Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chapter1. Planning and organizing

  • This blog is about groceries on the cheap.  I try to take a practical approach to getting dinner on the table for 1/ 2 what the average family spends.  The USDA has stats on what food should cost you based on family size and ages.  They have four budget levels.  

It does take some time to set yourself up.  Every family is different so no one can do it for you.  
once you are set up and get the hang of it, you probably will spend less time .  

If it all seems like too much work, take baby steps at it or delegate some of it to another family member.  Some of it could be a good learning tool for children.  Use organizing and math skills they will take with them the rest of their lives.  

There are a lot of people out there that are touting cheaper groceries, you usually can learn something from each of them.  I have been reading everything about the subject for years.  When it was brought to my attention that people were running out of money before they ran out of month on SNAP(food stamps) I started this blog.  With our economy and food prices rising , many people need to eat well for less.  

Cooking and shopping on the cheap takes a three pronged approach :  planning and organizing, shopping wisely, and cooking from scratch.  

Planning and organizing.  
Most of this is a one time only affair.  
  • List seven dinner entres that use inexpensive sources of protein.  This doesn't mean that you are Doomed to never eating a steak again.  Protein should cost around 2.00 per meal AVERAGE. the target price for dinner is five bucks.  in our house, that would be cheese, beans, chicken, pork, some cuts of beef, pork, tuna and shrimp and some fish.  Later, add more to come up with 14.  I keep a three ring binder that I have had for forty years.  
  • Go over your typical recipes amd list shelf ready items that you use often to prepare these dishes.  These are your stock items.  in our house that would be beans, refried beans, diced tomatoes, pasta sauce, some chili,pasta, instant mashed potatoes, some corn and green beans, black olives, I keep one of some other things like condiments and mayonnaise so I don't run out in the middle of cooking.  Keeping one ahead means I don't have to remember to put something on a list.  
  • Now, make a list, either in a small notebook or on a spreadsheet of your stock items,  start making note of the prices in the ads and/or the prices you are paying for those items.   List the item, the size of the carton, the price , where you got it and the date,  soon you will see a pattern.  Grocery stores go on an 8-12 week cycle.   Most families will have 10-15 items.  If you are in the Seattle area, I post them periodically.  
  • The object is NEVER pay top dollar, or full price.  When something on your stock list is at rock bottom price, buy as much as you can afford, as many as the store allows, or as many as you need to replenish your stock.  If I use something once a week I keep 24.  If I use it once a month I keep 6.  If you don't have storage space.  Get creative.  In an apartment I used a wicker foot stool.  My SIL  uses an extra closet.  

  • Create  your meal plans from the stock on hand and the perishables in you fridge, and the meat that is on sale for the week--do it in pencil so you can change it if something is out of stock at the grocery store or doesn't look good.  
Next, smart shopping.  

Thanks for stopping by. 

Please share.  I don't have ads or get money for this,  My object is to try to help someone through a tough time, or get the savings they need to enrich their lives.  


Better, cheaper, faster

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