I read this blog post at Life in a Shoe and decided to write one on the same topic to add to the linky, since it’s a topic that affects every household.
How do we keep the our grocery budget low as food prices go up?
I think what makes the biggest dent in our food budget is that we rarely buy meat. Now, we love meat, and we eat it almost every day. But we don’t buy it often. We buy it in bulk.
We live in a farming area, and we buy our beef by the 1/2-cow from our friends. When you buy beef this way, you pay by the pound, regardless of the cut of meat. So it ends up a bit more expensive for ground beef, but we get as many steaks and roasts as possible and we pay $2.50/lb. We were never able to afford any other cut of beef besides ground beef before we started buying beef like this. We end up paying a lot up front, but really, it’s cheap for what we’re getting, the meat is a lot leaner than the lean meat at the grocery store, and it’s a lot better quality. We can also be sure that the cows weren’t pumped full of unnecessary medications or chemicals. And we don’t have to buy any beef at all for at least a year. Have a bigger family? Buy a full cow instead. I really need to try to find someplace nearby where I can get pork this way too.
We buy our chicken breasts in bulk when they go on sale as well, though we get these from the store. I’m starting to buy more bone-in chicken as well for crockpot cooking.
We don’t buy any boxed meals. I make our own hamburger helper (and I thought I shared this recipe at one point but I guess not since I can’t find the post so I’ll do that soon!) We don’t buy boxed mac and cheese; instead, we get the cheese powder in bulk and use elbow pasta. We only buy bricks of cheese on sale.
I’ve started canning this year! I don’t think I’ll make any kind of dent in our grocery budget with what I canned this year, but this was the first year I tried canning. Now that I have an idea of what I’m doing, next year I’ll can more.
We don’t eat cold cereal very often. And when we do, we get the no-name brands of it.
We eat a lot of rice. Partly to save money, and partly to ensure that my son eats some dinner because he’s really picky and he loves rice.
I plant the expensive veggies in our garden. Green peppers and broccoli, for example; then I freeze them.
Now, how can I improve our grocery bill?
A couple of ideas that I got from the post from Life in a Shoe was to a) eat more beans, and b) buy them dry instead of canned. So I think I’ll look into that!
I’m also going to start cooking with potatoes more often; something that we usually don’t buy much of because it seems we can never get through the bag before they start to spoil. But they’re inexpensive, so I will make a better effort!
I would try to think of more to add, but I got very little sleep last night and now the kids are up and climbing me so that’s it for now!
How do you keep grocery costs low?