How to save money: Part 2
Today I have a few money saving challenges for you. Are you up for it? Are you willing to get creative to save big? I am! The following pantry and freezer challenges along with menu planning are key to me staying on budget & saving money. Plus, it is a fun way to try new things!
*Challenge yourself to only eat off of what is currently in your pantry. You may have to get creative! Use the internet to find new recipes for the items you have already. This is fun to create new things and to also clear out your pantry. The week that you do the pantry challenge, only plan to purchase milk, eggs, bread, etc. at the store. This is a way to save big one week out of each month! This would be fun to challenge yourself to a pantry challenge one week per month!
If you saved $50 one week per month out of your grocery budget, that would be a savings of $600 annually!
*Commit to not purchasing any meat until you have eaten down your stock (unless you are low and it is at the rock bottom price). We all know that meat is expensive (even on sale). Again, get creative and see what you can make! When the meat & chicken that we like goes on sale, I buy enough of it so that there is enough until the next sale.
I would love to hear from those of you who plan to take the pantry or freezer challenge :)
*This really does save time and money. Each week I plan my menu off of what I have in my pantry & freezer. I also look at the sale circular and plan from there. Having a plan is key to eating at home!
*We have committed to not eating out at a restaurant for 21 days during the Daniel Fast. Having a menu plan has made it so much easier! Each day we look over our options and choose what I will prepare.
*There is nothing like looking into the fridge & pantry trying to figure out what you can throw together at 6 pm! No fun!
*Having a menu planned out makes for a much more peaceful dinnertime. Without a plan I always feel rushed and a bit stressed. With a plan, dinner is much more enjoyable!
Figure the Cost
This step is VITAL to staying within your grocery budget! Figure out how much each meal cost you to make. If you can feed your family for less than $3, you should probably put that meal on a regular rotating schedule. If a meal cost you $12 to make, it will need to be a special meal and not something that you make on a regular basis. I'm not saying never eat it, just don't eat it as often. I have been amazed at how economical making the correct portions can actually be! My goal is to only have enough leftovers to take for lunch the next day.
I'd love to hear from those of you taking the challenges!