Destination England

Our journey from debt to England…and everything in between!

4 Things We’re Doing to Save on Food

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1. Cutting out Fast Food

This I have to admit is a hard one for me.  I fail, time and time again. The reason is strictly laziness and poor time management.  I usually eat at these places for breakfast and lunch.  This is due to the fact of not getting up early enough to cook, or packing a lunch beforehand.  We have been more prone to eating out since Connor’s been born, but now I think it’s more out of habit than actual convenience.  This is one area in the budget we are hemorrhaging money.  Lately, we’ve been doing well with eating dinner at home, even if it’s just hot dogs and chips.

2. Food Inventory

With our move fast approaching, we’re starting to see real progress on the packing front.  I hope to get even more done this weekend, as we have this weekend and next really to spend packing, and then after that we move!  This past weekend we spend boxing up the kitchen utensils and dishes.  Since our room mate’s stuff is still there, and she’s not currently living there we’ve been using her things.  As we went through our cupboards, we noticed a lot of food just sitting there.  At first I thought, well let’s box up what we’re not using.  Then my wife suggested, let’s make an inventory and use what we have.

The plan is to use most of the food in our pantry and refrigerator and only buy the bare minimum that we need before the move.  This will lower the amount we have to pack, as well as helping out the pocket book.  Plus we’ve truly wasted a lot of food.  Laziness is a big culprit (and I’m not exactly the poster child for strong willed determination), and with a seven month old, sometimes it is just easier to order out.  Because of that, we forget about things we’ve purchased and they stay locked in the cupboard or in the fridge until they have expired or gone bad.  This is something we’ve both committed to change, and creating a food inventory will certainly help!

3. Meal Planning

A few weeks ago I was listening to the morning radio show and they were talking about a story involving a family where the child forgot to take his lunch to school, and the school called to ask if it was ok to give him a hot meal lunch, and the mother said no, as she wanted to teach her child a lesson.  Now, this conversation delved into the fact that the mother was quite OCD.  One thing she did was meal plan for the entire month.  This was promptly the subject of many jokes and quips from the radio station, but really it is good advice. Meal Planning serves two purposes in my mind. 1. You know what you’re eating and when allowing you to shop for specific items and reducing impulse buys at the grocery store. 2. It saves time.  Knowing, what you’re eating and when allows you to plan ahead and have those items ready to go.  I do think planning the entire month is a bit extreme, but doing a weekly meal plan is definitely a win/win situation!

4. Buying Fresher Ingredients

For St. George’s Day my wife, being the English woman she is, wanted to cook a traditional English dinner.  We went to Whole Foods Market and purchased most of the ingredients.  The difference in quality was amazing from what we’ve been buying the last few months.  We have been buying more for cost value.  I couldn’t believe the difference.  The cheaper meat that we had purchased did not hold a candle to these sausages.  The same with the produce, the potatoes my wife purchased, and then mashed had such a nicer flavor than the instant we’ve been using to save time/money.  Truth be told, they didn’t take that long to prepare either. Ok, this one may not save you money up front, but in the long run, it most likely will.

Now, I don’t know if we’ll buy from Whole Foods for all our meat, and produce, but a couple local super markets have a butcher counter, and the actual fresh produce is better, so we will likely use them as well.  However, I am more inclined to spend more on better quality food now.  It was a real eye opening moment.  We also bought a couple stuffed beef steaks (one with cheese and spinach, and one with pepperoni and cheese) for dinner on Friday. Me being the extremely fussy eater (I loathe most veggies) tried some of my wife’s spinach and cheese steak.  I actually enjoyed it!

Written by Jas

April 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Posted in Family, Finance, Goals, Moving, Random

Tagged with , , ,

One Response

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  1. For the first thing, the breakfast and lunches…I had a horrible habit with the same thing. Was constantly forgetting or not wanting to eat what I had. The best thing I did was go grocery shopping for work. I’m lucky in that we have a fridge, freezer, microwave and toaster. It allows me to buy a months worth of breakfast and lunches for $30-40 and have the food right there as needed. I never have to worry about forgetting my lunch or not eating breakfast and am able to eat better food too, since I don’t have to worry about how it will transport. It was the best decision ever.

    Mrs. Soup

    April 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm

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