Monday, February 22, 2010

On Saving Money And A Challenge For The Next Month

Last week, I took the time to write out a food inventory.  I wrote down everything that was in my refrigerator, freezer, and chest freezer.  I did not need to write down everything in my pantry because I visually see what is in the pantry daily.  It helps to keep things organized neatly inside the cabinets.  My list was very long and I showed it to my husband.  The conclusion was made that it was time to just eat from the stock that I had worked so hard at building all last summer, fall, and this winter.  I didn't want any of it to spoil because I simply did not use it.  I have a large variety of foods to chose from.  So, my challenge for the next month is to just eat from what I have and only spend no more than $25 a week at the grocery store for a family of 7.  Do you think that I can do it?  I started this challenge this week and only spend $17 today for our entire week.  I would love to hear from others out there who are willing to join me and see how little you can spend on groceries in the next four weeks.  My grand total last month was $320.  I chose to try freezer cooking the past 4 weeks and loved every minute.  I plan on doing more freezer cooking this time also.

Some tips that I would love to leave you with is: shop for items only if they are on sale, on sale with a coupon, buy your baking goods from a whole sale food supplier (it is much cheaper), eat more whole grains, make your own foods (such as salad dressings and breads), buy fruits and veggies in season if you do not have a garden, can and freeze your fruits and veggies (even if it must be purchased from the grocery store), and eat more frozen fruits in the winter months (I purchased 30lbs. of frozen blueberries for $29 from a whole sale food supplier and my kids LOVE to eat these for a snack).  Also, learn the art of making your own things.  Experiment and have fun!  You would be amazed at all the products that you could actually make from your own home.  The internet is a great resource for finding out how to make things in your own home.  If anyone else has other tips that they have learned along the way, I would be happy to know.

Just the other day, I found this amazing recipe for homemade hamburger buns.  I followed the recipe exactly and they turned out absolutely beautiful.  All the credit goes to a wonderful mom over at Please visit her website as she is very helpful.

Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

5 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup warm water
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt

1.  Mix 3 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups warm water.  Rest for 30 minutes.
2.  Mix 1/4 cup of water, 4 1/2 tsp. yeast, and 2 Tbs. honey.  Rest for 10 minutes.
3.  Melt 2 Tbs. butter, 1/2 cup milk, and 2 tsp. salt in a small pan on the stovetop. Do not let the temperature get above 120 degrees.
4.  Pour yeast mixture and milk mixture into flour mixture.  Add 2 cups of whole wheat flour and knead for 10 minutes, until dough looks shiny.
5.  Put dough back in bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 hour.
6.  Knead dough to get bubbles out and roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut in circles with a large mouth coffee cup.  Place in a well buttered baking dish, cover, and let it rise for 30 minutes.
7.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Another recipe that I am looking forward to trying is for whole wheat flour tortillas.  You can find this recipe over at my friend Janelle's website

I am looking forward to much feedback on your plan for being frugal on groceries.  One of my favorite blogs has a challenge to to make from scratch.  She is a frugal mom!


Anonymous said...

Very inspiring.I'm just not there yet.Our grocery budget is extreme.Please keep posting, so I can learn.

Sarah said...

You sweet thing! Thanks for being up to the "From Scratch" challenge! I look forward to seeing how you have done!

It is VERY tough to get over that first hump, of thinking I am "limited" in my budget, I "can only" do this, I "have to" make more from scratch... etc. But, once you get past that mindset, it is actually so much fun! I love being challenged. And this is something I can challenge myself to be better at, AT MY OWN PACE! It's also great to share that with others, to be an encouragement.

May God bless your family's journey! <3