Saving time...saving money
I am constantly on a quest to save time, save money, cut corners...with 4 little kids and a home to take care of, it keeps me busy. I have started coupon clipping, sale shopping, stockpiling. I never head to the grocery store without a list, a plan, a stack of coupons. I was able to shave 47 percent off of my grocery bill at my last trip and have spent only $71 this week for groceries when our budget is $150 a week. I am starting to feel more successful in the planning of meals around sales and maximizing my savings by stocking up when something is on a great sale.
Our newest challenge is to not buy restaurant food for an entire month. We enjoy having a meal 'in' once a week or once a payday (depending on money). We do take our children out to restaurants on occasion, but if you can imagine, it isn't the most enjoyable, even though they are well behaved when we do take them out. We typically stick to a pizza night, or if the kids have been good, we will indulge them in McDonalds, even though we usually pass on that meal. So, last night, we took advantage of pizza night because we had nothing to make for dinner. Pizza Hut has this great deal...any large, any toppings, $10. Not too bad. So, last night was it for us...today is day one of no eating out for a month (28 days).
Do I think we can do this? Absolutely. I just have to stay on top of our meal plans and discuss food options with the kids and what they are interested in eating. And, while I do enjoy having a night off of cooking or cleaning up a meal, I really enjoy making meals and knowing how little they cost to put together versus eating out for a family of 6. Plus, when we make our own food, I am able to make enough and have leftovers. Tonight, for instance, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. I bought the tenderloin a few weeks ago and froze it. This will give us 4-6 meals. I will make it all up today, freeze 1/2 of it tonight and save it for a few weeks from now if we are strapped for money. At that point, it won't feel like we just ate it. I was able to get the tenderloin for $5 on sale, picked up a $2 bottle of BBQ sauce, a 2 liter of Root Beer for 75 cents (use 12 oz. to cook the tenderloin in via crock pot), $2 for 2 packs of buns, $2.50 for a bag of potatoes that will last 2 weeks, Green Giant boxed veggies that I was able to get for 54 cents this week. So, an entire meal 4-6 times over for $13 (mind you, when it is used for leftovers, we eat with chips, fruit or veggies, but alas, the main portion of the meal is less than $13, which is less than what we would spend at any fast food or pizza place, without the extent of leftovers). So, the challenge begins today and I really feel we will be successful.