Quick- do you buy a 5 lb. bag of Eastern potatoes for $1.49 or 2 - 32 oz. packages of frozen french fries for $4?
If you answered yes to the frozen fries, you just spent more money than necessary.
Here's another one. A 14 oz. box of Aunt Jemima pancakes for $1.99 or a 1 lb. box of complete pancake mix for $1.79?
The answer here is the complete pancake mix. (complete means all you add is water)
A 5 lb. bag of potatoes can yield far more servings than those two bags of frozen french fries. And really, you are not saving money buying those frozen fries. Peel some potatoes (or wash the skins up real well), cut them up yourself and prepare as desired.
With the complete pancake mix, it is technically a convenience food but unlike buying frozen pancakes or waffles, it is far less money to buy a mix and you will get more servings this way.
To go a step further you can make your own dry mix for pancakes and waffles using flour, powdered milk and other baking ingredients to save even bigger. But, a Complete pancake mix is a good base for chocolate chip pancakes (throw chocolate chips in) blueberry waffles (add fresh or frozen berries) and many more ideas for diy cooking at a savings.
If you are concerned that the 5 lb. bag of potatoes will go bad before you get to use them all, prepare them ahead of time and put in freezer bags.
You do not need to be a chef to eat well. Eliminating some of these convenience food items from your grocery list and replacing them with smarter cost-cutting choices will not make your life harder. You will be able to spend less at the grocery store.
Yes, I will not lie. It is going to take a little bit of prep time but once you get into the habit, it will be like putting the groceries away once you get home from shopping.
Choosing the bag of carrots instead of the more expensive "baby" carrots can save 50%. Pre-packaged veggies for snacking? Really? Compare the costs. If you have money to throw away you probably are not reading this.
Most people I speak to are living on less and paying more for the basics. We all need tips on how to stretch a dollar. Momma Vicky comes from a large family and has one herself. No one is starving around here and there are always leftovers for brown bag lunches.
Smarter grocery shopping involves planning by looking at the flyers and cutting coupons for the items that you use on a regular basis. Take advantage of sales and have a pantry stocked with the basics. (next post)
You can eat healthier and not break your food budget!