Monday, February 2, 2009

Stretching the Almighty Dollar

We, like many of you, are looking for ways to cut cost in our household. With this economy, two kids, and a teacher's salary there is ALWAYS room to cut something out. Needless to say, Doug and I are not experts, but we are learning.

We recently started clipping coupons and I learned very quickly that this truly is a fine art. Some of you have this whole thing figured out, but I did not grow up using coupons and my mother and I both are learning how to do this.

One thing that I feel that I am slowly mastering is that of stretching the food that we do purchase. I have really begun to get creative lately - hating to see food go to waste. Doug and I are not big leftover fans and it has always been a challenge to figure out ways to use food that we have already made.

For those of you that believe that eating out is just as cheap as doing it yourself, I hate to burst your bubble. It is easier but not cheaper. Yes, you can do it cheaply, but what are you feeding your family. I will give you an example. Doug and I recently went on a weekly trip to Sams. We purchased one roast for a little less than $12.00. So far I have made roast with carrots, potatoes, mashed potatoes and green beans twice, we had beef and vegetable stew with another pot ready to put on the stove whenever I am ready, I made beef bbq sandwiches with baked fries (the same potatoes that I purchased for the mashed potatoes), and I have roast left to make again with leftovers for something else. So... by the time I am finished with that $12 roast I will have made 7-8 meals out of it. That basically comes out to less than a $1.71 per meal (this does not include the other items to make the meals. Each meal with all the fixings comes out roughly to less the $5.00 per meal - not per person).

I say all this because I wanted to share my new findings. It is fun to eat delicious food and pay very little for it. It really is much easier than I thought and I honestly feel better about the reduction of food waste. All the things I mentioned above are very easy to make so if you want recipes just comment below.

If you have ideas, please feel free to share. I am also all ears for any advice on the coupon thing.

4 comments:

Cara Shroyer said...

Alison,
I have played the Grocery Game with coupons for a year now (www.grocerygame.com). It costs $5/month for 1 grocery store (I only use Kroger) and I save $40-$50/week on my grocery bill. It takes discipline to make a grocery list & cut coupons each week, but since I only work part-time, I feel like it's partly my job to figure out ways to save money! We don't love leftovers either, so I make meals I can freeze the other half and pull out later for a "fresh" new meal (which I think will really come in handy when baby #2 arrives!)

Alison said...

I will have to check out that site. We definitely are not cutting that much off of our grocery bill. The freezing thing is our life saver. That is how I got so many meals out of that silly roast. Thanks for sharing! I hope ya'll are well.

Cara Shroyer said...

Hey...I gave you the wrong website. It was too late last night when I was writing! It's www.thegrocerygame.com! Sorry about that! We really need to get together. It's silly we live so close and never see each other. How much longer 'til you're due? I only have 11 more weeks. AUGH!! What are we going to do with 2 kiddos??? Hope you're feeling good.

The Dettling's said...

I've begun doing the same thing. I'm a sucker for eating out even though I used to love to cook and even planned to go to culinary school in college. It just tastes better when someone else makes it. But those days are over and I've had fun trying to come up with new ways to extend our meals. I'm very curious how you stretched that roast out for so many different meals. When you get a chance (ha, ha), please email me your secret! We can't wait to hear about that sweet baby's arrival! It's a crazy, but fun ride!