This month my family is focusing on minimizing our expenses. After looking at all of our recurring monthly costs, it was clear we could cut back our grocery budget. For a while now, we’ve been bad about going to the store and buying whatever strikes us. We’ve also been throwing out a lot of food.
In an effort to be more frugal, I went through the fridge, freezer and pantry to see what we already had on hand. Turns out we had a ton of good stuff like cans of beans, pasta, and wild rice I’d frozen in batches a while back. Our garden has also been overflowing with tomatoes, zucchini and green beans.
Knowing what I had on hand, I made a meal plan for the entire week. (No more 3:00pm “ugh-what-should-I-make-for-dinner” freakouts.) Then I went to the store to get the other ingredients I needed. My grocery bill was seriously cut in half – in half! I made fried rice, pasta with a quick homemade marinara, and delicious black bean tacos (a recipe from our favorite vegetarian restaurant). My husband took leftovers for lunch the next day, and I made sandwiches at home for myself.
So far, I’m off to a good start and feeling optimistic that we can really make a dent in our spending. The challenge will be keeping this up for the entire month and remembering to do the weekly planning on Sunday night. But I really enjoyed trying to find new ways to use the ingredients I already had – I always love finding new favorite recipes.
If you have any quick, easy weeknight meal favorites, I’d love to hear them! Share them in the comments below.