Welcome to Day 1 of my new series A Month Of Frugal Living: An Experiment and Honest Report of Living Well on Less, or the abbreviated version: Living Well on Less. Click HERE for the beginning.
Today was grocery shopping for me, and I am happy to say I had great success at saving lots of money, and was by far my smallest bill in almost 2 years! We’re talking around 60 dollars. Mind you, it helped that I had all the meat I needed from last week.
Anyways, I’m excited about the savings because for a while its been really difficult to spend under a hundred for the last year. For the next three days or so, I’d like to share with you what I did to cut down my bill considerably. For today, I thought I’d start with the menu by sharing the tips I used to cut-down our overall grocery bill.
I didn’t want to sacrifice the health of my family, so I still came up with healthy, well-balanced meals. The goal is to still live well, not to live as cheaply as possible. At the end of the post will be our menu.
The top 3 frugal principles I followed in making my menu were:
- Aim to have around three vegetarian meals a week. This should be interesting for us, seeing as my husband is a meat-lover, but by simply halving a traditional ground beef recipe with beans we can considerably lessen the overall bill. Meat is probably the most expensive thing you could purchase.
- Make one of your meals “an egg dinner.” A carton of eggs is super cheap, and you can think beyond the standard fried eggs and toast. Some of my favorite are huevos rancheros, Quiche, skillet strata with cheddar and thyme, and ham hash.
- Plan your recipes around the ingredients you already have in your pantry, freezer and fridge.
Our Frugal Menu
Lentil Shepard’s Pie. This recipe is from Aimee over at Simple Bites in her post Eat Well, Spend Less: My Top 5 Frugal Meals. It’s a great article that I’d highly recommend checking out!
Pork Vindaloo, served with rice. I’ll be honest, the recipe I used was from The Best 30-Minute Recipe book, by America’s Test Kitchen. I found one online that looked very tasty.
Ham Hash and toast…this is how I’ve been making use of my frozen ham I have from Christmas. I sometimes throw in several cups of spinach to add some extra nutrients. You really can’t tell its there, so why not?
Homemade Pizza (I use this recipe), Spinach Salad and Garlic-Herb Vinaigrette dressing. I Simply preheat my oven to 350 F, and bake it for about 21 minutes. I like to top it off with what I have in the fridge, as long as it goes.
Indian Style Lentil Soup. The recipe I used was also from The Best 30-Minute Recipe book, by America’s Test Kitchen. But this one I linked to is shockingly similar! Looks yummy.
I know with each week our grocery expenses will ebb and flow, and that this week was certainly on the low-end, however I do believe using these frugal principles helped in lowering our overall bill. In the next Part II I’ll share the other ways I was able to cut it down.
Thanks for reading,