Tips to Save Money on Your Household Grocery Budget

 

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Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks. 
- Lin Yutang

Here are my tips for saving money on our food budget.

1.  I make good use of our crock pots.  On days when I'm cooking I generally keep one going as a stockpot. I'll use the stock for soup or rice when it is done.  In the stockpot I'll throw all of the usable vegetable trimmings, chicken bones, water from canned vegetables, etc. This way nothing goes to waste.

2.  In the other crock-pot I'll make something like baked potatoes or a chicken dish.  On days when I have time I'll have food going in both crock pots so when my kids come home from school they can eat a home cooked meal instead of snacking on junk food.

3.  I have a rice cooker with a steamer pot that makes it easy to make home cooked foods.  The one I have is a Miracle brand.  It has a stainless steel pot instead of one with a nonstick coating. I don't like the nonstick coating ones (which are the majority) because of the concerns about chemicals from the coating leaching into the food. The steamer basket is really cool because you can use it to make all sorts of food and it cleans up super easy because nothing is baked or fried on.

I use the steamer to make hard-boiled eggs for a healthy, high protein snack food for my kids. I think eggs are easier to make this way because there is no boiling water and the eggs seldom crack in the steamer.  I just turn it on, let it heat up and then put the eggs in for 25 minutes and they usually come out perfect.  Once the eggs have cooled I can use them chopped in potato salad, in deviled eggs or egg salad.  My kids also like to just to just snack on plain hard-boiled eggs.

Once the eggs are done I also use the steamer basket to steam potatoes for mashed potatoes, steamed frozen wontons from Trader Joes or assorted steamed vegetables.  Asparagus turns out great in the steamer basket. 

4. Food that I can't use in the stockpot I compost.  We have a water shortage where we live and have to pay extra for water if we go over a certain amount.  The composter makes it easy to avoid using the garbage disposal, which uses up a fair bit of water during the day because I'm home and cook a lot of meals from scratch.  Our waste management company had a great deal on composters where you could get one for half off the retail price with free delivery.  We set it up on the side of the house and now I save up things like coffee ground, egg shells, watermelon rinds, apples cores, etc.  for the composter. I would like to set up a square foot garden in the back yard and use the free compost on the garden.  It seems like the produce from the garden would have to have more nutrients using compost from all of those organic food waste items compared to chemical fertilizers.

These are a few of my tips.  I was inspired to write this after reading this blog post here:

http://www.blogher.com/family-finance-how-save-money-groceries

Related Articles-

Tips from Always Frugal

http://www.alwaysfrugal.com/groceries.html

And From Get Rich Slowly

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/05/18/how-to-save-money-on-food-great-tips-from-three-years-of-get-rich-slowly/

 

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