This is Part 1 of many posts to come in the series: The Penny Pantry System, Strategies to Save the Most Money on Your Groceries
Strategy #1: Cooking from Scratch
One of the strategies I use to save the most money on my grocery expenses is to make food from scratch. I was shocked when I 1st calculated the prices of making something myself vs. purchasing it already made. This even applied to things I thought were inexpensive, like a $.99 sale can of beans!
Did you know you can make homemade muffins for $.10 ea.?! Or, a homemade cup of beans for $.08?! This is achieved by buying your pantry items at the lowest prices available. Knowing how much I can save cooking from scratch really shifted my approach in terms of cooking. Plus, you know what goes into your food! Homemade food tends to taste better, too.
Prepping at least a few things ahead will prevent you from turning to more expensive items during a hectic week. There a lot of approaches to Meal Prep, and a quick search on Pinterest will yield some impressive ideas. However, I felt I was enjoying all the planning, but it was exhausting to actually execute those plans ahead. After a lot of trial and error, I feel I have gotten it to a manageable system that gives me the most benefit during busy weekdays with the minimal amount of prepping ahead.
For weekly meals, I don’t prep meals per se, but homemade components of meals. I always start by making a soup on Sunday. I’ll make a few other things on Sunday as well, then a few on another night during the week. So, between those two days, I will have enough to put together some meals instead of making everything from scratch every night. For example, we can have burrito bowls super quick if I have already prepped beans, rice, salsa and romaine ahead. All I have to do is maybe slice up some avocados!
When I am feeling more motivated, about every 2 months I “Cook for the Freezer.” I have a list of things I like to make, that will freeze well. More details on this to come!
Prepping ahead does not have to be exhausting. It should be manageable, and help you out when you have less time to cook but still want to have a healthy, inexpensive meal. A little planning ahead will save you tons of money!
Next post in the Series: Food I am Prepping this Sunday 10/21
Other Posts Coming Soon in This Series:
The Price List (This guides you to pay the lowest price)
Meal Ideas for Inexpensive Meals
Monthly Shopping Strategy
Weekly Shopping Strategy
Cooking for the Freezer
….and many more!
Pictured above: Muffins I made recently. I made half Blueberry and half Chocolate Chip.