Here’s a look at what we keep in our freezers, including detailed instructions on how we package specific foods.
Stocking up on foods, toiletries and other household goods while they’re on sale is a smart way to avoid paying retail for the products that you use on a regular basis. Here’s a printable list of items that you should consider stockpiling.
Save money on groceries and eat better by buying foods when they’re in season. This is when they’re at their cheapest, freshest and most nutritious. To help you plan ahead, I created this free, printable calendar listing the fruits and vegetables that are in season each month.
This post is sponsored by The Beef Checkoff and brought to you by The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
If you’re planning to serve beef this holiday season, you’re in luck: beef prices are down almost 10% from their peak prices in late 2014. That means you can expect to see lower prices in the grocery store, as you shop for steaks, roasts and ground beef for your holiday meals. But 10% is just a starting point. Let’s go over some more ways to save money on beef, so you come home from the grocery store with a deal.
Something I haven’t told you about our weekend homestead yet: It’s in an area that’s being settled by the Amish. The first families came down from Pennsylvania three years ago. Now a bunch more families are moving to the area. We’ve been told 42 Amish families will be relocating to the area. And we’re really enjoying watching their community take shape.
There’s a great Amish bake stand that’s open on the weekends, and we love to stop there for fresh donuts. They’re ridiculously good.
And since this spring, several homes and businesses have gone up. There’s a new saw mill, a dry goods store, a hardware store and a wonderful salvage grocery store.
We finally made time to visit the salvage grocery store yesterday, and I really wish we had done it sooner. The deals are incredible. Take a look at what I brought home:
(5) bag of SunMaid chocolate covered raisins for $.50 a bag
Would you buy food from a Dollar Tree? Until recently I would have said no, but you know what? I’ve really changed my mind about that. Because the thing is, they’re not just selling junk anymore. There are lots of real, minimally-processed foods to choose from, and the prices are crazy good. We’re talking 75% less that what I’m used to paying at the grocery store for the same thing (and in many cases, the same brands).
Every time I stop in to stock up on groceries, I find something new to try, and so far I haven’t been disappointed with anything.
Here’s a look at what I’m currently buying at Dollar Tree …
Nature’s Own Bread – They act as a bakery outlet for several bread companies, including Nature’s Own. What they get in varies, and it sells out quickly, so I fill the freezer when it’s in stock.
Trying to get your grocery bill down? Here’s a look at how I save on groceries:
I Buy in Bulk.
I cook most things from scratch, so buying bulk quantities of the ingredients that I use regularly just makes sense. It saves me time and cuts down on trips to the store. I buy sugar 25 pounds at a time; I buy olive oil in a big tin; and I hit the bulk bins for dried beans and spices a couple times a year. I used to buy my flour in bulk when our friend owned a pizza place, and I hope to get back to buying it in bulk again soon. It’s just so much easier (and cheaper).
Would you pay $343.38 for a pound of bay leaves? While I know that sounds too absurd to consider, you’re already paying that much, if you buy yours by the jar. And here’s the crazy thing: those same bay leaves cost just $21.99 a pound, if you buy them from the bulk bins. Is a plastic bottle really worth the extra $321.39? Apparently grocery stores think so. I sure don’t.
On several occasions, I’ve recommended buying your spices from the bulk bins to save money, but I haven’t shown how much it will save you. And I think you need to see the math to be convinced that we’re talking about a significant savings opportunity. So, I did a side-by-side price comparison — jarred spices vs. bulk bins spices. I checked the bulk bin prices at Earth Fare (a health food chain), and I checked the prices on the spice aisle at Kroger. To make the comparison as fair as possible, I recorded the price of the cheapest jarred spice option that I could find. In many cases, that meant the cheapo $1 bottle. How did the two compare? See for yourself:
Usually grocery shopping isn’t my idea of fun, but my last trip was a blast. I shop at Kroger, and their latest Mega Event started Wednesday. It included sales on several items that I’ve been needing to stock up on, so I printed a BUNCH of coupons, and headed out.
Homemade bone broth (aka stock) is really good for you, and it’s easy to make, too. But where do you get the bones? I always save the bones from our holiday turkeys and hams and any rotisserie chickens that we happen to buy, but I also buy bones for broth.
At $3 or $4 a bottle, spices aren’t cheap, and they tend to clutter up your pantry in a hurry. Fortunately, I’ve found a simple way to keep the cost and clutter under control:
When I come across a recipe that I want to try, and it calls for a spice that I don’t have on hand, I buy enough from the bulk bins to make the recipe. If I decide the recipe is a keeper, I’ll buy a bottle of the spice to add to my collection.
Some Other Things I Do to Save on Spices: