Times are getting tough for a lot of folks. Not yet as tough as it was during the Great Depression but pretty dog-gone tough. Unfortunately things may get even tougher. So, I thought I'd pass on a couple of things that we are doing to cut back on our spending. Then ask you what you are doing.
Are you making any changes to your spending habits?
Let's start with our grocery budget:
The first thing that we are doing is eating out of our pantry. What I mean by that (cuz others might have a different meaning) is that if we don't have an item that is called for in a recipe in the pantry or the icebox we don't go out to get it. I just make some sort of substitution.
Take last night's dinner. I thought this recipe from Razor Family Farms looked great and thought the homeboys would go for it in a big way. Then I came home from work, looked in my pantry and found I didn't have all the ingredients (ok, I didn't have most of them). Did I pick a different recipe? Nope! Not me. That would've required work, and time, and a readjustment of my taste buds. As I've said time and time again: I can be down right lazy. Looking for a new recipe would have required work. Work runs counter to my lazy principal.
Now, I'm sure what I made didn't taste like it should have but the guys really loved it anyway. When I do have all the ingredients I'll make the recipe the right way. Of course, that means that all the ingredients have to be on sale at the grocery store.
The second thing that I'm doing to cut our food bill is to only shop the sale items. By doing this I was able to purchase $285.00 worth of food for $165.00. I don't use coupons. Oh Sure, I could probably walk out of the grocery store with more stuff. You see it on TV all the time. A woman goes into the store with a fist full of coupons and walks out with a buggy full of groceries and a receipt total of $1.94. It's too much work. Plus, most of the coupons I see are for things I don't ever buy such as breakfast cereal or prepackaged foods, or cleaning products (I do clean my house occasionally but I make most of my own cleaning products. Better for the environment that way).
Anyway, that $165.00 gets me 2+ weeks worth of food for what works out to feeding 4 adults 3 meals a day. It also includes: personal care stuff, dog food, TP, and wine (lets not forget the wine. I cook with it. Sure, that's right; I cook with it, hmmm. (imagine a look of innocence on my face & finger in my cheek.) Don't judge. These are tough economic times. Some of us need a crutch. Now, that I've justified that one out we'll go on). If we could have a decent garden here in Phoenix this bill would be even less.
And the third thing I do is cut back on meat. I don't' eat it at all (big savings there) but Jr and the homeboy do. So what I have done is to use less than the recipe calls for. If it calls for a pound of meat I'll use half that amount. This seems to satisfy the boys. They have also been known to go meatless a couple of times a week. Bless their hearts. They're trying to work with me here.
That's my grocery savings plan. Any tips & tricks that you have would be greatly appreciated.
Lastly, I have stopped buying new books. I use the library (free!!!) and I should I'm a librarian for goodness sake. Also, places like Half Price Books (a used bookstore in the West) has a teacher & librarian discount. The weekend after next we get an extra 10% off. I smell Christmas gifts.
Let me know how your saving money. I could use all the help I can get.
P.S. If you haven't seen the Steven Cobert video about libraries/librarians take a look. I loved it (for obvious reasons)