Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Frugal Challenge - Grocery Spending Update

I am trying ever so hard to stick to a tighter grocery budget. This means more work on my part as I am having to prepare more food from scratch. This of course is good as processed foods are not really that good for you. I still like to proving delicious snacks for lunches and quick breakfasts.

Pickled eggs are a favorite. I save old jars of juice when we eat the pickles and then boil up some eggs, peel and put in the juice for at least two days. The longer the better. Pickle juice is also a great way to add flavor and moisten pasta and potato salads. My recipes for those are here.


I never throw away a banana. Just pop in the freezer. They are ready to peel after about ten minutes on the counter. Throw them frozen in smoothies and thaw for banana bread.




Last week I spent $112 at the market and $24 at my local produce store which also sells bulk grains and marked down bread. I can tell the kids miss the quick snacks but I told them once they are gone then you make a snack, eat leftovers, etc. They are good about this. I don't buy a lot of packaged foods. We are already out of lunchmeat for the week. Leftovers, tuna sammies and wraps will be made for lunches until Friday.
I have decided to remove the pet food and OTC/Health and beauty category from my food budget. It was too hard to merge the two. I now have a separate budgeted amount for those items.
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22 comments:

~Carla~ said...

We have separate categories as well... Ours is misc. to cover pet food, health & beauty items, etc...Works well & doesn't dig into our food budget! :)

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

I'm trying to limit my spending on packaged foods.
Last week I made crackers...they were supposed to be made in the oven, I made them on the wood stove with a cover over. I think they might have turned out better if I'd rolled my dough much thinner. But, they were great for dipping in peanut butter for a snack with the kids on the porch!
I freeze bananas too. They are good just like you said, for banana bread, and smoothies!
I hadn't thought of using pickle juice for pasta or eggs. Great idea.
Pat

Cindy said...

It is hard to cut out snacks, especially chips from our budget. What we do is buy less and then do without until the next trip. So far we have saved some this way, but don't feel deprived (too much).

Kris said...

I always add sweet pickle juice to my macaroni salad and potato salads. I have not ever pickled eggs though. Will give it a try.
I toss my bananas in the freezer, peels on, just like you.
The food budget is an ever growing problem. Food costs keep rising, and our paycheck in now shrinking!
Yikes!
xo Kris

20 North Ora said...

Such good advice. I must try the pickled eggs. They sound great!

Judy

Mary Clark said...

I can't seem to get my weekly grocery bill below $200 but that does include toiletries, etc. Today I did a huge stock-up on sale items/coupon items and saved $60 (woohoo!) but still spent $250 - ouch! I guess that's to be expected when stocking up for the first time? By the way I found toilet paper at Staples this week for $7 for I think 24 rolls Charmin, maybe 18 rolls can't remember. Either way I thought it was a great buy so I bought 3 packs. I'm learning but determined to get this bill way down. Got my husband's first pay check with the "tax increase" - but we'll make it because I am cutting so many unnecessary expenses. Mary

Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

i've never made pickled eggs. i will have to try it. egg idea. ( :

Holly said...

I thought of you yesterday when I was at the grocery store. They had buy one get one free pork shoulder roasts. I paid $12.00 for a 8 lb roast and got the second one free. This morning I threw a roast in the crock pot. When it was done, I shredded all that pork and separated it into 5 different food saver bags. With the two roasts costing me $12, I now have enough for 10 meals! BBQ pork sandwiches, pork tacos, green chili stew! I think I'll come in just under budget this week. Enjoy the rest of your week!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I am really trying to watch my grocery budget too. I really want to keep it to about $100 for everything including cleaning and paper products. So far so good. Hope I can keep it up. I am trying to not deplete the pantry and just replace what I use. Hugs, Marty

Cranberry Morning said...

That's how I deal with ripe bananas too, but I'm not so sure about the pickled eggs. When we lived in Pennsylvania, there was a deli that kept a huge jar of pickled eggs in some red juice - it looked pretty scary to me! lol

AND, wanted to let you know that I'm having a 4 HomemadeSoapnSuch Valentine Soap Sachet Giveaway - on now through Friday. Hope you'll stop in at Cranberry Morning and enter. :-)

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I think we are all having to count our pennies and the grocery budget is one place we can try to cut back. I am really trying to limit snacks and buy more fruit. I love using pickle juice in tuna and pasta salads!

Simply Shelley said...

My family loves pickled eggs and we pickled them in left over pickle juice as well....blessings

Lisa Tucker said...

I don't know why I've never thought about freezing my old bananas and I love the pickled eggs idea...that's what's so great about blogland...there are very smart people out there...like you...:)) Thanks!

Cindy said...

Those are all good frugal ideas, when I was growing up I never saw a potato chip or any other processed food. I think children will be healthier raised on real food rather than on processed stuff. Now you know what your kids are ingesting, at least. And that's really important, I think.
Thanks for the frugal reminders. Hugs, Cindy

Sam I Am...... said...

You must have read my mind as this year I am trying harder too. Last year I started making my own bread and now it's a habit and takes no time. This year I've started with the yogurt. I've never tried pickled eggs but they sound good and easy. I already throw bananas in the freezer like you. Thanks for your tips and recipes as they are always top notch!

countryhomeandhearth said...

I just stumbled across your blog and I love it! As far as your budget, you are doing great! Where I live there is an Amish run scratch and dent store that sells lunchmeat ends so much cheaper than buying it sliced. Buy and end of ham or bologna, grind it up and make a spread. You can add some onion, relish, etc. Might not be the healthiest but it can be filling when on homemade bread.

Beth

Michelle said...

We made our own chips for the first time. My family loved them. I am learning to make our own sausage. It's a lot cheaper,plus there is no extra stuff in it.

Babajeza said...

I often get bananas from a neighbour that are already brown. I've never thought of putting them into the freezer. :-)

nancy said...

I've made my home raised pickled eggs too, and do my own brine. You can also vary the flavor by adding jalapenos, garlic, etc. I LOVE deviled eggs! You can also buy tortillas, make you own chips, etc. My kids always loved string cheese and an apple for an after school snack.

GardenofDaisies said...

$136.00 is fantastic for a family of 6!! Your pickled eggs sound good. I'll have to try it. I have an almost empty jar of pickles in the refrigerator right now.

Melissa said...

Yep, we've separated our health and beauty out of our grocery budget as well.

I've been wondering if I should start making my own bread for the week but I'm a little hesitant because I've never really been successful at it. I guess like anything worth doing, I just need to keep practicing!

Thanks for the encouragement!

Many Blessings,
Melissa

Jamie Michael said...

I enjoy reading your blog. I love your red egg crate. Do you know where I could get one like it?

Thanks,
Fonda

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