Last week, my little food shopping experiment went very well. I really put some time in to strategizing on how to buy simple staples and stretch them over two, and sometimes three, meals to save money. And save I did. I cut about $60 off of my grocery bill, had several different and delicious meals and I even have food left over in my freezer. Riding on my little wave of success, I've decided to try again this week, but using an even more savings-extreme approach: I will buy nothing and use what I have.
I am anxious. Having food in my house (a lot of food) for my children is a security thing for me. Growing up, my mother worked three jobs to put food on the table for her four kids and there wasn't a lot to go around. Needless to say, I brought that into my adulthood and when the cupboards get bare, I get edgy. But I will try this and see if I can do it. I keep telling myself that I shouldn't buy more when I haven't used what I already have and if I really panic, the grocery store is just down the street. I have nothing to lose by giving it a try, right?
So here's the inventory: A package of chicken breasts, ground turkey, some pork chops, a London broil, 10 frozen shrimp, 3 cans of white beans, two boxes of pasta, plenty of rice, two cans of diced tomatoes, two fresh zucchini, frozen corn, and a can of beets. Writing it all down, it seems like plenty to me. For snacks for the kids, I have all of the baking ingredients that are the staples of any fresh-baked treats. I have the fis for cookies or brownies and maybe even a pie, but there will be some backlash when they run out of their usual snacks of Goldfish crackers, chips and salsa, grapes and clementines.
I will still have to purchase some staples; such as milk, juice, eggs and cereal for their breakfasts, but I can't wait to see just how little I spend this time around. If I can save $100, I will be thrilled. If I do, I will put $75 toward my credit card debt and use the remaining $25 towards stocking stuffers for the kids.
You've seen the inventory of what I have, and I loved your suggestions in Friday's blog for using my slow-cooker to have delicious home-cooked meals waiting for me (thank you for writing, Ellie, Lisa and Jazzy!) and now I can use some help in the recipe department using what you see above. Send me your ideas and I will try them and let you know how they worked!