Friday, February 5, 2010

Frugal Friday

Over the year or two I've noticed our food bill going up with each shopping excursion.  As our family gets bigger it gets harder and harder to stay within a budget. I've tried different things to see where we can cut our costs. Some have worked, and some haven't. So, I've decided to share what has worked for our family.

One of the first things I did was create a dinner calendar. I downloaded a calendar straight from Microsoft. You don't need anything fancy. Just 12 months and one block for each day of the month.  I make it out at least 2 weeks in advance, sometimes even 3. I started doing two weeks at a time because my hubby only gets paid 2x a month and I was struggling at the end of the pay period to have enough for another trip to the store. I found that by making this out in advance, I can buy items I use more often in bigger containers (which ends up costing less per oz.).

You then can look at the calendar, make a list of items you will need, and shop only from that list. By not 'winging it' you will make less trips to the store & if you really stick to your list you will spend less.

I'm not strict with this list. If I'm running late one day I will look to a day that has something quick I can make. I'll just switch the two dinners to make it work for me. This will also help make dinner at a consistent time each night. I used to start searching at 5:00 for something to make. We eat at 6:00, so this quickly became a problem.

For a brief period right around the holidays I stopped making a schedule. I found my stress level at dinner time was much higher. It didn't take me long to get back in the groove again. Now that I've been doing it a while I can definately see the benefits.

If you have any other ideas I'd love to hear them. I'm always looking for more ways to cut back.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Thanks for sharing your din din ideas. I'm finding the frequently purchased items we use are less and less on sale. What's wore is coupons seem to be shrinking in their savings.
I like your idea. I try to have standards like we only go to the market once a week. I try to stay on budget for that week depending on what's on sale and what meals can be made. We also started eating breakfast for dinner some nights. I buy the big discount club pancake/waffle mix and we try to add some b-fast sausage to square things off. That and making soups and freezing leftovers has cut back a lot. We don't have a fam your size but I like your approach to organizing meals.
{PS I've awarded your blog! Stop by to pick up your award :-)
Happy Blogging!


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