have the same price for a 1# tub of organic baby spinach.

    Since we have 6 major grocery stores within a 2 mile radius, I always look at the sales papers on Wednesday and shop accordingly. I will go to all the stores for the bargains.

    90% of the meat Pale Rider and I eat comes from Omaha Steaks. We usually order from them about once every 6 weeks; their meat is first class, the flavor is unbelievable and they offer really good specials.

    We also have a 99 cent store around the corner…I never realized they carried food. I buy red bell peppers (I am a junkie for these sweet treats!) from this store: 3 for 99 cents! They also have romaine lettuce, 2 for 99 cents.


    p.s. for your eventual garden: deer can jump fairly high fences…I know this from past experience.

  28. Trisha 28

    Good tips. However, I am horrible at planning ahead. That is something I need to start paying more attention to!

  29. Mary 29

    There are some really good tips here and in this economy most cooks are watching their food dollars more closely. One other thought comes to mind…cook only what you need or have a leftover plan in place.

  30. Marjie 30

    I feed a family of 11 on under $1000 per month. I avoid the grocery store; because I buy in bulk, I can get a restaurant supply house to deliver. I buy an entire top round, and they cut it into steaks for me for under $2 per pound. You get the picture. I bake all my own bread; it costs about 50 cents per pound. No Cheerios. Everyone eats waffles or eggs and toast for breakfast. Cereal is a huge expenditure. If you have baking powder biscuits, they’re great with eggs and very little effort is required for breakfast.

    We have a lot of deer on our property, too, and I have my square foot garden right next to the cars and house. I bought some deer and rabbit repellant (which smells like urine) from Agway; I’ll let you know how that works out, so you can plan your garden next year.

    And if you plant fruit trees, wrap chicken wire loosely around the trunks to keep the deer from stripping the bark. They are terrible!

  31. I am so with you on the impulse buying. What’s worse is I shop primarily at Whole Foods due to its proximity to my office (I shop a lot on my lunch hour). Temptation everywhere plus even the basics are expensive there.

    Sometimes it’s tough to be on a budget when your access is less than great. I’ve complained many times that here in the Northeast, it’s slim pickings at the farmer’s markets until the summer (even the farmer’s markets that are open in the off-season tend to have mostly baked goods, eggs, cheese, and meat – some of which isn’t always cheaper than supermarket brands). I grow my own herbs in the warm months, but don’t have room to plant much else.

    It’s the little things that add up though. I try to be more conscious of not buying things already prepped, which can be a huge moneysaver (although I never knew I could buy pre-sliced jicama!) and I LOVE buying in bulk. It’s the one thing Whole Foods offers where I feel I can save money.

  32. Lynda 32

    Great advice here! I’ve found that making a menu each week, along with a list of what you need, and sticking to the list really helps. But of course, I leave room to purchase items that I find on sale that maybe aren’t advertised. Also, make a plan to use leftovers, so that you don’t end up throwing them out. Great post!

  33. elra 33

    Advice #2, unfortunately not entirely true for my case. The farmer’s market in my neighborhood always always charge more then whole foods or local super market. Sometimes it really discourages me, but still try to go because I feel like helping the small farmers a little.
    Great advice Cathy!

  34. Flea 34

    I think you about covered it. Letting the Hunny cook is not one of the things on the list. My Hunny spends way too much money when he decides to go gourmet on me.

  35. Chinya 35

    I eat at my mom’s house a couple times a week, this seems to reduce our grocery bill quite a bit. :)

  36. Jeff 36

    It is amazing how much money cooking seasonally and locally can save you. I also try to find stuff that is cheap at the time and figure out a way to preserve or freeze it so I can enjoy it later too.

    I also have a small compost pail on my counter. When the pail gets full of veggie scraps and stuff I drag it out to the compost bin in the backyard to make free fertilizer. Between that and recycling I barely have trash.

  37. David 37

    I’ve always been big on eating seasonal foods and growing at least a small garden.

    However, I’m not big on eating leftovers so one of my tips is to prepare only the amount I will actually eat. My partner and I eat very similar amounts so this is a pretty easy task and it eliminates wasted foods.

  38. Not wasting is the biggest money-saving tip of all. Compost organic scraps, don’t buy more than you will use, use everything you buy. I don’t always achieve this, but I aspire to it.

  39. Bob 39

    Good tips, thanks!

  40. ntsc 40

    To hijack the blog.

    The Yummy Mummy’s husband just got a Tony nomination.

  41. These are excellent money-saving tips for sure.

  42. Wendy 42

    I got a Food Saver thing last year and I have loved it. I prep and then freeze chicken when it is on sale and then I can pull it out of the freezer whenever I need it. Sometimes just having it ready and available keeps us from going out to eat or bringing something in.

  43. leftfoot 43

    one thing that’s saved me money was learning how to de-bone chicken. Breasts with the skin and bones are much less expensive than the already skinned and boned breasts. Using the bones I make a stock. I also use the skin to add to my dogs’ food. (My girly dog has dry skin and the fat helps so much and they love it.)

    Speaking of dogs, I make my own dog food and it saves me about $60-$80 a month. (I have 2 dogs that weigh almost 200 lbs combined.) It’s better for them, better for me having to pooper scoop and it’s very, very easy. I just throw everything (meat, grains and veggies) in a pot and cook it for 3-4 hours.

    My husband and I are a childless couple, so quantity has always been an issue. For example – chicken breasts come in packs of 3 at the minimum. So we utilize our local butcher for all of our meats.

    Farmer’s markets are fantastic, but until the vendors recognize you, you don’t really get the inside deals. Once you’re a regular customer, then you can bargain with them and get your prices even lower. Or go late in the hours. They want to offload, so they will be more willing to cut their prices.

    And my biggest rule: Buy only what you will eat in the next week or two. I know, people talk about stocking up on sales, but if that chuck of meat gets freezer burn, it’s highly unlikely you will use it and then it becomes waste.

  44. I make big hunks of meat on the weekends (BBQ chkn, roast, brisket, meatballs) and freeze enough for another meal or two. Whatever is left over is shredded for sandwiches, tacos, pot pies, etc.

  45. Alisa 45

    I just quit feeding my family. Then I sneak my own meals while they’re not looking.

    Just joking, I shop the sales, stock up on good deals, and just plain old do without.

  46. Pam 46

    Great tips. I love Oregon’s farmer’s markets and I try to use seasonal veggies too.

  47. Louise 47

    On Sunday I make a dinner list for the week, add any needed breakfast and lunch items, and then shop a discount store ONCE. Key word there … once. If it isn’t in our house by Sunday evening, we won’t be eatting that item that week.

    Whole chickens are the best deal ever! Feeds a family of 4, plus left overs for another dish or lunch for me. When these babies go on sale, I get several and tuck them in the freezer.

    btw, my teen age son supplements my healthier habits by spending a good portion of his own allowance on Monster and other junk, but he realizes that is his own gig. No complaints on either end of that deal.

  48. Lots of great tips here. I think the big saver for me is just planning a week’s worth of meals and shopping from a strict list.

    My husband has been doing all the shopping lately though, which means a lot of things creep into the cart that aren’t on the list. Men!

  49. Kari 49

    The CSA we use, Full Circle Farm in Washington State, does include recipes with the items that you order. We live in Alaska and getting fresh produce in winter is tough (an understatement)so we order a box every 2 weeks. We’ve never thrown anything away and we get a good variety of fruits and veggies. Another money saver is buying “store brand” items. I always try them, and if they aren’t of good quality, then I go back to the name brand. But more often than not, they are just as good, and buying the store brand is cheaper than the name brand with a coupon! No coupons to clip!

  50. Sara 50

    I plan my meals based on what’s on sale, especially when it comes to meat. We also only eat out once a week, it saves so much $.

  51. I live in LA, and have a “gourmet” Ralphs (supermarket) near me. I now make a game of seeing how much money I save–and it’s often as much or more than I pay. I ALWAYS buy meat on sale as you suggest and freeze it. Same with cereal. The produce is good there, too–and the sales are amazing.

  52. I eat in cycles. If I make a roasted chicken then I’m having chicken soup or chicken pie that week too. Ham = sourdough turnovers or twice baked potatoes. If I buy a lot of herbs, then I’m making soup.

  53. dawn 53

    I want to join a CSA too. I’m afraid I won’t use it all! I need to shop seasonally too otherwise my grocery bill is going to become insane. I love reading everyone’s ideas too. If hear it all enough, we’ll start doing it.

  54. I planted a small garden this year. Now that I realize I CAN successfully grow my own produce I will do it up big next year!
    I get a ridiculous amount of joy from checking my tomatos. Is that odd?

  55. These are some great tips. I try to make as many things from scratch as I can, such as pizza dough, popcorn, soups and stews, even cookies. Yes, it takes more time but the act of cooking (as I’m sure you all know) is calming, and it’s worth it for the money you save.

  56. Kayola 56

    I always enjoy your posts…saving $$$ right now is huge…at least I know for us…all great ideas…I have done coupon sense and am part of a Bountiful Baskets group which is awesome…by the way thank you for your kind comment yesterday…thank you for picking up on the underlying feelings in my post…there are some deep emotions running crazy right now and I tried to skim the surface with out saying it out right…thank you my friend.

  57. Liz C. 57

    I couldn’t have said them better myself! It amazes me that all of you young women are so savvy. It took me years to figure most of this stuff out. But then, that was back in the dark ages. Before the *Age Of Enlightenment* that we live in now.

    I do the seasonal thing but still plan out my week of meals for the two of us. When one of the kids comes in town it blows that plan all to Hell. Oh – Like now!

    In the winter we have heavier foods like chili, stew, soups, casseroles & the like. In summer we have lots of tacos, quesadillas, sandwiches, etc.

    Great post Cathy!

  58. Helene 58

    One other tip is to cook vegetarian meals. They’re healthy and we can save a lot.

    Snacks: my kids love hummous with pita bread. Way better than storebought snacks.

    Baked goods: make your own. There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked goods in the house.

    Bread: start making your own bread. It’s rewarding.

    And if you want to save even more money don’t dine out.

  59. So important, doing these things. And utilizing leftovers!! That’s what we’re working on right now.

  60. Katie 60

    Great tips Cathy! I try so hard but our food budget still goes from $600-$1,000 a month. It is hard to have a food blog, lots of pressure to make something exceptional all the time.

  61. Laura 61

    One pot meals and dried legumes are some other great tips. Well not a tip per se but a suggestion of types of dishes to incorporate into one’s rotation.

  62. Robin 62

    Make chicken stock while doing laundry. You’re stuck at home for a few hours anyway, aren’t you?

  63. Julie 63

    We haven’t been doing it lately, but the best thing we ever did to spend less on groceries is sit down on the weekend and create the menu for an entire week. Based on sales and what we already have in the freezer as much as possible. Then went to the store and got as much as feasible for that entire week, which eliminated the majority of spur of the moment runs to the store. That’s a biggie for us. It makes a big difference.

  64. Laura 64

    You’ve reminded me that I really need to go out of my way to buy local.
    I have two produce stands in walking distance so it’s just a matter of me remembering to do it.
    Great post.

  65. imom 65

    I already do many of things you suggest. My new discovery is eating in season. I’ve been listening to a book on tape where that’s the subject and I’m learning some disturbing things about how far food travels.

    Our local farmers market is starting today!! My husband and I have committed to go each week and buy in season, which will mean experimental eating for us, but I’m very excited about it.

  66. I’ve really enjoyed this post (not that I don’t enjoy all of your others, because it’s one of the things I look forward to in the morning!), because of all the discussion it spurred and the ideas!

  67. Chef E 67

    Wow your photos are wonderful, and show so much detail. I like the salad, and have actually never put beans in one…yet! I also like your becoming a rock star. I have seen you around, and many like you, so rock on!

  68. Maria in Oregon 68

    Yes yes – eat in season. I have a theory that God made food grow at certain times of the year, and in various quantities, and we’re supposed to eat what’s available in portportion to their abundance. I feel that’s the healthiest way to eat. Last year I planted a garden. I had TONS of tomatoes! You can’t have too many tomatoes. Full of licopine right? And blackberries? They’re FREE! They’re all along the sides of the road! Blackberry pie is super yummy and cheap if you make your own pastry instead of using Pilsbury.

  69. just recovering from moving. gave a ton of stuff away. we still couldn’t fit everything into the moving van which was a huge semi-truck. it’s a nice feeling clearing out the fridge as well as the garage!

    best to you in your packing + journey ahead.

    btw, that salad looks fantastic, crunchy savory + fresh, perfect!

  70. All great advice-that I’ve heard before, yet I still don’t entirely follow…I am too lazy sometimes. Guess when I am totally poor I will regret it!

    So, if I email you the same question over and over again…like once a week maybe, do you think I might get a response? I don’t think I asked to spend time with you and your family-so I’m not the creepy one…I don’t think anyway :) I just need a catchy title…one to grab your attention and hold it! Yeah, in between all of your packing and cooking and parenting and life, you’ll have time right?! LOL!

    Have a great weekend!

  71. Do you think drinking more water before food helps to control consumption of food?

  72. All great advice. Just need to practice it! I do find that when I plan a menu, precook the food on Saturday, we eat much better and save lots of money. I find that I have plenty of food that way as well. Thanks for all the reminders!

  73. Very good, sensible advice. I try to do something along those lines but I’m an impulse buyer.

  74. Very good, sensible advice. I have similar habits but I’m afraid I’m an impulse buyer.

  75. Lily 75

    Lots of water before eating actually makes it harder to digest your food — the stomach acid gets diluted, so doesn’t dissolve the nutrients as well.

    But you can try something they used to sell for diet control. You could buy a box of expensive little candies and eat one with a cup of hot tea 20 minutes before a meal. A hot drink with a few peanuts will do the same thing, without spiking your blood sugar like candy does.

    I’ve read it takes about 20 minutes for your body to register any satiety, so that’s a good amount of time before the meal.

  76. Taki 76

    Nice tips! Thanks for all the tips.
    I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    whis love, Taki.

  77. Nice bit of advice!

  78. Cars and houses are quite expensive and not everybody can buy it. However, business loans was created to help people in such hard situations.


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