Monday, April 23, 2018

My Household Tips For Saving Money



MY TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY

Am I frugal?  Maybe somewhat. I have my times of spending but they aren't very often. That is the secret to balanced spending!  You want to have some for shopping don't you? Join me today as I share saving tips from the kitchen!





I realize that is somewhat a thing from the past that others did.  Well, let me tell you there are those of us that cook daily and have never stopped.  

You may say, "I work hard for a living and don't have the time to cook."  I say to you take it from me it can be done, and you can enlist some help, if needed.  Hide the remote control to the TV and enlist hubby to wash the dishes or peel the potatoes, run to the market for you.  While you're at it have the kids to disconnect from the gaming systems and smart phones to sweep floors or wash dishes.  All can be helpful. (Good luck with that one.) You can do it I know you can!


FOOD/COOKING

Coupons Yes or No
No for me




My sister in law Bettye, mother in law Genolia, and I used to shop around for sales weekly.  Back in those days you could coupon coupon coupon and we actually made money!  Yes we did, we took home cash!  Of course, in those days the stores would give you the extra leftover cash and most of the coupons were on prepackaged items. We thought nothing of buying them, knew nothing of additives etc. That was when the laundry detergents, soaps etc were great buys (in our case they ended up being free!) Those days are gone, they no longer give the extra cash.  Using coupons are not worth it to me so I no longer use them.  It takes too much time and energy planning and using for the value they hold today for me anyway. (for food shopping that is.  I do use for other shopping.) You may use things that have coupons so by all means save where you can.


IDEAS THAT HAVE WORKED FOR ME MANY YEARS:


  • COOK:  You don't have to eat out every night.  You live alone?  So what, cook for yourself. There is no reason not to have healthy, nutritious foods. You have a large family?  Learn what it takes and cook what is needed.  You'll soon learn your needs and how much to buy for your family.  EXTREME SAVINGS
  • YOU don't cook you may say.  I say there is no excuse with today's information not to learn. There are many programs, cookbooks, you tube videos available full of ideas and recipes. SMART TO LEARN
  • LEFTOVERS?  Take to work, school, or freeze for another time when you just don't feel like cooking.  EXTRA SAVINGS
  • MEAL PLANNING, BUYING, PREPARING all mean BIG SAVINGS! Buy what you need, the planning helps you know what you'll need.

  • MAKE A BUDGET and STICK TO IT!  You'll be glad you did in the long run. NOTEThe only exception to this is if you unexpectedly find an item you use regularly on a great sale! SAVINGS


  • PAY ATTENTION to how much of anything it takes to feed your family, no matter what the size. In no time at all you'll be preparing and SAVING LOTS!



  • BUY ON SALE if possible.  Check expiration dates.  SOMETIMES the reason an item goes on sale is because it is soon to expire....


  • BUYING IN BULK can SAVE LOTS OF MONEY**NOTE it only saves if you use what you buy!  Don't buy just because it is on sale and you don't actually use or need.  Then you are wasting money.


  • BUY WHOLE FOODS to cook and stay away from most convenience foods.  You, yourself can cook much more delicious foods than you can buy in prepackaged form. A lot of prepackaged items are having recalls on them anyway.  It is a safer option to buy whole food wash, slice, prepare and store for yourself. REMEMBER prepackaged, pre.. this and that have lots of unhealthy additives that can make you and the family sick in the long run. They are more expensive too!  No matter how convenient they may seem stay away from them whenever possible. SAVINGS ARE BIG! 
EXAMPLE: BUY the whole lettuce wash & chop your own.  Not only is it better, fresher but safer than pre-packaged cut salads/lettuces that have so many health scares and recalls! I mean truly how long can it take to pull or chop a lettuce?  **Tip buy a lettuce chopper it prevents browning of the leaves. 

ALLERT:  AT THIS PRESENT TIME 4/23/18 THERE IS A RECALL ON ROMAINE LETTUCE OF ALL KINDS WHOLE, PREPACKAGED AND IN RESTAURANTS THAT CARRY THAT PARTICULAR BRAND..BEWARE AND REFRAIN FROM BUYING UNTIL CLEARED.

DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE FROZEN FRENCH FRIES IN THE FREEZER SECTION? I can tell you NO you don't peel and cut the potatoes for Home Fries!  They are way better anyway!


  • TIP** Steer clear of those frozen food sections that contain pretty much nothing but prepackaged.  You know now you can cook these things! YAY..




SOME THINGS YOU HAVE TO SPEND MONEY ON FOR GOOD QUALITY AND TASTE

DON'T YOU GET CHEAP ON ME NOW YA HEAR!



SERIOUSLY DON'T GO THIS ROUTE AS IN THE VIDEO I POSTED JUST FOR FUN!

THOSE TYPES OF BUFFETS ARE JUST PLAIN GROSS! EAT FROM THE MENU ALWAYS BETTER!  POINT STILL BEING SOMETIMES YOU SPEND MORE MONEY BECAUSE IN THE LONG RUN IT IS WELL WORTH IT.





  • FIND a good MEAT MARKET if you eat meat.  I have one and it is more expensive.  I do splurge on that one. (taste is something you shouldn't skimp on, if you don't like something it won't taste good and you'll lose interest in cooking. Throwing away a bad cut of meat is not saving.) Some things you can't go cheap on and if you find a good local source then by all means use them. I buy in BULK AND FREEZE.  RESEARCH IT CAN SAVE YOU LOTS OF MONEY AND TIME.


    • GROW your own vegetables and fruits if you have space.  You'd be amazed even in an apartment with a balcony how you can grow things in pots! SAVINGS


    • PRODUCE: Ideally grow your own but if you don't or can't buy locally. We have a wonderful farmer's market and some local farmers nearby that set up market stands on their farm.  The taste is 100% better that way too! SAVINGS


    • YOU will need a freezer large enough to hold foods for the size of your family.  You choose that one but you will have food at a moments notice for many meals.  YOU SAVE gas and wear and tear on the automobile going back and forth to the grocery. HUGE SAVINGS


    • A PANTRY is great, but if you don't have one make a space in your cabinets for storing...SAVING

    • STORE:  Freeze or Can to save.  Follow safety guidelines in canning for sure  You can freeze meats some for up to a year.  You can research these things. EXTREMELY LARGE SAVINGS


    • STOCK UP ON STAPLES/BASICS you use all the time.  You can SAVE GAS, MONEY & TIME if you do this.  It is a pleasure to cook if you have many on hand items available for your use. You'll enjoy eating out more if you don't constantly do it.  It will become more enjoyable. SAVINGS


    • STORING at home PANTRY/CABINET  by first ending dates in front of course. You know I've admitted to being a hoarder of sorts (working on that one).

    • INVENTORY:  keep check on what you have in that pantry/cabinet regularly and clean at least once a month to have an even better idea. (take it from me, no matter how closely you monitor something there will always be something that needs to be used quicker than planned or sadly thrown out.  Rarely do I have to throw away but it does happen from time to time.  You're doing the inventories because it lets you know what needs to be used before going bad.  Be a little lenient and change your menu if you find something in storage that needs to be used. You may have to from time to time.  It all adds up to SAVINGS


    • DON'T SHOP AS OFTEN!  PLAN & COMBINE YOUR TRIPS TO SAVE TIME, GAS AND MONEY!  We all know that the more we go shopping the more we see, the more we want, (not necessarily need) the more we spend! I'm not saying don't ever do anything spur of the moment, or have any fun.  I'm just saying this is a big unplanned spending for things you wouldn't buy if you weren't up town.


    SUMMING UP
    PLANNING, RESEARCHING PRICES, SHOPPING, PREPARING:

    In just a short while you will become accustomed to fixing delicious meals at a fraction of the cost.  Believe me, it's true.  You WILL save money, and lots of it!  Have you priced the meals you are purchasing at take-outs and dining in?  Smart shopping for whole foods you could possibly have 2-4 more complete meals for you and your family by cooking in comparison to eating out.

    • COOK AT HOME MORE OFTEN 
    • EATING OUT is very expensive. TAKING YOUR LUNCH to work can be much LESS expensive than buying lunch daily.  Oh I like to eat out too.  You don't have to give up all, but some will indeed save you money.
    • MAKE A POT OF COFFEE at home, you REALLY can save lots of money in that way believe me! 
    • KEEP STAPLES in the home and you are ready at a moment's notice to feed guests! You'll be constantly ready.  You know what you need for most meals so keep on hand.
    • DON'T WASTE FOOD.  I had to make myself learn that slowly over the years.  I was mama Dot's cook at home when she went to work.  I had to cook for a family of 7 and since daddy Carl always had customers out back at his shop extras always ate with us.  You can imagine the downsizing of meals I had to get used to.
    • PLAN WELL AND SHOP LESS FOR SAVINGS
    • BE CHOOSY when shop only at the best stores for best items that you use.
    • BUY IN BULK IF YOU CAN when items are at great prices.  Keep in mind how quickly you will be using by best by and expiration dates.  Also, keep in mind the storage space you have in your home.  You don't want to buy tons of something and have nowhere to store. (that creates a hoarding mess.)
    • STORE WELL TO PROTECT AND HAVE ITEMS AVAILABLE FOR USE

    THINGS I REGULARLY BUY IN BULK
    YOU WILL NEED TO DECIDE WHAT YOU USE MOST
    TO BUY IN BULK

          • TOILET TISSUE, PAPER TOWELS, NAPKINS, ALUMINUM FOIL ROLL LARGE HEAVY DUTY, ALUMINUM FOIL SHEETS,WAX PAPER SHEETS, FREEZER BAGS GALLON & QUART, STORAGE BAGS GALLON & QUART SANDWICH BAGS, KITCHEN GARBAGE BAGS (I buy from Sam's Club You may have a local Wholesale Club of some kind in your area.)
          • Dukes Mayonnaise, Miracle Whip Sam's Club or Grocery when on sale Ketchup, mustard, vinegars, etc.
          • Cooking Oil & Shortening (for greasing my cake pans) Lard: to have on hand although I don't use as much anymore (Coconut, Olive many good oils out there now)
          • Butter real butter no to margarine it is not good for you no matter how many dietitians tout them.
          • Sugar (use a good brand such as Dominos or Dixie Crystals..some are made from GMO sources like Beet Sugars and they are not good for you.)  
          • Flour I always keep on hand All-Purpose, Self Rising, Cake, Bread, Unbleached White and Whole Wheat.
          • Salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda when needed
          • Yeast for baking when needed
          • Certain canned goods that I myself don't grow or can
          • Certain frozen items such as fish that I buy locally or order from Sea2Table, Vegetables (be careful if buying those they have lots of recalls from time to time and that can be dangerous) RARELY do I buy prepackaged frozen vegetables.  I like fresh better.  I buy my meats at a local butcher so freezer is full of Beef, Pork, Chicken, Fish, etc.
          • Sweet Bell Peppers at Farmer's Market, from my garden when in season or Sam't Wholesale when not in season locally. You can chop and freeze the extra before they go bad for use in cooked recipes.  We do this all of the time for our Spaghetti Sauces, Chili's etc.
          • Lettuces for salads are a staple (watch out for ecoli recalls there is one now on Romaine)
          • Carrots, Celery, Cucumbers, Mushrooms, Onions, Potatoes different varieties in season, Sweet Potatoes, I buy in bulk
          • Fruits, apples, oranges (Cara Cara a good variety), grapes (we love the seedless variety here), I have a small vineyard here as well for the Muscadine/Scuppernong varieties.
      • Buy in season, items such as produce just taste 100% better when in season in your area.  The amount of foods produced or packaged in other areas/countries is staggering these days.  Keep it as local as possible.

      TIPS
      (hit links that are highlighted for the items listed)



      I KEEP SPICES ON HAND Always!  I have a rack full of dried spices and now grow my own spices and herbs!  It is growing season now but I will be growing indoors during the Winter in my MiracleGro Aerogarden!  That is exciting and I now have more herbs than I need so drying them as well.

       I KEEP BACKYARD CHICKENS and wouldn't be without them.  You just can't beat the rich, deep golden yellow of a FRESH FARM EGG.



      If you own hens you know. If not you may want to get some or buy Farm Fresh Eggs whenever you can!


      WHEN BUYING IN BULK: Plan to be busy on that day washing, preparing, freezing, storing your extra items.  You will be tired but it is worth it in the long run.  Don't leave meats and perishables too long in the fridge.  Choose what you will be preparing in that day or the next and store/freeze the rest.  Do this immediately so it will be fresher when you take it out and taste better.  Besides you'll be glad the hard work is done and over with.  I also make my salads then and store in fridge.  Wash your fruits, dry bag as well for easy healthy snacking! You can also make a Spray to clean some of your fruits & vegetables.
      FREEZE: I mentioned freezing the bell peppers, you can freeze most peppers for use in cooking later.  MAKE and store SALADS for a week in your fridge.  STORE celery in foil for longer keeping!

      FREEZE in sizes you will need for YOUR family.  I for instance freeze my ground beef in 2 Lb. packages because that is most convenient for me.  Makes is easy enough later to be made into chili, sauces, hamburgers, etc.
      I now freeze my steaks in one package each to pull out what is needed.  Chuck and I used to think we had to eat a whole premium cut of Rib Eye each..We now cook only one and eat that together.  We actually lose weight doing this! SAVINGS in more ways than one!
      DO THIS for chops as well it is amazing how it will make you stop and think about how many of those you actually need.  (if you freeze a whole pack of pork chops then you thaw and tend to cook all and then you don't use most times so there you go loss of savings.)


      MAKE YOUR OWN JAMS/JELLY/JUICES

      I have a small vineyard here and grow Muscadine/Scuppernong varieties. I use them to make juice and Grape Jelly.  Strawberries in season enjoy all you can and make jam when they are at their ripest, but be sure to freeze some for making jam in the winter. My kids love the Strawberry-Banana Jam .  We also like Orange Marmalade here as well.  Recently I found at Sam's Wholesale a wonderful orange called Cara Cara and make Marmalade from that.  It is delicious.

      HOME CANNING can save you a tremendous amount of money and tastes much better. I will have to move some of my canning recipes from the old cooking blog I had to over here.  Don't be afraid to can.  If you can boil water you can home can foods. Research some foods have to be canned in a pressure canner for safety.





      I make pickles, home can tomatoes, peaches, pears, soups, spaghetti sauces,green beans in Pressure Cooker/Canner and now let me tell you that saves a bunch!


      BUY Whole Chickens.  Learn to cut one up, it's not that hard.  They have some cut up whole chickens in the grocers but they are different sizes from different chickens and frankly just not as good by any means. SAVES MONEY!  Tip* buying whole chickens for frying you should look for the smallest around I buy a 3LB or a little over but as close to that as can be foundI do buy whole as well as a delicious chicken breast from my butcher because they are smaller and much more tender than what is in the grocers'.  I buy Springer Mountain Farm's chickens, tenders, thighs and legs as well.  They are more tender and therefore taste better.  I do freeze them to keep them longer of course.
      BUY a Chuck Roast and cut it up for Stew if the roast is less expensive!  That is simple enough to do.


      I PROMISE it helps your items last longer, yet they are easy to use for extra people that may pop in as well. SAVINGS


      IMPORTANT LINK SOUTH CAROLINA CLEMSON EXTENSION FREEZING GUIDE


      OFF TO FIND BUYS IN FUN THINGS WITH MY SAVINGS!



      Be sure to share things that work for you when saving!
      I know this is the first of many I will post, because more ideas always come to mind.
      Hopefully some of these ideas will help you as much as they've helped me.



      Next Saving Post Up
      CLEANING
      MIXTURES I USE AND MANY IDEAS!
      I SAVE HUNDREDS $ A YEAR BY DOING THIS!







        4 comments:

        1. Terrific comprehensive info here. For those who don't want to can- there are things that can be frozen. I use tiny mason jars for preserving garlic, jalapenos, ginger. These can be pulsed in the Cuisinart- placed in jars- when ready to use simply scrape frozen amount needed for your recipe... doesn't take long as the amount needed is usually small. salsa is easy to make and store in glass jars Be sure to leave an inch or two of head room for expansion. I make a paper or cardstock collar to go around the center of the jar. You can write the name of the product and when it was frozen. Also it protects jars from cracking should you bump one against another. Salsa makes a quick easy dish- simply sear your meat and pour defrosted jar of salsa over chicken, beef, pork, turkey... serve over rice or noodles. You can also freezr soups in this way.

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          Replies
          1. Hi Nancy,
            I love your idea and have used the jars for freezing as well. I like your idea for the cardstock collar that is great! Thanks for sharing all of the helpful tips!
            Dolly

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        2. Great I found a few new tips. Never thought about buying a chuck roast a little larger than usual and using some for soups and stews. I will be canning out of the garden this year too.
          I'm also going to start keeping inventory of the pantry too, I find I'm buying an item not realizing I have some of what ever and it goes out of date. Just wasting. There were a couple more I will use. Thanks.

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          Replies
          1. I guess I didn't cover a lot of ground but took a long time to write about it..lol... Simple as the tips are they truly do save money in the long run. Now if I could only get the hoarding out of the fabric room. Think maybe my savings went into fabric and supplies! Thank you too, it's always so good to hear from you.

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