There have been lots of times when money has been very tight for our family, and I have always found that the easiest way to trim our budget has been to save money on groceries. It is so easy to blow several hundred a month at the grocery store on junk! However, when I put my mind to it, I can limit our grocery bill (for six of us) to $200 or less. 🙂
Well, lately, with Gaylon being in Texas and us trying to become completely debt free once we sell our house, I’ve been trying to be extremely frugal. So, last week, Alex and I went shopping and managed to come home with everything I needed to cook 30 meals (except for 1 box of quick-cooking barley) for $102. Isn’t that cool?
We already had a few items, (canned chunk pineapple, spaghetti, potatoes, and so on) so next month our bill may go up $20 or $30, but still, to feed six people dinner for a month, that’s pretty amazing these days! I grate my own cheeses and make my own bread crumbs, so that saves a little, and I shop at stores and ministries that sell things dirt cheap. It works! And my family has wonderful home-cooked meals to eat every night. There have been several times when there has been someone in need of a meal in our homeschool group or our church, and I have been able to simply grab one of the meals out of the freezer, add bread and salad, bake some cookies, and we’re ready to go.
I have to say, though, that this time I had a LOT of help from my Mom and Faith. Mom kept the kitchen cleaned up, while Faith helped by bringing me things and stirring meats and sauces and whatever else needed doing. We have a full month’s worth of meals in our freezer now, and it’s wonderful.
I generally use the “One Month Plan” outlined in Deborah Taylor-Hough’s book, Frozen Assets. Over the years I have tried lots of different OAMC plans, but that is by far my family’s favorite. My kids actually request certain recipes from her books, in particular the Mexi-Chicken! Actually, that was the first thing Gaylon asked about, too! Anyway, you can check out her blog at The Simple Mom.