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8 ways to shop, cook and eat for less in 2012.

Confession:  I already broke a New Years resolution.

It’s January 1st.

Uh oh.

I swore off sugar and then my amazingly generous neighbors gave us a bottle of Adult Chocolate Milk.  Have you had this stuff?  It’s a mudslide dressed up all innocent and cute.  And thus my earnest resolution was broken.

Well  here’s a resolution you can stick to:  saving some dough on your food budget in 2012.

Here are 8 ways to do it:

1.  Menu plan.  I’m not kidding – I think this could save you 10-15% on your budget.  Check out what’s on sale using weekly circulars, or put my cheat sheet to use, then build your menu for the week ahead of time.  Now focus here:  don’t deviate from the plan!  I know those sugar cookies look great…don’t add them to your cart!  Get a few more ideas here.

2.  Invest in cheap wine.  You don’t need to spend $15 per bottle to drink good wine.  Take a look at some of my Wine Friday selections which are $5-10/bottle, and will be even more tasty using an aerator which you can pick up for $30-40 but will be well worth the investment over time.

3.  Cook from scratch.  Avoid the pre-made and processed items and commit to cooking from scratch in 2012.  This will save you lots of cash, and you can feel good knowing exactly what you’re eating.

4.  Create your own garden.  Save on herbs and fruit like lemons and limes by growing your own produce and herbs.

5.  Get the most organic bang for your buck.  Educate yourself on what items are most important to buy organically and invest in those items for your family.

6.  Watch out for portions and snacking.  I think these two things can be huge budget busters.  So keep a little more money in your wallet and less something-something on your waistline by eating smart:  stick to correct portions and avoid extracurricular snacking (especially the processed snacks with little nutritional value). Need some homemade snack ideas?  Look no further…

7.  Make your own baby food.  I did a little experiment on this and found out I could make 2 kinds of food to last a week for less than $2 total.  Check it out.

8.  Keep it fresh and new.  Don’t get burnt out cooking the same old stuff.  Explore online for new ideas – there are about a bazillion food blogs to get ideas from, and you can find over one hundred recipes and tips (and growing) here that are fresh, nutritious and typically less than $2 per serving.  I incorporate these into my $385/month budget.  Yes, you read that right:  $385.  Talk to me if you want to know more about stretching your budget.

Happy New Year!


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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. You made a resolution to give up sugar for an entire year? wow!

    January 2, 2012
    • Well I figured I would see how long I could go without sugar as my new detox effort but, well, quickly fell off the wagon.

      January 2, 2012

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