Trick! Chop it Up


It Halloween and I know these carrots aren’t the treats you are looking for- BUT they are another example of great ways to save on your groceries each and every week.  This one seems so obvious but not as many people as you’d expect chop their own snack veggies. Maybe you buy a veggie tray in a rush or just grab a bag of baby carrots or pre cut apple slices at the store. A bag of actual whole vegetables and fruit is always the better deal- and it tastes so much better! So grab a bag of carrots and peel away the savings, enjoy the healthy snacks and have a fun and safe Halloween out there!


Bulk Bins= BIG savings

Another great way to save!

These are your best friends; you can get just about everything from these ” bulk bins”- grains, dried beans, lentils, rice, seeds, snacks, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate covered goodies, every spice on earth, for very cheap prices.  You pack it, you label it, they weigh it- you save 80% because you aren’t paying for a label, a jar, packaging processes etc. etc.  Whole Foods has the most comprehensive selection, even though the rest of the store is not affordable.  Learn what you use most often:

Do you find yourself buying rice from a box that only lasts you one meal?  Snack a lot on nuts and pay $10 for a small bag of em? Or do you just need 1 cup of some crazy new grain that you want to try out before buying a larger prepacked bag?  It’s a great way to get just what you need, or stock up on things you use frequently.


We have canisters for rice and flours that we stock up from the bulk bins.  We use whole wheat pastry flour in all baked goods for the extra protien and fiber, brown rice, barley, grains, and spices ( below)

20121030-102835.jpg20121030-102846.jpgWe got some jars with lids at $1.00 a piece at Bed Bath and Beyond, or we refill existing containers ( McCormick etc.) and we store extra bags of bulk bin product in sealed containers.  Keep everything labeled and you have saved yourself plenty of extra cash.

This is how we do it… Smarter Grocery Shopping on a Budget

“It’s Friday Night and we feel alright” you know the song!  Anyhow, each post we hint at ways that we save and what to make seasonally to save money as well.  The other day I shared with a friend that we are budgeting $50 a week for groceries, which then led to this question ” how do you do that- share please!”  This week we will share some tried and true ways that we save money and eat meals that are better than you can get at a restaurant.  This post will go into our entire process of navigating a weekly meal plan, creating a list and how to shop the best deal at the store.

20121029-163017.jpgStep 1.  Look at your week ahead, how many meals will you be making at home, when will you be out-of-town, is there a special holiday or friend’s get together the plan around or plan for?  Determine how many meals you need to get you through your week.  We make a dinner each night that always has 1 set of leftovers that each of us can enjoy for lunch.  If a recipe makes more than 4 servings, we plan on a leftover night at dinnertime.  This week, we will need to make 4 dinners, one of which has 6 servings, so we have all weekday  lunches and one night from leftovers.  We are also making two make ahead breakfasts and 2 desserts that will go 4 nights with leftovers.


Make a list, go through your pantry- what do you already have on hand that you can use this week for your meals?



 Gather your favorite cookbooks, and use the index to navigate what recipes include items you already have on hand. This recipe includes acorn squash, which we already have, and requires us to get apple cider, so we picked a dessert that also uses that apple cider since we will have some leftover!  Write down ingredients from each recipe on your list ( see below) and pick recipes that sound great to you and that includes the bext the season has to offer: Fall is apples, squash, fennel, pears think cinnamon and spice and warm hearty meals



Flag your chosen recipes, and make your list in groups based on your store and shopping flow : Produce, Dairy, Pantry, Meats, Frozen



Shop Smarter: read labels, not just on your food but on the price tags!

The store tells you what the best deal is, look at the price per oz/ gallon etc. below the actual price; see where is says ” $.100 per fl oz” and above “$.179 per oz”?  The better deal is obvious, and those incremental deals make a difference!

Ok, so that’s a grocery shopping day from start to finish!  It’s all about planning, using what you have, and enjoying the leftovers.