Dads At War -- $ave on your Grocery Expen$e$

Today, I am teaching a lesson…

This past weekend in line with the release of the Galaxy S4, I joked on the social networks about the unemployed people who have no actual income but always have money for new fly shit and how I stretch my money to make sure that I myself can afford at least some of the fly shit that I desire.  Yeah, I was being TOTALLY judgmental.
Well, one of the things that I mentioned doing is that I can make $100 worth of groceries last 3-5 weeks.  I assure you that people on Facebook see what I am capable of cooking and eating more than those who may be trawling my blog.
                Rather than spend time on the humor in my taking these people to task, the conversation turned to just HOW in the hell I am making $100 go just THAT far.  The rest of the conversation turned to me explaining how and why most of what people lose in their grocery budget goes right into the trashcan, literally.  Waste from cooking too much and seeing the leftovers go bad is the #1 culprit – or it was in my house – and luckily is one of the simplest to overcome.
And this is where I come in to help you…

  • When you buy your staple items (to make a long story short, I am talking about your meats here), buy in bulk and save on unit price.  The more you buy at once, the less you spend per pound.  Don’t be shy about the flash markdowns within the last couple days before expiration, more on why in a second.
  • Once you have that (those) huge package(s) of meat and you have gotten it home, divide it out into meal-sized portions that you will then freeze for later use.  THIS is why there is no good reason to be shy about the discounted stuff; you’ll be freezing it before its “use/freeze by” date anyway.  Smart money says that if you intend to marinate it to go ahead and do it now before putting it in the freezer.
  • With properly planned/portioned meals according to the number of people who live in your house, you will only be cooking for people who will be eating and in quantities that you will not have a ton of leftovers in the fridge for a week for the kids to get tired of and get tossed out.
  • (note:  this applies to my house and may not necessarily work for yours)  Not eating red meat goes a LONG way in the saving of money, as it is a simple fact that poultry and (most) seafood will cost quite a bit less than similarly applied red meat (beef/pork/etc…) items.  With that in mind, being a snob about dark meat vs white meat can and will unnecessarily drive your grocery bill up, so be realistic with what you’re needing and what you need it for.

The only thing you should realistically have to go back to the store for in between your paydays is milk and bread (yes, eggs and cheese will keep that long).

Look at this…

Those are chicken leg quarters, plenty enough to feed me and my family one meal at a time.  Each one of those bags represents one day.  That nine days’ worth of chicken cost me $9.77 at Satan’s nutsack Wal Mart.  Similarly – as you will see in the only other image contained in this post – others items will be frozen as well.
Matter of fact, here’s that pic now…

On the top shelf, you will see about 8 frozen and vacuum-sealed tilapia filets from a bag that I (well, my mom since SHE wanted fish and didn't need to have 20 filets) only paid about $11 for.  On the next shelves after the ice maker, you will see one quart of spaghetti sauce and six 8x8 pans, two contain baked mac and cheese and four contain pre-rolled (but not yet cooked) meatballs.  As we should consider that our time is money, preparing these items ahead of time is a WINNER considering work/exercise scheduling and still having a meal ready to eat by dinner time.  Knocking 45 minutes of prep time off is the move.  Next down, you see all of the above-pictured chicken as well as what was already in the freezer from previous hauls.  Bottom drawer is FULLY stocked with frozen vegetables.  Not pictured and in the cabinets are various rice/pastas and non-perishable side items.  All told, I spent $60 in Wal Mart the past Friday ($14 of that was nonfood items) and we will EASILY eat on that for the whole of two weeks.
(Phlip Note: don't ask to see my fridge, the fact that I cook from my freezer makes my fridge look like I am a poor college student)

Individual results will vary, of course.  Remember that I have a small family and a very small child but following this lead will be the first step in saving some money on food supplies.


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