While on the Internet today, I was reading all the doom and gloom about the recession. It made me so thankful that my husband's job is not in danger as I know that millions of people in America have been laid off. I can't imagine how that must feel as I sit securely in my home. We are not in debt other then our very stable mortgage, so we are not feeling much from all of this expect the price of food and diapers have been going up. Gas and groceries are our main bills apart from our mortgage. With gas going down and our habit of consuming less gas has gone up, we have found a good balance and are actually saving money. As far as groceries, we have been shopping at Cash and Carry which is where the restaurants shop at. Everything is in bulk and I am finding great deals. We are saving so much money by going over there.
Some shopping/cooking tips from Stacie are:
1. Buy chopped onions in bulk. Store them in the freezer and whenever you need onions for soups, casseroles, skillet dishes or omelets they are already ready to go!
2. I buy the giant bag of celery and green peppers. They don't come chopped, so I chop them up really quick and then put them in freezer bags. Again, they are all ready to go!
3. I am buying the big bag of Romaine lettuce and chopping them up for salads or sandwiches. I store them in gallon size bags.
4. Buy the big #10 cans of peaches and pears. Whatever you don't use after you open them, store in the fridge. They last a week or two. It's perfect for a snack in between meals as well.
5. Make your own bread! I have saved $100s of dollars by doing this. I use my bread machine and always put it on the dough cycle. In the morning if I'm not planning on going anywhere, I am now in the habit of putting all the ingredients in and pushing start. After the dough cycle is done, I put the dough into a greased bread pan and let it rise until it looks like a normal loaf of bread. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. I freeze what I can't use. No one seems to like the end slices so I am putting them in a bag in my freezer and am going to make a bread pudding for Christmas. I am probably spending less then 25 cents per loaf when I make my own!
6. I buy cheese in bulk (pre-grated) and then I buy pre-sliced for sandwiches.
7. I buy milk when it is on sale. Whatever I can't use, I throw in the freezer.
8. I buy oatmeal in bulk and make it once a week. For breakfasts, I don't do cold cereal so I do some kind of quick bread or cinnamon rolls once a week. The rest of the time we do eggs, bacon or breakfast burritos. For a treat I do biscuits and sausage gravy.
9. Use up your fresh fruit first, when it's almost pay day and it's all gone is when you open up the #10 cans of canned fruits. This helps you not go to the store as often when you are tempted to buy fresh produce.
10. Grow your own tomatoes and freeze them. Also, if you don't have an apple tree, but know someone who does, glean the apples, peel and chop them. I like to put them in quart-size freezer bags. I use them all winter for quick breads, oatmeal and cookies.
Hope this helps!
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