Money Saving Monday Week #2

Friday is the start of our first pay period of the new year. I’m looking forward to trying our new budget. For our December budget, we came on or under budget for every category except our grocery budget. What I spent was less than I had ever spent before but it was still over.

I know that part of the problem is that our grocery budget is ridiculously low ($225 a month) so I am setting myself up for failure. On the other hand, I don’t have anything else to cut. I need to make it work.

So this month, I’ll be trying a few things to trim even more from our grocery bill:

Using what we have. I’ve told Thomas that he and I will be eating some weird combinations. I won’t compromise on Adam’s meals – he isn’t eating fancy but I want to make sure that he is eating a healthy and balanced meal. Thomas and I can be more flexible. I’m looking in the back of the cupboard, half empty condiment bottles and at the bottom of the freezer. If it’s too bad to eat, I’ll throw it away. Otherwise it needs to make an appearance in our meals.

Less meat. Using cheaper forms of protein and stretching the meat I do use over more meals.

Meal plan. Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan. I know it works for other people and it has worked for me. Just do it, already.

Any ideas to stretch our budget? Any tips for meal preparation while holding a clingy baby?

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Filed under Food & Meal Planning, Money Saving Monday

6 responses to “Money Saving Monday Week #2

  1. By the sounds of it, you’ve already thought long and hard about how to cut your grocery budget. Have you tried bulk/freezer cooking or stockpiling good deals? I found that if I put aside maybe $10/week to buy extras of things on sale, after a couple of months, I had a good rotation going where I only bought our most used items when they were on sale. I live in Canada as well and buying good food can be expensive. Is there a bakery outlet near where you live or grocer that gives incentives like gas coupons or airmiles? I was able to knock 6 gifts off my Christmas list last year by using airmiles that I mostly aquired through grocery shopping.

  2. As for cooking with a clingy baby, how about making double batches when you cook so you can fill the freezer with homemade meals you can easily prepare on extra clingy baby days? It takes little extra effort to make a double batch of soup but the extra night without having to cook or go out to eat is great.

    There are a lot of great, cheap bean and lentil recipes that are easy and cheap, and freeze beautifully. We like lentil soup, honey baked lentils, lentil tacos, and curried lentils for easy starter lentil recipes. 🙂

  3. I would agree with the others – cooking double batches helps me save time – especially on the days when the kids (or babies) are super cranky and you spend most of your time holding them. Just empty the contents into a pot and warm it up!

    I usually do the batch cooking on weekends (when it’s lowest for electricity – then I can use the oven! LOL) so my husband can help prep, cook or keep the baby out of my hair for a few minutes.

  4. I like your determination! It has been awhile since I have had a clingy baby…. so I don’t really have any great suggestions. The previous suggestions sound very helpful!

  5. Canadian Home

    Thank you for the ideas!

    I’m going to plan for double batches when I make my meal plan for the next month. I’m also hunting around for tempting lentil dishes, as I already have some lentils.

    Cherish: Last year I took online surveys and used Swagbucks to pay for most of Christmas gifts. I’m hoping to make more this year. Definitely a great way to save money!

  6. $225/month is super low… our budget is $200/week! Which for 6 of us, I don’t think is bad, but seems like a kings ransom next to your grocery budget! lol!

    I would say definitely veggie meals, pasta based meals, stretching your meat, (3 meals from one chicken etc) As for a clingy baby, crockpot meals are a life saver! Throw everything in the crockpot and let it cook for the day. And sometimes, you just gotta let the baby cry while you do something… it won’t hurt them. I have 4 kids, so these are words are wisdom. lol! 😉

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