Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A frugal conversation

I spent some time with my moms neighbor on Friday. Jenny is a wife and mother to four kids, whose husband just had a 20K drop in pay due to cut backs in the automotive industry. Jenny needed to know how to eat cheap, good, and live a bit more frugal. Enter Mormon mom of 6 from the cul de sac and Me! I will be sharing Robbie's tips as soon as we can get together again, she is sick with another pregnancy, you will love her tips! Like how to make a roast chicken feed 7 for two meals. ONE CHICKEN!

Anyways, here are my tips!

  1. Shop in Bulk. Costco is my bulk source of choice. We have been members since it was called Price Club. Even with just our family of three, we SAVE so much money shopping wisely there. Typically we pick up these door busters: Milk ( $2.55 a gallon), Eggs ( Always around $1.80 for 18), Block cheese( don't buy the preshredded crap, it is covered in a wax, and block is a much better value per pound), dog food ( 40Lbs for $20), toilet paper ( yeah you have to store it, but come on, who looks under your bed anyways?), all laundry products ( use only half the recommended amount, I swear you won't notice a difference and it will last you FOREVER!), ground beef cubs ( 5 lbs for $10, 90/10 fat), and garbage bags. We rarely buy produce, besides potatoes, breads and meats at Costco. I will pick it up if there is a coupon that month or a special occasion, but mostly we pass the meats up due to storage space. Costco is also a great source for sheets, comforters, certain clothing items, kitchen wares and appliances, and bath items like shampoo. Seriously worth it!
  2. Meal plan. Now Jenny all ready meal plans, but she also has a tough situation with her husband, he wants a restaurant type meal at every meal. Meaning, full cut of meat, side, veggie, and salad. No casseroles or meatless items. I say, SUCK IT UP, he can totally get by on one night of grilled cheese and soup. So plan your menu, at least dinners, for the week and try to stick to it. If you can make a cut of meat stretch to two meals, AWESOME! For example, Roast a chicken one night, and then save the carcass to make chicken noodle soup with the next. Simple and Easy.
  3. Shop from the sales. Now where we live we can not unfortunately take advantage of price wars between groceries. We pretty much have one grocery, Target and Walmart. So we always look through the circulars to see if there is items we can add to our menu for the week. Also, we ALWAYS look through the meat case for mark downs not published, and our store has meal deals. Don't buy what you won't use!!
  4. Budget. Keep a grocery budget for the month. Jenny is trying to stick to a $450 a month budget for a family of 6. She can totally do it now, because her kids are little, but might need to adjust it as they go through growth spurts or if they are out of school. For instance, Alex is eating SO MUCH right now due to a growth spurt. Well I am not going to say No to him, so I have planned on buying more milk and lunch meats. Because an extra bowl of cereal or a ham sandwich does him good and won't destroy our budget.
  5. Get your family on board! Which means, remind them all the time, that there is a budget and things will have to change. Jenny for example has never bought canned OJ concentrate. She always bought a jugged name brand. Well with a savings of $4, BUY the concentrate! Buy bagged cereal versus boxed, it tastes the same anyways. Start serving sandwiches at lunch, not full meals.

More to come later after I have talked to Robbie. She is the QUEEN of FRUGAL Meals. I can't wait to share her tips with you!

1 comments:

lisa 7:12 PM  

Love it! Keep sharing. Let me know if she has any advice for people cooking "for one!"

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