Grocery Shopping on a Shoestring Budget
I use to think that it would be wise to scan the catalogues and figure out who has the best deals but that can take a lot of mental space and work. For general food shopping find your "go to" store. These days we have more Aldi's popping up everywhere. I like them because they are small and quick to get around in and they keep their prices competitive.
I have started to really appreciate my weekly menu planing and that way grocery shopping is a breeze. If you need to be even more thrifty then see what the upcoming sales are and plan your menu around that. When something you know you use goes on sale then be sure to take advantage of that and buy a few. If you do have extra space weigh it up with expiration dates and storage.
Take advantage of the clearance and reduced to clear items section. Not only can you find a great deal but you can try something new that you may not ordinarily have the budget for.
For most of us cooking good, nutritious and quick meals is a must. We have to taxi kids around and make meals whilst trying to take care of ourselves and remain level headed. In order to not break the bank think of ingredients that are going to be multi functional. When I say that I mean, if you buy stuff in bulk or larger quantities like a 5 pack of zuchini then you may use it for stir fry one night and then perhaps latkes or fritters for lunch or breakfast.
A pasta dish, you can always make this vegetarian. Whip up some pasta and throw in some spinach, tomatoes, mushroom, onion and whatever else tickles your fancy. Make a chicken dish, drumsticks are always cheaper, marinate them or slow cook them so the meat falls off the bone, serve with rice and or veggies. I always have fish once or twice a week, perhaps one time salmon and the other hoki. Grill it, steam it, fry it, make fish tacos or curry, be adventurous. Cous cous or veggies are great sides. Our staples are broccoli and sweet potato fries. If it's winter slow cooker soups and chilis are wonderful.
Buy in season. So when in the fruits and vegetable section shop for what is in season since it will be lower in price then the more exotic produce that has been imported.
Stick to your staples, we all want to concoct some Master Chef worthy dish and impress our family and we can do that but perhaps reserve that to once or twice a week so that your budget can stretch. Now I am not saying serve ramen and cans of beans the rest of the week but I think that if we are budget friendly we need to reserve a pot roast, ribs or salmon to once a week. Especially if you have big eaters in your household.
Make leftovers and EAT THEM! Make enough for tomorrow. It can be great for lunch that way you are not eating the same meal for days and days. Most of all enjoy it! If you plan ahead it will be worth it. Your pocketbook will thank you.