When times are good and your wallet is fat, it’s easy to forget about the frugal things you do on a day to day basis that made that wallet fatter and the times better.
Shop your kitchen pantry, fridge and freezers BEFORE you menu plan and BEFORE you shop.
What, you don’t menu plan?? Are you kidding me?
Ok. I know. It’s not for everyone … but I can tell you from experience, having some kind of plan does help aleviate the “whats for dinner” or “I’m tired and hungry and do not know what to make” … at least a plan tells you what you have on hand to prepare …
BUT … that’s not the Tip #4!
Tip #4 is to shop your own kitchen first … I think you might be a bit surprised at what you find! I’m doing a Pantry/Freezer Challenge for July and decided Monday (the 22nd) that it was pretty much starting THAT day … that’s the day I decided not to go to Costco, even though I was within 1/2 mile of the place … such willpower.
By skipping the store even one trip per month, you could save yourself upwards of $40 … I know my average stop is $50 so skipping the store is beneficial to me 🙂
Go ahead. Open up the freezer and what do you see? Bits of leftovers stuffed in to ziploc bags? Mystery bags? Go ahead, pull a few out, put them in a shoebox and let them defrost. Whatever it is when defrosted, that’s what you are making your meal around. The last time I did this, it was a bit of black beans and rice that were leftover from a cuban feast we had. I knew I had some pulled pork in the freezer too so I rooted around and found that and looky there, we had our dinner planned 😉
Now, lets walk over to the pantry, shall we? What do you see in there? Canned vegetables? Grab a can and heat it up on the stove. Make it a little special and throw some seasoning in there, dehydrated onions go a long way in sprucing up a ho-hum can of green beans!
From here on out, try to make it a point to LABEL your freezer items … start freezing a few leftovers for future meals (that does go back to Tip #1, doesn’t it?). AND try to keep everything organized. Yes, I know, way easier said than done!
So, tell me, do you shop as you feel the need, OR do you shop your kitchen first? I’d like to be honest that I do, consistently, but it’s not the truth … and I’ve been known to buy duplicates of something that we don’t use often because I didn’t know I had some shoved in the back of the pantry … and other times, I don’t buy something because I would have sworn there was more in the back of the pantry.
Listen, this does not JUST apply to the kitchen! Look in your closets, drawers, craft cabinet. I challenge you to make do with WHAT YOU HAVE!! You can do it, you know you can!!