I decided the easiest way to save some money would be at the grocery store. I have always loved a deal, but this was an extra challenge with little room for error. We had about $300 per month for groceries and still wanted to eat healthy meals. How can you do it too?
- Reduce the number of times you go to the grocery store. Every time you run in for just one thing, you come out with more.
- Plan out some of your meals ahead of time to ensure you have the things you need to make actual meals and to prevent unnecessary trips
- Eat a couple meat free meals per week. Meat makes up a large portion of most grocery bills.
- Only buy things in bulk that you will use in a reasonable amount of time. It makes sense to buy the larger block of cheese if you are going to use it. The 1 liter bottle of vanilla seems like a good deal, but it will sit in your cupboard for 20 years before you use it all.
- Try to make things from scratch. It is almost always cost effective to do it yourself. I’m not suggesting you bake your own bread (unless you want to) but you can make your own salad dressings (see last week) and pizza crust, see below.
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
¼ cup olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425°F with a cookie sheet upside down on the middle rack. Combine dry ingredients then add wet and stir with a fork until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times. Divide into 4 pieces and pat into 7 or 8 inch circles (no rolling pin required). Top with sauce and your favorite toppings. Place 2 pizzas onto hot cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 min and repeat with last two. In place of the cookie sheet you could use a pizza stone if you have one or perforated pizza pans. (Adapted from the 2010 Milk Calendar).
Turns out great every time. I would love it if you topped your pizzas with veggies like spinach and peppers, lean meats and part skim milk mozzarella cheese. For sure less than ordering in and buying pre-made crusts.
To conclude my story we did make our grocery budget goals and even had a few months at the $250 mark. It was a great learning experience, and really why wouldn’t you want to save on your groceries? Extreme couponing it isn’t (how mind blowing is that show?) but proven to work!