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.