Keeping the grocery costs low: I have a system!

This time of year has me paying extra special attention to my normal expenses. I switch to bare bones grocery shopping and utilize what I have in the pantry already first if I can. It has worked well this month and I am staying under budget.

I am starting to be able to purchase what I need at the lowest price. Splitting my grocery shopping between the farmer's market and grocery store is allowing me the best of both worlds. All of my produce, spices, and juice come from the farmer's market. I tend to get dry products, meat, and packaged items at the grocery store. Add in coupons and sales and I come out well!

I am getting into the habit of having fresh fruits and eating more salads on a regular basis. Not only is this healthier but it tastes better too. I have almost no canned vegetables around unless I have a specific recipe. I do get canned tomatoes and anything that is really good sale for quick needs. Mostly I use fresh these days and have better meals as a result!

Finally I am working on my bulk cooking skills a bit. I currently make my own chicken noodle soup, spaghetti sauce, and sometimes chilli in big batches. I freeze and use them over the next month or two. It takes me 1 weekend afternoon to cook all 3 at once if I need them. I always find they taste great when reheated later and it takes very little time!

I tend to go shopping more often when using fresh ingredients but I am better off money wise even with the extra trips. Both stores are close to my house and the gas cost is negligible. I try to go to both on the same day if possible. Even still sometimes you still just need butter, milk, or bread. Such is life.