My food budget has been the hardest one for me to get control of. As a young housewife I learned to cook from the cookbooks of James Beard and Julia Child. I also took classes in healthy cooking and learned the evils of processed food and all the chemicals they put in them. So I learn to cook from scratch. My tastes became pretty goumet as time went on. As a family we ate at some pretty nice resturants. Then life took a turn and the budget entered my life.
It has been hard to curb my spending on food and learn to still eat well on a lot less money. I cut my food budget by 1/3 this year. I like to buy as much organic as possible, but I use the dirty dozen list for produce. I have had to compromise on many things I would like to get.
I started to make the change by looking at what I had purchased each time I went to the grocery store and how much did it cost. I zeroed in on the most expensive items and try to find cheaper alternative or just cut back on how often I bought them.
I bought a big freezer chest so I can buy meat on sale and that has worked out very well for me.
The other area I had to look at was waste. I would go to the store and buy a bunch of produce and than not feel like cooking so now I only by for 1 or 2 meals at a time. I often freeze left overs or plan left overs to stock the freezer.
The problem I'm trying to figure out now is how I can find money for stocking up. I do buy a few things here and there out of my budget, but when I go to Costco or Trader Joe's I would like to have the money to buy for my freezer and pantry.
I also buy all my paper products, cleaning produces, vitamins and suppliments, bath and body products from my grocery budget, but I learned not to buy those things at the grocery store. I buy in bulk at Costco and buy store labels at Walmart and Target for medicines and vitamins.
I've had to give up some on quality but I hope to improve on getting the quality I want and still stay on my budget. I think everyone has different challenges with their food budget, these are just a few of mine. I've found a lot of good help on line and have added a couple of blogs on the side that I follow. StorybookWoods is my daughter. She is a great bargan shopper, she didn't get it from me. lol
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