Happy memories often involve delicious memories and good fellowship includes eating! We all want to eat healthier, but healthy food is so expensive.
How can we enjoy food, try to eat healthy, and save a little money at the same time? Let's look at some practical ways to cut our food budget.
Cook at Home
Cooking at home instead of eating out is the number one way to spend less on food. Pack your lunch instead of eating at a restaurant or hitting the drive-through.
If you must eat out, use coupons and take advantage of specials.
Eating at home for dinner each night will not only provide a healthier, less expensive meal, but will foster closer family relationships.
Shop the Sales
When turkeys go on sale before Thanksgiving, it is the cheapest price I see all year, so I purchase 3 or 4 and freeze them for yummy winter feasts.
Buy Fruit and Vegetables in Season
Winter months are the time to get a good price on citrus from Florida and June brings us good prices on watermelon and blueberries. In most parts of the country, May is the month for cheaper prices on Bing cherries and strawberries, but here in Florida, strawberries are fresh (and cheaper) in February. Watch the prices on vegetables and fruits and shop accordingly.
Consider shopping at a Farmer's Market where you can purchase larger quantities to can or make jams and jellies. Even if the prices are the same, the produce should be fresher and of better quality.
Realize that those adorable displays are advertisements. Don't get sucked into spending more money on an item because you see a lovely display in the store.
Don't shop while you are hungry. You will be more like to purchase too much food or splurge on food items that you do no need.
Add up your cart items as you go so you know how much you are spending. Keep a running total by rounding of the figures to the nearest 5. You put in a package of meat costing $12.97 and think to yourself, "$15.00." Then, as you add a head of lettuce for $1.89, a gallon of milk for $2.79, and a bag of M&Ms for $4.69, you think to yourself, "$20.00" (for adding the lettuce and milk) and "$25.00" when you add the M&Ms. If you think you have spent too much money, you can look over your cart and put items back.
Use Scraps and Leftovers
Don't throw away leftovers--they have plenty of uses. Make up microwave-safe plates of food for family members to take to work or school and heat up in the microwave. Use leftovers in casseroles or soups. Even scraps of herbs can be added to soups and salads.
Shop at Your Shelves
Look through your pantry and take stock of what you have before you go out and buy something new. You might even combine some things you find together and create a new family recipe. Look through your refrigerator and see what is hiding. Chop up leftover pickles and put them in tuna salad.
Learn to use substitutions if you are out of an ingredient. Out of buttermilk? Mix a little bit of lemon juice in with a cup of milk and let it sit for 30 minutes. Out of walnuts? Try almonds instead. Out of bread crumbs? Crush up some Corn Flakes.
Gardens are a great way to build muscle, spent time together as a family, and produce your own food. Talk to other gardeners in your neighborhood who have successful crops and see what grows and what doesn't grow well in your area. Grow fruits and vegetables that your family will enjoy eating and be sure to barter with other gardeners: "I'll trade you a bushel of corn for 15 zucchinis."
Do you want to learn more about homemaking? Do you want to grow closer to Jesus and bring His Presence into your home? Jesus, Fill My Heart & Home is more than a Bible study. With recipes, decorating tips, wisdom, menus, and holiday helps, this is a great resource for every homemaker! Jesus, Fill My Heart & Home is available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip or Currclick.
Do you want to prepare your daughter to manage her own home one day and get an elective credit for high school? God's Girls 105: Homemaking is a Christ-centered one-credit homemaking course where Moms mentor their daughters spiritually as they learn practical homemaking & housekeeping skills. God's Girls 105: Homemaking is available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip or Currclick.
"She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls," (Proverbs 31:14-15 NIV).
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)