Money Saving Ideas
Crystal Miller

Here are some of the things I am working on doing and some that I have read and am planning to incorporate. If you are looking for ways to have an influence in your home in this area perhaps these ideas will help you!

1. Meat is a big expense. One way I cut down on this expense is set a limit on how much I will spend per pound for meat. If I see chicken on sale for 59 cents a pound (a good price here) I will buy as many chickens as possible. I do the same for any other meat. The other consideration I make with meat is how much is needed. My hubby is pretty easy going about meat. But he does like some. I will often think of meat in terms of being one of the ingredients rather than the main ingredient. Instead of thinking, should we have beef or chicken tonight I will think should it be potatoes or rice and then perhaps some beef or chicken gravy over the top. Or make burrito filling with mostly beans and rice and then a little hamburger thrown in for flavor. I also try and serve a few meatless meals, whenever possible.

2. Freezer Soup. Keep a coffee can in the freezer (or 2 of them). When you have things like leftover rice, potatoes, vegetables or meat put them in the can. When the can is full it is time to bring it out and make soup!

3. Consider the least expensive foods as your main food sources. Things like beans, rice, potatoes, and grains are all good nutritional foods. I buy beans and grains in 25 and 50# bags at great savings.

4. Consider what you are paying for items in terms of price per pound. My daughter was babysitting a couple of children and their mother had bought them some individual containers of Frosted Flakes cereal. I calculated by the price per ounce what the mother had paid for that cereal, $8 per pound! When something is viewed in these terms it suddenly becomes very obvious that this is not a frugal thing to buy. Oats are 30 cents per pound. For me it makes more sense to put a very small amount of my time into cooking up oatmeal rather than thinking of how much time my husband would work to pay for these types of things.

5. Stay away from convenience foods as much as possible. Again the price per pound is staggering. Make food from scratch as much as possible. I can buy 10#ís of potatoes for a good price when compared to say a box of Augratin potatoes that have a little bit of seasonings and a few ounces of dried potatoes. I know my money is stretching a lot farther buy buying the potatoes instead of the prepackaged foods.  I know that using my time wisely in the kitchen by cooking these types of things myself is being a good steward of the money. Plus I have the added bonus of feeding food that is so much more nutritious than the boxed food is.

6. Find new recipes and learn to be creative in the kitchen. It is important to be able to look into the fridge and see that there is a lot of broccoli and leftover potato and come up with a very clever meal from this! I could make a white sauce or a cheese sauce and we could have this over those potatoes or chop up the potatoes and mix with broccoli, cheese and white sauce for a casserole. Not only is this good creative use of the food but it is also avoiding waste (what is the big deal about 25 cents in potatoes being thrown away? Well remember all the little expense leaks make up to a huge reservoir of accumulate leaks at the end of a year).

7. Learn all that is possible about nutrition. It is important to continue to make inexpensive meals as nutritious as possible. When you mix beans and grains together in a meal you are providing a complete protein that is as good as meat. Any meat added can be thought of as flavor.

8. Make your own convenient, inexpensive meals for the freezer. On days when you have the time, make extra meals and freeze them. Donít be tempted to run for convenience. Make extra spaghetti sauce, lasagna, soups, stew, meatloaf and any other foods you use on a regular basis and keep them in the freezer. Use them on hectic days when you need the convenience.

9. If you use things like canned beans, try cooking up a large pot of beans and freezing 2 cup portions. These can be used for meals that call for a can of beans.

I am sure there are other ideas that I will find as I search for ways that will best use the money we have. I am also very thankful that I have discovered what an influence I can be in this area or our life and that I can be a helper and blessing to my husband as we works to accomplish goals in our life.

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