Monday, November 12, 2012

How to be a frugal cook

There are no doubts out it –food prices on the rise. With some adjustments, you maybe able to keep your grocery bill at a reasonable level.
Make a meal plan
 Develop a meal plan and stick with it. Check your local grocery store flyers to see what food items are on sale.  Try to add meals to your week based upon what is on sale. Choose recipes that use vegetables that are in season or buy frozen veggies. In the fall and winter months, add soup to your meal plan.  We are doing a new soup once a week  starting this fall. 
Make a list for the grocery store and stick to it!
Make a list of all the items that you will need at the grocery store. Group the list so that all the same items from the same section of the store are together to make your shopping trip go more smoothly. Buy only the items on the list.
Shop Discount meats
My grocery store marks down meats by $1.,00-$2.00 dollars  when they are need to be sold by that day!  I buy those and throw them in the freezer.    I usually find these deals on  ground beef, steak, stew, sausage.  Chicken is really marked down.
Create a leftover plan
A third way to be a frugal cook is to make useof all leftovers. Either freeze them for later use or make creative use of your leftovers. Your leftover stew would make a nice pot pie. Leftover potatoes can be added to Shepard's pie, or hamburger as filler.  I might often make a super meatloaf and we will leftover meatloaf throw into spaghetti sauce and pasta.   A roasted chicken may often become several meals   We often have clean out the fridge nights on Friday with leftovers for each one of us  before I head out to the grocery store on Friday mornings.
Salvage items
.Two common problems arise from sugar and salt. Don't throw out your brown sugar when it turns hard. Simply put an old bread crust into a sealed bag along with the brown sugar and you will notice that it re-moistens itself in about a day or so. Sugar is getting more expensive all the time, so this simple thing can really save you money. Salt can appear to be ruined when it clumps together. To prevent your salt from clumping in high humidity areas, add a few grains of rice. This will absorb the extra moisture and save you from having to buy more salt.
Cooking for convenience
. If you know that a particular night during the week will be hectic, plan an easy meal for that night when we have multiple things going on with the kids and I wont be able to put things to together. . I will often have  meatballs in the freezer or might make a double batch of meatloaf.  Pre-planning for those difficult nights will save you from dashing off to the nearest fast food place just because you are hungry and too tired to cook. Those extra meals out  especially for a family of 5 can really add up.

Plan a vegetable garden
 Now is a good time to start to plan for a vegetable garden. If you  don’t have the space  that make a traditional garden then try container gardening. Just about any vegetable can be grown in the right container. Containers can be raised up to a higher level for those who can no longer bend over or kneel and are much easier to keep weeded than traditional gardens. During the summer months, we grow  tomatoes, red peppers, green peppers, zucchini and  lettuce .  I was able to make a  ton of homemade  spaghetti sauce and we  often eat out of our garden for almost 2 months. 
So, there you have it - easy tips for becoming a more frugal cook. Let's hope food prices don't go up, but if they do you are now know seven ways to be a frugal cook

1 comment:

Britney Mills said...

Thanks for these ideas! I can always get better with this!