30 April 2012

Top ten ways to save money at the grocery store

1. Don't bring the kids.
2. Don't bring the kids.
3. Don't bring the kids.
4. Don't bring the kids.
5. Don't bring the kids.
6. Don't bring the kids.
7. Don't bring the kids.
8. Don't bring the kids.
9. Don't bring the kids.
10. Don't bring the kids.
Photo: flickr user tjdewey
Just kidding. Here's my real list:

1. BEFORE YOU GO: Check to see what you need. Look through the fridge and pantry, and think about what you have going on that week. You may only need a few meals or a few ingredients to go with the things you already have.
2. Eat before you go so you're not hungry. In fact, try on pants that are too tight before you go. That'll kill your appetite.
3. Buy produce with the different shelf life expectancies. Buy some items that last 1-2 days (strawberries) and some items that will still be fine in a week (apples).
4. Buy one or two choices for breakfast each week- everyone can have bagels for a week. Too many choices= making too many different foods and increases the chance of some items going bad.
5. If you buy fish or meat, only buy 1 or 2 meals worth, and do vegetarian/frozen items later in the week. Again, less chance of food spoiling.
6. Have fun trying to make meals out of food already in the house. I use the ingredients search on allrecipes.com to see what I can make. Example: I had raw pumpkin seeds and coconut (who knows why) and it gave me a great granola recipe.
7. Buy items you use frequently in the large size. There's no point in buying a small jar of peanut butter every other week. Check the price per unit on the tag to see the best price for comparison...
8. ...BUT only buy large items if you use the item frequently. It's not a bargain to buy a huge bottle of russian dressing because one day you wanted to make reubens.
9. Check the yesterday's baked goods rack for steals- just don't leave the tag on your mom's birthday cake you snagged for half off (yes, this happened).
10. Don't bring the kids. I wasn't kidding.

29 April 2012

Digging out

Image: flickr user Chiot's Run

It's Spring! That means many of my favorite things- starting the garden, spring cleaning and decluttering, the return of fresh fruit and vegetables... and that feeling of new beginnings that motivates me like no other. It's been a long, rough winter and I'm ready to start making progress on my goals again- paying off debt, getting back in shape (holy 10 lbs of winter weight gain, batman!) and spending more time doing things that make me happy. This blog makes me happy, so step one- check!