Thursday, February 11, 2010

Random budget ramblings

I've always tried to be creative and frugal with our grocery budget. Feeding a family of six, including four kids who never seem to be full, can be quite a challenge. The whole unemployment thing has made me take a closer look at what we eat and how we use what we have.

One thing I've started doing is planning out our breakfasts and lunches. I've always done meal planning for dinner, knowing it saved us money to plan ahead. The other meals have usually been a grab what you want affair...not much planning involved. When breakfast and lunch are planned, it seems to stretch our food a bit farther and therefore our budget. Rather than grabbing the easy cold cereal, we're taking a few extra minutes to make a pot of oatmeal, or a batch of pancakes. These two things alone will feed our family for pennies.

I've been making granola cereal for quite awhile now. Half the family loves it and the other half...not so much. Since it wasn't their favorite, I continued to buy the expensive cold cereal for them. Not anymore. One day a week they get to eat the granola. Are they happy about it? Not so much. Is it going to kill them? No!

Another thing I've taken a hard look at is how we use up what's already in the fridge. I recently read that the average American family throws out at least a pound of food per person, per week! Yikes! Since the weather's been so nasty, a great way to use up bits of this and that is to make up a pot of soup. I've got a chicken stew in the crockpot right now made with bits of leftover veggies and some yummy, rich gravy. Oh, that will be so good with homemade cornbread tonight! Yesterday we used up the last of a bean and chili dip from our Superbowl party. It made delicious burritos for lunch. Normally, those things would probably have sat in the fridge for a week (or more!) and then ended up in the trash.

Hopefully the unemployment won't last too long, but I'm thankful for the lessons we're learning along the way.


  1. Ive thought about meal planning, just never seem to get around to it. It kills me how expensive groceries are! We're bad on leftovers, we hardly ever eat them, unless it's something like lasagna.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting on my coffee table!

  2. I know we throw away too much food! I like the idea of making soup with the leftover bits.
    I'm sorry to hear about the job loss but glad that the Lord is faithful and supplying your needs!

  3. Hi, so nice to meet you. I’m Yoli, a fellow “Texas Blogging Gal”. I made it my goal to visit each member’s Blog. I don’t want to just “drive-thru” to meet a quota, but instead to share the gift of friendship that God gives us all. I’m excited to read your inspirational stories and see your creative works. You are always welcomed at my Apron Senorita Blog.

    I sincerely appreciate your openess about the regular trials of a mother and wife. I'm a single mom of 2 teen kids and I do everything in my power to keep us in a budget. I'm blessed financially with a good job but my income is all we have, no child support. Being able to live within our means meant eating at home more often, teaching my kids about "budgets", and doing a little sewing on the side. I have such faith in women; we are blessed with common sense!

    God Bless You!


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