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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Grocery shopping on a budget

Recently I've been looking for ways to save money. We've been having a really tough time financially lately, things are starting to look up now though. I've visited several sites that give tips on saving money at the grocery store. One of them was titled 'Emergency grocery budget using only $75' Seventy five dollars! For an emergency?? I can do better than that.

I'm feeding a family of 3 and in an emergency situation I can shop so that we have food for $24. It may not be the healthiest thing going, but it's an emergency and temporary and it'll do. How do I do it?

First I shop at Aldi. Most of their food is very nice, we have to watch the produce and the breads at our local one because the produce is often very ripe and doesn't last too much longer after we buy it and the bread is often a little on the stale side. But otherwise, I love it there. You bring your own bags, which you know I'm all about reusing bags, or you can pick up a box there to tote your groceries home in. The prices are very reasonable. I can get a dozen eggs for 99 cents, much cheaper than the big grocery store.

Secondly, I pare down meals to the bare essentials. Does the spaghetti have to have meatballs? Do I have to buy the lean ground beef this week? Nope.

Thirdly, I look in the cupboards, do I have leftover salad dressing (great marinades in a pinch), yeast and flour (bread baking from scratch), rice (rice will make any meal more filling) etc.

Then I make a list keeping in mind any odd and ends ingredients I may have on hand and thinking about making dinners that will give us leftovers for lunch the next day.

So here is my list, as I said it's not the healthiest thing on the planet but we're talking emergency feeding of a family here so I have no problem with it as a temporary solution.

1 whole frozen chicken
1 pound ground beef ( I splurged on this as I had a bit extra after getting what I needed)
1 jar of pasta sauce
1 box elbow noodles
1 box coarse bread crumbs
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can chicken
1 jar peanut butter
1 dozen eggs
1 package shredded cheddar
1 package egg noodles

the meals:
  • Roasted chicken with canned veggies we had in the cupboard ( we used the leftover chicken parts to make stock and saved a little of the meat for soup later in the week)
  • Chicken casserole and baked mac and cheese (we used these for dinner for two nights and still had leftovers for lunch, they really stretch)
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce (using noodles from the pantry also good for two nights and leftover lunch)
  • Chicken noodle soup (from the chicken and stock earlier in the week and some carrots from the fridge)
  • and "beefy" soup (made from leftover elbow noodles, carrots, rice and beef bullion cubes from the pantry)
We had eggs and grits and cereal from the pantry for breakfasts, and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch when one of use didn't want leftover dinner.

If you want any of the recipes let me know.

As I said before it ain't classy but it'll do. Now that things are looking up I think I'm gonna splurge a little of fresh fruits and veggies this week :P


JulieB said...

love it-tough times call for creativity! I do alot of the same & I think if Dh would stay @ home & let me shop our grocrey bill would be less! jberry16 from KH

Eccentric Scorpion said...

Thanks :)