Friday, September 4, 2009

Trimming the budget with iced tea and lemonade

I'm going to the grocery store today, and the other big budget killer is not going to be in my cart this time. Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper! We go through entirely way too much soda here, so I'm making the switch to iced tea and lemonade. Per serving, it's SO much cheaper! And probably a lot healthier, too. Now and then I'll buy the store brand soda, and I always buy the generic lemonade. Ditto for tea bags. Every little bit adds up. For the price of one twelve pack of Coca-Cola, you can make gallons upon gallons of tea! Plus, I actually like iced tea better, too.

I've been making more meals from scratch, lately. It really has cut down on the grocery spending. And it tastes better, too! Stocking up on meats that are on sale also really help. The best prices on meats can often be found in the family sized packages, and then they can be portioned out into freezer bags and stored in sizes used for meals. Just make sure to date the freezer bags and rotate your freezer to ensure the meats are at their freshest when you use them. I try to use meats within three to six months of freezing them.

Instead of Shake n Bake, I've been making my own with seasoned bread crumbs and a few spices. It turns out even better, and saves quite a bit of grocery money. I'm trying to get each meal at or below five dollars per meal. Lately, I'm big on doing a meat, a starch, and one veggie. I used to make huge meals with lots of trimmings, but found a lot of it was going to waste and it just plain cost a lot more, too. I freeze leftovers in individual portions to cut out the need for TV dinners when time is short, or for a lunch for me and the little one.

I didn't have time to clip any coupons this week, but there is a website that will load coupons onto a Kroger's card. I can't remember what it is at the moment, though! The last time I looked at it, there wasn't a huge amount of coupons listed, but it was still fairly new and I assume would grow in time. I used it, and it did work. That is the best way, no clipping or sorting through them at the store, just swipe the card and the money comes off the bill! I'll update later when I find that website.

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