Saving Money in the Kitchen

I am often asked how we save money with a large family, especially when it comes to food so I thought I'd share just a few ideas.

I have shared in the past, about how I grow a garden to provide a lot of produce not only to eat fresh all summer long but I also can & freeze the bounty to tide us through over winter time (I have even sold some of my produce in the past to local stores when I have an abundant crop!) Obviously I still need to supplement our supply over winter time. Several of our local grocery stores sell marked down produce for a very cheap price though this can be hit or miss. Just this past week, I got this flat of strawberries for $3.49!

Marked down produce isn't always made noticeable to the general public so next time you are at the store ask someone in produce if they have an area where they have an area where they sell marked down produce. You can really score some great deals this way! Don't forget to read about how I make produce last longer which also helps save me money!

While at the grocery store, check your meat department for marked down meats. Often times meat that needs to sell will get marked down significantly, even Wal-Mart does this! (again, don't be afraid to ask your meat clerks if they do this as sometimes the marked down meat is put in a certain area). The meat is still good but it either needs cooked within a day of purchase or froze right away. I've scored some great deals due to buying meat that is marked down!

I know this next suggestion can be regional but I also shop at stores that offer "bent & dent" type of things such as Amelia's, Sharp Shopper, etc You have to know your prices as not all things will be cheaper at these places but many times you can score some great deals and some of these places will even take coupons!

Freeze, freeze, freeze!!! Yes you can freeze almost any kind of food from cheese, lunch meat, produce, bread, milk, leftovers (even mashed potatoes!), etc. I have 2 extra freezers besides the one in my kitchen that I take full advantage of. When I get deals I stock up and freeze everything! Often times due to my stash I can skip grocery shopping a week or 2 at a time which helps save money.

Have you ever had just small amounts of leftovers that aren't enough to feed your whole family for another meal? Make your own "tv tray dinner" by freezing the leftovers in a microwavable dish. Use these for a quick lunch or to send with your hubby to work for his lunch. Or accumulate several of these dinners and pull them all out one night for your family to give yourself a break from cooking.

Take advantage of making double the meals when you have a chance & freeze one to later pull out when you need an easy meal after a busy day. I know how things come up unexpectedly then before you know it it's dinner time and you have no clue what to make so you are tempted to eat out. Having meals ready to go in the freezer can keep you from spending extra money on eating out or buying convenience food items. Need some meal ideas, check out my recipe page!

Make your own stock for soup, otherwise called bone broth. Did you just make a whole chicken or turkey? Take those bones, skin & fat and put them in the crockpot along with some onions, carrots, celery, garlic and a little apple cider vinegar. Fill with water and let it simmer at least 12 or more hours on low (I usually let it go about 24 hours). Strain and freeze for when you need broth for soups or anything else that requires stock. Not only does this taste amazing & is better for you than store bought stock but it saves money using things you were going to throw away! You can also save veggie "scraps" in the freezer for a future batch of broth if you don't have bones to use right away.

Along the idea of soup, we regularly incorporate a soup night for supper as it helps stretch meat and is super filling! To go along with it, I often toss ingredients in my bread maker for homemade bread along side of the soup. I actually make a huge pot which is enough for supper plus giving me some to freeze (easy future supper or lunch!) as well as put in the fridge for lunch the next day.

A few other generic things I do are:
-buy in bulk (I figure out the price per ounce, pound, etc to make sure I am getting the best deal)
-cook from scratch (not only does this save me money but is also healthier, we rarely eat processed food)
-make "breakfast" for supper
-have a meatless meal for supper

Don't forget to stop by and checkout some of my other money saving ideas!

What are some ways YOU save money in the kitchen???

1 comment

  1. food frugality is something we continue to strive toward...though I do garden. :)


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