I just want to begin by saying that making frugal choices means different things for different people. I am extremely lucky and grateful to have the privileges and gifts that I do. In preparing to write this post I realized that I have more money invested in tea than many people can invest in their week's groceries. I would never want my posts to make anyone feel worse about their situation and I do not want to come across as superior. This is simply the tale of my family's journey towards smarter money management, trying to pay down debt faster, and creating less waste with our choices. I know that I am extremely lucky to be able to stay home with my kids everyday and I know that so many others cannot. I do not mean to patronize but rather start a conversation and encourage.
I feel like I am always thinking about how I can reduce my grocery spending but I have not taken action. I have decided to challenge myself for the next few months to reduce my spending, reduce what gets wasted in my kitchen, and reduce the stockpiled food that we are not eating.
This is my pantry. Believe it or not, it has been recently organized. I'm the only one who uses it so if I know where things are that is all that matters, right?
I have a drawer where I keep the flours and dry grains. One area I would like to increase my stockpile is buying more flour when it is on sale. I use it up quite quickly making all our bread, so might as well keep extra and save a bit of money.
The rest of the baking supplies are in a corner cupboard. I usually bake according to an informal rotation of recipes. Now that I am trying out new recipes, I experiment according to what ingredients I have on hand.
So Here Is THE PLAN:
Take Inventory: While I do believe a full pantry has its benefits, I dread wasting food and I need to do better at using up certain items before buying more. For instance, we have a lot of apple sauce. I need to use some up in pumpkin bread and feed the rest to the kids before it is outdated. My real challenge right now is to use up some beef roasts that my mom gave me when she was cleaning out her freezer. Over the next few weeks I will try to get creative with some recipes to use up the meat without getting sick of it! I also have green beans frozen from my garden that need used. Also this week I need to use up a bag of pears that are ripening too quickly. I'm thinking a pear crisp is in order for dessert!
Consult Flyers and Coupons: After taking inventory of what needs used up around here, it makes sense to check the flyers for anything I might need to complete my menu plan for the week. There are a few items that I plan to stockpile more of (flour, mostly) so I will watch for those going on sale as well.
Baking List and Menu Plan For The Week: I confess that I've never menu planned before. I mostly go by my gut, as it were. But I think it is time that I get more organized and more conscious of using what is on sale and what is at hand and needing used up. I hope that you will join me as I attempt to cut spending and reduce waste!